Wiring to a shed

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  #1  
Old 03-10-05, 08:39 PM
RaiderZJ
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Wiring to a shed

I would like to know the best way to get power to a shed. I'm not gonna be running anything really big in there, maybe a couple of lights and occasional use of power tools (Miter saw, table saw, router). Can I run a single circuit to the shed without a sub-panel? Should this be on its own breaker in the main panel? Should I bury the wire (not very easily done with my yard) or can I hang it overhead? Lastly, what type wire should I have for this?
Like I said, I'm not going to have a lot in there. Maybe about 6 outlets and 2 overhead lights. I still haven't even built the shed yet, but I like to plan ahead. Thanks, Don
 
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  #2  
Old 03-10-05, 10:09 PM
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If 2400 watts is enough, you can run a single 20-amp circuit to the shed. If 4800 watts is enough, you can run a 20-amp multiwire circuit. If you need more, you need a subpanel. Note that it doesn't matter how many outlets you have, but only how many watts you need. Outlets don't use any power by themselves.

In any case, it should be on its own breaker in the main panel. It is almost always better to bury the wire. Depending on exactly what you do, you'll either have to bury it 12", 18" or 24" deep. If you bury the wire, you can either direct-bury UF-B cable, or you can put THHN/THWN wires in conduit.

Planning ahead is good. Pick up Wiring Simplified the next time you're at Home Depot. It's only six bucks.
 
  #3  
Old 03-11-05, 01:58 PM
RaiderZJ
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Thanks John. I'm pretty sure the 2400 watts will be plenty to the shed. Just to be safe, I'll look at my tools to see how much they are. As far as the lights, if I'm using 3 75 watt bulbs, is that simply 225 watts out of the 2400?

When you say multi-wire circuit, is that where you use something like a 12/3 wire and use the black and red as 2 circuits with a common neutral? I think I will pick up that book from HD. Like you said, its only 6 bucks.
 
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Old 03-11-05, 02:26 PM
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Yes, a multi wire circuit would be using 12-3 and having the red and black to opposite legs of the incoming 240, and sharing the white neutral.

If I were you, I would certainly run 12-3, even if I didn't hook up the other half of the multi wire circuit just yet.

What you didn't tell us is the distance from the main panel to the shed. If the distance is far enough, you will want to downsize the wire gauge, so you don't have voltage drop issues. What is the distance?
 
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Old 03-11-05, 05:22 PM
RaiderZJ
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My shed is going to be about 15 feet off of the back corner of my house. The total run of wire from the panel to the shed is going to be around 60 feet +/- 15 feet.

Let me ask you this; If I have an outside outlet on its own breaker (it is a GFI) can I run my wire off of this to the shed? It is on a 20a breaker.

Last thought; I had an idea that might work for me on a temporary basis. If I were to run the wire IN the shed (ie. lights, outlets, switches) could I run an extension cord to the shed and plug it in to one of the outlets to supply power? It wouldn't be connected all the time, just when I need it.

Thanks
 
  #6  
Old 03-11-05, 06:25 PM
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Yes you could run off that receptacle if you want. But first make sure that it is really on a circuit by itself. Unless you installed it yourself or had it installed for a specific purpose, it seems quite unlikely it's really alone on the circuit. Sometimes these thing share power with things scattered far and wide around your house.
 
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