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Thread: Secondary (supply) line question

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  1. #1

    Default Secondary (supply) line question

    I have a question about running a supply line from the electric pole to the house I'm building. (www.freewebs.com/stocktonunderground). Because the site has a few obstables (good trees, a slab, etc) I'm trying to avoid cutting down one of our best trees to get electricity to the house, and I'm hoping to avoid a slab that we have too.
    I've spoken to an engineer at the electric co-op and he agreed in a location for the pole. I'm wondering how straight a path I must have for the buried electric line to the house.
    I understand that we want to avoid as many 90 degree turns as possible. We will have one at the bottom of the pole, and we will have one getting into the house. Apart from that, I think we're okay. My question is that along the route, I was wondering if we can have a few 20 degree turns (or more gentle turns) to get along the path to the house. Is there a problem with this?
    I know that we will have a 2 inch conduit (pvc) that we'll have the lines run in. I can heat the conduit to make it flexible enough to bend slightly along the way. I'm just wondering how straight a path I really must have.
    Is there a problem if rather than cutting through a slab to get beyond it, can I bend the conduit for gentle turns and get around the slab.
    What is acceptable by code. What is safe. What is acceptable as far as practical matters of getting electricity to the new house.

    If this isn't a good way, I will probably have to find a better location for the pole, but I'll have to get the engineer from the co-op out to the site again, and I know he's busy and was hoping that I wouldn't have to do that.

  2. #2
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    NY State, USA


    You'd be surprised how flexible 2" PVC can be even without heating it up.
    Can you make the bends long and sweeping?

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default ditch

    Just curve the ditch from the transformer to the house and the 2" pipe will curve with it.

  4. #4


    Buy the conduit before you dig and couple a few pieces together to get a feel for how much play you have. Long sweeps are always preferable.

    NEC says 360 degrees total but some utilities say 270.

    BTW, Palo Solari has a few of these structures in AZ.http://www.freewebs.com/stocktonunderground/
    Last edited by Alectrician; 02-16-2008 at 04:57 PM.

  5. #5


    I can make reasonable long sweeping turns. There's nothing needed that are drastic turns. There's certainly nothing more than a 20 degree. Most are likely to be much smaller and gradual, and I can probably even avoid the 20s.

  6. #6


    When you say 360 (or 270) do you mean that the total degree curve for the entire line can be no more than that, or do you mean that any turns in the line cannot exceed that? I just want to make sure I fully understand.
    I still plan to talk to the engineer again, but I think I can keep from having him come back out to the site, since I think we can go with the agreed upon location for the additional utility pole.

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    I think that it is total sum of the angular changes of direction. So, you've got a 90 at each end, if they only want 270 max, you've got one 90 left....could be 9-10's, or whatever. Heavy wire gets to be a real pain pulling through conduit, especially when you add turns.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8


    I'll probably pull the wire through the line at sections at a time, so I'm not real worried about pulling the wire through the length of it. I'll pull it through a section, and then into the next; and then go back and glue the first two sections; pull through the third and into the fourth; and go back and glue the third section.
    Honestly, I plan on very slight sweeping bends.

    I'm glad you clarified the degree question though. I now understand it to be the total degree of bend for the length of the line. Thanx.


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