Adding a panel in a shed

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  #1  
Old 12-11-05, 10:28 PM
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Adding a panel in a shed

I have been doing commerical work for a few years now and have never done anything residential whatsoever, so I am not sure if there is a difference b/t adding panels in either field. A neighbor down the road wants to add a panel in his shed to have some lights and a few receptacles so he can work on some of his little projects. It will not require much but I figure a 100 amp panel is all he would need. His main electrical meter is on a pole at the road, not on his house. The house is not very close to the shed and all the spaces are filled in his house panel, so I cannot come off of that without adding a subpanel, plus I doubt that panel could handle a subpanel anyway, being only a 125 amp 8 space panel. To feed the new shed panel, I was going to add a 100 amp breaker in the main panel at the road and feed the new panel with 2-2-4 urd. The question I have is will 2-2-4 be sufficient in this case or will I need 2-2-2-4 or 2-2-4 with a seperate #6 wire for a ground. At the new panel, can I just drive in a ground rod, and drop the ground there instead of running it back to the panel at the road, since the shed is detached from the house and basically seperate, or do I have to attach it to an electrode and also take it back to the road? I was planning on running the neutral back to the road, and NOT bonding it in the new panel much like we do in commerical.

I am thinking I will need to take both the neutral and ground back to the meter, as that is the first point of service, however maybe that is not the case in residential. Anyway any ideas would help. Thanks
 
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Old 12-12-05, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by morpheusoptic
At the new panel, can I just drive in a ground rod, and drop the ground there instead of running it back to the panel at the road, since the shed is detached from the house and basically seperate, or do I have to attach it to an electrode and also take it back to the road?
I don't have an answer for you because the NEC may contain exceptions, but try using the perspective of having a main panel in the basement instead of on the pole. Then if you were adding a subpanel in an addition to the house, you would not drive a ground rod, you would run it back to the main load center.

How is his house panel grounded? If installed to code, I would guess both the house subpanel and the shed subpanel should be the same.

If you decide to drive the ground rod do some reading on "stray voltage".
 
  #3  
Old 12-12-05, 04:18 PM
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Since it is a detached struction, it must have its own ground rod (or two).

If there is ANY chance there will EVER be any metallic path from the house to the shed, your feeder must include separate neutral and grounding conductors. A metallic path would include water pipes, telephone wires, chain link fence, etc. Anything metal running from the house to the shed.

It's always OK to include the separate grounding conductor, and only occasionally OK to not, so it's generally advised to go ahead and run it. Either way, you still have to drive a ground rod or two at the shed.
 
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Old 12-12-05, 04:20 PM
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If there are no other metallic pathways between the structures (water pipes, gas pipes, metal fence, phone lines, data, etc), you can just pull two hots and a neutral with no ground. If you go this way, bond the neutral and ground in the shed panel just like a main panel.

If there are metallic pathways or you anticipate there will be one, a ground conductor is required and leave the ground and neutral unbonded in the shed panel. I would probably pull the ground "just-in-case" someone ever pulls cable TV or phone out there.

In either case, the shed needs at least one ground rod; the local inspector might require 2.

In residential, a 60A panel fed with #6-6-6-10 is usually the biggest anyone would put in a "shed". A 100A panel might be put in if the shed was more of a "barn" or if you planned to use welders or something like that.
 
  #5  
Old 12-12-05, 07:12 PM
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Thank you all for your input. That makes sense and you all brought up a good point that if anything that could conduct electricity runs from the house to the shed, then it must all be bonded together. I will just run a #6 as my ground from the shed panel to the main panel at the road. I was planning on putting a grounding electrode in anyway, I knew I would need that regardless of what I did. I am not going to bond the neutral and the ground as it isn't the first point of service and would be a code violation. Anyway thanks again, and by the way, it is a little bigger than a normal shed, about 600 sqft, and since he may add on to it, I am just going to put a 100 amp panel in it just incase he needs to run something big from it in the future.

Thanks,

Paul
 
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