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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just started doing side work on weekends for first time, still working for someone weekdays. I'm already feeling a little uncertain about myself, but persevering! I was wondering if anyone would like to supply any friendly advice ?

I looked at a job that I think needs a mast service. I've only done one mast service before, and a former boss was helping me. This one is 100A service for a cow shed. Should I use 2" rigid even if it's overkill for the wire? The shed is about 10' tall. The fascia stick outs about 4" off the wall, doesn't seem like enough room to go through the little overhang and fit a roof boot, but maybe it would work? Would it look dumb to pad out the meter and riser with like a 4x4 PT lagged to the building?

On the same property they also want a feeder run from a barn that already has a service to a different shed. They asked if I could do it overhead, it's 185'. They don't like the idea of digging, they're worried it will get ripped out if they rearrange animal pens. Can you even guy wire this far without posts of some sort ? There's a fence that runs a good 140 feet along the path. How cheesy would it be to propose conduit on the fence, and only go underground a short distance on either end ? I was also thinking if they really wanted an overhead, I could sister some poles to the fence.
 

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Electrical Contractor
Trying to retire or at least slow down a bit, but life not cooperating
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Overhead, you need poles every 75 ft, maximum 100 ft !
I see cattle.
Cattle like to push the fence line. Fence posts consequently lean over.
Cattle like to rub their asses and everything else against stuff .
Best way is to rent a trencher and go down 1 meter.
Depending where your frost line is, I would also throw a 3/4 inch black poly pipe in, for future water.
 

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Hire a backhoe and operator for a day. Install the conduits 4' below grade or below your frost-line. Drop the PVC in the trench and have the operator back fill and compact it. Dig the trench path outside of the pen areas where possible. Rearranging pen lines will never effect it below the frost line.

If you hang it half sassed above ground it will sure to be problems in the future, more than likely the first ice or wind storm. Be sure to place expansion joints where the pipes emerge from grade at each end. Don't do an install that will make you liable for it's failure in the future. It's not worth what you can make off off it
 

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What are the power requirements at the cattle shed? Put the service on the pole in picture #3 and go underground.
 
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I don't mean to be a naysayer but this is probably a job much bigger than you can handle doig it part time.

btw, the power company usually requires 2" rmc for a mast
 

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What are the power requirements at the cattle shed? Put the service on the pole in picture #3 and go underground.
Looks like the POCO's pole.
Doubt they would allow the consumer's service on the pole
 

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I've just started doing side work on weekends for first time, still working for someone weekdays. I'm already feeling a little uncertain about myself, but persevering! I was wondering if anyone would like to supply any friendly advice ?

I looked at a job that I think needs a mast service. I've only done one mast service before, and a former boss was helping me. This one is 100A service for a cow shed. Should I use 2" rigid even if it's overkill for the wire? The shed is about 10' tall. The fascia stick outs about 4" off the wall, doesn't seem like enough room to go through the little overhang and fit a roof boot, but maybe it would work? Would it look dumb to pad out the meter and riser with like a 4x4 PT lagged to the building?

On the same property they also want a feeder run from a barn that already has a service to a different shed. They asked if I could do it overhead, it's 185'. They don't like the idea of digging, they're worried it will get ripped out if they rearrange animal pens. Can you even guy wire this far without posts of some sort ? There's a fence that runs a good 140 feet along the path. How cheesy would it be to propose conduit on the fence, and only go underground a short distance on either end ? I was also thinking if they really wanted an overhead, I could sister some poles to the fence.
You don't sound confident for me.... Do you have a background in Electrical work and NEC knowledge?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi guys,

Thank you for all your responses.

Just for clarity, there are two separate jobs here, they just are on the same farm.

The first image was for the feeder between barn with an existing service and shed 185' away. It would probably only be a 30A feeder for lights and a few outlets.

The second and third image are a totally different structure that the owners are requesting have it's own meter and service. Simple requirements, 1 lighting circuit, 1 outlet circuit- but 100A is minimum allowable service size.

In both instances they are opposed to trenches and requested overhead.

I think for the 185' feeder, I agree with the overwhelming consensus, that the job isn't really worth it, if it can't be underground- so I may decline this half of the job.

I don't think the other job with the service is too unreasonable being an overhead service. It's about 40-50' from that pole. There's a transformer on that pole feeding the service to the barn across the road. I'm just worried about aesthetics and making a mast service look good, because I have so little experience with them.

As for the my knowledge and experience, I've been in the field for over 10 years and have a Master license. I was very up to snuff on my NEC when I had to pass the test, but I wouldn't consider myself scholarly on a day to day basis, though I certainly ought to be. An Achilles heel for me has been that virtually all of my experience has been residential- and when it comes to services, my employers have often done a lot of the leg work in planning their execution, so it's true, I'm not that confident.
 

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Hi guys,

Thank you for all your responses.

Just for clarity, there are two separate jobs here, they just are on the same farm.

The first image was for the feeder between barn with an existing service and shed 185' away. It would probably only be a 30A feeder for lights and a few outlets.

The second and third image are a totally different structure that the owners are requesting have it's own meter and service. Simple requirements, 1 lighting circuit, 1 outlet circuit- but 100A is minimum allowable service size.

In both instances they are opposed to trenches and requested overhead.

I think for the 185' feeder, I agree with the overwhelming consensus, that the job isn't really worth it, if it can't be underground- so I may decline this half of the job.

I don't think the other job with the service is too unreasonable being an overhead service. It's about 40-50' from that pole. There's a transformer on that pole feeding the service to the barn across the road. I'm just worried about aesthetics and making a mast service look good, because I have so little experience with them.

As for the my knowledge and experience, I've been in the field for over 10 years and have a Master license. I was very up to snuff on my NEC when I had to pass the test, but I wouldn't consider myself scholarly on a day to day basis, though I certainly ought to be. An Achilles heel for me has been that virtually all of my experience has been residential- and when it comes to services, my employers have often done a lot of the leg work in planning their execution, so it's true, I'm not that confident.
So there’s a transformer on the pole. Meaning there’s primary wire(6900, 14,400 volts) Around here the PoCo won’t allow an overhead mast on the pole other than the one to the meter base.
 

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Hi guys,

Thank you for all your responses.

Just for clarity, there are two separate jobs here, they just are on the same farm.

The first image was for the feeder between barn with an existing service and shed 185' away. It would probably only be a 30A feeder for lights and a few outlets.

The second and third image are a totally different structure that the owners are requesting have it's own meter and service. Simple requirements, 1 lighting circuit, 1 outlet circuit- but 100A is minimum allowable service size.

In both instances they are opposed to trenches and requested overhead.

I think for the 185' feeder, I agree with the overwhelming consensus, that the job isn't really worth it, if it can't be underground- so I may decline this half of the job.

I don't think the other job with the service is too unreasonable being an overhead service. It's about 40-50' from that pole. There's a transformer on that pole feeding the service to the barn across the road. I'm just worried about aesthetics and making a mast service look good, because I have so little experience with them.

As for the my knowledge and experience, I've been in the field for over 10 years and have a Master license. I was very up to snuff on my NEC when I had to pass the test, but I wouldn't consider myself scholarly on a day to day basis, though I certainly ought to be. An Achilles heel for me has been that virtually all of my experience has been residential- and when it comes to services, my employers have often done a lot of the leg work in planning their execution, so it's true, I'm not that confident.
A couple of things about the new service. You need to find out if the Utility will supply a second service to the same property. Many will but a few will not.

Find out if the Utility will install a new overhead service. Many will not install overhead services as new work because of the sharply higher cost of maintenance. The Utility may charge a monthly fee for the second service. At $20 a month that would be $240 over and above the actual consumption.
Make sure the client knows what any second service fee will be before you start work. Otherwise the notice from the Utility that they must sign to accept the additional costs could arrive in the middle of the work and the clients might want to back out.
An 85 foot service drop may be acceptable to the Utility but you have to keep in mind the clearances required between the drop and the ground. In some jurisdictions all areas not enclosed by fences on farms and ranches are considered driveways. My point is that a Service Mast may not be tall enough to maintain the required clearances over areas subject to vehicle traffic. Loaded hay wagons can be taller then highway semi trucks. It might actually be less expensive to install a couple of photovoltaic panels, some high capacity deep cycle batteries, DC LED Lighting, and an inverter to provide a 20 ampere outlet. If they will need any continuous AC loads at that building, such as an engine block heater or anything similar, then the needed battery capacity will be financially prohibitive. If the cattle shed will only require lighting and the occasional use of an AC powered tool then the solar system may be viable. If the use were to change later then a Solar System might become totally inadequate. One good way to substitute for a feeder to that building would be a tractor driven Power Take Off (PTO) generator on a tractor pulled trailer or carried on the tractor's 3 point hitch. That would supply long duration AC for an occasional need. The beauty of that solution is that they would then have a generator that could power their operation through any interruption of the Utility power. Since the generator would have to be manually positioned and connected an inexpensive manual transfer interlock or switch would be all that was needed to safely connect it to the building to be powered

Without having overhead construction training and experience I would suggest you not take on the feeder installation as an overhead job unless you can have the poles set by the utility or an overhead construction contractor. That cost would be quite high. Consider the tools that are required to install overhead lines. You would need a ladder or man lift which could reach the top of the poles, a cable grip sized for the messenger cable or the weight bearing Aluminum Clad Steel Reinforced (ACSR) Equipment Grounding Conductor (EGC) that the other 3 wires of the feeder would be wrapped around, a self holding block and tackle, or strap tensioner. You can substitute Prusik loops used as non slipping knots for the self holding block and tackle but they take a fair amount of practice to use successfully.

I tell you all that to warn you of how complex overhead work can be. It is, in no way, a complete guide to doing it!

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Tom Horne
 

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One more thing before I fail to tell you. Some AHJs will require that any building that is being newly connected to electricity that has anything to do with live stock must have equipotential floors and entry ramps. Some AHJs will require you to retrofit for that based on the change of use. If you have a State wide appeals board you can probably get such a requirement dismissed as regulating construction after the fact. Local appeals boards are very unlikely to understand the law nor the limits on it's application to restrain the inspectors who make the rules up as the go along. As a minimum check with the inspection office or service IN ADVANCE to avoid a costly surprise.

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Tom Horne
 
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