Running wire from electric panel to house site


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Old 04-22-15, 08:01 PM
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Running wire from electric panel to house site

I am getting ready to install my temporary electric panel to start construction on my new home. I had the electric company come out and install a service disconnect, and at their convenience they ran it directly down from the electric pole and mounted their box. It is my duty/expense to run power from that box to my house. I assumed I would run wire down the rest of the way in conduit, and then run it in a trench 3 to 4' underground all the way (100'-120') to my house site where I would then have an electrician install a temp panel which would be changed out to install the permanent main breaker (load center) inside my basement once the house is roughed in.

I'd like to know what wire is suggested to use. I plan on running a 200 AMP load center, but much less for the temp panel. I would like to use Menards if possible, otherwise Home Depot to purchase the wire from.
 
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Old 04-23-15, 05:04 AM
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Is there a GFCI at the pole, if so why not run a 10/3 extension cord to the building site until the foundation is in and you have a place to mount the permanent panel.
Do it once.
Geo
 
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Old 04-23-15, 06:04 AM
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I went through this when building my house. I first requested temporary power, which the PoCo would run overhead to wherever I wanted (about 150 feet from the pole) but would charge me something like $300. Since the permanent setup had to be underground, I decided to go directly with that instead. I dug the trench and laid the conduit myself; the PoCo pulled the cables and connected them at no cost.
 
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Old 04-23-15, 10:10 AM
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I plan on running a 200 AMP load center, but much less for the temp panel.
You aren't entirely clear about your plan. Is your intention to use the underground feeder to the temp panel later as the permanent service lateral to the house? If so, I see a couple issues.
 
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Old 04-23-15, 01:46 PM
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Yeah I plan on using the same feeder to supply the temp panel and then having excessive length so that I can disconnect the temp panel and run the feeder line into the basement where the house panel will be located. There is no outlet on the panel on the pole currently. I believe it is just a single pull main ready to have feed wire wired into it, and then switched on. I would have plugged a heavy duty extension cord into it by now if I could. I do need to get my water well running and that is running on a 20 AMP circuit alone. I know I will be doing extra work and doing the job twice, but I planned on using the same feeder line and just having some extra length for when it's time to connect to the house and remove the temp 50A or 100A panel.
 
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Old 04-23-15, 06:47 PM
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Will there be a disconnect at the pole and outside the house?
 
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Old 04-23-15, 07:11 PM
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To my knowledge the only disconnect is at the pole at the company's box/panel.
 
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Old 04-23-15, 07:26 PM
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The biggest issue I see is that you will need a 4 wire feeder for the temporary panel and the permanent panel will need a 3 wire feeder as it will probably extend up the pole and not come from the temporary disconnect at the base of the pole. You would be better off, in my opinion, to use Geo's plan.

why not run a 10/3 extension cord to the building site until the foundation is in and you have a place to mount the permanent panel.
Do it once.
Geo
 
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Old 04-23-15, 08:07 PM
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I did not know that there would be an issue / difference in wire for a temp panel versus a main panel? Why is there a difference? Excuse my ignorance.
 
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Old 04-23-15, 09:06 PM
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Temp will be a subpanel because it doesn't have the first over current protection device (OCPD) therefore four wires. The final hook up will make the main panel the first OCPD therefore only three wires to it.

Please post a picture of the panel with the dead front removed so we can better help you. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html
 
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Old 04-24-15, 05:35 AM
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Oh okay! Something I never even thought about (sub panel versus main panel)

I will try to get a photo today with my phone.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 11:55 AM
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Oh okay! Something I never even thought about (sub panel versus main panel)
I was just assuming the disconnect the power company set was just for the temporary service. Generally there is no disconnect at the pole for most typical residential services. If the disconnect is to remain for the house's permanent service you would still need a 4-wire feeder to the new house as the service panel in the house would be a subpanel.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 02:35 PM
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I have to work double today so I will try to get a photo tomorrow. I am almost certain the power company has power running down from their transformer to this large box with a lever that serves as my 'property disconnect'. It's something a passer walking by could just come on over, and pull the lever to shut down all power to my house, lol. If I remember right, inside the panel was a place for wire to be fed in, and I forgot if it was just a 200AMP connection with a large 'circuit breaker' looking switch or not. I know this is not what the city does, and since it's out of town it may be different from the norm.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 02:55 PM
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What you are describing is a disconnect.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 03:20 PM
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If there is no place for a breaker I'd suggest just adding a small panel and some GFCI receptacles on a board fastened to the pole directly below the disconnect.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 05:46 PM
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Okay, something new I noticed that I didn't see before... I wasn't really looking for anything specific but now it looks like there is a '50A' plug on the very bottom. Looks like a generator plug that I have seen in the past. Anyone care to explain what this is meant for? I'd hate to buy one of those 50A cables, cost 300-500 bucks. I am thinking this entire panel is a temporary job by the company, especially after seeing the red shutoff lever that reads 'auxiliary power'. Taking the panel off shows it's just a direct connection - makes me think there is a permanent panel that the company will replace this with.

Few photos for explanation:
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Old 04-24-15, 06:01 PM
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What you have is a generator transfer switch the utility has re-purposed as a cut-out switch. The wiring inside looks suspiciously small for anything more than about 30 amperes output. That switch MIGHT have some internal fuses in the meter section, I have no idea. One thing I am almost certain of and that is that disconnect is temporary.

BUT, in my opinion you need to install a 60 ampere circuit breaker panel with at least two, 20 ampere 120 volt circuits feeding a pair of GFCI receptacles.

In my area the contractor or lot owner is responsible for setting a temporary power pole that has a meter socket as well as the 60 ampere circuit br4eaker panel and receptacles. It may also have a 30 or 50 ampere 240 volt receptacle and circuit breaker.

Oh, that disconnect REALLY should have a grounding rod and connecting wire.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 06:07 PM
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That is an inlet to supply power into the disconnect.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 06:18 PM
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So what am I looking at in cost wise to get a temp power going for construction *AND* have power to my water well? Here is the panel for the water well. No power coming into it, obviously. And I'd love to get it going for now. Name:  IMG_20150424_182039539_HDR.jpg
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Size:  37.2 KB The well is next to the house site which is at least 100' from the electrical pole.

There was a rod that was driven into the ground next to the pole, almost certain it was the ground, in which came in the back of the panel and you can see it is the copper wire behind the white wire.

I was hoping setting a temp panel was a walk in the park and a cheap thing to do. Thinking that is not going to be the case, especially if I end up hiring some electrician crew that charges an arm and leg because they show up with three people, having two stand around and watch the one work. The other guy I'd like to use is not responding to my calls, mainly because he is so busy because he is affordable.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 06:29 PM
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So is the inlet under the cover by the meter? Where to the three wires in the bottom go? Just curious because that is the strangest thing I have see. I'd call them and ask if they were confused about what you wanted.

You could probably make that work using tap rules and a 60 amp panel for ess then $100 and DIY labor.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 07:05 PM
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Where to the three wires in the bottom go?
Ray, I think that's the power inlet at the bottom, but it looks like it is wired as an outlet.

Nope, I believe that is the generator feed into the transfer switch.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 07:09 PM
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Ray, yes that is for some reason a male inlet. It would require a female plug to fit in there. I believe it is designed that way so a 'locking' plug is inserted, but I honestly thought they said "it's ready for an electrician to wire in a panel". Nobody wants to talk to a DIY or Homeowner, just the licensed electricians. I understand safety, but I really want to know what is going on with my money being spent. (500 to have them drop the panel which hopefully is refunded after house is built). I could call them up, but I think an electrician would know what is going on if he is a local one familiar with this set up.

edit:Joe, so that's only for a generator?

So the next procedure is to have a cable with that connection that does what...feeds into a sub panel so it has those three connections and then turns into 3 bare wires to feed a sub panel with breakers....or is that design meant for a special construction temp panel that just uses a cord to plug into that 3 pin female inlet and has GFCI outlets ready to go for typical extension cords?
 
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Old 04-24-15, 08:17 PM
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That receptacle is for power power in not power out. Ask them how much they will refund if you return that. Then install your own pole, meter socket, and panel. Maybe you could jerry rig what they put in but $500 is way too much for something you then have to jerry rig.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 08:29 PM
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Sooo, there is no current power 'out' is what you mean?

I was thinking something like this except with the ends being a female receiving socket. That was assuming that was power out, hah.
 
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Old 04-24-15, 09:33 PM
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The three sets of lugs inside the box is where you would tap off for power to an external panel. Make darn sure the switch is in the middle or lower position (it has three positions) when connecting.

Really, what you want is a "temporary power pole" mounted near the well head. You would then take a 240 volt feeder from the temporary panel to the circuit breaker box for the pump and that would get the pump running. Then use extension cords to the site of the house construction for your power tools and temporary lighting. Obviously you would need a temporary panel with enough circuits and capacity to run the pump as well as the construction tools.

Here are some Google images of temporary power pole installations. The utility would have their own rules as to how far from their pole to the temporary and the required height of the temporary that would need to be followed. https://www.google.com/search?q=temp...ed=0CAcQ_AUoAg

I have no idea what you asked of the utility but I really doubt that you asked for a temporary source of power while building your house. They may, or may not, credit you with the costs you have already incurred with this mess. You need to talk with them about what you REALLY need.
 
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Old 04-25-15, 12:20 PM
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Was that first pole considered a private property pole?you may be better off having another pole set closer to the house,install the temp service there,then when the house is complete have the POCO bring the drop to the new service location,no matter how you do it now it not be cheap.
Geo
 
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Old 04-25-15, 07:18 PM
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edit:Joe, so that's only for a generator?
Yes, what they gave you is transfer switch and not a disconnect. That male inlet is for the female end of an extension cord, that is plugged into a generator recetacle, to feed power INTO the transfer switch. That is the emergency power "IN".

You need a disconnect switch, either fusible or a circuit breaker type.

Maybe you could jerry rig what they put in but $500 is way too much for something you then have to jerry rig.
I wouldn't try to jerry rig it, it's just plain wrong. Oh, and don't hold your breath on getting any of that $500 back.
 
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Old 04-25-15, 08:43 PM
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May be time for him to look the Email of the state utility commission if he can't get them to correct their mistake.
 
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Old 04-25-15, 08:55 PM
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I will call Monday to see if a tech can explain things. I feel bad asking for an explanation, but I was told I was ready for an electrician to come in and now I feel like although that may be the case, I will be paying for extra work that the company did not *but should have* performed.
 
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Old 04-25-15, 10:32 PM
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Electrician will probably remove the whole mess including the meter and charge you for installing a new meter socket and panel.

I'd just put in my own pole with mast, meter socket and panel and ask them to move the drop to it. Put it near the pump house as suggested by Furd. Easy DIY probably for less than $200.

I prefer a 4x6 as as a pole instead of a round one. Makes it easier to mount things to.
 
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Old 04-26-15, 06:46 PM
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That may be the best approach, if I ask them to just connect to me 'temporary pole' that I have 'already installed'. If that's the case, I'd be looking for what...an electrician to purchase and wire (because of the state law) the sub-panel serving as my temp panel to my water well with a few GFCI outlets? This is a moot point probably by mid week after I can get the company to call me back with info.
 
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Old 04-26-15, 07:01 PM
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You can buy what you need at Homedeot except perhaps the meter socket. No one is going to ask if your an electrician because there are no limitations on who can buy what you need. You can even buy what you need over the internet. You do need to ask your power company for a list of approved meter sockets. They may even have a website with a list.

Or in the country around here some hardware and feed stores sell already assembled temp power poles with every thing attached and wired. May be the same in your area.

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Old 05-05-15, 05:33 AM
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Funny thing. There was a 200A breaker above all this jumbo to the right of the meter. It was such a small door to view it I thought surely that is not going to be my main disconnect. -shrugs-

Gonna have a guy run wire from 200A to a panel that will put out 50A on a few breakers including the well....and then be a pass through to connect to the house in the future so I don't run more wire to the main panel by the road.
 
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Old 05-05-15, 08:38 AM
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Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
 

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