Cost to run power underground instead of overhead

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  #1  
Old 05-29-07, 07:20 PM
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Cost to run power underground instead of overhead

Just wondering if anybody has an idea of what it costs to have an overhead power wire run underground to the house. Obviously a very open ended question. I have about 60ft from the meter to the pole.

Do they charge by the foot, one cost no matter what, or some other way?

Thanks
 
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Old 05-29-07, 07:38 PM
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Somewhere between "Ouch" and "Are you kidding me?"

Seriously, no one here can give you a definitive answer. It depends on several variables that include your local electrical code and utility requirements.

The only way to find out is to call several electrical contractors. If you can tell them what you currently have for a panel and meter (assuming this is for an existing home) they may be able to give you an estimate over the phone.

If this is for a new home under construction then ask the builder or his electrical subcontractor.
 
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Old 05-29-07, 07:39 PM
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Your comments make me think an electrical contractor would be doing the work.

Does the electric company have any part in this? I was thinking they do all of the work of disconnecting, burying, and reconnecting.

Or do you actually need both the electric co. for the bury and an electrician for the disconnect/hookup?

thanks.
 
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Old 05-29-07, 08:46 PM
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in my area it would have to be the POCO. he lines up to the meter are theirs and they do not want anybody messing with them.

They charge what they charge. On a new install I believe it is around 2 or 3 bucks a foot. Retrofit is quite a bit more than that.
 
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Old 05-29-07, 08:54 PM
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Again, it depends on your area and the power company. In my area the owner will arrange to have the ditch dug and whatever conduit is required installed. The power company will lay direct-burial cable and run it through the conduit to the meter socket and make the connections for the meter. They will sometimes backfill the first few inches of the ditch with the sand/soil of their choosing leaving the rest of the ditch to be backfilled by the owner or his contractor.

Other areas have the owner arrange (through an electrical contractor) to do ALL of the work, including conduit ten feet (or more) up the utility pole (assuming overhead wiring in the street) and even pull the utility-specified (but not supplied) wires or cables through the conduit leaving sufficient extra wire/cable for the utility to make the final connection.

Your area may allow for direct-burial cable or it may require conduit the entire distance. You may have to supply the wire/cable or the utility may supply it. The utility may be the supplier of the wire/cable and do it for free or they may charge you. The only way for you to know is to call the utility, your local building inspector and some electrical contractors.
 
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Old 05-30-07, 06:14 AM
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A call to your local power company's engineering office is all you need. They will come look at it, see where it's coming from and going to and the length. Remember your meter box will now need it's power to come up from the bottom, so you will likely need a new power pack unless you will be allowed to plug the hole in the top of your existing can.

For me, it was about $600 to go about 250' underground, all labor and materials (including trencher, conduit and wire) supplied by the power company. They would NOT leave the trench uncovered, so I had to be ready with MY conduit to run the cable and telephone wires in. The crew was nice enough to backfill about a foot using their grader. I ran my conduit while they made the power connections. In most localities, the power company owns everything up to (and including) the meter, except the meter can, electricians aren't allowed to touch it.

I could have saved some money by digging the trench myself, but I ain't digging no 3 foot deep hole, 220' long by hand, and rental on a machine to do it was more than the savings of letting the power company dig it.
 
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Old 05-30-07, 09:45 AM
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Thank you all for the replies. Sounds like a call to the power company is in order.
 
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Old 05-30-07, 10:01 AM
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post back what you find out ,
 
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Old 05-30-07, 04:40 PM
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When I installed the power service to my new home last year, I was responsible for the metersocket, the trenching, and the 2" conduit. The POCO also requested that I use the long-sweep 36" radius elbows, and to leave a rope in the conduit for them to use.

I had to run the the conduit from the metersocket to the pole, leaving the conduit stick up out of the ground 4-6" at the pole. The POCO also requested that I install a slip-joint where the condiut goes in to the meter socket, to allievate any possible issues with settling.

The POCO in turn ran 4/0 AL conductors, and hooked them all up, installed the meter in the socket, and added conduit up the pole to the tranasformer.

The POCO did their bit for FREE - as in no charge.

I did all the work myself and saved a bundle. Someone I know borrowed me a Ditch-Witch for free to do the trenching. I got it all installed for basically the cost of the materials. :-)

Joe Michel
 
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Old 05-30-07, 04:45 PM
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Depending on the condition of current service a complete replacement may be required. At least the meter pan will need to be replaced or at least retrofitted. The wires need to come out the bottom now instead of the top. If the service is under size and grounding is old, that will all need to be replaced.
Some places the POCO brings the wire to the meter and charges you. Some place you need to bring the wire to the pole for them to connect to.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 10:55 AM
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I called WE Energies (my power provider) and got some costs.

Flat rate of $767

If the pole is on somebody elses property you pay a "Restoration Cost" of $100 plus a "permission cost" of $68.

WE Energies calls both the cable and phone companies and asks them if they would like to come along for the ride. AT&T is typically $350 to do so and Time Warner is apparently free.

This was to upgrade to 200A service. I'm not sure if it would have been less to maintain the 100A I currently have.

He also said that I could not keep my 100A panel and upgrade the service to it. I would have to upgrade at the same time. I'm not sure that makes sense to me.

So there are the costs if anybody else is questioning a ballpark figure. Pretty dang expensive especially if I'm upgrading my panel at the same time.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 06:11 PM
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That actually sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Add about $300 for a new meter base, a 200 amp service panel and a 100 amp breaker to feed to your existing panel and you are all set.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 06:53 PM
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That's not bad, since it's an upgrade. The flat rate sounds odd though, you'd think they'd charge a fee + $ / foot. Find out the requirements for burial depth for telephone and cable, as conduit it cheaper than $350, and I don't know of any provider that charges that much to run a new line. Cable and phone ran mine for free, since I installed the conduit (use 2", the installer will like you a lot more).
 
  #14  
Old 06-10-07, 08:10 AM
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I had WE do this in 2001. They direct-buried 60' 3/0, two 5-pair drops for the phone company (now AT&T) and an RG-6 for Time Warner. I provided one 1-1/4" innerduct for future needs (FTTH, CATV or copper phone replacement), along with a UF cable for a branch circuit prewired and left on the surface by the electrician, all of which they also buried in the same trench.

After the initial estimate of $680, while preparing for their work, I discovered underground obstructions that necessitated additional hand-digging by them, costing another $270. I paid an electrician $1250 for installation of a new 200A service panel and meter pedestal, excluding permits.

WE also offered the option of directional drilling, which would have reduced the site disturbance, but it was more expensive and our back yard was a mess anyway. The pole is about 2' from our lot line; I bought $70 worth of flowers and planted them in the neighbor's garden to replace what the trenching destroyed.

I was pleased with the documentation, speed, and communication. Everything went smoothly; the electrician did his thing in a bit more than half a day and WE took less than a day. Send me a private message if you want any more WE specifics.
 
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