boathouse wiring

Old 10-07-03, 03:19 PM
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boathouse wiring

I need run a subpanel to a new boathouse that is 600 ft. away from my main panel, which has 200 amp service. This will be underground in sched. 40 pipe. Also, I want lights in trees along a wooded trail along about half of this distance. I want to be able to cut off all power to the sub at the main panel with controls for the trail lights at each end. My needs at the BH are: 1 hp. elec. hoist and 2 lights (1 needs to be on a separate circuit since it is a marker light that comes on each night with or without the main power to the BH.) So far, three electricians have either stood me up or backed out of this job. This is not in the city limits, and there are no local inspectors overseeing the job. So, I might have to do it myself. Questions:

1) how many wires and what size ("4 or "2)?
2) will gophers chew through sched. 40? we have tons of those little suckers
3)should there be a box at each light tree location (at base of tree)?
4) panel will be in boathouse about 20 ft. from shore - how should I ground this?

Thanks for your help.
Old 10-07-03, 03:50 PM
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You do realize this is a rather large project you are contemplating? So, I can give you but an overview.

1. your wire size will depend on a lot of variables. You gave us the eqipment to be fed, which is a start. But to determine wire and breaker sizing we would need more information:
1. what is the voltage of the 1hp motor (120V or 240V?)
2. what type of lights are you using and watt wattage?
3. do you wish to power the walkway lights from the boathouse or the main house?

2. I can't say I've ever heard of animal damage to Schedule 40. I would think the buriel depth would work in your favor, but I guess anything is possible

3. I presume youare mounting the lights in the trees? If so, then a box at the base would be a good idea. Otherwise, you'll have two pipes running up the side of the tree.

4. As far as grounding goes, it depends. The NEC addresses this issue two different ways. The difference lies in the design of the building. Is your boat house a floating structure, or is it permanently affixed to pilings, etc.?
Old 10-08-03, 08:03 AM
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In answer to your questions:

- the hoist is listed as 120/240v, 13.5 amps, with 14 ga. wiring. I have been told that if it is wired at 240v, the voltage drop is more tolerable?

- For trail lights I want to have 5, double socket fixtures, ea. with 2-60w floodlamps. (Would halogen be more efficient here?). I plan to run metal conduit up each tree with a box at the bottom. In addition, I will need an overhead (floursecent?) fixture over the boat, and one floodlight (halogen low wattage) light for the deck area, and a security/marker light at the end of the structure. (Total of 3 light fixtures at boathouse.)

- the power could come from either end; I guess whatever is most efficient or cheapest. I want to be able to turn on the lights at either end. But I need one security marker light to stay on (comes on at dusk, off at dawn at the end of the structure over the water), no matter if the power to the boathouse is on or off. It might be easier to set this one up solar, I guess?

- the boathouse is mounted on driven steel pilings (not floating).

Again, the most efficient and economical means is favored if at all possible.

Thanks for your help.
Old 10-08-03, 06:35 PM
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Well, the difference between 120 and 40 comes own to amperage. a 240 draws half the amperage of a 120 (Ohm's law incidentally.) As to voltage drop, yes a 240 will suffer less drop, but it isn't overly substantial in your case.

From what you describe, I can see a few possibilities.

First of all, a 20 amp circuit is good for 16 amps. Your motor draws 13.5, which gives you just a little room left. If your lighting load is minimal, you might get away with a single circuit.

If so, then your cable size (to compensate for voltage drop) would need to be a #1/0. Mind you, a 1/0 cable will not fit under the lug on a 20 Amp breaker without aid of a terminal pin connector. At this point, your likely stepping outside the realm of DIY.

Of course, if you need more than one circuit, by code you would need a subpanel . Again, you are likely stepping outside the realm of DIY.

As the walkway lights go, I'd feed them from the house. Remember, this is a 600 foot walk. If you run power to the boathouse, then back to the lights, you could be looking at 1100 feet or betterfrom the main service to the furthest light fixture.
Old 10-09-03, 12:14 AM
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you need a grounding rod at the boathouse, and #6 awg interconnecting the two panels. I suggest pvc piping, unless you are in roadway. make pipe big! run 2 spare PEX 1" pipes -- ph & h2o in future. you will have lots of wires due to switches at each end = 2 sw, hot, neut, grounding, if 230v add another phase/ hot wire.

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