Connecting Different Size Wires

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  #1  
Old 01-31-06, 05:46 AM
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Connecting Different Size Wires

I have some #8 wire run underneath my house (crawl space). It used to go to a hot tub in the back yard but is now disconnected at each end. I have a storage shed that I want to run power to. Since I may use some small power tools out there, I want to put in a 20 amp circuit, which I understand calls for #12 wire. So my question is, can I put in a junction box where the #8 wire ends and run #12 to the shed from that point?

It would save a fair amount of trouble and expense if I could utilize the wire that's already in place.
 
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Old 01-31-06, 06:11 AM
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As long as this cable is sound and complete you can use it.

It needs to have a ground wire, a hot wire, and a neutral wire. Assuming this cable is copper you can connect and use it with little difficulty at both ends. Make sure that your breaker is a GFCI breaker, or that you supply GFCI protection some other way.

If this cable contains two hot conductors along with a neutral and ground then I would consider making this a multi wire circuit so that you get twice the power at the shed.
 
  #3  
Old 01-31-06, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for the quick response. To be honest, I don't remember if the wire is 8/2 or 8/3, but it's only about three years old so I'm certain it's copper and has a ground wire.

I'm not sure what you mean by multi-wire circuit. What I think it means is that if the #8 cable does have two hot wires and I run 12/3 the rest of the way to the shed, I can put in two breakers and have two separate circuits out there. If that's the case, could they both be 20 amp?
 
  #4  
Old 01-31-06, 07:49 AM
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Yes, you would use two 20 amp breakers, but they must be on opposite sides of the incoming 240 volts. To ensure this (and because you will may need a GFCI breaker anyway), you should instead use a 20 amp 240 volt breaker.
 
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