Long Electrical Run what type wire will I need?

Old 04-22-14, 08:52 AM
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Question Long Electrical Run what type wire will I need?

First post thanks in advance for any advice. I am researching a project that involves direct burial electric cable and fiber optic cable in a trench. The run will initiate from my Panel in my house and run to the end of my drive way, the length is around 1700 feet. I plan to run the following devices from the electrical run: Cable Modem, Networking Router/Switch, media converter for the Fiber, and a driveway gate.

Im an IT person so I'm comfortable with the Networking and low voltage stuff but unsure what type of electrical wire to use. How much voltage drop is ok? Single phase? Aluminum or Copper? Direct Burial? What number #4??

Will I need to make a Splice do they sell wire over 1000 feet rolls?

Thanks again.
Old 04-22-14, 10:13 AM
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Assuming electric gate is battery powered (they usually are) and only power is for a charger and total load is 10 amps or less if you use aluminum wire you could squeak by on #4 if you ran 240 then used a transformer* to drop it to 120. If you run straight 120 and aluminum you would need #2. Either would give you roughly a 10% voltage drop which is acceptable. Copper at that distance would be more expensive.

*Assumes used transformer bought from an online auction. A new transformer would probably cancel out any savings of wire cost.
Old 04-22-14, 12:50 PM
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Check this site out, plug in your figures and check out what will be the resulting voltage for that length of wire,this is going to be a costly project.
Voltage Drop Calculator
Old 04-22-14, 02:00 PM
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I'm no expert...but holy crap. Just the cable will probably cost$1500-1700 dollars from what I saw.

Wouldn't you be able do do it much cheaper using solar and batteries? The electronics are very low draw and the gate would just be a very occasional higher draw load wouldn't it?
Old 04-22-14, 03:19 PM
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Solar would be a great idea,not only the price of the cable but the trench ,the backfill material and the termination equipment Wow! One other thought is if there might be electric utilities near the end of the driveway where by a small 60 amp service might be supplied similar to what the cable co's use,it might be worth checking with the power co.

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