New service - wiring question

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  #1  
Old 04-01-06, 07:43 AM
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New service - wiring question

I am getting a new service, 80A for agricultural use. No house, no A/C, just one pump (maybe 2) for irrigation. I need to prepare the "receiving end."

I plan to get underground service drop. This will make my job easier for I don't have to erect a 20' pole. Just 2 fence posts and a plywood board across. Meter base (power co. will give it to me) and main panel (I will buy from Lowes) will sit side by side on the plywood. Power co. will connect to the meter. I do the connection between the two.

Here is my question. The distance between the meter and the main panel is 2'. Wire size chart says #8 copper is good for 50' 80A. Does it mean I can use this wire for meter-to-panel connection because it's only 2'? Is it what you pros would use?
 
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Old 04-01-06, 08:28 AM
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No, #8 wire is NOT large enough. You will have a piece of conduit between the meter base and your circuit breaker panel and that means that you have to look at the chart/table for wires in raceway or cable.

For 80 Amperes you need nothing less than #4 and I personally would use #2. The cost difference between #4 and #2 for such a short run is insignificant.
 
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Old 04-01-06, 11:43 AM
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Mucho gracias. I will use #2 copper.
 
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Old 04-01-06, 12:36 PM
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You can buy 10' and cut it into three pieces.

Remember to paint the neutral white.

You must install the neutral even though you aren't using it.
 
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Old 04-01-06, 06:19 PM
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Thanks. I will see if I can see different colors at Lowes. If not, I will paint one white.

Yes, I know I have to have neutral, and neutral is grounded at the main service panel.
 
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Old 04-01-06, 08:30 PM
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> I will see if I can get different colors at [big retailer]

Last I checked (which was probably years ago), the retailer carried hard copper in the larger diameters.

If you bend it and it springs back, you don't want it.
You want soft (annealed) stranded copper ...

Or if you want cheap ($7) but very effective for such a short distance, get 3' (or whatever) of 100A direct burial mobile home cable.
Simply unwrap the green wire and use the other three.

I dare say that this will be at least as heavy as what the poco runs to the meter.
 
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