Ranch Wiring - 2 buildings - 1 cabin, 1 "barn".

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Old 06-05-16, 10:42 AM
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Ranch Wiring - 2 buildings - 1 cabin, 1 "barn".

I posted once before and got some great advice but have changed my plans to something definitive and want to make sure I buy the right stuff.

I have a 200A service pole
I have a 40' shipping container - distance to pole is 75' at front, 100' at back.
I will have a 20x32 cabin shortly. Distance to edge of wall @ cabin is 110' but would probably want to come up under it midway so more like 125' to be safe.

I want to run 2 - 20A sockets to the shipping container. I will run 12-3UFB 24" underground in PVC conduit (Can I do metal instead? It's cheaper) and bring it up through the floor of the shipping container then wire two sockets inside. At the meter, 2-pole GFCI will provide for the circuits.

On the cabin, I want 150A at the service panel if possible so I don't outgrow it.

According to paige electric's calculator, I need either 2/0 copper or 4/0 aluminum for 150 amps at 140' of distance which gives me a little wiggle room.

I'm outside city limits and no permits are going to be required but I want it to texas code and I don't want an electrician to walk away from it telling me to do it over!

On the cabin run, aluminum 4/0 is WAY cheaper. The plan would be PVC (or metal if I can as it's cheaper). I would like to run a washer/dryer combo at some point so I'll need 220V at the cabin. Since I'm going to run a service panel at the cabin, is mobile home feeder adequate for my needs? If so, Do I get the 4 conductor or 3 conductor? The wire I'm looking at is:

Shop 4/0-4/0-4/0-2/0 Aluminum Mobile Home Feeder Service Entrance Cable (By-the-Foot) at Lowes.com
It is 4/0-4/0-4/0-2/0.

So my questions boiled down

12-3 ufb to a barn with double pole GFCI in PVC for 2 15-20A outlets. Can I also put in metal or is that a no-no for codes?

Mobile Home Feeder 4/0-4/0-4/0-2/0 from 200A service to 150A panel about 125'. Buried 24" down in PVC but would prefer metal if that's code.

Advice/suggestions? Thanks very much in advance.
 
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Old 06-05-16, 11:13 AM
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I want to run 2 - 20A sockets to the shipping container. I will run 12-3UFB 24" underground in PVC conduit (Can I do metal instead? It's cheaper) and bring it up through the floor of the shipping container then wire two sockets inside. At the meter, 2-pole GFCI will provide for the circuits.
I find it hard to believe that metal conduit would be cheaper then PVC since you can only bury rigid metal conduit (RMC) which is about 6x the cost of PVC. If you are going to bury the UF/conduit 24" down I would direct bury the UF. UF would be very difficult to pull through 75'+ of conduit. (The conduit must be complete before pulling in the cable/wire) You would then only just need to protect the cable where it comes less then 24" and above the ground. If you really want to do conduit you only need to go 18" and then use individual conductors. (4 wires: hot, hot, neutral, and ground)

Mobile Home Feeder 4/0-4/0-4/0-2/0 from 200A service to 150A panel about 125'. Buried 24" down in PVC but would prefer metal if that's code. According to paige electric's calculator, I need either 2/0 copper or 4/0 aluminum for 150 amps at 140' of distance which gives me a little wiggle room.
Since you are using 4/0 feeder I would just get a 200 amp panel. Voltage drop will have no effect on what size of the service is, and 140' is not an issue. Again, MHF is direct burial cable, I would direct bury it 24" down and protect the risers. The cable you have selected is correct.
 
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Old 06-05-16, 03:51 PM
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I have a 40' shipping container
12-3 ufb to a barn with double pole GFCI in PVC for 2 15-20A outlets.
So, do you have a moveable container or a permanent structure? It makes a difference.

I find it hard to believe that metal conduit would be cheaper then PVC
I agree about the cost, PVC is generally the cheapest conduit available. I assume the OP is thinking of EMT steel conduit (thinwall), but EMT cannot be used underground.

Since you are using 4/0 feeder I would just get a 200 amp panel.
Agree, I'd also use a 200 amp panel. It is very likely a 200 amp panel would be less expensive than a 150 amp panel too because of production volume.
 
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Old 06-10-16, 10:39 AM
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Yes, PVC... I was checking prices and the thinwall stuff was CHEAP! but the PVC is the better route.

The shipping container is, for all intents and purposes, permanent. I leveled the ground and put 6" of road base under to raise it up. It is a shipping, container, however, and could be moved if desired but it's not on wheels or any kind of mobile platform. I keep my tractor, feed, chemicals, and other things in there.

I'm fine with a 200 amp panel at the cabin site with conduit to protect it to a 24" depth and direct bury MHF for the cabin. That's cheaper anyway since I won't have to glue up a bunch of PVC.

I'll just "hang it" at each end (the MHF) with a few extra feet at each end beyond where I know it will be connected so the electrician has extra to work with. (perhaps 6' or so on the main side and 15' or so on the cabin side just in case)

Should I run the PVC conduit for the 2 20-amp runs to the shipping container or just go 24" and protect it from the main down 24" as well as 24" up into the shipping container? If can skip that by using 12-3 UF-B, I just need to trench it, conduit at both ends to protect it and then have an eletrician hook up the sockets and GFCI at the main.
 
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Old 06-10-16, 11:20 AM
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Should I run the PVC conduit for the 2 20-amp runs to the shipping container or just go 24" and protect it from the main down 24" as well as 24" up into the shipping container?
You can only run one circuit to a detached structure. Do you really need two 20 amp circuits? If you do you will have to use a multi wire circuit or a subpanel.
 
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Old 06-10-16, 01:26 PM
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I think he's referring to the MWBC as 2 circuits -- as long as you do it with the 12-3 cable you're good.

Usually if I'm going to the hassle of trenching on my own property I put in conduit as insurance against having to dig again sometime in the future. Direct burial cable is a bit cheaper and understand completely when customers want to go that way instead of pipe. The only time I would say conduit is really absolutely needed is if you have sharp rocky soil or a lot of vehicle traffic over the line. In either case rocks can get driven through the cable during normal soil shifting. You would want pipe or to backfill a good 6" around the buried cable with clean sand or something like smooth pea gravel.
 
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