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Old 03-26-2008, 06:55 AM   #1
stan
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Default Running electric to detached garage

My garage is about 30 feet away from house and I need to run new service. What is best most economical way to do this? Some people told me bury the wire and others said aerial. I dont care and dont know if one is better I just want something to plug stuff into at this point. Thanks
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

Rent a ditch witch and bury it. Otherwise you'll have to worry about it everytime you raise a ladder, or need to get something tall like a delivery truck or backhoe between the buildings.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

personally i wouldn't even consider aerial. one more thing to have to watch out for outside, and i think its just ugly.

you can either rent a trencher to dig it, or since its only 30', you could probably dig the trench for the conduit by hand (depending on your soil type). its also a good idea at this point to bury a couple conduits. one for your electric line, and one for things you may want to run later (phone line for example).
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

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Originally Posted by cj7jeep81 View Post
its also a good idea at this point to bury a couple conduits. one for your electric line, and one for things you may want to run later (phone line for example).
X2
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:04 AM   #5
Dustoff 35
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

Bury it. More work, but worth the hassle.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

Another vote for burying it. If you don't want to rent a trencher, catch one of the guys you see at the gas station once in a while that have the larger garden tractors with the little 'hoe attachment on them. You would be surprised as to how fast they can dig. I had one guy trench with a Cub and a small 'hoe to bury some tile for my downspouts. Trench 50+ feet in about 30 minutes, droped the tile in and he took the bucket and buried it back. Total time...less than an hour. Total cost...$45. I couldn't have rented one and did it myself for that. Spark up a conversation with some that does it casually and not as a business and you can catch some pretty good deals.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

Same situation here. My question is what type of cable? Is direct burial cable a option? Can you run 12-2 in conduit under ground? Are they any building codes to worry about?
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

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Originally Posted by Roady View Post
Same situation here. My question is what type of cable? Is direct burial cable a option? Can you run 12-2 in conduit under ground? Are they any building codes to worry about?


You need to first determine the total electrical load that you are going to accommodate as well as the length of your run. Without knowing these two things, you can't determine what AWG you will need.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

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Originally Posted by Roady View Post
Same situation here. My question is what type of cable? Is direct burial cable a option? Can you run 12-2 in conduit under ground? Are they any building codes to worry about?
If you are thinking of regular house wire, Romex, NO, you cannot bury it. For direct burial you need wire rated for doing that. That would be UF. In 12/2 w/grd it is a very similar looking wire but where Romex is wires inside of a tubular plastic jacket with paper and string to cushion it inside, the UF wire is the three wires (two insulated and a ground) molded in a solid plastic jacket. As you go larger in the sizes the UF wire looks flat kinda like ribbon cable, still molded jacket over the wires.

Even wire placed inside a conduit, if underground or in a slab, must be rated for wet location. That could be individual loose wires such as THWN/THHN commonly used in a conduit.

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Old 03-30-2008, 06:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

I would go the burial route with conduit and use THWN wire. Oversize it and go with copper all the way. Don't even think about aluminum. There is a reason you don't find many houses with aluminum from the 1980's, most of them burned down.
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

Aluminum is very common for service entrance and heavy feeders. The problems with branch circuits in houses wired with aluminum, was caused by incompatible components. The receptacles and switches were not designed for use with aluminum (there were no Co/ALr devices at the time) and anti corrosive paste was not used.

I used to own a house with aluminum wire. I bought it not knowing that, and my parents stopped over before I moved in and were looking around. Mom swore that she heard a sizzling in the wall of one room. After they left, I began pulling outlets and sure enough, I found a wire burned about a foot up from the receptacle. Wait, it get better.

This was a small house, about 900 sq/ft. built in two halves in a lumber yard, transported to the site, and set on the foundation, and bricked up. It was not a mobile home, double wide or anything like that. All regular stick construction. It was my first house also. The real estate agent had arranged for the "home inspector" to do what he had to do, and in the course of this, he determined that a couple of receptacles had the hot/neutral reversed. He would fix it if the owners wanted (they did) but would return later, as he was out of time and had to get going.

After I found the aluminum wire and the burned wire, I bought a case of CO/ALR outlets and a bottle of anti-corrosive paste and set about replacing all the outlets and buying myself some time. I found one other outlet with the wire burned. Strange however, was that the wire was burned and the side of the receptacle was not. Flipped it over, and the wire was OK, but the receptacle was burned!!!!!!! Apparently the inspector, not wanting to queer the deal, just swapped the wires and didn't tell anyone of the burned wires! Wait, it gets better!!!

The inspector, like a number of them in town, was a full time FIREMAN!!!! They work 7 days on, seven days off, so they all have second jobs doing home inspection, cable installing, etc.

I set about rewiring the house and when I sold it, I had about half of the circuits replaced with copper.

Charles
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

...What Charles said. Nothing wrong w/Aluminum for Service and heavy feeds when used with the proper compatible equipment. The 100A feed out to my new detached garage will be Aluminum.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles (in GA) View Post
Aluminum is very common for service entrance and heavy feeders. The problems with branch circuits in houses wired with aluminum, was caused by incompatible components. The receptacles and switches were not designed for use with aluminum (there were no Co/ALr devices at the time) and anti corrosive paste was not used.

I used to own a house with aluminum wire. I bought it not knowing that, and my parents stopped over before I moved in and were looking around. Mom swore that she heard a sizzling in the wall of one room. After they left, I began pulling outlets and sure enough, I found a wire burned about a foot up from the receptacle. Wait, it get better.

This was a small house, about 900 sq/ft. built in two halves in a lumber yard, transported to the site, and set on the foundation, and bricked up. It was not a mobile home, double wide or anything like that. All regular stick construction. It was my first house also. The real estate agent had arranged for the "home inspector" to do what he had to do, and in the course of this, he determined that a couple of receptacles had the hot/neutral reversed. He would fix it if the owners wanted (they did) but would return later, as he was out of time and had to get going.

After I found the aluminum wire and the burned wire, I bought a case of CO/ALR outlets and a bottle of anti-corrosive paste and set about replacing all the outlets and buying myself some time. I found one other outlet with the wire burned. Strange however, was that the wire was burned and the side of the receptacle was not. Flipped it over, and the wire was OK, but the receptacle was burned!!!!!!! Apparently the inspector, not wanting to queer the deal, just swapped the wires and didn't tell anyone of the burned wires! Wait, it gets better!!!

The inspector, like a number of them in town, was a full time FIREMAN!!!! They work 7 days on, seven days off, so they all have second jobs doing home inspection, cable installing, etc.

I set about rewiring the house and when I sold it, I had about half of the circuits replaced with copper.

Charles
Sounds like he was trying to generate job security AS A FIREMAN. I can't imagine letting something like that slide & then when the house burns down & someone gets killed because of it knowing that I could have prevented it. Makes you wonder how some people sleep at night
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:21 AM   #14
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

I have moved my garage further back from the old location. I want to use the old electrical to tie in to the new garage. It is old nob and tube wiring that is in conduit from the house. What are the options I have in connecting the old and new in the ground? I do not want to trench all the way to the house.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:20 AM   #15
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

This has been a pain in my azz for sixteen years, it will be removed. I say burying it.
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

Kenb:
You donít have an option.
If you old stuff is that old it needs to be replaced end to end.
Rent a trencher.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:03 PM   #17
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

I am starting new project soon, I too have to dig ditch and run service to the garage.

I also have to run new wire from under the house, thru the crawl space, then ditch to new garage.

What issues am I going to run into going thru the crawl space, and how does the wiring exit from home to the ditch.

Thanks...
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

Another vote to bury the service & put more than one conduit in the ground.

One thing I didn't see anyone else mention as I skimmed the answers, is to make sure you know where everything else underground is located, especially if you're using an excavator. There is also a remote chance that a utility company or the municipality has an easement through your property for underground services or sewers. For utilities, the toll free "Call Before You Dig" service for your area is a good idea, they will mark it out for free or tell you there is nothing there.

Things under the surface like......

Other buried electric services
Water lines
Sanitary lines (to a municipal sewer or a septic tank & drain field)
Gas & propane lines
Storm sewer lines (even to drywells with roof leader connections)

Chances are there is nothing there & you may know that like I did, but the guy I had at my house to auger the holes for my pole building wanted to be 100% sure.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:11 PM   #19
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenb321 View Post
I have moved my garage further back from the old location. I want to use the old electrical to tie in to the new garage. It is old nob and tube wiring that is in conduit from the house. What are the options I have in connecting the old and new in the ground? I do not want to trench all the way to the house.
Trench to the old conduit if you know it's location, if not rent a detector. Tie into the conduit and pull new wire back from the house to the new location. You really don't want an UG splice even with standard wire.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Running electric to detached garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaRocker View Post
I am starting new project soon, I too have to dig ditch and run service to the garage.

I also have to run new wire from under the house, thru the crawl space, then ditch to new garage.

What issues am I going to run into going thru the crawl space, and how does the wiring exit from home to the ditch.

Thanks...
The wire through the crawl space needs to be approved for inside use. Some direct bury can be used inside and outside, but some cannot. Also individual wires need to be in conduit inside. The thing to understand is that all wire is not created equal and install requirements are not the same for all wire. You need to know what you need for what you want to do. Go to the electrical forum and do some searching.
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