60 Amp sub panel - conductor size

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I'm building a pole barn and I want to run electric to it for a small workshop. A 60 amp sub panel will be adequate. I plan to hire an electrician to install the panel, but probably not until next year due to cost overruns. I'm outa money. I'd like to put in conduit and the conductors now, though. Before the slab is poured. It will just be easier in the long run, I imagine.

I'm reading the 4AWG coper is appropriate. It's about a 120 foot run. I get a little confused with the number of conductors needed.

If I go to lowes to buy the conductors, what do I need? Should have a red, a black, a white and a bare coper wire? is that 4-4-4-6?


In the Trades
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Berkeley, CA
Where is the pole barn supply originating, and are you running conduit the whole way?

If so it would be fine to run the conduit now and pull in the conductors later. Just run some 1-1/2" or 2" PVC conduit with long sweeps and maximum 360 degrees of bend (e.g. 4 90s).

Aluminum conductors would be a lot more cost effective than copper.

Cheers, Wayne


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Northeast PA
Devans - before you buy any wire or conduit I would first find an electrician that is willing to work with you and allow you to do some of the labor part. Many electricians (like myself) will not normally pick up where a homeowner left off on a project. They like to buy their own materials and do the work themselves so they know it was done correctly. The reason mainly is that they don't like to take on the liability of someone else' work on their liability insurance. Also, I would check with the local authority (electrical inspector) and see what they may require so when the permit is pulled and the work is done you have a much better chance of passing the inspection. You don't want to pay a lot of money on materials and put all that effort into the work to find out that the inspector does not like the work.

Besides the NEC rules/codes you will have local rules/codes that you have to follow and that is important to know in order to have a better chance to pass inspection . And you must also find out from the inspector if you are allowed to do the work youself. Some areas do not allow the homeowner to do their own work.
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