Cabana Wiring


Old 06-29-05, 05:07 PM
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Cabana Wiring

I just built a pool house that I need to wire. Can I simply run 2 lines of 12/2 w/g from from 2 - 20a breakers in my main panel (200a)? I would do that thru flex conduit 18" under. Or should I install a sub-panel in the new house? I'll be running a small fridge, stereo some lights and a fan and who knows what else my wife will think of in the future.
Thanks very much! I'm a first-time user and enjoyed reading some of the other threads.
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Old 06-29-05, 06:10 PM
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You can only run one circuit to a detached structure without installing a sub-panel. For the application given one multi-wire circuit (two hots, one neutral; making two actual circuits) is allowed.

If it were me I would run a nice small panel out there. A small 8 space panel fed with 40-50 amps, just for good measure since you do have the room in the main. Like you said, you never know what the wife will come up with next month, year, ... tomorrow.

Any panel in a detached structure requires the installation of a ground rod (or two). Go with 1" PVC (NOT flex), 18" deep. I would go with a 4-wire feed; two hots, neutral, ground.
This web page has a ton of good infor regarding feeding a Detached Structure.
Old 06-29-05, 06:18 PM
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You cannot run two separate runs of 12-2. That would violate code. You could run a multi wire circuit providing the same amount of power that those two separate runs would provide.

Several comments on the above:

You don't run 12-2 or even 12-3 in conduit. You would run individual conductors in the conduit. Whatever you run (in conduit or direct burial) you must make sure that wire is suitable for wet locations.

You might need larger wire than 12g, depending on the distance from the main panel to the cabana.

Running this type of circuit will limit you to what you can plug in. You won't be able to exceed 4800 watts, and you won't be able to have anything other than 120 volt devices. Once you want to exceed this limit you have to start over.

If it were my place, I would run wire in conduit and install a sub panel at the cabana. With a sub panel you can allow for expansion.
Old 06-29-05, 08:39 PM
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I appreciate your help. With the turns i've got to make, the distance is @200ft. What size breaker at both ends and what gauge wire do you think would be good? I can't think of anything I would use in there other than 120v of course wattage is another beast entirely.
Old 06-29-05, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gregdiehl
...of course wattage is another beast entirely.
That is the key.

Yes, I forgot to mention running cable in conduit is a no-no. It is not an issue we need to go into now but for the sake of argument electricians never do it.

If you run a multi-wire feed to the cabana I would use #10 to be safe. You should be fine for most any 120 volt loads you will have out there. If it were a shop, barn or garage that would be different.
Then again, who knows what kind of drink mixer you may come up with.
Old 06-30-05, 09:02 AM
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Your conduit should also have no more than 360 degrees worth of bends underground. If you really need more bends than that, you'll need to install an above ground, waterproof pullbox. The conduit should exit the house through an LB, drop vertically, sweep 90 to horizontal, ---, sweep 90 up to vertical, into LB at poolhouse. The basic underground run already has 180 degrees used up, so you can add no more than 180 degrees of bends to the horizontal conduit run.

Furthermore, install the conduit completely and let the PVC cement cure overnight before pulling wires through. Do not glue the conduit with wires inside!

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