Wire / Cable to power guesthouse??

Old 01-01-12, 09:07 AM
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Wire / Cable to power guesthouse??

I'm sure this has been covered, but I didn't find it so thought I'd just ask.

This spring / summer I will be building a small 16x24 guesthouse that will be about 375 feet from the service pole breaker box. Cost is a major consideration

Although I can run the wire / cable on poles, I was planing on digging a trench and running it underground?? The primarry reason for burying the wire / cable is because the area is heavilly forested and falling trees are always a concern.

If it matters, the guesthouse will be elavated about eight feet above ground level due to risk of flooding.
The guesthouse will have all the comforts of home - TV, microwave, oven, stovetop, fridge, lights,etc.

So, for the wire / cable from the service pole box to the guesthouse box; would six gauge be suffiecient? I was planing on useing UF? Should I plan on running it through PVC pipe or can I just lay it in the trench?

I do plan on hireing an electrician to hook everything up, but hope to buy most of the materials and lay everything out myself.

Old 01-01-12, 10:02 AM
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The only method to calculate the service for the guesthouse would be to perform a demand load calculation.

Type UF cable can be run in conduit, but it is much harder than individual conductors.

Last edited by pcboss; 01-01-12 at 04:26 PM.
Old 01-01-12, 10:11 AM
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Do some planning first.

You need to do a load calculation. Figure out what all your anticipated needs will be and add up the amperage. I don't see hot water on your list for example? Are some of these loads gas? Is there a well pump involved?

Distance is another problem. #6 UF is rated at 55 amps but it probably won't be sufficient. You'll have excessive voltage drop. I would also use conduit. That way you can upgrade the wiring easily if you have a problem.

Hope it helps.
Old 01-01-12, 03:53 PM
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You didn't mention heat or air-conditioning. These should be included in your load calculations.

Cost is a major consideration
Pulling UF cable through conduit is not only difficult, but an unnecessary expense.
Old 01-01-12, 04:56 PM
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Rather then UF aluminum mobile home cable may be a better choice.
Old 01-02-12, 10:44 AM
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Thanks for the input - yes, much planing to be done and I'll start with doing a load calculation and go from there. Alot of good info on this site, glad I found and maybe I can help out at some point....


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