Getting electricity over a 375 foot distance

Old 03-06-04, 08:29 PM
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Getting electricity over a 375 foot distance

I have a barn about 350/400 ft away from my main house. Im looking to get power out there, and a decent amount of it. Probably enough to run an AC, tv, maybe a minifridge or two, as well as lighting and some other appliances.

Such a large distance is obviously the problem. I dont want to run wire that isn't large enough and could potentially cause a fire or have enough of a voltage drop to damage any of the electronics. I also don't have a ton of money to put into it.

Could someone help me on how I would go about figuring what size wire I would need for that type of run, preferably in the cheapest way possible?

And also if anyone knows the kind of piping and insulation I would need to use (I live in MA, freezes in the winter)? Again, any cheap methods would be appreciated.

Thanks a lot
Old 03-07-04, 09:12 AM
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It depends, how much experience do you have with electricity? It could be something you could do yourself and save the labor, or you might just have to pony up and pay an electrician to install it. I would suggest that you put a subpanel in the barn trench in a direct burial cable from your main panel. Running the cable in counduit would be much nicer, but more expensive. What size is your main panel in your house? This is an advanced project with many code requirements. I would not attempt without a good working knowledge of electrical fundamentals and codes in your area. Also, do you know if you (homeowner) are allowed to do electrical upgades of this magnitude in your area? This info is needed to even begin contemplating the project.
Old 03-07-04, 11:54 AM
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To give you a starting point for budgeting, for a 400' run with a 240V 30A constant load for estimating, you will need #4 copper to have a viable voltage when you get to the barn.
Old 03-07-04, 05:47 PM
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I agree about getting a little on site help. For long runs I use 4/0 4/0 2/0 Alum and with that much wire go to the supply house and dicker,, not to Home Depot. The only place HD or Lowes can beat the supply house is romex.
Old 03-07-04, 05:56 PM
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That's because those places use romex as a loss leader to steal business away from the supply houses.


I saw you post on another board. Please don't try to get away too cheap on this project. This is not something you can do that with. From your posts I also feel this is not a DIY project for you.
You need a separate service out there. To run a sub-panel will require such large wire IMO it's not worth it. It sounds like you will have alot of expensive equipment out there and you do not want to risk damaging it with a half-assed electrical job......just to save money.

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