cost of getting 3 phase service?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sperry, OK
    Posts
    681

    cost of getting 3 phase service?

    I'm wondering if this sounds right... My current shop is located in far North Tulsa. We have single phase service to it currently, it was hooked up when we built the shop in 1988. I inquired with the electric company about getting 3 phase service to it a few years ago, and was told it would be about $7,000.00 to get it hooked up. There is 3 phase on the overhead line along the street in front of the shop, it would be about a 100' underground run to get it to the shop. Which we would dig and backfill, just like when we built the shop.

    Recently, I priced the shop and land to a neighbor, with the intentions of building a new shop in a different county, with a different electric provider. We inquired with them about getting 3 phase, and it wasn't going to cost any more than single phase, with us doing the excavating for the underground line.

    Now, the second electric company is a rural co-op, that we do a lot of work for. But the first electric company (PSO, owned by American Electric Power) we have been a customer of for 40 years now. Is this just a difference in how these two companies operate? Or did someone just mis-quote a price to me??? We're trying to get into some fabrication work, and now instead of 3 phase being just a luxury, it's going to become a necessity. I've already got one 3 phase machine that I can't use, and I find deals all the time on 3 phase MIG and TIG units. I'd also like to get a lathe and milling machine, and an Iron worker.

    I'd really like to move my shop to the new location, for multiple reasons. But it just doesn't look like that's a possibilty now, so I need to figure out what I'm going to do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    191

    Re: cost of getting 3 phase service?

    Depending on what you asked for to be quoted the 7000.00 price may or may not include a step down transformer to run all your single phase equipment, lights etc that are currently in your single phase panel. Typically for new construction the power company is required to bring the power to you to a certain extent and they would likely assume that you will have a step down transformer in place. I have a similiar situation and the cost of getting the line to the building from the pole is not too bad, its getting a transformer installed so you can use all your current equipment. On a new install that is not as difficult and I am sure there are guys here with a hell of a lot more knowledge than myself. Other than welders there is very little equiment tht you couldn't run well on a rotary converter. 2 grand will get you a hell of a dell on a soft start 15-20hp rotary setup that will run any (and multiple) conventional mill lathe etc that you want. CNC machines require cleaner line voltage and a larger converter but can be done for not much more money. Several guys here have run welders off large converters but I will keep my mouth shut since I don't have the experience to know if it went well.....I always think..."Just because you can, doesnt mean you should"
    "Anybody can talk $h!t behind a monitor, I let the quality of my work speak for itself"


    Lincoln Square Wave 255 and 355 Tig
    Lincoln 255 Power-Mig w/ spool gun
    Koike 5 x 10 CNC plasma
    Hyd-Mech DM-10 bandsaw
    Ineco QB-76 NC tube bender

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North of Philly
    Posts
    20,245

    Re: cost of getting 3 phase service?

    $7K sounds real close to what I remember the guy I used to work for paying to have 3 phase installed at his new shop. IIRC it was the transformer that really upped the price, but it's been quite a while since he had the line installed, so I might be misremembering.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Flat lands of Colorado, where the wind blows
    Posts
    478

    Re: cost of getting 3 phase service?

    my power provider is a rural electrical coop,

    I had single phase, and called and asked a few years ago, and I would have to pay for the line up to the transformer and it may have been the transformer as well, and that would be 65 dollars a month for 5 years base fee, (which would have been $3900, (now if I used that much in electrical power it would cover the fee), so all it cost me was the equipment on my side of the meter, and the electricity used.

    they ended up putting in a 240 volt open delta, as my three phase needs were fairly low, and most of my needs are single phase, If I add heavier three phase loads they will add the third transformer they said, (and when talking to one of the line men he gave indication there is a transformer in the warehouse with my name on it).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Okc,OK
    Posts
    234

    Re: cost of getting 3 phase service?

    I had three pass run to my shop in choctaw OK. It cost me $4500.00 new pole, new transformers and 125 feet underground.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Edison Wa.
    Posts
    786

    Re: cost of getting 3 phase service?

    They can charge whatever they want. And they do. It really varies from place to place, there is no universal rule. I was very lucky, when I bought my place, there was 3 phase on the pole outside, they charged me $1000. for an additional transformer, and I jumped on that fast- I have known people who were quoted ten grand, or twenty, or fifty, to bring 3 phase from down the road.

    Basically, all that stuff- copper or even aluminum wire, transformers, poles, and, of course, labor, has gone up in price a lot over the years, and it probably isnt going down again.
    Of course, only you can decide if its worth it, but I know a guy who just spent something like $30,000 with the power company getting his service upgraded to 1000 amps of 480volts- he needed it for glass slumping ovens. Big power costs big bucks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sperry, OK
    Posts
    681

    Re: cost of getting 3 phase service?

    I'm going to call again, I think I can probably get the name of an engineer or something with PSO to talk to directly, and maybe get a better picture on what it will cost. There IS 3 phase on the pole that the existing service comes from, and it's a 100' run at the most from the pole to the meter on the side of my building. My thought was since I already have a single phase service, to keep it as-is, then run the 3 phase to it's own box, just for the 3 phase equipment. Instead of just having a 3 phase service and having to have a step down transformer for the single phase.

    So, the electric company would provide transformers/equipment at the pole, and the wire to run to the shop. Then my electrician would provide the necessary boxes and such at the building (that's the way we originally did the single phase service), and we would do the necessary trenching. Our primary trade is excavation, and that is in fact what we do for the rural co-op. We do most of their underground work, including trenching for subdivisions and service lines.

    As I said, our primary business is excavation, but things are so slow around here, we've been looking at alternative work. My partner and I can both fit and weld, I grew up pipelining and he welded in a code shop for 9 years... We have numerous contacts where we can pick up work, and I have quite a bit of welding equipment... Might as well try to make some money at it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    S.W. Michigan
    Posts
    387
    As far as cost goes, it depends on the anticipated usage and who you know. Your poco is a business and like any business they want to cover their expenses. If you are a production shop and are a guaranteed revenue to the poco they prob wouldn't charge anything. But it's who you know, who you talk to and if they have plenty of the cans on the floor. You don't need a step down x former. Depending on your needs they can provide power and lighting load w same bank. You will have a large expense with your side. 3 phase panel etc and hiring a narrowback to do the work.
    Hammer
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    Big Hammer
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    Here, let me Google that for you...

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