powering up my shed


Old 06-12-05, 10:48 AM
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powering up my shed

I'm trying to run power to my shed.
It's aprox. 60ft from the house, and 80 feet (the way the wire would run) from my main breaker panel in my garage.
I have an unused 220 breaker circut with a 50amp breaker in the main panel.
I would like to use this unused circut to power my shed.
The circut has aluminum wire from the panel to the outside of my garage then stops.
I would like to know the best way to run power to the shed either from this existing wire and circut or if I should run new wire from the main panel to the shed?
In the shed I would like to have 3 or 4 110 outlets on one circut breaker, 2 overhead lights on another circut breaker, and 1 220 outlet on 1 circuit breaker. The 220 outlet in the shed would be to run either a small air compressor or a small 220 A/C unit.
I plan on burying the wire in conduit from the house to the shed.
I have #10 stranded copper wire available to me rated at,
"VM-1 rated Max. 600volts 500ft 20mil insulation MTW or THWN or THHN or AWM Gasoline & Oil resitant l l."

Please help me and let me know which is the best way to go and how to go about it. I know very little when it comes to electrical codes and such. I can wire 110 outlets or lights and change switches and such but thats about it.
I need to get this done so my wife don't put me out in the shed or at lest when she does i can be comfortable with the A/C and a small refridgerator....lol.
Please help ASAP!
Thank you,
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Old 06-12-05, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Brethren, Mi
Posts: 1,648
Likely it will be best to run a new wire to the panel, 6-3 UF.
Old 06-12-05, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Run new wire. Abandon the existing aluminum wire and make a run of copper wire. Either use UF wire and direct bury it or use THHN/THWN in conduit.
Old 06-12-05, 01:07 PM
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So would the (#10 stranded copper wire available to me rated at,
"VM-1 rated Max. 600volts 500ft 20mil insulation MTW or THWN or THHN or AWM Gasoline & Oil resitant l l.") be ok to use from the main panel to the shed in conduit? Or should I run romax from the main panel to the outside?

My panel box is located on an inside wall of my garage. The wire runs to the attic of the garage. I can change the wire from the aluminum at the box up the wall to the top of the garage where I can make a junction before going outside into the conduit down the side of the garage into the ground to the shed. running conduit from the main box out appears to be dificult considering it's allready in a wall. That's my biggest delema and why I was wondering about running romax to the attic and then making a junction to the conduit and use the #10 wire I have avalible to me for free. This would keep my cost down, but would it be advisable and/or safe enough to do.
Also would the 50amp breaker be good enough from the main panel and a 30 amp in the shed panel?
I just want to do it right.

Thank you for the prompt reply's.
Old 06-12-05, 02:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
#10 copper wire is good for only 30 amps, so you could install a subpanel in the shed and have up to 7.2 KW of power available. #8 copper wire on a 40-amp breaker would give up up to 9.6 KW of power. #6 copper on a 60-amp breaker would give you up to 14.4 KW. So first decide how much power you need, and that will dictate what you do.

Getting something that doesn't meet your needs isn't a good value, even if the wire is free.

I would encourage you not to use any aluminum wire anywhere on this project.
Old 06-12-05, 06:26 PM
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Thank you for the replies.
I would rather not use the aluminum that is why I'm asking so many questions. It appears that it would be in my best intrest to remove the existing aluminum wire and replace it. This is the part I really wanted to know. As for the power I will need in the shed, most likely I will be runing 3 outlets of 110volt (not likely all at the same time). I also will most likely have only 1 2 bulb florecent light in the shed, and 1 220volt outlet for a small 220 A/C unit. As for KW's, I have no idea what that all will calculate too. The 110 outlets will most likely be for running saw's, air compressor, hedge trimers on an extension cord. Just a small work shop basically. Unless the wife ends up with it her way, (which is more probable). Then the shed will be turned half into a work out room running a fan, a A/C unit, and a tred mill or something like that. Either way I hope that running the 220 to it will give me all the power I will ever need. I just want to make sure I run it right from the get go.
Finding this forum has been enlightining allready. Thank you for the feed back and I look forward to more.

Still needing help in florida,
Old 06-12-05, 06:30 PM
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I plan on running a sub panel from which to run my outlets and lights from. Feeding this sub panel from the avalible 220 I have from my main panel in my garage. It has a 50amp breaker not being used for 220. It's just it has that damn aluminum coming from it. Thats where I'm going to attempt to remove it and run copper. Just what size type and gauge of copper I can run from it to the shed sub panel is the info I need.
Thanks again,

Electricly chalanged,
Old 06-12-05, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Use 6/3 UF-B cable, direct buried at least 24 inches. Or use #6 THHN/THWN copper wire, three insulated conductors (black, black, white) plus a ground, in PVC conduit at least 18" deep. You'll also need a grounding rod at the shed, and you'll need to unbond the neutral and grounding bars in the subpanel (installing a separate grounding bar if the panel does not already come with separate bars).
Old 06-13-05, 08:15 AM
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Thank you for the advice. Seeing how I allready have purchased conduit to run in ground to the shed I will get some more and run it from the main panel (if I can get to it) and run the #6 THHN/THWN COPPER WIRE. I was told I only need 3 wires. You say I need 3 insulated and one none. Why is that? I just want to do it right and make sure I have more than just enough power and safety. I don't want to have to do it over if I sell in the future.

Thanks again for helping the electrically challenged, i.e....my self.
Powering up in Florida,
Old 06-13-05, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,219
Before you do _anything_ else, you should go out and buy a couple of books on electrical wiring, including "Wiring Simplified". Some of your questions indicate that you don't really know much about electrical installations, and are doing things like asking the 'electricians' at a place like Home Depot.

There are _many_ details about electrical installations that must be correct, including things that you've probably not even thought to ask here, and that we couldn't even guess at telling you. Most of these issues don't involve how well the installation will work, but instead how safe it will be when something goes wrong. So getting the installation incorrect will easily give you something that seems to work fine, but is extremely dangerous in the event of a failure.

Telling you everything that you need to know in order to do this installation safely would mean writing a book, and the books have already been written. So get them and read them, and then come back here to get things clarified that you don't understand!


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