Wiring External Shed

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  #1  
Old 03-24-07, 08:22 PM
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Wiring External Shed

Hello, I am relatively new to this site and was wondering if I could get some advice and or feedback on a course of action. I would like to run electricity out to my shed which is about 20-30 ft away from my house. Only plan on wiring in some lights and maybe 2 outlets. Is this something easy enough to DYI or would a certified professional be the best course of action. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-24-07, 08:31 PM
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It's probably pretty simple.

The first thing to determine is exactly how much power you need. You mention, "some lights and 2 outlets", but this doesn't answer the question. How many watts of light? And what exactly do you plan to plug into those two receptacles?

How large is the shed?

And please visit your profile and enter your city in the Location field so we can give you the proper advice for your area.
 
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Old 03-25-07, 02:20 AM
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Orignal post updated info

The shed is 10' W x 12' L x 10' H with a concrete foundation but not paved and is uninsulated so no need to worry about running the wiring through walls. As far as lighting is concerned, 2 60watt bulbs should be sufficient lighting. Equipment plugged into the outlets would most likely be electric yard tools and/or bug zapper (don't like running extension cord from outdoor outlet). Would it be easier to 'tap' into my outdoor outlet and run undergound conduit or would wiring it to its own breaker be a more practical and safer way to go? Thank you.
 
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Old 03-25-07, 02:51 AM
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What else is on the outdoor outlet circuit?
 
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Old 03-25-07, 05:20 AM
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If you're just looking at a single light fixture (60W or 120W total) and two convenience receptacles that won't be for anything in particular, than you shouldn't have a problem tapping it off an exterior receptacle, as you're not really plugging in anything more than you would normally have plugged into that receptacle. If you can home it back to the panel, that's always the best option though! Especially if you want to put a couple high-intensity floodlights on the front of your shed, and an air conditioner, TV and coffee pot inside, which some people are apt to do

You can bury UF cable as shallow as 12' if you limit it to a 20A, and put GFCI-protection before it goes underground. Put it in 3/4" PVC conduit, too. You have to put a disconnect switch in the shed that turns off the receptacles, too- a normal heavy-duty (20A) light switch is fine for this. You can then split off and put in a normal light switch for the lights and your two outlets- since the exterior receptacle you tapped off already has GFCI protection (hopefully! if not, retrofit), you don't need to install any more GFCI outlets, just the cheap 39-cent ones. Use #12-2 Romex in the shed, and #12-2 UF underground.

And yes, this is something a DIY can do, but be prepared to do it twice if the inspector fails you the first time around Hints to make the inspector happy: staple all cables withing 8" of the box, extend the (yellow) insulation 1/4" into the box, and leave at least 6" of stripped wire in every box.
 
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Old 03-25-07, 06:05 AM
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Do not install the cheap 39 cent receptacles. Buy good quality receptacles. You will not regret it.

Earn some money to pay for it. Sell the bug zapper at a yard sale. They are useless at lowering the quantity of bugs.

Bury your cable at least 18 inches deep, 24 is preferred. I would run conduit. In fact, I would run two conduits at least a foot apart. Someday you may want to put a phone out there. Use only outdoor cable or THWN wires inside the electricity conduit.

I would run a new circuit from your panel. Make it a 20 amp circuit with 12 gage wire.
 
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Old 03-25-07, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
Earn some money to pay for it. Sell the bug zapper at a yard sale. They are useless at lowering the quantity of bugs.
For all you know racraft, Integrabean has a million dollars, and wants to keep the bug zapper..
 
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Old 03-25-07, 04:56 PM
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You've received lots of advice already. I'll tell you how I'd do it, but the other opinions are valid too.

I'd run a new 20-amp circuit. The panel connections will be made last, but I'll describe them first. Put a new 20-amp breaker in the panel. Run 12/2 NM-B cable from the panel to a GFCI receptacle just below the panel. Then run 12/2 UF-B cable from the load side of the GFCI out through the wall and down to the bottom of a trench at least 12 inches deep. Sleeve the UF-B with PVC conduit for the transition through the house wall and down to the bottom of the trench. Run a trench at least 12 inches deep to the shed. Put the 12/2 UF-B at the bottom of the trench. When you get to the shed, sleeve the cable again from the bottom of the trench, and up through the wall of the shed. Once inside the shed, install a 20-amp light switch to provide the master disconnect for the shed. From the light switch box, run 12/2 NM-B to the receptacles you want. From any of the boxes, you can run 12/2 NM-B to a second light switch, which actually serves to turn on and off the light, and from this light switch to the lights.

This will provide you with 2400 watts of power, enough to run your lights and most yard and hand tools (one at a time).

This scheme provides no way to upgrade in the future to put in a freezer, heating or cooling, a welder, or any other high-power appliance. As long as you're comfortable that you'll never want any of this, it's a very simple plan.

Once you're comfortable that everything is working, and before the next rain, backfill the trench with dirt from which you've screened out the big rocks. Do something to make sure nobody gets hurt falling into the trench while it is open.

And by the way, don't plug anything into that GFCI receptacle in the house, except occasionally and temporarily, that will steal power from your shed. E.g., don't put a freezer on it.
 
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Old 03-25-07, 05:57 PM
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Rather than install a GFCI receptacle and then not plug anything into it I would install a GFCI that does not have the receptacle slots. They are readily available and only cost another buck or so over a "standard" GFCI receptacle.
 
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Old 03-25-07, 07:13 PM
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"Do not install the cheap 39 cent receptacles. Buy good quality receptacles. You will not regret it."

UL approved them for exactly this use. Why such hate for the handyman special?
 
  #11  
Old 03-25-07, 07:35 PM
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There is a reason that some receptacles are 39 cents and others are a little ore expensive. The 39 cent ones are not made as well. Yes, they are UL approved, and yes they work. However, in my experience, they wear out faster.
 
  #12  
Old 03-26-07, 01:46 PM
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Smile Do landscape lighting & sprinkler same time

Hi,
With advice & diagrams from this location and Google sites, I was able to do this. In November, I trenched ($65.00 for the day) and ran my lines. I ran electric to my shed, and also ran lines for security lighting, hardwired landscape lighting, & several in-use receptacles (for decorations, a party, convenience, etc) Am now re-seeding the trench marks so they bend in with my grass and disappear. It's cheaper to run all your wire at once, and better to have too much than not enough!

I also trenched for my sprinkler system while I had the machine. Got a $5.00 book on DIY sprinklers (Ebay), and read how to do it. Asked a couple of questions on sprinkler forum, & now works perfect! Piece of cake!

I'm an aging Baby Boomer, & did this ALL BY MYSELF! I'm sure you can too....Good luck!
Anna
 
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