Author Topic: work site infratructure electric and water  (Read 3343 times)

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Offline river place

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work site infratructure electric and water
« on: September 10, 2007, 06:15:24 AM »
I hope I'm posting this in the correct forum as this is my first post?

My wife and I have purchased 6.5 acres near Pencil Bluff AR on the Ouachita river and plan on building a more contemporary style of the dog trot (connecting two sections via open porch as one poster is also doing).  We've chosen a building site on the hill out of the flood plain and now have a , gravel drive, well, temporary power with 200 amp box and a septic system.

At the top of the hill I have a gravel pad off the drive for a barn to be used as storage and a place to work out of when building our cabin and we intend on having the barn built as we need to get this done rather quickly.  I also have a gravel pad off the drive for our travel trailer that we'll use for weekend trips and so we can take our time building our cabin.

We have a location for the cabin picked out and had a septic connection placed there while they were putting in the system.  The cabin will need to be elevated 3' to 4' to give a view of the river so seeing what folks are doing using pier and beam have been great

To get us started I have a few questions:

The well and the pressure tank are in place however I need to build a well house around it.  I plan on putting in a concrete floor (mix it myself)  run the 220v to the temporary power under ground and connect 1 inch Pex to the tank outlet valve and run the pex line 2 ft under group to be below the freeze line.  Can anyone recommend a shed plan with shed roof that would work as a well house and also allow for 6'x6' of addtional storage assuming the well and tank take up 4'x2'?  Should I run 110v to the well house for heating or tap off the 220v for the pump?

The travel trailer is 150' from the temporay power and requires 30 amp 110v.  extension cords for 30 amp rv service are 10 gauge and 50 ft max.  The trailer cable will reach 25ft so I was wondering it I could build an extension cable either above ground or bury it using 6 gauge wire to reduce the voltage drop?

In regards to cabin design can the single story plans be modified for a shed roof?

D&T out of Dallas TX


Offline peter nap

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2007, 06:50:52 AM »
I'll let someone else do the plans.
First ....Welcome to the site!

Second. I don't know anything so double check everything I say ;D

For the well house, run both 220 and 110. Tapping off of the 220 line can unbalance the line and cause problems that range from ruining the pump to fire.

I would suggest you put in an incandescent light. I have found that the heat from that alone in a well insulated well house, prevents freezing of anything exposed.

6ga wire will work fine but I think it may be overkill. IMHO, 8 would be more than enough and while it's pushing the limit at 150',,,,10 would probably be OK!  


Offline FrankInWI

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2007, 07:45:55 AM »
River Place.... you'r post will help me too.  I am building way on the back of a 300 ft lot, but my shallow well is toward the front.  I may invest in another well later, but for a couple years I'll stay with the shallow.   It is covered by OLD boxed plywood, and needs to be upgraded.

QUESTION:  I lost one pump already when we got early hard frost last November.... busted up the casing real easy.  What if I build the pump house, insulate it well, ....even the ground with some blue board extending out... and put in the light bulbs..... BUT then I loose electric when I am not around (i.e. mid week before my eventual move up there)?    IS there some kind of FREEZE SAFETY VALVE I can where one of the fill holes or drain holes exist on the pump?   You know.... instead of blowing out the casing, the valve lets the water / ice expand?  

Great advise on the wire.... my pump may end up a little over 150 ft from my next electric meter head base location.  
god helps those who help them selves

Offline peter nap

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2007, 08:48:08 AM »
Frank, there are a ton of tricks that don't work to keep it from freezing. Unless you put in solar (and even that goes out sometimes) there are are only a couple of things I know of that do work.

First, you can drain it but since you have a well house, I assume your using a jet pump. If so, it would need to be primed when you come back. The second is to get a cheap bottle of Vodka and fill the pump a quarter full of that.
You could use RV antifreeze. It's supposed to be non toxic but It smells so bad I use the Vodka in the camper as well.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2007, 09:56:08 AM »
Regarding the 30 amp RV electrical service. The way to judge the cable size required is to use a voltage drop calculator. Maximum voltage drop on 120 VAC circuits is generally 5%, with a lower drop of around 3% being better. Some things react poorly to large drops (motors, some electronics... ) Incandescent lights just burn dimmer.

At a one way distance of 150 feet my voltage drop calculator indicates the following:
... at the full 30 amp draw, 8 gauge = 5.85% (7.02 volt drop)
                                       6 gauge = 3.68% (4.41 volt drop)
However,
... at a draw of 20 amps, 8 gauge = 3.90% (4.68 volt drop)
                                     6 gauge = 2.45% (2.94 volt drop)

So it depends on what you figure your maximum current draw will be. My personal opinion is IF you will be running the RV A/C unit at all, using an electrical resistance heater, or using a microwave oven, I'd go with nothing less than 6 gauge. My reasoning is the A/C in particular will start better and the motor will last longer. A/C's cycle on and off and you never know when the compressor will kick in. IF at that time there is some other large power use (single or combined) also in use you might put a strain on the system or appliance. The breaker may not immediately blow but the A/C or other may struggle.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline river place

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2007, 11:58:00 AM »
The AC is the biggest load for sure and from what I've been able to determine the unit will draw 17 to 18 amps at start up and 12 amps continuous.  6 gauge would good quite a bit of margin.  Even though the hot season is coming to and end I expect will use an electric radiant heater for heating the trailer this winter.

I plan on going back up this weekend or next and will hire a trencher to cut two trenches; one for water and the other for the power cable.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2007, 12:30:32 PM »
The Little House Plans have a small one with a shed roof option.  You could modify them smaller if you wanted.

http://www.jshow.com/y2k/listings/29.html

Right or wrong -- I'm running a 1.5 hp pump on 250 feet of Romex then to 600 feet #8 or 10 down the well  - 320' setting -- rest is coiled ---I know -- all no-no's.  Running 240v .  Temporary setup 5 years ago.  Don't tell me the numbers, Don. :-/  
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2007, 01:49:52 PM »
Now with all that said I have a question. I couldn't see if you stated how far the well/pump site will be from the cabin. What I'm wondering is if the well/pump is closer to the cabin site than 150 ft, like 20 or 30 or so. If it is could you run a proper (permanent) service size cabling to there. Put the permanent meter there with a distribution panel. From there then run whatever distance to the RV (I'm assuming that would be less than 150 ft.). Later you'd run cable to the cabin.

Just thinking here; don't have any idea if this would be a viable method or if your local inspection dept. would have a problem with this.

One other thing regarding the travel trailer. You may already be aware of this or not. Depending on the age of the travel trailer, or how high-end the electrical system in it is , if you park it and have it connected permanently to the power grid, you may end up slowly cooking the coach battery. There are better charger/converters that the better, newer trailer and RV's use. These have a true ability to float charge the battery without overcharging. Older and cheaper RV's like mine came with a cgarger/converter that will overcharge the battery. At the same time these older cheaper chargers can not properly supply equalization charge rates requred for best battery life.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 01:54:30 PM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline river place

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2007, 03:08:12 PM »
I just ordered the little house plans and will use them to create the well house.

Yeah the electric setup may have to change at some point once I run power to the house.  The configuration is the following:

The power company has a power pole easement through my property which feeds power to my property and the cabin to the south of us.  The power poles are 30 ft inside my property so I ran my drive way between the power poles and the property line to the west so that I don't waste too much land.  The drive way comes in the the north west corner and runs to the middle then turns under the power poles which then comes out at the center of the hill.  the barn will be to the left of the drive (south and the cabing will be to the north east of the drive.

Right now we have temporary power coming from the south west corner because there was a spare transformer and will let me run power to the well house and the barn when built.  I may use the barn as a power distribution point for the the cabin also.  The cabin is going to be about 150ft from the current temporary service which may require taking a drop from another easement power pole along with a new transformer further to the north for permanent power if we can't use the barn as a distribution point for the cabin.  The well is within 25ft of the temporary panel and the barn will be within 35ft.

It looks like Montgomery county has little if any inspections or code requirements except for septic which we had propery done.

The trailer is an 04 and I agree with you about the battery charging concern.  I use battery tenders on our motorcycles so I might put a battery disconnect switch at the battery and run the tender when we're not there.

Frank - I fully understand what you're go through in regards to freezing as we lived in MN for 4 years after growing up in GA.  I'm so glad that AR has a much shallower frost line.



Thanks again for everyones comments.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2007, 03:24:20 PM »
You can remove the built in charger/converter from the system. Sometimes is as simple as throwing the correct breaker to Off. Then you can choose whatever other charger system you prefer.

I use Iota Engineering chargers. They have many different models. In a situation where you are permanently hooked to the power grid you may even run them without the battery. They will supply current as the load varies. Of course if you do keep the battery in the system then if the grid fails you can still run your 12 VDC accessories.

Because I doubled my number of batteries a few years after purchasing the original Iota charger I actually have 2 of their chargers. They have a controller that allows the parallel use of two same sized chargers. I also like the redundancy factor, though both units have never failed.

I also use disconnects for when the RV sits unused for any length of time. It is not connected to the grid. My reason for the disconnect is there are phantom loads that sloooowly run the battery down (clocks, etc.) The self discharging of lead-acid batteries is bad enough without having to support the ghosts as well.

http://www.iotaengineering.com/
« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 03:25:26 PM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline FrankInWIS

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2007, 03:28:29 PM »
someone mentioned two trenches, one for water, the other for electric.   I take it this is mandatory?  

What about ditch depth?  

What type of hose for running the water supply?  

Thanks


Offline river place

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2007, 05:49:24 PM »
I found this link regarding trenching and trying to find one I found previously that stated water cannot be in the same trench

http://esp.aps.com/resource/metering/esrm/600.pdf

I plan on running 1 inch pex from the well tank at least 2ft deep.  Depth is depends on the frost line in your area and local building codes.

Offline n74tg

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2007, 06:21:20 PM »
Hi and welcome to the forum.  I'm over in Hot Springs and building my own place too.  I did a lot of research when designing my concrete footers and the info I found said the frost depth around here is just a few inches, so burying your PEX at 2 feet is probably a fair amount of overkill, especially if you're having to dig in rock/rocky soil.

What elevation is your acreage at?

Tony
My house building blog:

http://n74tg.blogspot.com/

Offline FrankInWI

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2007, 06:11:19 AM »
I'm in central Wisconsin.  Frost depth is to 4 feet.  I'm in all sand though, so getting down won't be tough...except for roots from trees.  
We have had a fantastic Spring and Summer....  8-) Much sun and warmth.  Someone flipped the switch yesterday after months of incredible weather.... forecast of frost tonight up at our dacha!  I called the brother-in-law to have him run over and open the plug on the bottom of the pump to let the water run out.   :-X Last year a early frost (and not that cold!) busted the casing on the front of the pump.   I traded my brother in law some used plywood I got for an extra pump he had.   He doesn't have another, don't want to bust another!
god helps those who help them selves

Offline river place

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2007, 10:07:33 AM »
No worry about frost here for sometime yet!

I checked out the GPS last time we were at the build site and got 722ft for elevation.  If I don't have to go to 2ft that would be nice as it'll save a lot of time and effort.

Offline blackdog

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2007, 10:17:44 AM »
river place, re your shed...  it sounds like you looking for something like this - http://www.countryplans.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1187577062.

The plans I used were for an 10' x 8' shed which I modified to be 6' x 8'.  If you find the Little House Plans won't do the trick, the plans I used can be had for free at - http://www.just-sheds.com/Free_shed_plans.htm

(John, not sure if you want links to other building sites, so feel free to delete the link)

Offline fishing_guy

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Re: work site infratructure electric and water
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2007, 10:37:16 AM »
I know what you mean.  We were up to our property in Northern Minnesota last weekend.  The thermometer said 36F when I got up.  Didn't believe it, it felt like the mid 40's.  Then I saw the thin film of ice on a puddle.  OOPS...I guess Mother Nature isn't that kind to us.  There is a freeze warning up there tonight.


Luckily, I haven't put a pump in the well yet.  Onw less thing to worry about!
A bad day of fishing beats a good day at work any day, but building something with your own hands beats anything.

 

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