Storage shed wiring

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Old 11-17-07, 08:27 AM
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Storage shed wiring

I am wanting to run some electric out to my storage shed. It will be approximately 30-35 ft from the panel. I plan on trenching to get there. Probably using PVC. Is there a PVC that is called for outside use? Any certain depth required for the trench? Also, what about wire size? All I really want to do is just get a 20 amp circuit out there for power tool use and some lighting. No big deal. Is it ok to terminate this circuit on the same breaker as my GFCI outlet that is outside? Thanks!
 
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Old 11-17-07, 09:59 AM
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Two possible depths apply here. "Residential Branch Circuits Rated 120V with GFCI, Max 20A" must be buried at least 12". This rule is primarily to allow stuff like single UF cables to remote lights to be run more shallowly, it'd apply in your case if you only run one circuit. The second depth is "Nonmetallic Raceways Listed For Direct Burial", which must be buried at least 18". My suggestion would be to put your PVC at 18", that way if you want to run a 12/3 cable, you can get two circuits out there easily. After all, most of the work involved with this is going to be putting the PVC in the ground, might as well make it practical to run more than a single circuit. Especially if you're like me and you don't like having your lights flicker every time you start up a table saw.

Since this is a regular branch circuit, and not running very far, #12 is fine for a 20A circuit. If you do run a single circuit, you'll get less light flickering if you run #10 though. You can use the same circuit as is feeding your existing exterior GFCIs. Two cautionary notes though. First is that your existing circuit may also include interior outlets (this is the case in my semi-cheap tract home), so adding outlets that may see heavy tool-type loads could cause problems. Second is that you shouldn't put two wires directly onto a breaker that's not specifically designed for multiple wire attachment. What you can do is splice your new wire into the existing circuit wires inside the panel... this used to be against code, but it was such an annoying limitation that as of the 2005 it got removed.
 
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Old 11-17-07, 10:31 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Im sure that I will go with the 18" depth for the PVC. As far as the GFCI outlet, its all by itself and I just added it in a week or so ago so that shouldnt be a problem.

No type of disconnect is needed in the shed right? If I decide to go with a seperate branch circuit out there, do I need to have a GFCI outlet out in the shed? Probably not a bad idea to have one anyway.
 
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Old 11-17-07, 11:22 AM
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Any receptacles in the shed needs to be GFCI protected.

The shed needs a disconnect, which can be a switch just inside the shed.
 
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