PDA

View Full Version : Question regarding running electric service to a new home site?


jkski
03-09-2012, 04:48 PM
Looking for some advice from you guys regarding running electric service to the site where I will be building my home. In my area, Ohio Edison is the local electric company, so I met with their engineer to determine what would be required to get the power from the street back to my build site, which is roughly 1500 feet back (following the driveway path). The engineer stated they would have to put in 2 poles, one across the street from my driveway to suuport the line and a second one at the ned of my driveway to run the line to and down into the ground where it would then run underground to the site. I would have to dig the trench and they would install the 2 poles, drop the wire into my trench, set and set a transformer back by my site for 200 amp service. They do not require any conduit.
Grand total for me to pay before I dig the trench: $10,614.

So based upon your experience, is this in line or way out of whack? Can I hire an independent contractor to run the line or can I run it myself and simply let Ohio Edison set the poles and make the connections?

Thanks in advance for the advice.

mikeg205
03-09-2012, 05:40 PM
Does not seem out of reality, father in law paid about $5K in Ontario, Canada to run a new line with increased capacity about the same distance. Main difference was that the poles and transformer were already there.

Jerseydave
03-09-2012, 06:02 PM
1500 feet is really far so with copper prices what they are I guess that's a big chuck of the money right there. Too bad they can't tunnel under the street to run a line (or trench it) therefore eliminating the 2 poles. Did you ask them about that option?

I would assume at resale you'll be fine with this upfront cost. Seems $10K doesn't go as far as it use to these days.

A slalom lake parallel to that 1500' driveway would be nice wouldn't it! :D

pmkkdx
03-09-2012, 06:28 PM
When I first thought about it, I thought HOLY MOLEY!!! But with the prices of copper ($3+/lb scrap weight) and how heavy gauge of lines you would need to have 200 amp service with that long of a run, doesn't sound as ridicules as I first thought. But if going with aluminum wire, it might seem on the high side.

I did a quick search on service entrance wire, but did not do any calculations on wire size for that long of a run to carry the 200 amp service, and found a triplex aluminum 4/0 4/0 2/0 gauge, 500 ft for $1600 (but that is for only 500 feet)... but using the 1500 ft run, comes out to $4800 ... http://electrical.hardwarestore.com/14-48-entrance-cable/4-0-4-0-2-0-x-500%27%27-aluminum-triplexed-wire-658724.aspx ... but personally I would NOT use aluminum although much cheaper.

4/0 is "four ought", not 4 gauge ...

and going with copper would more than likely drastically go up in price. example http://wesbellwireandcable.com/Electricalwire/Electricalwire4_0.html

h2oskifreak
03-09-2012, 06:41 PM
Unless it is substantially more $, I would put it all underground. The price seems fine for this part of the world, but I am not as informed here as others.

JohnnyB
03-09-2012, 06:48 PM
I paid $5082 in 2009 for the utility to run a feed about 600ft from the opposite side of the road to a pad-mount transformer (transformer was part of my cost) and then about 100ft in buried conduit to my service pedestal. IIRC copper was about the same cost.

Although they told me they needed me to clear an 8ft wide path through the wooded area to the house so they could trench it (which I did), when they showed up they directional bored under the road to the xfmr and from the xfmr to the house.

Seems a bit high to me. Might be worth calling a private contractor to see what they would charge to directional bore from the other side of the road to your service pedestal???

snork
03-09-2012, 06:55 PM
I think I'd go Solar and or wind power maybe natural gas and thumb the power provider

02ProstarSammyD
03-09-2012, 07:09 PM
This price has to be for the digging not the wire. 4/0 al is not going to cut that period btw. The voltage drop on low voltage for 1500' is going to be insane if you want a true 200a service. My global pricing for a 1500' trench is around 10k for that install so if its just for the trenching etc thats pretty fair. Most utility companies around here won't let you do your own wiring to the meter anyways. If you do have to have your own wire pulled aluminum is fine you just need to check for tightness on the lugs periodically

ricford
03-09-2012, 07:18 PM
This price has to be for the digging not the wire. 4/0 al is not going to cut that period btw. The voltage drop on low voltage for 1500' is going to be insane if you want a true 200a service. My global pricing for a 1500' trench is around 10k for that install so if its just for the trenching etc thats pretty fair. Most utility companies around here won't let you do your own wiring to the meter anyways. If you do have to have your own wire pulled aluminum is fine you just need to check for tightness on the lugs periodically

He said the transformer is by the building site, so they are running high voltage back there.

02ProstarSammyD
03-09-2012, 07:24 PM
ah. Thought he meant to the end of the driveway. Like good god your gonna be pulling 500's back there lol. Sadly I'm an electrical estimator and I guess I've been looking at prints alil too long today haha. Saw 10k before the trenching too


*slaps face** god what a long stupid week

Ski-me
03-09-2012, 08:52 PM
We just ran ours and the main stuff was aluminum.....not copper. Our contractor said it would be way too much to run copper. Our electrical guy ran the trencher and dropped in the conduit. The electric company pulled the new wire from pole to transformer and then my electrical contractor ran from transformer to house. I did the backfill but we just finished so I don't know all the costs yet.

02ProstarSammyD
03-09-2012, 11:08 PM
Aluminum is fine. Copper is $$$. Just need larger wire and conduit

jkski
03-10-2012, 06:45 AM
Thanks for all of the replies and info, I am still waiting on the Ohio Edison engineer who figured this up to call me with a breakdown.

The price he provided, did not include trenching, as I told him I would handle that as well as the backfilling. So his price is for 2 poles, wire, labor and transformer, they are not using conduit unless I took the trench under my driveway, so I figured it was cheaper to just stay away from that idea.
There is a pole on my side of the street roughly 100' away, could they simply run off that pole, along the street and to a pole at the end of my drive, thereby eliminating the need to sink 2 poles? I will ask about the boring however, I have a sizable ditch on my side of the road which required me to install a 24" culvert pipe in order for my driveway to go over and build up to the road level, which ended up being about a 12 foot lift. Even if they bore, they will want to sink a pole across the street from me to support the line coming down, as my drive currently falls between 2 poles.
Can I run the line myself and simply have them sink the poles and make the connections at either end?
Thanks again for the help.

medicmoose
03-10-2012, 07:13 AM
The price sounds high...but if they are supplying two poles I think that drives the price up pretty quickly. I think here I would have to pay about $1,500 per pole.

We ran underground wiring when we built our garage. Underground trenching from pole to garage (300 ft), wire up garage and install meter and panel, underground trench to the house (100 ft) and tie into house service = $7,500. This was about 3 years ago and the price included all trenching, filling, etc.

JohnnyB
03-10-2012, 07:51 AM
I am surprised they are not directional boring under the road to your padmount xfmr as most utility companies are trying to reduce overhead lines. Make sure they work with the phone co and pull your voice/data line from the road too. Do you have natural gas service as well? If so, you should coordinate the three so they run in the same trench....then it may be more practical to trench......make sure your utilities are coordinating

Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk

liledgy
03-10-2012, 09:14 AM
99% of utility's use aluminum wire. In some downtown areas they use lead and copper. 4/0-2/0 neutral is a fine choice for your secondaries. Defiantly fill your trench up with spare conduits, water pipe, cable phone etc. I would also install pull boxes every 450-500 feet for your own stuff.

jkski
03-10-2012, 12:14 PM
Thanks guys.
Regarding the trench and other utilities, the only other thing that would need to go into the trench is phone and/or cable. We will be on well water and I have a gas well that site about 100' from my home that will be providing me with free gas. I do plan to run cable in the trench and simply go with cable phone service, but as an alternative, would I have to run a phone line and/or cable if I went with something like Direct TV or Dishnetwork?

I just came back from the property and was taking a good look at how power is coming across the street and where, etc.. My sister-in-law lives in the house next door and has 1 pole on either side of her driveway, one feeds her house, the other feeds a line going back to the gas/oil well, so would you think it would be possible to come across the road to one of those 2 poles then simply 75' down the property line parallel to the road to a new pole they could sink at the end of my drive? This would at least eliminate the need for 1 pole.
Another option would be to come off the pole that is on the side of her drive closest to my property and take it directly underground from there, this option would require that my electric service be buried under a portion of her property for roughly 60'.

Let me know what you think.

CruisinGA
03-10-2012, 01:07 PM
Gas well?! Never of heard of it, sounds pretty cool. Whats the story?

JimN
03-10-2012, 03:30 PM
Looking for some advice from you guys regarding running electric service to the site where I will be building my home. In my area, Ohio Edison is the local electric company, so I met with their engineer to determine what would be required to get the power from the street back to my build site, which is roughly 1500 feet back (following the driveway path). The engineer stated they would have to put in 2 poles, one across the street from my driveway to suuport the line and a second one at the ned of my driveway to run the line to and down into the ground where it would then run underground to the site. I would have to dig the trench and they would install the 2 poles, drop the wire into my trench, set and set a transformer back by my site for 200 amp service. They do not require any conduit.
Grand total for me to pay before I dig the trench: $10,614.

So based upon your experience, is this in line or way out of whack? Can I hire an independent contractor to run the line or can I run it myself and simply let Ohio Edison set the poles and make the connections?

Thanks in advance for the advice.

I would go with solar. Not only would it keep you from being tethered to the power company, it keeps you from being affected by other problems with the grid. Unless the power companies get Congress to allow them to create surcharges to off-line customers, it looks like the payback is getting shorter and shorter. Also, state and local credits are still a way to decrease the out of pocket expenses. By the time the batteries need to be replaced, something new will be out there.

jkski
03-10-2012, 05:29 PM
Gas well?! Never of heard of it, sounds pretty cool. Whats the story?

The short story is that a number of years ago a company approached me to drill and oil well on my property which they paid me for and own, however, I receive royalties. About 3 years ago the well began building up natural gas and now it pumps both natural gas and oil, so I get free gas up to "x" per month, which is far more than I could ever use even if I left all of my windows open and heated the house and barn to 90 degrees!

As for solar, I never really considered it as I just figured the upfront cost would be astronomical, so any idea what it actually costs...ballpark? I certainly like the idea of being "off the grid".

JimN
03-10-2012, 07:02 PM
The short story is that a number of years ago a company approached me to drill and oil well on my property which they paid me for and own, however, I receive royalties. About 3 years ago the well began building up natural gas and now it pumps both natural gas and oil, so I get free gas up to "x" per month, which is far more than I could ever use even if I left all of my windows open and heated the house and barn to 90 degrees!

As for solar, I never really considered it as I just figured the upfront cost would be astronomical, so any idea what it actually costs...ballpark? I certainly like the idea of being "off the grid".

If you have natural gas, I would use that but I would also get some kind of guarantee that you get a certain amount, but not over a specified time. Figure out how much you get now vs how much you use (maximum) and calculate how much you might use in 20 years. That way, if it dries up sooner but you haven't used all of what you have coming, you still get natural gas, or payment for what has been agreed upon. You can use a car motor (or, two) to generate all the power you need. Worst case, if the gas supply stops temporarily, you may be able to use gasoline if the engine is set up to use more than one type of fuel.

jkski
03-10-2012, 07:19 PM
I would love nothing more than to run my entire house on natural gas, obviously I planned to handle my heating, cooking and water heater needs with it, but never considered any options of turning it into electric power.
I will have to look into that.

h2oskifreak
03-11-2012, 10:04 AM
As some have said "poles add to the cost". Every time I have been around poles, it cost a fair amount, usually a pocket full of singles.

medicmoose
03-11-2012, 10:18 AM
As some have said "poles add to the cost". Every time I have been around poles, it cost a fair amount, usually a pocket full of singles.

I just can't imagine anyone using the poles on my property for this kind of use!! 8p

CruisinGA
03-11-2012, 05:09 PM
My business is gaseous fuel power generation, whether it be natural gas, biogas, sewage gas, landfill gas or syngas.

If I was in your shoes, depending on the gas supply agreement, I would be looking hard at a prime power Nat Gas to electricity setup. The issue is that most of the gensets sized appropriately to a single family household are not meant for 24/7 running like the engines I engineer/sell/install. Don't forget that there is a lot of waste heat on these engines that can be used for heating water and/or forced air ventilation.

JohnE
03-11-2012, 05:43 PM
I can't comment on the fuel gas-electric conversion, but we charge around $7/ ft to run 200 amp electric plus empty catv/ telephone conduits. That is for 4/0 aluminum service entrance cable for 200 amp service. Over maybe 200'will start to get a voltage drop, but only if you are drawings.ose to 200 amps. If ur load calc is say 105 amps you won't have the same vd as if you were drawing 180 amps vd is proportional to load.

jkski
03-12-2012, 07:33 AM
My business is gaseous fuel power generation, whether it be natural gas, biogas, sewage gas, landfill gas or syngas.

If I was in your shoes, depending on the gas supply agreement, I would be looking hard at a prime power Nat Gas to electricity setup. The issue is that most of the gensets sized appropriately to a single family household are not meant for 24/7 running like the engines I engineer/sell/install. Don't forget that there is a lot of waste heat on these engines that can be used for heating water and/or forced air ventilation.

I emailed a company over the weekend that sells residential fuel cells, after doing a little research. I am sure the price tag will be steep up front but it may be worth the expense in the longterm.

As an alternative, I was looking closely at the way electric power is currently run to the well, and remember when they trenched the line back as it goes thru 2 pastures that my sister-in-law owns and then it oes into my property. So, I plan to ask if they will simply allow me to follow the same path, which would then no longer require any poles to be installed and woud cut the distance to about 800 feet. If need be, I could buy an easement from my sister-in-law.
Any thoughts?

jkski
03-21-2012, 06:15 AM
Well, I looked into the fuel cell technology and the upfront cost would be around $70k and at this point, from what I learned, it is only available in California for what I would need.

So, I have been going back and forth with Ohio Edison tryig to figure out a better/cheaper solution and can indeed get an easement which reduces my run to 900' but in order to go that route I have to put conduit in the ground.....still cheaper than the first plan.
So I have now posed this question to the power company and maybe someone here can enlighten me:

1) Exactly far back does the power company "have" to go before placing their transformer, could they simply place it by the pole and be done, leaving me to run my own wire the roughly 900'?

2) Assuming that the power company does not require that their transformer be placed within 100' of the home, is it truly cheaper for me to buy the wire I will need and run it myself as opposed to just letting them do it? I would pull aluminum wire, assuming that the power company states the required size to handle the load.

Any thoughts on what it would cost in terms of wire material only to run 200 amp service from the transformer to my house at a distance of roughly 900'?

02ProstarSammyD
03-21-2012, 08:40 AM
1) Exactly far back does the power company "have" to go before placing their transformer, could they simply place it by the pole and be done, leaving me to run my own wire the roughly 900'?

Voltage drop would be astronomical and it would cost a poopton more
Any thoughts on what it would cost in terms of wire material only to run 200 amp service from the transformer to my house at a distance of roughly 900'?
Just empty every pocket
You'd be running 600's or 750's. I can give you a hard number on that later if you want but it would be painful. Rough would be 12-15k in conduit/wire.

If you paid someone to do it you are probably looking at 22-25k. Again this is just kind of rough bs in my head and I don't do residential so my aluminum prices could be wayyyy our of whack


Actually scratch that. Your gonna be putting in alot of hholes along the way. Add a few Grand. Then keep in mind you are going to have to rent a tugger, trencher, etc. Pulling wire for 3 football fields is not the way to go

jkski
03-21-2012, 10:58 AM
Thanks for the honest advice. IT always sounds better than it actually is and in this case it looks like it would just be better to bite the bullett and let the power company take it back the 900' and then my electrician can go the 50'-100' from transformer to house.

I can say this, I am certainly learning a lot in this process and appreciate the advice.

Hammer
03-22-2012, 07:36 AM
Thanks for the honest advice. IT always sounds better than it actually is and in this case it looks like it would just be better to bite the bullett and let the power company take it back the 900' and then my electrician can go the 50'-100' from transformer to house.

I can say this, I am certainly learning a lot in this process and appreciate the advice.

I think you are on the right path now. When I built my shop I ran 250 to it (200 amp service). If I remember correctly it was around 200ft. and the wire alone was $700 for aluminum. It was 7 years ago also, right after copper spiked. So I can only imagine the cost of 900ft of a larger size would be now.

jkski
06-27-2012, 09:03 AM
Quick update:

Well, I finally ran the electric back to the homesite and I can officially say I would would never do the digging myself again! We went with direct burial which required a ditch 12" wide and 42" deep and considering we had to go back 1400', it made for a long weekend. It ended up taking nearly 40 machine hours as the ground was like concrete and we got done just as the electric company crews were pulling-in to set the pole and drop the line.

Lesson learned.....when you think the machine you are renting is big enough, go one bigger! I think we would have been OK but the one machine blew I hydro line early on Sunday and the rental company did not offer service until Monday.