House to garage aerial wiring code help?

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  #1  
Old 09-11-13, 04:24 PM
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House to garage aerial wiring code help?

I need help determining how to bring my garage electrical supply up to code. FYI: I live in Denver, CO.

Although I thought it was OK, I discovered that the aerial wire supplying power to the garage is nothing more than a heavy duty, 12 gauge, 3-wire extension cord. It was like this when I bought the house but the inspector missed it. The garage is supplied by a 15A breaker, and the only devices in the garage are two overhead CFL lights, a low horse power garage door opener, and one 15A GFI outlet. It's a 1 car garage. See photos below for the current (no pun intended) setup.

Coming out of the box on the house exterior is EMT conduit which is connected to a small mast head. This mast head is just below the larger service mast head in the photo. Then the cordage (about 9' off of the ground) stretches over to the garage and into another small mast head that sticks through the garage roof. There is a service disconnect just inside the small garage door, prior to any devices on the circuit.

What do I have to replace the cordage with to bring this up to code?

Burying to wire is not an option, the ground is covered by a concrete patio.

Thanks in advance for your help.





 
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Old 09-11-13, 04:35 PM
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You could use UF-b UV resistant cable fastened to a steel messenger wire or you could use aluminum triplex for a single 20 amp 120 volt feed. You probably aren't going to find triplex smaller than #6 but you would only need #12 for 120v/20a service. That's why I suggested the UF-b. You could probably use 1/8" steel cable for the messinger.
 
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Old 09-11-13, 05:14 PM
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What in the world is that snow plow looking blob on the roof trying to act like flashing?
 
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Old 09-11-13, 06:08 PM
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I'm not certain what a "messenger" is? Does it just support the weight of the cable or does it act as a neutral or ground?

So would THIS meet NEC for an aerial solution?

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-11-13, 06:30 PM
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Messenger's only function in this case is to support the cable. Note in the specs it says "sunlight/UV resistant". While it is usually burried nothing requires it to be buried and code does not require it to be protected at heights greater than six feet. It though must be supported thus the messenger wire. The steel cable for that is in the hardware aisle. It is not an electrical product. It will need to be grounded to the electrical system. Wire ties can be used to fasten the cable to the messenger.

Side note where the electrical enters the garage a disconnect is required. A 20 amp single pole light switch will be fine for that. All receptacles must be GFCI protected.
 
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Old 09-11-13, 06:38 PM
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I use plastic coated wire rope. It comes in 1/8" - it's a stranded steel cable with a clear plastic coating. Last's a long time before it rusts. Available in precut lengths or off the roll in all the home improvement stores.
 
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Old 09-11-13, 06:59 PM
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Thanks. Already have the GFI and service disconnect in place. Will add a messenger and the grey cable and all should be good.

If I recall correctly, 8' is the minimum distance off of the surface (ground), correct?
 
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Old 09-11-13, 07:07 PM
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I believe ......... over sidewalks and other pedestrian only traffic areas is 9-1/2'
 
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Old 09-11-13, 07:32 PM
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I'll look it up when get a chance.
 
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Old 09-11-13, 07:36 PM
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And look up the clearance between the pole drop and other electrical lines. I think it is one foot but I'm not sure.
 
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Old 09-12-13, 06:58 AM
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I have never seen a cord used quite like this one, it appears that at the house the cord must extend down through the EMT to the switch under the meter. I'd be interested in how this is connected. You should have an approved means of getting power from your service panel, up through the EMT riser and extending out at the weather head and a similar setup at the garage. Connections between that wiring and the new aerial cable would be made outside the weatherhead at each end.
 
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Old 09-12-13, 07:25 AM
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Joe, would THWN be an approved method? What of just running the UF uncut through the head and leaving a drip loop where it enters?
 
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Old 09-12-13, 07:36 AM
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Joe, would THWN be an approved method? What of just running the UF uncut through the head and leaving a drip loop where it enters?
I would prefer to use THWN in the conduits on each end and make the connections outside the weatherheads, but I don't think your suggestion violates any codes (drip loop is important-OP has none now). In fact, I have seen similar temporary aerial drops to construction trailers using tray cable where the cable entered the weatherhead, traveled down the side of the trailer and on into the service panel.
 
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Old 09-12-13, 07:56 AM
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I use plastic coated wire rope.
Would galvanized aircraft cable work for the messenger? I have a hunk of this running across my yard for my dog's rope, been there for 15+ years and never rusts.

Aircraft Cable, Galvanized from Rose Brand
 
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Old 09-12-13, 08:14 AM
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My main concern is that I may be listing this house for sale once all of the upgrades are finished. I just want to ensure that a home inspector does not take issue with the wiring and I end up forking over money at closing to fix it. I may keep the property, but that depends upon if I can get a favorable refi from the bank.

I simply want to ensure that any changes I make will result in full NEC code compliance.
 
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Old 09-12-13, 08:42 AM
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It will meet NEC code but many Home Inspectors are not very knowledgeable of the NEC and flag things as violations that are not violations. Pull a permit before doing the work and have it inspected after. Then if the home inspector complains you have the permit and final approval to back you up.
 
  #17  
Old 09-15-13, 09:50 AM
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I took a look at that grey wire at Home Depot. An electrician just happened to be there and said I could definitely not use the grey UF-b UV resistant cable for overhead wiring, period.

Although I've hired electricians in the past to do work for me, presently I am absolutely broke and simply cannot afford to hire one. I am on borrowed money and borrowed time at the moment. I need to wire this to code so I can sell this property. Unfortunately I also can't pull a permit for this since I am not licensed.

I simply need to know what is the NEC approved way to do this?

I bought the steel cable and insulated mounts for the messenger wire, also a ground connector for it to connect it to the panel at the house end.

Please, what specific type of wire and type of connectors do I need to buy to complete this correctly?

I don't want this to be an issue during escrow where I have no choice but to hire an expensive electrician, pay for permits, etc. My budget mandates me to save that money. No choice right now, I have to do this myself. Thanks.
 
  #18  
Old 09-15-13, 11:30 AM
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All code is local so it does not matter what the NEC says about it. If your local code states that type UF-B is not allowed then that is the end of the discussion.

In your case the easiest and least expensive is to sell the house as it is. You might have to take a work order on it that will reduce the price by a figure close to what it would cost to have the wiring replaced but that will not be an out-of-pocket immediate cost.

Or, you could do your homework and find out what IS allowable under your local code. If your local code does not allow you, as the homeowner, to pull a permit then you are STILL in trouble as you will need to disclose that you have performed electrical work without benefit of either permit or inspection.
 
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Old 09-15-13, 11:55 AM
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If he didn't cite local code to back that up and call your inspection office. If they say no ask them to cite code and what would be acceptable. Too often answers can be given just because someone has heard that or always thought that. At last resort use the smallest triplex you can find.
 
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