Power and phone lines for the shop - meeting the NEC

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That's consistent with what I've found looking around.
Thanks, Bob

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Bob Davis wrote:

My local Public Library has several copies.
Unfortunately they're in the reference section.
Better than not having access, or having to buy one.

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Duh! I usually fail to remember the library. The internet has ruined me. I'll check it out.
Thanks, Bob

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Bob Davis wrote:

I can see why. I pulled one single wire (10/3) through 1.5" conduit. A total of four bends, and a run of about 75'. I don't think there's any way I could ever get the *tape* back through that conduit to pull a second, let alone actually manage to force another wire into there.
I'm sure pros would fare better. I'm just saying I had no idea what an all-consuming bitch it is to pull wire through conduit.
--
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You pulled Romex through conduit? Ugh! When I worked a lot with industrial electrial, residential electicians were called "Romex jerkers".

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lot of factors working against you:
a) First and foremost, Romex cable is composed of *solid* wires. There just isn't a lot of flexibility there. Especially in 10-gauge. It's much easier to pull *stranded* wire.
b) Bundling wires together in a cable reduces flexibility still further. It's much easier to pull four individual wires than one 4-wire cable -- even if you wrap them together at the point where you attach the fish tape, and pull all four at once, it's still easier than pulling a cable.
c) Cable sheathing isn't especially slippery either. THHN/THWN wire has a hard, slick outer layer that makes it positively glide through a conduit.
d) Romex tends to twist up as it's paid out, which compounds the friction and flexure issues.
e) Were you using a wire-pulling lube on the cable?
f) How many pull boxes did you have in the middle of this 75-foot run? It's probably overkill, but I usually install a pull box every two or three sections of conduit. It makes life much easier.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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I'm cheating. I'm doing individual wires and assembling the conduit over the wire and mounting it - slide on a section, bolt it down, etc. I'd hate to charge by the hour to do it this way, but its easier on a guy with back problems. :-)
Bob

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It's not really legal, but again, I doubt the wiring police will be knocking on your door. In fact that is how FPL runs long service laterals here. I see it all the time. The code assumption is any raceway system is built such that the wires can be pulled in and out at any time. That makes a lot of sense in a commercial setting but the code is a "one size fits all" affair. When I asked my boss how I should use 90-4 (the inspector discretion clause) he said "just make it safe". Your method is safe IMHO.
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Actually, then end result will physically be the same as if I had run the conduit and pulled the wire through it. I just happen to have the luxury of being able to put up one 10 foot section of conduit at a time because the run is not that long (70 feet). I'll have pull boxes and two 90 degree bends in the conduit. I just don't want to pull it because of my back.
I appreciate your practical comments.
Bob

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You should be using individual wire, not romex. As a matter of fact, there is something in the code that reduces the amount of wire that can be used if it is romex, as I recall, but I don't remember exactly what it was. Temperature rise, or something.
--
Jim in NC



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Cables pulled into conduit has to be computed as a conductor using the widest dimension as the diameter. If you twist the cable a few times the widest dimension IS the diameter. 12-2 Romex won't "fit" in 1/2" conduit because of this. If you have ever tried to pull it through a few bends you would agree. Most inspectors will ignore this for short sections of conduit used for supplimentry protection, like down the wall of your garage or shop. 3 wire with ground is usually smaller than 2 wire in the computation since it is closer to round with a smaller diameter.
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Eric Tonks wrote:

Exactly. Since your going to be 'up there' anyhow might as well do it now.
My shop has it's own 200 amp service so running power wasn't an issue. But, all self respecting shops and garages have water, since I had to trench for the water line I figured I would also run a conduit so I could operate walk lights switched from both garage and house.
The conduit 'grew' to carrying 3 4 conductor phone lines ( (total 12 wires) just happens I had a spool of wire laying around,) a 4 conductor 16 ga intercom line, CAT-5 LAN, 'TV' cable/ coax, one normal power circuit for motion lights and one 3 way circuit for the walk lights (all 12 ga)
Funny how these things escalate when one has the 'might as well do it now' mentality.
Far as I know there are two conditions for running power (115 volt) and other wires through a conduit, 1) insulation must be rated 600 volts or higher, and 2) the total fill must not exceed 40%.
Fact, fill should not exceed 40% in any conduit, IIRC.
About my memory, I freely admit it could be faulty. Check your codes. Better yet call the inspector. I have found inspectors pretty cool people, (then I'm a homeowner that believes in overbuild) I have yet to meet an inspector that wasn't more than willing to tell all to someone with half a clue that there are codes and what they are.
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Bob,
Some years ago, about 5, I upgraded the service and communications links to my shop and house. First rule for the power upgrade was to do the labor myself to save money, but do it under the direction of a licensed electrician. Let the electrician make the final hookups and call for the inspection. You'll still save a lot of money, but you'll avoid issues with the inspector and possibily your insurance company. For communications, I ran a separate 1" conduit and placed it 15" to 18" away from the power conduit. (Local phone and cable company recomendation to avoid signal degradation and interferance.) Since I dug a two foot wide trench, I just put them on opposite sides. Further, even though your using undergound conduit, use underground, waterproof cables. I used 12 pair, gel filled for phone/isdn/dsl and heavy ground rated cable for digital cable service. Both cables were provided by the respective phone and cable companies. Both installers were grateful for me doing/helping with the installation. I paid only small reconnect fees.
Good luck,
Myx

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Thanks, Myx.
I think I miscommunicated about where I am running this. None of its underground. The original wiring to my 3 car garage went through the ceiling of the first floor from the opposite side of the house (breaker panel). There is no way to add wire through that ceiling, since its a 2 story house. So I'm bringing the wire from the breaker box (interior closet) through an exterior wall and into a conduit that will run along the back side of the house toward the garage.
Bob

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One additional comment/recommendataion:
You mentioned using PVC conduit. A lot of PVC, given exposure to sunlight, degrades over time. This is a potential problem 'several years from now'. Also, if it's 'on the surface', it's exposed to all the other "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune", as it were. The "do it right" approach is _ridgid_ conduit, w/ waterproof fittings.
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Gads, more bad advise. Elect. conduit is UV approved, and no problem. Use glue and have a first class setup.
--
Jim in NC



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Thanks for the added note. I'm all for doing something that will outlast me. There are some practical considerations that I did not add. The conduit will be in the shade, anyway. My wife wants me to build a wood box around it to "hide it". And last but not least - I don't have the tools to thread conduit. Its one of those tools that I will never acquire.
Bob
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Bob Davis wrote:

What?!?!? A *TOOL* not to acqurie??? Are you feeling ok?
<g>
-- Mark
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Bob Davis wrote:
<snip>

A number of years ago the company I work for erected a small building approximately 250' from the road. When the telephone line was run the local phone company direct buried the phone wire. This spring a woodchuck ate through their cable. Now it's going to cost them dearly to rebury the cable (it still hasn't been done). Had they ran the wire in a conduit, it probably wouldn't have been damaged, and it would be a lot less costly to pull in a new wire if it became necessary.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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wrote:

Not really true.
Most phone companies, and CATV, for that matter, now use a machine that slits the ground, places the cable, and folds the turf back in place. It's fast, easy and inexpensive, compared to installing conduit. The delay may involve an outside contractor's scheduling. My father waited 6 months for a cable TV wire to get reburied.
Based on the total number of buried service installations that go in, compared to those that go bad enough to be completely replaced, no conduit is much cheaper. If it wasn't, they'd install the conduit, just as they still do for large cables. Believe me, the phone company _is_ doing it the cheapest way possible overall, based on averages.
Barry
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