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Author Topic: Price of copper wire!  (Read 759 times)

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Offline Downstream

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Price of copper wire!
« on: October 13, 2021, 03:32:19 PM »
We finally purchased a new(built in 1897) house with a detached garage for my workshop.  I need to run an additional line/sub panel to increase total amps available for wood shop equipment including hopefully a new cnc router setup.  I am looking to run 6/3 w/gnd for this line, but the price of the 6/3 is crazy in this area.  $5/ft is current which appears to be 2x over pre-covid.  It is starting to come down, but not very fast.  I need about 100ft total so not excited about dropping $500+ just on the wire.  Any comments on what is driving the market and if there may be a bottoming similar to what happened in the wood side of the world?  I have been watching marketplace looking for some, but never see anything close to 100ft.  I can wait a little while, but cannot move forward with cnc without the added power.  Just love this "transitory" inflation.
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Online btulloh

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2021, 04:16:03 PM »
Check the price on aluminum wire. Should be lower than copper. Copper s. Not coming down any time soon for 6/3. Nothing wrong with aluminum wire as long as its connected to terminals marked for aluminum. Most thes days will be marked Cu/Al.  

Looks like aluminum is about $1/ft. 
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Online mike_belben

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2021, 05:23:57 PM »
Any comments on what is driving the market 
its not so much a market drive, as it is a repricing of goods.  the money supply doubled in 2019.  the goods are worth the same relative to each other, but the diluted currency is worth less. 
it wont come down until sales at current price levels taper off.  with free checks in the mail and no one being evicted for non payments why would anyone stop spending?
Isaiah 63:10

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2021, 05:31:01 PM »
The law of supply and demand kicked in with TX. I saw 250 foot roll go up $25 in a week. This happened more than one week too.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2021, 05:36:59 PM »
I would bury PVC conduit and pull aluminum in for the feed. 
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Offline muggs

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2021, 05:43:28 PM »
Out of curiosity, I went down to the Home Depot and looked. Yep 6-3 w G $5.73 per foot. Consider single wires in conduit.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2021, 05:47:19 PM »
I read an article that electric  vehicles are going  to put an additional  load on the supply  chain. The motors and large wires to handle the battery current use a lot of copper.  Now the trucks rolling  out will really  up the demand along  with thousands of plug in stations for charging. I think it will only go up from here with all the push for green energy. 
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Online newoodguy78

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2021, 10:54:15 PM »
Greenenergy really isnt all that green when you look at what goes into producing and distributing it. But yes I fully agree its going to drive the price of a lot of materials higher.

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2021, 10:56:12 PM »
Conduit with aluminum wire would be my choice. 
HM126

Offline Southside

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2021, 11:14:37 PM »
I have pulled a lot of aluminum in conduit, up to 200 amp sub panels with no issues.  Well, let me say no problems on the current side of the equation.  Pulling that stuff by yourself isn't always fun even with the jar of grease.  
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2021, 08:07:24 AM »
I'm getting ready to run a 200 amp subpanel, 487 feet away, underground.  No fun with either type of wire, paying for it, or running it.

Offline Resonator

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2021, 11:52:12 AM »
We used aluminum cable for the power to my house, rated for direct burial with sand in the trench. Just do not nick the insulation, or you'll be calling the electrician to come back... :-X
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2021, 03:01:21 PM »
Here is 300' of 6 awg stranded THHN for $370 on e-bay, with free shipping and it's even in Illinois.

Ebay link removed by admin.

As others have recommended, I'd suggest that you bury conduit and pull 6 guage stranded through it.  Over size the conduit (it's cheap) so that you can upgrade to a larger wire in the future if you need more power.

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Offline Tom King

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2021, 05:00:00 PM »
Scott, I used to consider conduit was so cheap that I never thought about, and don't remember what it cost.  When was the last time you priced conduit?

Offline 21incher

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2021, 06:39:34 PM »
We used aluminum cable for the power to my house, rated for direct burial with sand in the trench. Just do not nick the insulation, or you'll be calling the electrician to come back... :-X

They did that on my house.  After 25 years of frost a rock pushed up through the sand and penetrated the cable. 3 years  ago in the middle  of Feb  with below zero temps we had to replace the cable. Looked like  cottage  cheese where water hit it and it corroded. We had it put in conduit and thought about  copper but 150 feet of 200 amp copper entrance cable would have doubled the price of the entire job. Inspector said it happens a lot. 
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Online Larry

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2021, 08:15:31 PM »
I'm getting ready to run a 200 amp subpanel, 487 feet away, underground.  No fun with either type of wire, paying for it, or running it.
With a run that long, I would be very worried about voltage drop.  My house is about half that distance from the transformer.  I talked with the power company engineer about it.  He told me their are several voltage taps on a transformer.  They gave me the highest one and I get 244 volts at the house which I guess negates the voltage drop.

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Offline Tom King

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2021, 08:54:16 PM »
I'm going to oversize the wire to more than allow for voltage drop over that distance.  It will go to that little bathroom house on the point.  It will only need to run a mini-split, water heater, boat house and dock, and maybe a couple of RV hookups.  It's another 350 feet to where the boathouse will be-just lights, and boat lifts.


 

Offline Don P

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2021, 06:55:35 AM »
The barn where I have a fair number of tools is about 700' from the transformer. It's about 300' to the house then it is around 400' beyond that. All 4/0 AL direct burial, no conduit. It reads a little high at the house and a little low at the barn but everything works fine. I think 3% is the target range.
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Online Mooseherder

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2021, 08:08:01 AM »
I just ran 4/0  4/0  2/0 sweetbriar Tri rated Alurd underground for 3.45 a foot.   The run was 920 feet from my power pole with no voltage drop.  The supply house sold me the spool and even dropped it off.  We rolled it onto my mill truck.  I hired the electrician for his expertise on the project.  



 
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Price of copper wire!
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2021, 02:06:23 PM »
Scott, I used to consider conduit was so cheap that I never thought about, and don't remember what it cost.  When was the last time you priced conduit?
Tom, I priced some a few months ago and was stunned about how much it had gone up.  Currently it's around $1.90 per foot for 1-1/2 pvc.  I recall it being less than half that a few years back.
1-1/2" conduit would allow him to install up to 4 runs of #2, which would be good for a 100A service (75 or 90 degree C insulation rating).  For four runs of #6 wire, at a minimum he'd have to use 1-1/4" conduit, which is the same price per foot as the 1-1/2".  So I'd go with 1-1/2" now and have the option later of pulling larger wire if more power is needed.
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