Electrical burial wire - Help!

The price of electrical burial cable wire has gone absolutely crazy! About 2 months ago we were paying $2.50 linear foot. Now it is about $9.00+ a linear foot.

Does anyone know where we can buy the electrical burial cable at a more reasonable price?

The electrical burial cable that we are buying is: 2/0 Three Condenser with #4 Ground Direct Burial Cable – 1000 foot spool (copper). The best price we have got is $8,900.00 + $734.25 tax = $9,634.25.

Unfortunately we have old meters (100amp) and need to change over to 200amp meters thus needing to lay new electrical wire.

Any help would be appreciated to find electrical cable wire at a reasonable rate!


Corey ,your right, it has gottin very expencive,

here in mid. ga. iv been giveing i think about $4.82 PER FT. as of 2 weeks ago , a $1.50 jump since about 2 months ago,

I also have to replace some 100 amp boxes with 200 amp as I try to bring in 11 homes, I had in another Park

Iv been getting my wire and 200 amp boxes at lowes 200 amp disco. boxes or going for $108.00 here.

Ricky Roland

Wow Corey! And I thought $2.70 per linear foot was sky high a month ago when we rewired a rehab in my old park in south Alabama. I will guard the left over piece personally, grin.

Called my buddy Sergio @ Wholesale Electric in houston 713.748.6100and he tells me the price as spec’d 2/0 three conductor with #4 ground is 11.74 per foot after the increase on Monday (yesterday).

A new increase is gonna go into effect on november 15,2006.

your price is looking better all the time!

Corey, why not go aluminum?


I really appreciate all of the help! We are going with Aluminum and it will cost us about 30% of the pricing of Copper.


For those who don’t already know (Corey excluded) there is an electrical rule of thumb to increase the wire size by one when going to aluminum from copper specification. In this case the requirement would be 3/0.

the numerical value will have to decrease…or go to one ought (1/0).

When i wired 200 amp services in TX in 2000, it was three 2/0 conductors with #4 ground and i used aluminum wiring. Also needed #4 ground from frame on one side of unit to the other on doublewides.

I’m not an electrician…but I did hard wire 22 pedestals by myself and two tenants helping (digging). This project more than paid for the 4K cost of a walk behind trencher.

A lot has been written about the perils of aluminum wiring…but Florida Power uses it for all line voltage applications in FL. I have never had a problem with it.


Greg Meade

GregCa is right on… to 3/0 is next largest after 2/0. Wire size increases the lower the number to 0 then it increases:

AWG: In the American Wire Gauge (AWG), diameters can be calculated by applying the formula D(AWG)=.005

The Idiosyncracies of the Problem: The problem is not with the wire itself, it is intermittent hot connections where the wires join together or connect to devices. The reasons for this are not absolutely known but seem to center on the following factors:

  1. Aluminum wire has a higher coefficient of expansion than copper and expands more when current passes through it. This can contribute to loosening at the connections.

  2. Aluminum wire must be slightly thicker than copper to carry the same loads and this sizing difference may have contributed to loosening connections in early applications.

  3. Metals in an oxygen atmosphere oxidize. Copper that oxidizes forms a conductor while aluminum oxide is a resistor. The resistance at the connections causes heat to build.

  4. Unlike metals which connect can cause an oxide build as well and this may have caused an increased difficulty when aluminum wire was joined to devices intended for copper wire. The oxide added resistance.

  5. The problem seems to increase as time goes by. This would seem to be due to increased loosening and oxide build.




The home we just rewired had to be copper. lol My electrician would not install aluminum. Didn’t understand why at the time, but he and some research soon educated me.


Hope it works out well for all using it. Our power company uses it too.

Confuses me a great bit. Even seen articles where sales were lost due to aluminum wire being found in the homes. I would like to know more, and wonder what the 197six HUD code required. …bill russell

I really appreciate all of the help and insight on the electrical wire. We will have saved big $$$ due to the information provided.


in case you didn’t know, there is a gray colored anti oxident compound that you put on the wire to help with corision. also, you have to go back and retighten all the connections after the first tightening. that has been my experience with over 40 pedestals.

I’m a lineman for Florida Power and Light and all we use is aluminum for underground. Years ago all they did was direct burry it and it lasts for years I’ve seen cable 30 years old and still just fine. Nowdays we run the cable in conduit which is even better. You just have to be careful with your connections (example aluminum and copper dont mix) but if you wire brush use anti oxident and make tight connections you will not have any trouble.

Hi Corey,

No one uses copper for the feed from the source (pole, what have you)

to the meter. It’s been aluminum for years. PVC conduit is code in most

municipalities (underground rated), and “aluminum” from the meter to the panel, THEN copper from the panel to everywhere else.

I hope an “electrical contractor” wasn’t trying to sell you on this. If he

was, you need to report him to the local contractor’s board.


Marc Ferrell

I.B.E.W. Local 177

Jax, Fl


Post Edited (11-06-06 14:52)

Corey I could be dead wrong here but if I remember correctly the price of copper shot up dramatically a few months ago, hit all time highs but it has come down a lot since then.

I am guessing that wire costs are much less fluid then the comodities they are made of (copper) hense I would guess that this wire was made in the last 3-5 months when copper was REALLY HIGH, and even if price has come down whoever bought all this wire (or made it) is still trying to get their money out of it.

can you wait a bit for prices of the finished good to follow the comodity it is made of?

I want to thank everybody with all of the great insight and advice. I have learned more than I have ever wanted to know about electrical wire but through all of the great posts we saved a lot of money at one of our mobile home parks in Texas. The information was invaluable and proves just how important information sharing is!

Thank you again to all those that posted.