Running main electric line to house?


Old 01-09-05, 06:55 PM
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Running main electric line to house?

I want to know what ratting cable should be used to run your electric from the electric company's breaker box to your house (this is out in the country where they run the cables to 300 feet and then you have to hook up and run the rest). I have done indoor wiring but have never run outdoor cable.

Can I get cable that is approved for direct ground contact or must I run it in PVC pipe?

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Old 01-09-05, 10:57 PM
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Underground services are generally considered electrician jobs, not DIY. There are lots of codes to consider, aside from which wire to use.
Old 01-10-05, 01:45 PM
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Ok, thanks anyway.

I found my information.
In case others need it:
Lowes sells 200Amp cable at $1.65/foot. It is rated for ground contact and can be buried (without conduit) as long as it isn't going under a road or driveway. I have also learned other information such as,

1) Any cable coming above ground (like from meter to ground, from ground to house) has to be housed in conduit.

2) The trench should be lined with sand and the cable covered with sand before backfill.

Old 01-11-05, 05:46 AM
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There are other questions you need to be able to answer before completing the power connections to your house.

Do you understand the difference between service laterals and service entrance conductors; what service equipment is; what the service point is; where you ground and bond your system when your service point and service equipment aren't next to each other?
Do you understand how to calculate if voltage drop is a factor in that cable you want to bury? Do you know how deep to bury the cable and any other specific requirements that go with burying cable or conduit?

I'm comfortable doing any and all wiring inside my house, including special use situations like an indoor spa/hot tub, a motor control center for a rotary phase convertor and requirements unique to a 120/240 delta 3-phase installation.
I watched the electrician replace our panel, upgrade our service from 100 to 200 amps and bring the Grounding Electrode System up to current code. Is that something I'd try myself now? Possibly, although the speed with which a pro can do it is something to consider. Would I really want our house to be without power for twice as long as it was (meaning overnight)? Not likely.
Would I run my own service from the point of connecting to utility power in? It's possible, but not probable. More likely I'd specify what I wanted and let the pro handle it. Digging the trench and laying conduit is something I'd do, but running the service to my house isn't something I'd consider a "learn as I go" sort of thing.

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