Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Electrical, AC & DC. Electronic Equipment and Computers > Electrical - AC & DC
Reload this Page >

What is the Simplist and Best Way to get a 1400' Electical Service to My Barn

What is the Simplist and Best Way to get a 1400' Electical Service to My Barn


Old 12-04-11, 10:31 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1
What is the Simplist and Best Way to get a 1400' Electical Service to My Barn

I live in Colorado mountains. I would like to get a 50-60 amp service (I could probably live with less if it makes a big difference in cost) to my barn. Service would be to run tools, lights, small heater, and maybe a welder. The Barn is 1400' from my House and exisiting transfomer/main panel. Main Panel at the transformer is 150 amps. I would like to bury this service from the panel at the transformer to the barn.

Given the distance and voltage drop, what size/type wire should I use? Can I use a smaller wire if I add a step up transformer at the barn...if so how big a transformer should I buy?

The power company quoted me $13,500 for them to out in a new service to the barn. A contractor quoted me $7,800 to install 04 wire from may house transformer to the barn and set a 50 amp panel at the barn, but if I read the voltage drop charts correctly that would be about 30% voltage drop.

I am looking for a simple and economic solution. I would have an electrican actually make the connection at the main panel, but would like to do as much of the actual work and trench myself...

Last edited by Teloca; 12-04-11 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Correct title
Sponsored Links
Old 12-04-11, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,312
Geeze! I was going to say have the electric company install a service there!

The other option is to run very large gauge wire, but with the cost of wire these days...

Generator? Solar electric if you have lots of sunshine?

And then what the electric company does is use a step-up transformer to a high voltage. That travels well over long distances. Then a step down transformer at the location.

I don't know if anything like that is available for this sort of situation?

Also is that electric company quote to run everything underground and they do all the work? If yes, perhaps you could dig the trench and run the conduit to their specs, then they would just run the wire? And that might lower your cost?
Old 12-04-11, 11:28 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,058
A 1:2 480 volt transformer on each end if you can find used or surplus one should make it cheaper even figuring the cost of the transformer because of the money saved on the wire. The transformer at the barn needs a center tap on the secondary. You would still probably be looking at 2/0* aluminum for the hots.

*(Note: Figured for 60amp @1500' and my load calculator only does 3 phase at 480 so I may be wrong.)

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 12-04-11 at 12:05 PM.
Old 12-04-11, 12:28 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,285
At a full 50 amp load, your voltage drop at 240 volts (single phase) would be just under 5% using 4/0 copper wire or 350 kcmil aluminum.

By comparison, at the same 50 amp load, at 480 volts (single phase) the voltage frop would be less than 5% using #1 copper wire or 3/0 aluminum. I'm sure you can guess the savings using two transformers as Ray suggested.

Even though your load may only be 50 amps I suggest installing a 100 amp panel. Just fuse it at 50 or 60 amps.

*Note: voltage drop is only in effect depending on the amount of current being drawn. You could legally install #1 wire and protect it by a 100 amp breaker feeding a 100 amp panel. You just have to think about the equipment you will be running and what effect the voltage drop will have on it.
Old 12-04-11, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 254
At that distance, it may be expensive any way. Here (Norway) The power company sometimes use to step up to 1000V using the regular supply wires and a step down in the other end.

I would say 4-5% voltage drop as a max.


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes