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Laying Electrical & Water

Old 12-20-2010, 10:02 AM
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Default Laying Electrical & Water

I need to run water and 'lectric from my plush and well lit super shop out to the barn.

The run is approximately 300 feet.

I plan to trench 8-10 inches down, lay the pvc for water, cover with 2" of soil, then lay the wire, and cover.

Bad idea?

What is the best wire to use, and will I need to wrap/conduit it?

And I'm in Mississippi, we don't worry about permits, electricians, plumbers, inspections, etc.


Big Al
Old 12-20-2010, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Snapper Head View Post
I plan to trench 8-10 inches down, lay the pvc for water, cover with 2" of soil, then lay the wire, and cover.
Do you need to worry about freeze?

If so, 8" to 10" down probably isn't enough. Pretty certain you're not supposed to run water and electric in the same trench. If you do only go 8 to 10 inches down absolutely put the electric in conduit.
Old 12-20-2010, 10:14 AM
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Yes a bad idea!!!

Do you have to put it in conduit, no but it is a good idea and makes repairs/pulling a new or spare wires easy.
Old 12-20-2010, 10:23 AM
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throw some flooded cat5 in with the water pipe so you can have a network if you ever want it for internet, video cameras etc.
Old 12-20-2010, 10:26 AM
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Obviously this thread is a joke.

Everyone know there is no electricity in Wiggins, MS

You should run seperate trenches, dug below frost line, if you have one.

When back filling, layer caution tape in the trench to give you a "warning" for digging in the the future.

Should it be in conduit - doesn't have to be, but it is easier. I would also run a couple conduit chases while you have the trench- a lot easier than 6 months later saying "Wish I ran another chase to the barn"
Old 12-20-2010, 10:28 AM
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Big Al, what kind of electrical/water needs do you have in the barn? I was thinking lights, fan, maybe a battery charger etc.

Or are grow lights and pumps for a hydroponic operation involved? ;?
Old 12-20-2010, 10:28 AM
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Put it in conduit. Direct bury cable is garbage.
It sounds like you don't care about code.
Old 12-20-2010, 10:29 AM
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So if the pipe leaks and water manages to get to the core(s) of the wire, the breaker trips (and maybe the dog and a coupla chickens get x-rayed in the process).

You guys seem firm that separate trenches will be needed or else I'll cook half the county. Okay, two trenches it is.

Freezing is not much of an issue, certainly 10 inches will be deep enough. The water lines out to the pastures are all 10 inches down.



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Old 12-20-2010, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by THT Mod 2 View Post
Obviously this thread is a joke.

Everyone know there is no electricity in Wiggins, MS

You should run seperate trenches, dug below frost line, if you have one.

When back filling, layer caution tape in the trench to give you a "warning" for digging in the the future.

Should it be in conduit - doesn't have to be, but it is easier. I would also run a couple conduit chases while you have the trench- a lot easier than 6 months later saying "Wish I ran another chase to the barn"
We just got it last month. I hear that indoor plumbing is all the rage; hoping for that by next fall.

Thanks for the advice, I really like the tattletale idea.

The electrical needs in the barn are minimal, but I like overkill and I also know that they will expand (currently adding another stall to the barn). I will have an electrician wire in a panel, but even I am capable of trenching and laying the wire.

Hydroponics? Why, what on earth do you mean? (that would interfere with my still).


Big Al
Old 12-20-2010, 10:38 AM
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10" trench is way too shallow. You need 24'' minimum. You can put the water pipe in bottom of trench and then place elect sched 40 PVC conduit 6'' above. I would use at least 2'' dia conduit.
this is below code requirements, but will work for a redneck application that I would use here in Idaho.
I had to go 48" for my water as we get sub zero temps and I used 12" separation between the power and water.
Happy trenching!
Old 12-20-2010, 10:38 AM
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put the conductor in conduit...it's too easy not to do
Old 12-20-2010, 10:54 AM
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I lined the bottom of my trench with 1/2 road bed rock for drainage. Use a THWN wire rated for damp environments. W is for wet.
Old 12-20-2010, 10:55 AM
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Thanks aln.


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Old 12-20-2010, 11:40 AM
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I've never had to run both water and hydro from one location to another...ok two trenches......how far apart do these two trenches need to be if one was involving inspectors?


So what size wire are you thinking of running Al?
Old 12-20-2010, 12:20 PM
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I've done the same thing at a few of my properties, including running propane. I always have used schedule 40 PVC as a conduit. If you're using a Ditch Witch (as I've done around here) run separate trenches as deep as you can. If you use an excavator (as I did in CT), I laid the pipes in the 24" wide trench spaced apart.

For wire, you can buy a spool that is used for submersible water pumps, at least that's what I did. For the water, you can buy a 3/4" x 300' coil of PEX (no fittings and much easier to work with). Oversize the conduit (2")? and put in an extra conduit with a rope in it for future use.

None of the advice comes from an "expert", just some thoughts to ponder.

I'll be in Citronelle, AL about midnight tomorrow, how far is Wiggins? The GF's father is from Lumberton, MS and some family in Pervis. Should I bring my tools? ;?
Old 12-20-2010, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
I've never had to run both water and hydro from one location to another...ok two trenches......how far apart do these two trenches need to be if one was involving inspectors?


So what size wire are you thinking of running Al?
Inspector (NJ) told me to put AC in conduit and water in the same trench. "They're going to get wet anyway when it rains".

Snapper, at the very least put the AC more than a shovel's depth into the earth. I speak from experience
Old 12-20-2010, 12:40 PM
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Al, is the shop run through the panel at your house? How far will it be from the service line to the barn and can the conductor from the house to the shop handle the additional current? If the distance is two great then you may start to experience some voltage drop.

No need to go crazy with the water line size but if you think you will want to do anything other than fill a water trough make sure you have the capacity.
Old 12-20-2010, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by THT Mod 2 View Post
dug below frost line,
What's that?
Old 12-20-2010, 12:47 PM
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Sounds like someone will be spending some quality time with a Ditch Witch.
Old 12-20-2010, 12:53 PM
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6"-12" trenching? Are you afraid you might have to actually crawl in the ditch Al?


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