circuit to garage

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Old 11-22-07, 10:46 PM
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circuit to garage

Hi all, I want to run a circuit to my detached garage. I have a question about the wiring. I was thinking of using 12-3 from a DP 20A breaker to a junction box, then using one hot for outlets and one hot for lights and sharing the neutral. Can I do this? Do I need a disconnect somewhere? The main reason would be for a 220 upgrade in the future. Thanks.
 
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Old 11-23-07, 06:11 AM
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Yes, this is legal if you follow the rules. You do need a disconnect, and I suggest splitting to two separate circuits at the disconnect.

However, a multi-wire circuit using 12 gage wire will not give you much room to expand in the future. if you really plan on a sub panel some day then I suggest larger wire to start with or using conduit to make the replacement easier.
 
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Old 11-26-07, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by al328 View Post
using 12-3
This would, of course, need to be 12-3 UF-B cable buried 18" or more, not NM-B.
 
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Old 11-26-07, 09:20 AM
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And don't forget GFCI. Install a GFCI receptacle first on the receptacle circuit after you split it. Since you will likely need far more receptacle power than lighting power, I would put some of the receptacles on the lighting circuit. If you do that, then you'll need a second GFCI receptacle.

But Bob's right. If the possibility of an upgrade is good, then the 12/3 is probably the wrong way to start. You'd need to completely abandon this 12/3 in order to upgrade.

And also please compute voltage drop. You didn't say how far it is to your garage, but if it's over 100 feet, you'll most-likely have adjust your plan.
 
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Old 11-26-07, 07:15 PM
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thanks for the replys. I still have questions on the disconnect. what type should it be? And how would I split to two circuits from the disconnect? should it be in the garage or outside? I want to avoid a subpanel at this point. The garage is really close to the house, maybe 10-12 feet. I was even considering an overhead wire (UV protected with a wire cable for support) and probably 10-3 now. Thanks again!
 
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Old 11-26-07, 11:44 PM
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Can I piggyback a question in here? I see that it is stated one can use 2 hots and a shared neutral return from a 240v feeder. My understanding is that the shared neutral requires the loads to be "balanced". If this is true, can someone explain what that means in practical terms?

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-27-07, 03:47 AM
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Your understanding is incorrect. The loads do not need to be balanced. Voltage drop is less if the loads are balanced, but they do not have to be.
 
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