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Power Cable Questions

A power cable helps in the transmission of electricity and consists of two or more electrical conductors, bound together by an overall sheath. Each building has power cables which exist as permanent wiring. They may also be buried in the ground, run overhead, or exposed. Flexible power cables are used for portable devices, mobile tools and machinery. Here are some of the frequently asked questions answered by Experts on power cables.

What is the best way to do power cable wiring in this situation?

Case Details: My shop is 300 ft from my house. I need to run a bigger power cable to handle the load power tools like table saw, radial arm saw, air compressor, vacuum system and also a large window unit AC. There are also 2700 watts of incandescent lights. I would also like to install a refrigerator.

A 4/0 aluminum cable, which is rated for 180 amps is more cost-effective than copper, should give you 100 amps at the shop after it travels the distance. This should be sufficient to handle the load and suit your needs. Run a 4/0 (ott) 4 conductor URD which is made for direct burial. In addition you would need a main lug sub Panel with a separate ground rod and #6 bare copper ground wire.

Is this type of power cabling permitted under the NEC?

Case Details: I am planning to install a PV panel 150' from my building utilizing the existing conduit. Also, I plan to install network equipment on the PV panel for metering the PV and connect it to my building network using a fiber optic cable through the same conduit as the power conductors. However, I am separating the fiber optic cable from the power and connecting it to its own dedicated conduits to the network communication equipment. 

This does meet the standard requirement of the NEC. However, you need to keep the PV wires, at the point where it enters the building, in EMT all the way to the panel and terminate the conduit at a J-box where the wires come in, thereby marking the wires from origin to destination.

Where can I purchase a new power cable for a 12volt DC 1.5A model LDHD-UP (P/N 31758600)?

If it is a type which has a wall adapter, a black transformer/rectifier power supply that just plugs into the wall, any adapter which matches the specifications which you have mentioned will be suitable. You can go to the following websites which could be of help:

Can I use a 4-wire and 4-prong power cord since I can’t seem to find a new electric power cord for a 3 wire and 4-prong power cord? 

Case Details: This is for a Whirlpool Cabrio dryer which has a 3-wire and 3-prong power cord. My new home has a 4-prong electric outlet. 

Yes, you will be able to install a 4-prong power cord on your dryer which is simple to do. Here is how you need to go about it: Open the wiring compartment on the back of the dryer where the cord goes in. Remove the 3 prong cord from the bolts by taking out the nuts that each of the wires is fastened on to. You will see a small piece of metal connecting the green screw and the neutral screw which needs to be removed. Now insert the new 4-wire and 4-pronged power cord into the clamp at the bottom of the wiring compartment. Connect the green wire to the green screw. Then, connect the white wire to the screw that had the piece of metal connecting it and the green screw. The remaining two wires need to be connected to the remaining screws that you removed the old cord from. Put the wiring compartment cover back on and your dryer should be ready for use.

The cable running from the street to the meter at my house is frayed. Whose responsibility is this and how can it be fixed?

Case Details: A falling tree knocked out the power cable from the pole on the street which was replaced by the power company. Should the power company also have replaced the frayed wire?

In such a case the cable running from the weather head to the meter is the responsibility of the customer. You will need a licensed electrician who will also know how to disconnect the power to the house and undertake the repairs.

Does the NEC code allow running a fiber optic cable and a 120v wire in the same underground PVC conduit?

This is not permitted by the NEC. The electromagnetic fields from 120V circuits can interfere with lower voltage equipment signals when run in parallel for long distances which will cause problems, anyway.

Power cables come in different sizes and have multiple uses. If you have doubts, problems or questions regarding the usage or replacement of power cables, you can always ask an Expert who is available 24/7. What’s more, asking an Expert is quick, easy and affordable.

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