Outside electrical runs

Old 02-15-04, 05:18 PM
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Outside electrical runs

Hi All...I appreciate all the great info you give out. Thanks. I'd like to get your thoughts on wiring some out buildings we have. Our home is an old Cape built in 1846. We have an attached barn with an ell. I'd like to do a number of things. First rewire the house. Second wire/rewire the barn. And third, the reason for this post, wire a chicken shed, cow shed and a greenhouse with attached potting shed. All the structures are about 150 feet away from the house, 35 feet or so from each other. We don't plan on huge electrical loads, a light and outlet in each building. I'm smart enough to realize how dumb I am-so the work will be done by a Registered Electrician-I just want some info from you guys so I have some idea of what I face. Thanks again!
Old 02-15-04, 06:45 PM
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For a project like this, it is important to accurately calculate the load, both now and in the future. Providing more power now greatly increases the costs. Providing more power later makes the initial work a throw-away.

So you say just a light and outlet in each structure. Are you going to stick to that story? Furthermore, "an outlet" doesn't provide any information without some kind of idea as to what you might plug into that outlet.

Let's say that you only want two 60-watt bulbs in each structure, and you'll never run anything off the outlet larger than an hand drill. And that you'll never be using that in more than one building at a time. If that's the case, then just run 12/2 UF-B cable to each building, direct buried at least 12 inches deep. Run them all on the load side of a GFCI receptacle before it leaves the house, and connect it to a 15-amp or 20-amp breaker.

But keep in mind that this simple and relatively inexpensive solution will never allow you to run an air conditioner out there, or use more energy-consuming appliances.

As I said, it's all in the planning. The cost of misjudging your needs is non-trivial.
Old 02-15-04, 09:36 PM
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I think

I would run at least a 6/3 w/grnd to the closest building, install a small CB panel, and then feed the other buildings with 12/3 UF so that each building has at least 2 CKT's and provides for some modest future expansion !!!
Old 02-16-04, 01:42 AM
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Once again you guys are the best. Mrs. Smelt and I have thought long and hard about what we'd be doing out in the sheds. I really do think we'll be running just a light in each, maybe two in the potting shed at most. No heaters, refrigerators, or "air conditioners" ---but the chickens might want a lage screen TV . A drill or radio in the potting shed every once in a while. Otherwise our electrical needs are relatively modest.

I appreciate your thoughts.

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