A switch and a GFIC outlet for lights in shed

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Old 11-06-04, 05:47 AM
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A switch and a GFIC outlet for lights in shed

My brother has asked me to install light(s) in his shed. He said he would like an outlet as well. I have done some electrical work DIY at my house( ran a 220V for the oven, intalled a new GFCI at my pool, etc) that is similar but I am mixed up about the wiring for this one. The shed is about 25ft from the breaker box/foundation. I plan on putting the outlet and switch in the same gangbox if possible and running the wire directly to a spare breaker in his box. I was going to use 12/2 or 10/2 in 3/4" plastic conduit.

If someone can explain the connections as if I were 5yrs old it would be apprecated. I have seen pictures of the connections and the pigtails, but am not quite sure.
 
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Old 11-06-04, 07:15 AM
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I am going to give you instructions that will make the receptacle switched by the switch. This is because your shed should have a main disconnect. If you do not want the receptacle switched, you'll need to install two switches so that one can be used as a disconnect.
  1. Run 12/2 NM-B cable from the breaker to a box in the house. Put a GFCI receptacle in this box. Connect the black and white of this cable to the "line" side of the GFCI.
  2. Run 12/2 UF-B cable out of this box. Connect this to the load side of the GFCI.
  3. Use a wire nut to connect both bare wires to a short piece of bare wire which then connects to the green screw on the GFCI.
  4. Run the UF-B cable through PVC conduit out through the side of the house and down into the ground at least 12 inches.
  5. Direct bury the UF-B at least 12 inches deep out to the shed. Conduit not required.
  6. Sleeve the UF-B in conduit again from the bottom of the trench up and into the shed and into your double-gang box.
  7. Connect the black of the UF-B to one screw on the switch.
  8. Run a short black wire jumper from the other screw on the switch to one of the brass screws on the receptacle.
  9. Connect the white of the UF-B to one of the silver screws on the receptacle.
  10. Run 12/2 NM-B cable from this box to the light. At the double-gang box, connect the black and white wires of this cable to the remaining brass and silver screws, respectively, on the receptacle.
  11. Use a wire nut to connect all three bare wires to two short pieces of bare wire. One of these goes to the green screw on the switch, and one to the green screw on the receptacle.
  12. At the light, connect black to black and white to white and ground to ground.
  13. Secure and protect the cable where above ground as required by code. I can't really give you the details on this without seeing the shed.
 
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Old 11-06-04, 12:08 PM
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John,
Thanks for the instructions. I had a question about step 1. Can I just run UF-B directly to the breaker and use a GFCI at the shed. If so, how does this change the wiring. I assume the GFCI receptacle will be controled by the switch.

You also mentioned that if you do not want the switch in the shed to control the receptacle I would have to install an additional switch for the light. How does that get tied-in to the other stuff?

Thanks.

Leo
 
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Old 11-06-04, 12:16 PM
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Sure. Follow the same instructions as before, except:
  • Bury the cable at least 24 inches deep instead of at least 12 inches deep.
  • At the double gang box, connect the cable to the light to the "load" side of the GFCI, so that the black wire from the switch and the white wire from the UF-B can be connected to the "line" side.
So do you need the receptacle in the shed to be live when the switch is off?
 
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Old 11-06-04, 04:21 PM
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I don't think he needs the receptacle to be switched on. He can have it "hot" all the time. I'm assuming he will run maybe a weed wacker off it, or a radio. So it does not really matter. It sounds safer the way you recommend.

So if I understand correctly:
1. If the GFCI is in the double-gang box with the assoc. switch, the NM-B is connected to the respective brass and silver screw on the "load" side then directly to the light?

2. The incoming UF-B will go pretty much the same way as you described at first. Black wire to a screw on the switch. White wire to silver screw on the GFCI "line" side. Make a black wire jumper to go from the remaining screw on the switch to the the last screw on the "line" GFCI receptacle.

3. Ground wires as before.

It would be easier for me to run the UF-B direct to the breaker box. I think he has plenty of receptacles in his basement. In addition, I believe there is a new hole to use in the foundation near his breaker box. I just have to make sure he has room for a new breaker or a spare.

Thanks once again for your help.
Leo
 
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Old 11-06-04, 08:30 PM
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It's up to you, but adding a GFCI in the house is usually easier than digging the trench another 12 inches deeper. And I feel safer knowing that the GFCI will save me if I ever hit that cable with a shovel.

It is possible to not have the receptacle controlled by the light switch, but then you'll need a shed disconnect switch ahead of this double-gang box.
 
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Old 11-08-04, 03:32 PM
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I will be doing a similar install for my shed. I thought the best solution was to use a exterior GFIC receptacle at the house for the beginning of the run. Then I would have an extra outlet for my weed whacker and a shorter walk for test/reset in case of problems.
 
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