You don't seem to understand. The issue is that we're not talking
"trench" and "cable" here. We're talking renting a backhoe for a major
excavation and expen$ive cable once your'e "upstream" from the
You won't find this stuff at Home Depot, the cable for each phase is
about 1 3/4" thick. The 3 phases aren't twisted together, in part
because of the risk of insulation breakdown, and in part because if they
were, you'd never get the stuff to move. For the $2k you're looking at
spending for a generator, you could buy, maybe say 200 feet of cable, if
you could find a supplier willing to sell you less than a 1,000 foot
roll, which you'd need anyway for a 300' run (each phase needs it's own
strand remember). Then there's the $1K or more for the "pad mount"
transformer you'd need to go from the "distribution line" to the "drop"
(depending on how many folks will be connected to the transformer).
Speaking of whom, what about the folks who are all served off the
existing transformer? What will you do for them? You might be allowed
to pony up for a complete replacement of the utility company's system,
but you won't be allowed to run your own branch. The State of Florida
probably won't let you run a private system. You're not a utility
company, so you don't have legal access to rights-of way.
Your average electrician won't touch a "distribution" level line. They
don't have the equipment. At 10,000 volts, everything has to be done
with a "hot stick", a fiberglass pole with a manipulator on the end.
The folks trained and equipped to do this either work for the utility or
are under contract to them, because that's where the work is.
There's a reason why the electric distribution system is still a
monopoly, duplication of the system isn't economical.
All in all, get a good generator, have an electrician wire in a transfer
switch and call it "good".
Hate to burst your bubble, but I don't think you'll find it feasible
once you get into it.
Scott Hall wrote:
> At 08:59 AM 9/25/2004 -0400, Chris K wrote:
>> You do NOT want to try to run anything on the far side of the
>> transformer (the gray cylinder) yourself. That's probably why the
>> utilitiy didn't recommend it. The "drop" from the transformer to
>> your house is a maximum of 220 volts, nominal, (figuring the two 110
>> volt legs that are 180 degrees out of phase). The far side of the
>> transformer is 10,000 volts at least. Running that stuff underground
>> is a major construction project.
> can I not trench and run the line and let an electrician connect it?
> note: I'm not actually playing with any electricity (of that voltage)
> myself. just digging, laying conduit and running wire through it.
> I can't help but think that this *can* go underground (as it's all
> underground where my family is from in illinois), I just need to
> figure out how to do it.
> fwiw, there are actually two transformers (or at least two grey
> cylinders) - one on the pole where the line splits off from the street
> towards my house (where I think of as 'my' line begins, and where I'd
> like eventually to start the underground run to my house), and one on
> the pole in my front yard where the lines go from three unsheathed
> taut wires to the transformer and out of the transformer comes one
> black-sheathed thicker wire that isn't tightly strung and terminates
> at my house.
> I'd like all of this underground, but the part that really *needs* to
> be underground are the three 'high tension' (the highest voltage
> stuff, I guess) wires that go from the transformer in my yard to the
> street. those are the lines that run though and under the trees. the
> one over my front yard...well, if a tree hits that, I'll probably have
> bigger problems than a lack of electricity.