Can I run this SE cable underground to a sub panel?

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  #1  
Old 09-08-07, 04:17 PM
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Can I run this SE cable underground to a sub panel?

I have a few electricians giving me quotes to install a sub panel in my detached garage but I am supplying the materials. Since I have not hired any of them yet, and its a weekend, I can't call any of them to ask this question:

I have an opportunity to get this cable at a really good price, but the seller is not going to be available after tomorrow, so I gotta jump now (or not): It looks like service entrance cable and this is printed on the jacket:

Blankinship/ware 6/27/07 E32071 3 CDR AWG 2/0 8000 compact AL Alumaflex AA8176 Type SE Cable Style U Type XHHW-2 CDRS 500 volts.

Doing some web searches, I found this:

http://appprod.southwire.com/ProductCatalog/proddetail.jsp?htmlpreview=true&token=273&desc=AL%20SE,%20SER,%20and%20SEU

It says
"Southwire Type SE, service entrance cable is used to convey power from the service drop to the meter base and from the meter base to the distribution panelboard; however, it may be used in all applications where Type SE cable is permitted. SE may be used in wet or dry locations at temperatures not to exceed 90 C. Voltage rating is 600 volts."

The cable I am looking at is the middle picture at the top: two insulated conductors and a bare "ground" (neutral ?) just like the Service cable to my house (except the house has 4/0 gauge)

The gauge may be overkill but I could save about $100 if I can use this.

1) Can this be used to feed a 100 amp sub panel ( 130' run) ?
2) Can it be run underground (with/without conduit) ?
3) Since it does not have a 4th wire for ground, can I run a separate ground along with it to the main panel in the house (the detached garage will also have its own grounding rod(s) )
4) If so, is #6 solid good enough for a ground connection to the main panel (same 130' run) ? I already have access to a lot of #6 from a previous project, and I also have a shorter piece of #4 I was planning to use for the ground rod at the garage.

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-08-07, 04:25 PM
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You can't use SE type cable underground, and most of the time you would want 4 wires to an outbuilding anyway...
 
  #3  
Old 09-08-07, 10:37 PM
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Unforteally the SE cable is NOT rated for underground run that mean it is not used to bury it at all and do not run the SE cable in the conduct it is not marked to used in that appaction

the only way you can do this properly run underground is get the grey PVC conduct and bury it and run with THWN [ it will useally marked THHN as well ]and you may have to run this all in the conduct from breaker box in the house all the way to the subpanel in detached garage

the typical size you can use for 100 amp is #2 al or larger or #3 copper or larger THHN/THWN conductors and #6 for ground wire and also you have to add two ground rods as well

for the subfeed if you will have more than 6 breakers it will be a good idea to get a main breaker installed or get one with main breaker installed

and keep the ground and netral circuits sepearted many place will sell the ground bussbar kit for it for few bucks and also most subpanel if you see bonding jumper or green screw on the netural bussbar please remove and discharged it

if you have more question please do post it here

Merci , Marc
 
  #4  
Old 09-09-07, 06:42 AM
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What about running it indoors?

Thanks for the replies. The electrician told me that since we are going to have 2 ground rods, the only reason to have a ground running to the house is to meet code in case there is ever any other type of metal or electrical path between the house and the garage (water pipe, cable TV, etc). The shame is that I have 100+ feet to run, but only about 8 feet of it is underground. Could I run the SE cable indoors (without conduit) then use some sort of junction to switch it to the THHN/THWN for the remaining 8-12 feet? Or is this a Bad Idea? :-)
I can get it FREE now.

Thanks!
 
  #5  
Old 09-09-07, 05:13 PM
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> the only reason to have a ground running to the house is to meet code in
> case there is ever any other type of metal or electrical path between the
> house and the garage (water pipe, cable TV, etc).

That is correct.

> Could I run the SE cable indoors (without conduit) then use some sort of
> junction to switch it to the THHN/THWN for the remaining 8-12 feet?

Yes, you can. You need a large j-box, some insulated split bolt connectors, and a tube of no-ox grease.
 
  #6  
Old 09-10-07, 07:11 AM
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Thanks

Hmm, I've never seen INSULATED split bolt connectors. Will have to look for those. Have only seen metal ones used, then wrapped in rubber tape, then regular electrical (vinyl?) tape.

Anyway, is it OK to simply run a separate #4 or #6 ground bundled with this SER and the THHN/THWN cable or is this sounding like a rig job that wouldn't meet code/pass inspection? I am pretty sure I have a spool of #6 green insulated thhn wire around here.
 
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