Power to water well, long distance

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Old 07-18-08, 01:45 PM
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Power to water well, long distance

I have a water well out in the middle of a pasture feeding a stock tank. Currently it has windmill on it, but I need to run electricity out there and put a pump in the well to increase the water output. The pump will be 1-1/2 hp 240v. If there's any juice left over I might want to have a worklight and one 110 outlet near the well, but not required.


The well is 500' away from the nearest power line and 1200' away from the meter pole on my barn. I see 3 options:

1/ Run power 1200' underground from the meter pole on my barn. I have a 200a service at this pole and only 100a feeding the barn. What size wire would I need to do this?

2/ The power company charges $1200 to jump power across the road and set a transformer and meter pole just inside my property line. From the new meter pole I could run about 420' underground to the pump. What size wire would I need to do this?

3/ Alternately I could let the power company do the whole thing - $1200 to cross the road and another $2800 ($7/ft) to run overhead lines out to the well site and set the new meter pole right next to the well.

I suspect option 1 or 2 will be cheaper because I can do most of the work myself, but I'm looking for your expert advice.

Any other advice that I should consider when contemplating this type of work is also welcome.

Thanks for you help -

Bryant
 
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Old 07-18-08, 02:56 PM
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Bryant, welcome to the forums! Unless you have priced underground cable lately, you will be in for a shock. Aside from the cost of the cable (and you will have to run a 4 wire cable in order to have 120 volts) you have to rent a ditch witch to dig with, spend a day riding the thing, and don't forget voltage drop calculations.
Go with the POCO offer at $1200. It will be done right, probably in a day and you are done.
 
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Old 07-18-08, 02:56 PM
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Will the pump be at the surface or submerged in the well? If it's a submerged pump, you'll have to consider additionally the depth of the well in the overall distance.

Originally Posted by gbbrdshw View Post
I see 3 options:
I think option 2 is going to be the cheapest. The difference between 1 and 2 is the cost of 800' of underground cable which will be more than the $1200 price to set a meter.

Assuming then you proceed with option #2, your pump will run at about 10A over 420'. I would then recommend that you run #4 or #2 aluminum underground cable from the pole to the pump location where you could install a small subpanel. A good candidate cable would be 100A mobile home feeder cable which is #2 aluminum suitable for direct burial.

Your service to the pump would technically be 90A given the #2 cable size, however it would actually max out at about 30A given the distance. This would provide you with enough extra capacity to install a receptacle or work lights or go with a slightly bigger pump in the future if you need to.

You could drop down to #4 aluminum cable, but I don't know off the top of my head what configurations #4 is made it -- you could check at the supply house.

Alternately I could let the power company do the whole thing - $1200 to cross the road and another $2800 ($7/ft) to run overhead lines out to the well site and set the new meter pole right next to the well.
This could be worth it depending on who is responsible for future maintenance of the line. If the power company owns the line, then they will be responsible for fixing it if it ever gets damaged. Sort of like an insurance policy.
 
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Old 07-18-08, 06:25 PM
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i would say option 2

i'm not sure where you would get it, but i would see if i could get my hands on some #2 URD cable. Its an aluminum cable that has 2 #2 wires and i think a #4 neutral wire all kind of stuck together. Then when you got to your new panel, you would need to drive a ground rod in that area too. URD would be far cheaper than single runs of USC, but i'm not sure right now how the voltage drop would be effected with a reduced neutral. Any thoughts on this guys?
 
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Old 07-18-08, 06:33 PM
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Option #2 is best one as I can see cost wise if you want to save money like that and Ibpooks got the figures right with the voltage drop.

Yes some electrical supply centre may stock 4-4-4-6 Al [ Kinda little rare on this one ]

And with 420 feet it much quicker to run the trencher like that than the other options which the cost will add up very fast.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 07-18-08, 07:28 PM
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grundfos sells a very good solar system that installs in remote areas it will probably do your job for about the same installation cost. all tho with the cost of wiring it may be cheaper. also then you will not have a monthly electric bill to operate the pump. I have seen them in operation and they work very well.

Murphy was an optimist
 
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Old 07-19-08, 02:58 PM
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that might be the best idea of them all, you'd have to devise something to keep his livestock from trampling it or gnawing on it.
 
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Old 07-19-08, 06:32 PM
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Tap off it with a 9000 volt Gallagher. Tends to keep them away pretty good. I've seen mine arc to their noses in the evening when they get too close. Hey, beats watching a bug zapper.
 
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