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Power supply on acreages

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  1. #1
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    Default Power supply on acreages

    Hi All,

    I'm in the process of buying 30 acres just outside of brisbane. I plan to build a house and live on it within the next 5 - 7 years. In the mean time i'm putting a shed on it that will be liveable as a weekender. There is power and phone at the front gate but thats where it ends.

    I need to run the power to the back of the block(about 500mtrs). My question is who would i get to do this and how much should i expect to pay. The block is flat and fairly well cleared, so it shouldn't be any problem getting there.

    Thanks

    Michael

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    You can get any sparkie to do it.

    It will cost about $100 per M according to a mate of mine for trench and laying of the cable.

    Al

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    Thanks Al,

    Does it matter if the power goes above or below the ground once it is inside the property. I could save some money and dig the trench myself.

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    Not sure, but I thought all power has to underground now.

    Al

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    Go below ground,less problem later with overhanging flora and changing regulations, get a quote from someone else to dig the trench, and bear in mind that filling it afterwards can be equally hard work, if you have a little tractor with a blade this is easy but a shovel is hard work.
    We cut a trench from the house to the shed, 30 metres, I started to dig manually until I found roots and other assorted debris, local bloke did the job for $150 and saved me all the heartache, SWMBO filled in after
    No naughties for a while though
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    Diamond Member Barry_White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcchaddy View Post
    Thanks Al,

    Does it matter if the power goes above or below the ground once it is inside the property. I could save some money and dig the trench myself.
    Aerials would probably be cheaper. Your power company may do it for you otherwise you would need a sparky. With aerials you wouldn't need a trench or conduit. Just the cable and some poles to run it.
    Regards Bazza

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    The ground is sandy loam soil, so it should be reasonably easy digging. I had no intention of digging or filling anything by hand. I have access to a small tractor and dingo. I will definitly get quotes for a local to do it but.
    Still have to decide which will be the best option. I have a small creek/gully to cross as well. Might go under ground until the creek then go above for the crossing then back under to the site.

  8. #8
    A Member of the Holy Trinity echnidna's Avatar
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    If you're not going to encourage it grow back to bush go the aerial route, many thousands cheaper.

    In Vic we've been underground since the Ash Wednesday Bushfires
    Regards
    Bob Thomas

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    ian
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    go underground — it will be less hassle in the long run

    make sure the conduit is large enough to pull 3 phase (probably 4 wires or a bundled conductor) through when you need it.

    hire a trencher or pay a local contractor to do the trenching

    Don't forget the pull wire in the conduit

    ian

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    Diamond Member Barry_White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    go underground it will be less hassle in the long run

    make sure the conduit is large enough to pull 3 phase (probably 4 wires or a bundled conductor) through when you need it.

    hire a trencher or pay a local contractor to do the trenching

    Don't forget the pull wire in the conduit

    ian
    I think he would need a D9 Bulldozer to pull four cables through a conduit for 500 metres.
    Regards Bazza

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    Does conduit come in lengths or rolls? And is there a specific colour to use underground? We have to take our power about 100m and would like to do what we can ourselves ready for a sparky to come and check and connect.

    Donna

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    Diamond Member Barry_White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnsart View Post
    Does conduit come in lengths or rolls? And is there a specific colour to use underground? We have to take our power about 100m and would like to do what we can ourselves ready for a sparky to come and check and connect.

    Donna
    Underground Orange conduit comes in either 3.6 or 4.2 metre lengths can't remember which, it is a while since I bought any. It come with one bell end so you can glue and join them. Your lecy will advise you what size cable and what size conduit.

    The best way of doing it is to run the cable out and then slide the lengths over the cable from one end and glue them as you go but your electrician should advise you what is required. Don't be lousy with the cable allow plenty of cable for him to make the connections.
    Regards Bazza

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    ian
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnsart View Post
    Does conduit come in lengths or rolls? And is there a specific colour to use underground? We have to take our power about 100m and would like to do what we can ourselves ready for a sparky to come and check and connect.

    Donna
    Donna
    as Bary said underground elec conduit is orange, from memory phone conduit is white.

    can't remember if both can be installed in the same trench.

    more important is making allowance for the future by installing a large enough size so you can pull a fibre optic through the phone conduit or 3 phase through the power at some future date.

    the required depth also varies being deeper or encased where it crosses a driveway

    as to pulling the wires, you're supposed to have a junction/pulling pit every 50 or 100m (also helps with fault finding in the future) and my preference is to pull the wire after installing the conduit as this should keep the inside of the conduit cleaner.


    ian

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    Hi All

    Dig the trench yourself, hire or borrow the trencher. Orange conduit, push over the wire, joining as you go, always put a dummy wire in as well, if you need to pull something through later, will make life easy, make sure its strong enough to handle being pulled through, if you ever happen to use the dummy wire, pull another through at the same time. The creek crossing discuss with your lecy, you may be able to run the conduit through a steel pipe bridging over the creek, depending on the span.

    Find out off the lecy exactly what size wires and number of, and size of conduit, when you're done, they'll be able to connect the ends and job done.

    But, theres always a but, your talking big biccies for that distance. I think when you do find out the price, you will probably consider building at the front of the property.

    Regards

    Matt

  15. #15
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    I remember doing the same in Vic many years ago. I put thru 16mm cable to allow for the big stuff in the shed ... and due to potential voltage drop over this distance. Had to go underground ...as in most locations nowadays Including here in the West. Think it cost up near $1000 just for the materials.

    Most places require power at 600mm and telecoms at 300mm and can be above the power in the same trench. Some require a stainless wire to run above the telecoms as lightning protection nowadays.

    let us know how you go

    ciao
    Ramps

    When one has finished building one's house, one suddenly realizes that in the process one has learned something that one really needed to know in the worst way--before one began.

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    I have had personal experience bringing power to buildings on rural land. The cost of poles are expensive and because of the length of the run it will need a very very heavy cable to avoid voltage drop. This means many poles if you go overhead.
    Sparkies licenced to connect to mains will do the job and work out the diameter of the cable. Here they laid three cables to make up the required thickness so pulling it through orange conduit was easier.
    Offer your labour and equipment to help keep costs down because most of the work is just plain hard yakka. Good luck.
    Whitewood

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    G'day Michael,

    About 6 months ago we had an 80 metre connection done. It cost us just over four grand with us digging the trench and backfilling. The price also included three phase cable, meter box, safety switches, etc.

    Cheers,

    W.

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    Two years ago I had my shed re-wired, which included running new cable from the house (suburban Perth). The old cable was some 30 years old inside galvinished steel pipe. I suggest the following course of action:
    1. Determine exactly the electrical needs of your shed (current and future) e.g. lighting, air cocditioner, power points, the types of machinery that you intend operating etc. Also, have a good look around your shed - once you bring the cable in, where does it go next? e.g. will the sparky have to run it across rafters to get to a power point(s) on the other side of your shed etc. These issues may impact on the type of cabling required, circuit breakers etc. Discuss all this with the sparky.
    2. Get a quote from 3 qualified electricians on a the basis that they do all the work, including digging the trench or going arial.
    3. Discuss with the electricians what job(s) that you can do to save money. Get a revised quote on the basis that you will do some of the work. Also discuss whether you should purchase the conduit and cable - you'll probably find that the electrician can get these items far cheaper than you can.
    4. Also, find out the legal requirements e.g. in Western Australia, the trench must be a minimum of 500mm (18") deep. The sparky should know all this.
    5. When the trench is open decide whether you want to bring mains water to your shed. Now is the time to do it. In my case, I put reticulation pipe in the same trench (the electrical conduit must go in first).
    My trench was only 22 metres but digging it took the best part of a weekend. The trench went under a gas hot water tank, under 5 garden retaining walls, under brick paving, under a garden path and through an area that was choked with large tree roots from a 40 year old Japanese Pepper tree (the tree had been removed and de-stumped but some of the roots were as thick as my leg. All of these had to cut through with an axe/hachet). I can't image how much the sparky would have charged if he had to dig the trench.

    Once the trench is dug, installing the conduit and pulling the cable through takes very little time, particularly if you act as the sparky's lackey.

    HTH

    Mike

  19. #19
    A Member of the Holy Trinity echnidna's Avatar
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    underground for half a kilometre is gunna be very exxy
    Regards
    Bob Thomas

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    Diamond Member Barry_White's Avatar
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    If the block of land is that big why wouldn't you get the local electricity supply company to run high voltage cable to a pole at the back of the block and have them install a transformer on that pole and then mount your meter box on the pole and then run underground to your shed and to your house when you build it.

    This how they usually do it in rural areas. This is how I have it done on my place like this.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_0523.jpg   img_0524.jpg  
    Regards Bazza

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    The views expressed by the poster are general in nature and any advice should be taken in this vein. The poster accepts no responsibility if this advice is used. When undertaking any work personal professional advice should be sought from suitably qualified persons in the field of work being undertaken.


  21. #21
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    However you do it it will be expensive. Also make sure your electrician is certified to climb poles and create new connections. Your electricity distributor should be able to provide you with certified electricians in your area.

    In NSW you cannot have just any electrician touching or climbing power poles, I'd guess it's the same in QLD.

    If I were you I'd seriously consider solar if you don't need 3ph power in the shed.

    My FIL was quoted about $30K for roughly the same distance and I think that was on poles. He has put in solar but doesn't run any serious equipment in his shed apart from the diesel kind.

    HH.
    Always look on the bright side...

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    Oh Hell everyone else has had 2c worth, my turn now.

    Low voltage for 500 metres underground means you would need conductors the size of a small elephants forearm, take into consideration that scrap copper sells for about $7.00/Kg, and you are up for brazillions in cable alone. No matter how many amps you go, in the future you will need to upgrade, this is the law of exponentialelecricityuse.

    Low voltage overhead would save little in conductor size.

    This leave high voltage, transformer, electricity supplier, yuk.

    I dunno, but I doubt in NSW at least they would allow you to do a run that long in underground low voltage.

    My estimate for material and installation is $1 Brazillion.
    Boring signature time again!

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    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the info. I may not have to worry about it after i did some title searchs today and found that an easement runs right through the middle of the property for a gas pipeline from Gatton to Gympie.

    I have been assured that it will all ok if it ever goes through. Pipe is buried to a depth of a metre. No construction within 25 metres of pipe but. Doesn't make sense where it runs but. There is an alternative route they could take that doesn't run through as many properties.

    Anyone else have a gas pipeline on their property or an easement for one. Would be interested to hear your views.

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    Default Ergon

    Hi Mcchaddy,

    just wondering how you went with costing. I have a feeling that you're in the same are that I've been looking into lately. The nearest pole with wires is about 300 metres from the block I was interested in. I received a quote from Ergon to have this extended to the block and then a further 50 metres into the property. Wait for it, $19,975... Kind of took the gloss of the block I was interested in.

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    Bugman, did that include the cost of a transformer?

    We are lucky in the fact that this place already had the power connected to a builders pole when we moved here (right next to the shed we live in, which will be our workshop when the house is ever finished). this was brought sidways through the block so we are well away from the road.

    But freinds of mine spent about $9000 5 years ago to connect to a transformer, travell across the road and 30m onto the block. There were only 2 poles used. I think if you are paying for a new transformer, and someone else connects to it within 5 years you get some of your money back.

    I know it is expensive moving power, phone etc down the block, but living up on the roadside sort of takes a lot of the gloss off living in the bush. I drive past several homes built close to the road on the dirt road here, and the trees and bushes are always dull with the dust, they also suffer from a lack of privacy. I think I would rather do without a lot of other things inititially than settle for living close to the road. (unless you like sitting on your veranda peering at everyone driving past peering at you )

    Next week if i am not working i will go and suss out some quotes for our job. I'd like to connect it to the shed we are living in, and then take it across to the new construction, probably put a box on a post over there till we get close to finishing the house and then get a loan to do the rest of the job.

    Donna

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    I had a quote in Victoria from Powercor, for connection to the net work IN TOWN on a street that hadn't been developed, but the next street back from the Main Street, $22,000.

    I rang them and said there must be mistake, they said 'I' had to allow for the additional customers in the future. I explained that would never be any additional customers because the land next door was my family's land and is used for keeping the bulls in. He then put me onto another bloke, who went on to explain that I had the Rolls Royce version, to which I replied 'I want the mini minor version' he couldn't give me a definiate figure, but said I should get change out of $15,000.

    Sort of changed our minds after that. Spoke to another bloke in town that had the wire running past his block on the other side of town, $1,200.

    Hard to justify another $13,800.

    Regards

    Matt

  27. #27
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    Just found this thread.. not sure if anyone is still looking but i did a few calculations on the size of the conductors required for such a run. For all electrical mains you are allowed a drop in voltage along its length (caused by the cable resistance) of 5% in the case of 3 phase being 415V we get a max drop of 20.75 volts. Taking a few numbers from electrical standards tables the smallest cable you could run on in a three phase situation (underground and allowing a max load of 50 amps per phase) would be 50mm2 (voltage drop of 18.775V). This is bloody huge something you would see powering a workshop in the city or maybe even a small set of shops. God only knows what the cost of that would be even if it is made up of lots of small conductors. Another way is overhead, again poles are expensive but may work out a lot cheaper in the long run, (you may have to pay for a transformer if it is a high voltage supply in the street) this is all assuming there is three phase running down you road in the fist place some rural places in NSW dont have it. Looking at it all i would think for that run, overhead would be cheaper and probably the transformer closer to the house wold save you the voltage drop along the lines.

  28. #28
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    are you hoping to sub-divide at a later date ?

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    Hi All,

    Went for a good look around the block on the weekend with GPS in hand. The best house site is 320mtrs from the front of the block. But there is creek in between this. The cost of running power to any of the possible good house sites is way to much then we are willing to pay.

    We have decided to look for something else.

    Thanks to everyone for there comments and advice.

  30. #30
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    You should get a cost comparison for photovoltaic solar system compared to running a fixed line in - you might well be surprised - and possibly eligible for a government grant too.

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