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8NTX
08-26-2003, 08:59 PM
I need to run wiring to my new boathouse from a main panel 600 ft. away. Due to massive voltage drop, #2 wire was recommended by utility co. My needs at the boathouse are: 1 hp. 13.5 amp hoist, 2 lights, plus about 7 or 8 double floodlight fixtures along the way. The utility co. recommended only 1, #2 wire plus a #6 neutral. Don't I also need a ground? And don't I need 2, #2 wires if I want to control the trail lights from both ends. I plan to put a 100 amp sub-panel at the boathouse. Yes, an electrician will help install this but even they are disagreeing. Thanks.

homebild
08-28-2003, 04:21 PM
You need to contact your electrical inspector for your city. They have the ultimate authority and final sayso here. Not the electrician. Not the Utility.

Your utility is only responsible for their own wiring up to their meter base and nothing more. Your electrican has to answer to the city inspector.

If your city does not have an electrical inspector, you need to have the private Electrical Underwriters that service your city inspect your property and tell you what they will allow.

You have to be especially careful since outlets in these locations also need to be ground faulted in most instances.

8NTX
08-29-2003, 03:20 PM
We're not in the city limits. No electrical inspectors to answer to - no one will ever inspect this. I just want to double check that it will be done right by gathering some expert opinions. Thanks.

homebild
08-30-2003, 12:25 AM
You are completely misinformed if you think you have no inspectors to answer to.

Even if you do not live in the 'city limits' your County or State still has a legally adopted electrical code and inspectors to answer to.

The 'experts' whose opinion you need to be soliciting are those electrical engineers either hired by your county or State to oversee electrical installations in your region, OR to find out which PRIVATE electrical underwriters your community acknowledges as the official electrical authority in your region.

(edit by 16x80 9:29am 8/30/03)


There ARE inspectors...your just have no clue who they are and need to find out...

16x80
08-30-2003, 07:27 AM
homebild

Welcome to the Home Repair Forums


The local code for City, Village, County, State vary from State to State and so on. There are some municipalities that do not require inspections on work done [u]after</u> the first construction of the home. If he is not required to pull a permit in the area that he lives he can build anything he likes without having to have it inspected!

He is responsible to have the work done to code if he performs the work himself or hires it out to a contractor!

In my experience most [u]inspectors</u> are useless book worms whom only follow what they read, They know nothing of actual applications.

16x80

8NTX
08-30-2003, 08:40 AM
quote:Originally posted by homebild

You are completely misinformed if you think you have no inspectors to answer to.

Even if you do not live in the 'city limits' your County or State still has a legally adopted electrical code and inspectors to answer to.

The 'experts' whose opinion you need to be soliciting are those electrical engineers either hired by your county or State to oversee electrical installations in your region, OR to find out which PRIVATE electrical underwriters your community acknowledges as the official electrical authority in your region.

(edit by 16x80 9:29am 8/30/03)


There ARE inspectors...your just have no clue who they are and need to find out...


Hmmm...no inspections when I built the new barn two years ago and had it wired. No inspections when I connected service to the mobile home that I put here. The electricians that did the work said inspections and permits weren't required since it's not in the city. And...about 30 minutes ago I talked to the electrical contractor - a licensed master electrician and asked him about inspectors. He said that there are no county inspectors. I am not in the city, so there are no city inspectors. When I asked him about state inspectors, he just laughed. His quote..."you think the State of Texas has inspectors that will come out here in the boonies just to see if this is done right?....no way". The local water authority, who owns the lake where the boathouse is located, has an inspector of sorts, but that inspector told me that he does not do or require an electrical inspection. He just makes sure that the structure conforms to their requirements and you build it at the right spot, so the water authority can get their money, etc. So...try as I may, there is not an inspector to be found that would look at this, even if I begged them. If you don't know how this thing should be wired, just say so. But I don't think I need an inspector even if I could find one. I am just looking for some expert advice, and I agree that the inspectors that I have seen in action in the past are mostly pencil pushers and not experienced tradesmen who have practical knowledge.

Troy
08-30-2003, 11:19 AM
quote:Originally posted by 8NTX

I need to run wiring to my new boathouse from a main panel 600 ft. away. Due to massive voltage drop, #2 wire was recommended by utility co. My needs at the boathouse are: 1 hp. 13.5 amp hoist, 2 lights, plus about 7 or 8 double floodlight fixtures along the way. The utility co. recommended only 1, #2 wire plus a #6 neutral. Don't I also need a ground? And don't I need 2, #2 wires if I want to control the trail lights from both ends. I plan to put a 100 amp sub-panel at the boathouse. Yes, an electrician will help install this but even they are disagreeing. Thanks.


Let's get back to the issue at hand. How should this be wired?

Your subpanel can be grounded directly. This might prove difficult if your subpanel is installed on your boathouse, where there will be nowhere to ground it. In this case, you will probably want to run a ground from the main panel.

Yes, the desire to control the lights from either end will add a layer of complexity. I am not sure exactly how to do this, though. Anyone else?

Perhaps the flood lights along the path should be run off the main panel, not the subpanel. Makes it a little less complicated. Then the subpanel would only be for the hoist and the lights at the boathouse, and makes controlling them from either end a little less complicated. I wouldn't think that you would want to cut power to your subpanel to cut those lights off.

Are you dropping the wire in pvc in the ground, or did you have other ideas?

As far as the discussion of inspections:
If you hire an electrician to do the job, let him worry about whether it gets inspected or not. Where I am from, this is controlled by the city. Your concern is that the work is done safely, and by proper code. That is what we should be focusing on.
;)

homebild
08-30-2003, 08:40 PM
OK. Now that I know this is in Texas it makes sense that there 'might' not be any inspections....Texas is one of 4-5 states left in the US with no uniform State building codes...BUT, that does not mean there aren't any legally adopted county or local electrical codes to which you must comply.

Nor does that excuse you from simply having the work done any old which way. There are still private Electrical Underwriters, who are usually Electrical Engineers and Certified Electrical Inspectors, who can be hired to properly interpret the National Electrical Code for you.

In fact, I'm sure your owner's insurer would INSIST upon having this done and you may want to simply turn this entire process over to them to make sure it IS done to their liking.

After all, it is their money on the line if your property is damaged or people die as a result of an illegal wiring job.

homebild
08-30-2003, 08:44 PM
The State of Texas HAS apparantly adopted the 2000 ICC as the basic residential building code for the State:

http://www.iccsafe.org/ICARL/4.0_state_local/texas.pdf

But it "appears" that only "cities" are required to enforce this code at the present time.

National Electric Code has also been adopted by the State of Texas, but it also appears that it is only "cities" that are required to legally enforce it at the present time....

So I can see where the distinction between 'city limits' comes in.

But this still gets back to the original question as to "HOW" you should have your boathouse wired....

And MY reply to that is to wire it according to the National Electrical Code regardless if it is enforced in your rural location.

Why?

Because the NEC is currently the best basis for "safe" electrical installations around the country and that your State will eventually make it mandatory in a few years.

Also, it will be the standard by which any Electrical Underwiter will base his advice.

So even though you may not be "required" at the moment to legally wire to NEC, you should still hire a private Electrical Underwriter to make the final decision as to how this boathouse should be wired and not simply trust the advice of the electrician.

8NTX
09-01-2003, 10:35 AM
Met with the 2nd electrician yesterday (the first one never showed to our appointments). He advised the following, and will probably get the job if the price is reasonable:

2, #4 wires from the main panel at 240v to the sub-panel, with 1, #6 neutral and a #12 ground. Each trail light will be placed about 12-15 ft. up in the trees, with the wires fed into a box just above the ground. This is an older guy who has been an electrician for over 40 years - his sons do most of the grunt work be he oversees all critical connections and plans the job. He is licensed and bonded and seems to know his stuff.

Yes, it will be buried in PVC. I will be renting a heavy-duty riding trencher to dig the 600 ft. Lots of tree roots to go through down on the trail, and there is a pretty good slope down there but he thought the trencher could handle it.

Thanks to everyone for all of the replies. I will try to keep you all posted as to the progress of this job.

homebild
09-01-2003, 07:38 PM
Yes, but especillay let us know when you get an "official" Underwriter's opinion and the opinion of your casualty insurer...

Till then, you and your 'electricians' continue to 'guess'...

8NTX
09-02-2003, 09:01 AM
Homebild, if your answer to every question and problem is to "call the inspector" or "call the underwriter", then why have this board? I don't think this is rocket science here. I am not an electrician, but just a regular guy seeking some advice. But thanks anyway for your attempts to help me. If there was an easy, inexpensive way to get an inspector or underwriter out to my place in the boonies, I might do it. But so far, no luck. I made a couple of attempts at it, and they act like I am crazy. So.....here we go.

bmcg
09-07-2003, 09:09 PM
My only concern would be the #4 wire. Over 600 ft you're gonna have a voltage drop causing your motors/lights (especially motor) to draw more amperage. I think I'd pay a little extra to run 2 #2 copper wires. Just my opinion. As far as lighting control from both ends, you still need to run probably 12/3 wire for your switches.