4ga 120 wiring connections


Old 11-20-14, 07:15 AM
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Question 4ga 120 wiring connections

We built a house and have a gate that is 1200' from the main breaker panel. I was able to procure 1200' of 4/4/4/2 Copper for the feed to the gate opener (5amp draw max). We want to have 6 lights along the drive on posts(LED bulbs) switched circuit. Gate is a non switched circuit.

My questions are:

How do I make the connections between the light fixtures and the 4ga wire?

How do I feed the 120vgate opener?
Can I make a 12ga connection to the 4ga wire somehow and that be acceptable capacity wise(screw code I don't want the thing to go up in flames)

What physical connectors do I use for these connections? It will all be in in conduit sized appropriately with junction/pull boxes at each light post @150' apart.
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Old 11-20-14, 04:08 PM
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I'm taking a stab in the dark here, I've never been in this situation so somebody may have a better idea...

For the lights, you could solder the wires together with a small chunk of maybe 12AWG tailed off to the lights. The very small amount of smaller gauge wire will not affect your voltage drop calculations. Wrap the soldered connection in rubber tape then again in electrical tape. Or perhaps you could squish the wires, with maybe 10AWG tails, into a split bolt and wrap them.

I'm not sure if your conduit is going to pop up inside the light post or not but if it does, your post acts as a box, if not, do your connections in a weatherproof pvc box and run teck cable out to the light.

For the gate, same deal. Connection in a weatherproof box with teck running to the opener.
Old 11-20-14, 04:11 PM
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Connections could be made using something like a Polaris preinsulated splice.
Old 11-20-14, 06:01 PM
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ok so just connect the 12ga from the gate to the end of the run no issue with having a 12ga load at the end of a 1200'run?

What about switching the other circuit what do I use to do that?
DO I splice in a piece of 12/2 and go to the light switch then use a polaris connector to get back to the 4?

I need more detail when it comes to managing voltage drop and load across the switch and gate operator.
Old 11-20-14, 06:10 PM
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It will be 2' PVC to a large underground box where I will make the splice then " running up to the back of the fixture on a 6x6 post.

So I can splice in a smaller gauge it won't hurt the circuit for a short run through a switch or relay?

Also if I run Phase 1 on two of the 4ga legs and Phase 2 on the 3rd 4ga leg will the 2 Gauge common only require the larger load of Leg 2 or 3, plus leg 1? The thought occurred to me that we could have two separate lighting circuits.

Also where would I find a calc that would let me take into account the placement of the Lights at intervals along the main run?
Old 11-20-14, 09:11 PM
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If you make the splices in an in-ground box make sure to use splice connectors rated for use underground/wet location.

It will not hurt the integrity of the circuit to use short pieces of #12 at the end points. In fact I wouldn't bring the big cable into the house at all. Do 12-3/g UF cable from the panel to the first in-ground junction box and start the big cable there.

This is a good case for a multiwire circuit. You run from a double-pole 20A breaker instead of a single pole breaker. Two #2 hots, a #2 shared neutral, and a #4 shared ground. The shared neutral carries the difference of the current in the two hots.

What type of calc are you looking for? Placement of lights at any position along the 1200' would be allowed, but you will have dimming the further down the cable you get if you use incandescent lamps. This would be a great application for LED lighting to keep the load on the cable very low.
Old 11-21-14, 07:19 AM
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Where are you planning on have the switch for the post lights? It maybe easier to install photo cells on each post light and just bring the feed up to a weatherproof box on each post.
Just a thought.
Old 11-21-14, 10:01 PM
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switched are in the house there are two 4-way circuits prewired for lighting.
Old 11-21-14, 11:04 PM
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Have you considered a solar charger for the gate. Then you only have to wire the lights. It could be one switch controlled circuit.
Old 11-21-14, 11:30 PM
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the gate we have is maxing out the largest solar compatible gate opener I could find and there is a 45w panel with charger charging a group 31 Optima. Anything more than a slight breeze and we can't leave.

That is the main reason this is an issue, I have been told by everyone Ive talked to i have three options, build a lighter gate(not very secure), cut the gate in half and have two leaves(too dang hard to make twin openers work perfectly one is bad enough) or get a bigger opener( since the wire and conduit were free. The larger opener is the cheapest option. As my neighbor is buying mine off of me and bringing a ditch witch over, which helps to offset the cost of the larger opener.)

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