Buying underground copper line

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by 4 seasons lawn&land, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    Here the Power company handles all installation too the meter on the house. You pay them for doing it.

    With a step down transformer then 500mcm is more than enough.

    The service wire is sold in rolls with the correct number of wires spiraled up so that you pull the whole service wire off on roll instead of multiple rolls too get the required number of wires for the service and there is several different wire types that can alter the price. So you have too determine if you are pricing a single strand of 500mcm or 2 strands of 500mcm combined with a ground together.
  2. Mud23609

    Mud23609 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    If it had to go underground in my mind at least aluminum would be the way to go due to costs.

    I would also if it is possible put some thought into having the power run in on poles. If you have the power company do it that way you are less likely to face any limitations on future expansion of power requirements. Cost is going to be a factor here as well, but depending on the situation it might be worth checking out.
  3. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,572

    With a co-op, here, it's cheaper to dig the hole. They'll run a piece of what we call duct and pull the wire thru and hook it up. You take care of the backfill.

    With the major electric company. They wanna do everything. But sometimes we still end up doing some or even all of it. Just depends on who you talk to that day.

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  4. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,613

    Thanks. Can you tell me what kind of wire I should be looking for, for running a house and decent sized garage?
  5. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    2000ft secondary service run LMAO. No way in hell my friend. I do this for a living and never in my life have I seen a 2000ft service run. You will need to contact the energy utility company and they will most likely shoot a bore(trenchless digging) and set a TX close to your shop and then your run will be about 100ft. If you want it to be customer owned you need to get 15kv 1/0 stranded or solid core wire with a concentric neutral. The conductor will be aluminum with a cooper neutral. If you try and run a secondary run that long you will need 3 individual runs of wire. 2 being hots and one being neutral and the neutral can be smaller so if you go 500mcm then you can go 4/0 on the neutral usually. I install electrical services for a living for FPL. Here we allow customers to install the conduit and we will pull our cable. You can set up a customer owned service but I wouldn't advice it unless they mandate it. For conduit secondary cable you can go THHN 500 mcm copper for direct buried it will be XLPE coating. They will trench if they can as long as it's not going to ruin other peoples properties.
  6. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    BTW when you need to buy cable and know what you want PM and I will give you a number to call and get a good deal to your door.
  7. ecurbthims

    ecurbthims LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 487

    Wouldn't the utility company be able to supply the wire at a better price due to their volume purchase ? Anyways if it's going tobe $50,000 ,have you considered a solar and wind powered system ? Lots of incentives available and your knocking on the door of the cost for a system and you might be able to sell a bit to help off set the costs .
  8. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,613

    It looks to me like it will be about 25 grand. For the 2 house 1 garage setup. If I knew exactly what wire I needed I would be much more sure than I am right now. What do you mean by secondary service? I have customers with 1 mile long driveways, much bigger than what I am trying to do.
  9. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    As far as utility companies are concerned there are there types of voltage classes. Secondary voltage is 600 volts and under which is what all residential and commercial properties are provided usually in forms of 120/240 (single phase only takes 1 phase of primary voltage) 208/120/240 ( takes two primary voltage feeds) the 208 is a high leg really this is common for small warehouses where they just need a third leg to turn motors. Now getting into bigger commercials you have 120/208 and 277/480 which uses all three phases of the primary voltage distribution. Now there are some other secondary combinations but 99% of the time it will be in one of these forms.

    I can promise you that your customer does not have a mile of secondary wire before it hits a tx (transformer). The longest service I have ever seen in all of Florida was close to 500ft and it had huge issues. This was a parallel run of 4/0 tplx (three runs of cable twisted together so 6 runs total two for each phase and two for neutral)

    Another option for you if you insist on trying to accomplish this would be to run multiple runs of smaller cable vs trying to use one tplx run of large cable.

    Now I'm telling you from an engineering stance, nobody will recommend a 2000ft run of secondary it's a waste of money and you will have other electrical issues.

    It's much cheaper to run primary voltage which is normally in the forms of 4kv 7.2kv 7.6kv 12.47kv or 13.2kv which is kilo volts pretty much multiple that times 1000. This way you run one cable the 1900ft or whatever hit a transformer that steps it down to 120/240 right before it goes into the house(s).

    When you run a higher voltage you can use smaller cable as it draws less amps. The bare wires you see on the side of busy roads on the top of the pole (usually 4 with the lower one being the smaller one (neutral). They're what is referred to as "primary voltages" and this size wire is usually 1/0-795kcmil and it powers the entire city. These wires (cables) are normally ACSR (Aluminum conductor steel reinforced). It is air cooled so aluminum here can carry up to around 1200 amps when it is in the ground direct buried it can handle the second most amount of amps. Now when you put it in conduit it can carry even less amps.

    To finish this off, if you're putting it into conduit, there is no way in hell you will pull 2000ft of copper wire even with a cummins. You would have to install multiple pull boxes and loop the conductors around in the box to continue pulling the rest.

    I think if you contact your utility company you will realize it will be much less than 25k to install your services.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  10. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    I just realized you're in New York. A lot of your overhead wire is copper and looks green. Also, a lot of its coated with black insulation because of the salt. That stuff is referred to as tree wire down here or Hendrix cable.

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