Help Fast

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-26-04, 10:37 AM
Troubled
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Unhappy Help Fast

I have a problem ... Prior to finishing my basement an electrician had wired a junction box for the purpose of future wiring my shed. I have run the wire in conduit underground to my shed and have wired it complete with outlets and lights. I am now at the point of hooking up to the juntion box and have found he used romex with 4 wires and I had used romex with 3 wires. What can I do to make this work? What is the porpose of the forth wire. Do I need it? please be very basic in your help/answer to my problem as my knowledge is very basic. A speedy reply will be most helpful. Please e mail me with any help you can offer. [email protected] Thanks for your help
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-26-04, 11:20 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Please supply more information.

What color are the wires in the junction box? What size breaker controls those wires?

What size wire did you run?
 
  #3  
Old 09-26-04, 11:31 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: port chester n y
Posts: 2,117
If there is a panel in the "shed", then the interior cable is a "Feeder" cable with 3 insulated conductors and a bare Equiptment Grounding Conductor.

You mention an "under-ground" conduit--- IF the conduit IS aranged for a complete , intact "race-way", house-to-shed, you should have pulled seperate ,individual conductors in the conduit instead of a N-M cable which seems to be a "2-wire" N-M cable-- ex; "8/2" N-M cable.

At the very least, you should have "matched" the existing, interior cable from which you extended the circuit to the. shed.

What's involved in re-placing the cable you installed in the U-G conduit?
 
  #4  
Old 09-26-04, 11:53 AM
Troubled
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Info

I used 12-2 wire Black/White/Copper
He used 12-3G wire Black/White/Copper/Red
Will the wire I used work with modifacations to the wires at breaker panel? If so how? Thanks
 
  #5  
Old 09-26-04, 12:14 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Sounds like he set you up with a "multiwire" circuit. If you search this forum for that word, you can learn a lot about it. The fourth wire provides you with twice as much power at one fourth the voltage drop, so it's pretty valuable. But to take effective advantage of it, you would have needed to wire your shed in two runs back to the junction box, with half the loads on each run. If you didn't do that, simply cap off the red wire and save it for a future expansion.

To verify this analysis, you must describe to us the breaker in the panel where the other end of this 12/3 is connected. Is it a double-pole 20-amp breaker? Also, tell us how many feet of cable are between the panel and the shed.
 
  #6  
Old 09-26-04, 12:24 PM
Troubled
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Info

The red wire goes to a 15a single pole breaker
The black wire also goes to a seperate 15a single pole breaker.
There is approx 30 Feet of 12-3g and approx the same amount of 12-2 wire going to the shed.
 
  #7  
Old 09-26-04, 12:31 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Are these two breakers one above the other? And do they have a handle tie so that they trip together? Are you sure it's 12-gauge? If so, I wonder why he didn't give you a 20-amp breaker.

So it sounds like the solution is to cap off the red. It's a shame though, since you're wasting a lot of what the electrician provided you. Whether or not this is a significant issue depends on how much power you need in the shed.
 
  #8  
Old 09-26-04, 12:52 PM
Troubled
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Info

Yes breakers are one above the other however they are not tied together.
Is it possible for me to put in a 20A breaker? I will only be using very some very small items and a motion detector light. I believe he set me up to possibly put a freezer in the shed however I have long scraped that plan anyway. I have put 20A GCFI protected outlets in the shed so 20A breaker would really be the helpful. Thanks
 
  #9  
Old 09-26-04, 12:58 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
If you really used 20-amp outlets (i.e., one slot is "T" shaped), then you have a code violation unless you change the breaker size up to 20. However don't do that unless you are 100% sure that all the wire on the entire circuit is at least 12-gauge.

For your light loads, it sounds like you could either replace the breakers with 20-amp ones, or simply replace the receptacles with 15-amp ones (without a "T" shaped slot).
 
  #10  
Old 09-26-04, 01:06 PM
Troubled
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Troubled

John
I have verified all wire is 12 gauge and outlets are 20A. So it seems like changing breaker with 20A is needed. Should I remove the red wire from breaker panel or just cap it off in Junction box?
 
  #11  
Old 09-26-04, 01:43 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Replace the two individual 15-amp breakers with a double-pole 20-amp breaker (it's not required to be a double-pole breaker, but it would be safer than two single breakers). Connect the red and black wires to it. Then cap off the red wire in the junction box at the shed end. You might want it for extra power in the future.

You need a disconnect for your shed, so you might want to put a simple light switch in the junction box to serve as your shed disconnect. Just connect both black wires in the box to it.
 
  #12  
Old 09-26-04, 01:51 PM
Troubled
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Troubled

Thanks for your help John. That all makes sense and I was thinking about putting a switch in that junction box anyway. All your help has been easy to understand which is a major accomplishment in itself. If I ever want to use that extra red wire (circuit) I assume then I would have to pull new wire? Thanks again Jeff
 
  #13  
Old 09-26-04, 01:55 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
No new wire will be required when you want to take advantage of the other half of the power your electrician gave you. Simply run another 12/2 cable into that junction box, and connect it to red and white instead of black and white. You'll want a second disconnect switch for that too. This has the advantage of actually reducing the voltage drop not only of the new cable, but of the first cable as well. It's almost magic. You reduce voltage drop by adding load. Counterintuitive.
 
  #14  
Old 09-26-04, 02:09 PM
Troubled
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thank You John

I appreciate you sticking with me all this time. Your info has been invaluable. I guess if I had paid attention to what gague wire that he used in the first place I would be better off, but your info has taken me to the best possible solution. Thanks Again
Jeff
 
  #15  
Old 09-26-04, 04:29 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
If I read your post properly, the 12-3 ends in a junction box in the basement, and your 12-2 begins in your basement. If this is correct, then you do need to pull another wire if/when you want to tkae advantage of the rest of the multiwire circuit. Your extra wire (should be red) needs to be added to the conduit going to the shed with the other 3 wires (black, white and green or bare). At the shed you will separate out the two circuits.
 
  #16  
Old 09-26-04, 06:06 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,663
Originally Posted by John Nelson
No new wire will be required when you want to take advantage of the other half of the power your electrician gave you. Simply run another 12/2 cable into that junction box, and connect it to red and white instead of black and white. You'll want a second disconnect switch for that too. This has the advantage of actually reducing the voltage drop not only of the new cable, but of the first cable as well. It's almost magic. You reduce voltage drop by adding load. Counterintuitive.
You can't pull the second wire to the shed. You will need to replace the exisiting wire with a 12/3 at that time. You are only allowed to pull one power feed to an out building. While 2 12/2 wires does the same job as one 12/3 it is not allowed by code.
 
  #17  
Old 09-26-04, 09:57 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Yea, I think I misread this one a bit. I thought the junction box was in the shed. Clearly not. So chance are he'll never be able to use that red wire for more power in the shed. But he could use it for more power in the basement.
 
  #18  
Old 09-27-04, 08:28 AM
rlrct
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Going back to the questions asked yesteray, since this feeder was pulled through underground conduit, wouldn't the NM need to be replaced with either THHN/THWN? Yeah, you could pull UF through the conduit but why go to the hassle of that when individual conductors would be easier?

"Troubled" - the issue here is that underground conduit is considered to be a "wet location" and NM cable isn't rated for wet locations. This assumes you ran regular NM through the conduit.
 
  #19  
Old 09-27-04, 09:21 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
I didn;t see where he specified what wire he used in the cinduit, and I assumed he used THHN/THWN. This is why I suggested that he could add the new red conductor for the other half of the multiwire circuit.

Yes, if he used NM, or even UF, it should be replaced.
 
  #20  
Old 09-27-04, 09:33 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
He did say he used "romex". Although both NM and UF are sold under the Romex brand, most people mean NM when they say "Romex". That's a good catch, rlrtc. If he used NM in underground conduit, it is a code violation, and it will eventually fail. I'll also credit PATTBAA, who first identified this problem, but nobody seemed to pay much attention to his post.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes