Another wire gauge question


Old 05-10-07, 08:31 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Near Philly
Posts: 553
Another wire gauge question

I'm running THWN through conduit (3/4") to shed. It is about 50' from source that is protected with 15 amp GFCI breaker.
Question 1 is: 14 or 12 gauge?
I'll be running 2 lights and 2 outlets (small dorm refrigerator). No power tools; it is only a storage shed and outlet might run a leaf blower or shop vac.
Question 2: Do I need to use conduit in shed or ok to use NM or UF? If conduit, I'm planning on PVC.
Thanks for all the help,
PS. Was able to suck fishing line through conduit with my shop vac; saved buying a >50' metal fish tape. Just tied a bit of a plastic bag to the end of the line, stuck it in the conduit, and sucked it down the line.
Sponsored Links
Old 05-10-07, 09:48 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,137
I'd suggest at least a #12. Not much more and you have more amps available.

<Opinion/Suggestion> Now if I was doing it I'd seriously consider #10 and a string. If you ever decide you want more power you can use the string to pull a second hot wire and install a 30 amp subpanel. Till then I'd use a 20 amp breaker.
Old 05-11-07, 07:56 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,305
If it were me, I'd use 12ga and do a home-run back to the breaker box and use a 20A circuit. Again, not much additional cost, and you'll have as much power as you'll need. Or maybe even a 2-circuit multi-wire circuit (but understand how it works and what the issues are first).

If you're using a 15A breaker, IMO, I'd stick with 14ga wire. Since you have conduit, you can upgrade in the future without digging up your lawn. Additionally, you shouldn't have to worry at all about voltage drop. I wouldn't upgrade just "in case"; 50' isn't that much wire. If in 3 years you want to upgrade, then go ahead and re-pull what you need.

Just my opinion though.
Old 05-11-07, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You ran the conduit, so use THWN wire. You need three of them. I would change the circuit breaker 20 20 amp and use 12 gage wire. You'll appreciate it if the refrigerator comes on when you are using the leaf blower or shop-vac.

You could use UF cable, but why? It's harder to pull through conduit and won't allow an upgrade in the future. You cannot us NM cable in buried conduit.

I would seriously consider a multi-wire circuit. It will give you twice the power, which might come in handy.

Don;t forget GFCI protection and a disconnect switch just inside the shed.
Old 05-11-07, 05:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Near Philly
Posts: 553
Thanks all; all suggestions are appreciated.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes