Wiring up an old house and outbuildings


Old 10-07-18, 04:06 PM
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Wiring up an old house and outbuildings

First, thanks to the forum members for answers to all my past questions. I wired up the main and all outlets at my ranch to code. I had all my work checked after the fact to make sure it was legit. Again - thanks.

Here's my new project.... I just bought a house built in 85. There is no gas provider (propane only) and I want to go all electric. There is no garage and I'll have to build one. There is a well pump house with a very rough meter/service panel that I think is about 30 amps so I'm paying for two meters.

The house has a 125A main but is old and won't be anywhere near enough to handle all electric so that'll have to go up quite a bit. I'll do the loads but the house is small. I think 225 will do it but I'll run several calculations to be sure.

I'd like to run a "main with a meter plugin" that has a high enough amp rating to run three panels off of it. The first would be the house at 225a. The second would be the garage/mini apartment at 125a and the third the well pump house at around 50a. I would the run underground service cable (copper only) to each location and get rid of overheads (except the main pole coming from the electric company). This will get expensive as the garage is easily 100' away and the well house is also about 100' away.

What is the box that I'd put out under the pole called? Meter main? Meter combo? What am I looking for such that I can hook some serious sized cable/breakers for the sub panels? I'd also like to hang at least one (prefer two) 20A gfci circuits off of it for construction purposes while all this goes on...

That's my start - and appears I'll need at least a 400A main with meter. Obviously I'll get the electric company to hook that up. I'll take it from there and have an electrician looking over my work as I go.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-08-18, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Ct.,USA
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Utility usually charges for watts used, not the number of meters. I would not bury cables until the garage is built just in case garage plans require adjustment. You may be able to get the utility to install/relocate the service pole if it reduces wire required on your end.
Old 10-09-18, 06:53 AM
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Thanks, I know they charge by watts but there is a "base meter charge" that is $25 + tax for each meter. That means with two meters, I'm 50 in the hole every month before my first watt. The distances to run cable all over the property, however, aren't cheap and my payback would be several years at a minimum. Here's a picture of my land and distances. I'm considering all types of options here. Running electrical from the pole close to the house would be best as the highest demand will be the house and therefore the heaviest cable will be the shortest run. I guess I'm looking for ideas/suggestions to do this in the most economical way. I don't believe they'll let me put a meter on their utility pole that is close to the house. I'd probably just put a "ground station" per their specs and run cable from there. I can run copper to the house, mobile home feeder to the garage, and something lighter out to the well pump as it is only 30a, 220v. I am guessing that while the ground setup will be expensive, this would be the best overall long-term solution. I could skip the mobile home feeder to the garage if I go only garage door openers and enough to run lights and a welder but my wife really wants me to put a tiny apartment in the big garage for future use. That means at least a 125amp service and an expensive run if copper.
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