Outside Shower Electrical Safety

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Old 07-13-08, 08:22 PM
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Outside Shower Electrical Safety

I am installing an outside shower attached to a potting shed which will house a 10 gallon hot water heater.

I am very knowledgeable in electrical and plumbing. I have two 12/2 - 20 amp circuits running to the potting shed in conduit, fed from a sub panel in an adjacent barn. I have not installed it yet but the hot water heater will more than likely be a 120 volt unit run on one of the circuits. The other circuit will be for general lighting and outlets. BOTH circuits will be GFCI protected as they enter the shed.

I plan to drive a ground rod and run heavy copper to the hot water heater. This is in addition to the safety ground in the 12/2.

I was going to use copper pipe in the shed from the hot water heater to the shower fixture but I am rethinking that and may use plastic for additional safety.

The water feed from the house to the barn and then to the potting shed is 1" plastic well pipe.

Any light fixtures or switched in the shower area will be PVC outdoor sealed boxes and of course GFCI protected.

Is there anything I am missing here. I want absolute safety.

Doug
 

Last edited by John Nelson; 07-13-08 at 08:44 PM. Reason: Eliminate political statement
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Old 07-13-08, 08:50 PM
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I am very knowledgeable in electrical and plumbing. I have two 12/2 - 20 amp circuits running to the potting shed in conduit, fed from a sub panel in an adjacent barn.
This appears to be self-contradictory (unless the potting shed is part of the same structure as the barn). The code only allows one feed to a structure.

I have not installed it yet but the hot water heater will more than likely be a 120 volt unit run on one of the circuits.
120-volt water heaters have a very slow recovery time.

I plan to drive a ground rod and run heavy copper to the hot water heater.
After you install a subpanel in the shed, your grounding rod should ground the subpanel, not the circuit.

I was going to use copper pipe in the shed from the hot water heater to the shower fixture but I am rethinking that and may use plastic for additional safety.
Yes, that would improve safety. Any metal plumbing pipes would need to be bonded to your grounding system.

Is there anything I am missing here. I want absolute safety.
Keep the water and the electricity from coming into contact with each other and you'll be fine.
 
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Old 07-13-08, 09:08 PM
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[QUOTE=John Nelson;1396545]This appears to be self-contradictory (unless the potting shed is part of the same structure as the barn). The code only allows one feed to a structure.

Yes you are right. The barn is fed with 10/3 to a sub panel there. The potting shed is not connected. So maybe I should install another small sub panel in the potting shed and fed it with the two 12/2's - Neutrals tied together and one black tape marked red. This panel only needs two breakers. If I could find a small WH that ran on 220 I would use that.

What is your opinion on using panel mounted CB GFCI's vs. just running it through a first outlet GFCI? I think either is acceptable although the CB option is about 4 times the cost.

Doug


120-volt water heaters have a very slow recovery time.
 
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Old 07-13-08, 10:38 PM
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So maybe I should install another small sub panel in the potting shed and fed it with the two 12/2's
You can only use one cable or separate conductors in conduit. Minimum circuit should probably be 30a. That would require a minimum of 10-3 with ground UF cable or equivalent THWN single conductors.
 
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Old 07-13-08, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dsc3507 View Post
Yes you are right. The barn is fed with 10/3 to a sub panel there. The potting shed is not connected. So maybe I should install another small sub panel in the potting shed and fed it with the two 12/2's - Neutrals tied together and one black tape marked red. This panel only needs two breakers. If I could find a small WH that ran on 220 I would use that.

I hightlighted in bold

That part is not allowed per NEC and CEC code you can not paralleled the netural like this fashon the only way to meet the code is run the proper conductor to the building.

Senice you mention 10 gallon waterheater most 120 v verison the highest wattage i did see so far is 2000 but 1500 watts verison is most common.
Yeah they have 240 volt waterheater that small avabile and they have much higher wattage element they can go much as 4500 watts but IIRC they are about 2000~2500 watt range for that size of the tank you are looking for.

Now the other issue you mention that the barn subfeed is 10-3 UF type you are only restricted to 30 amp circuit add small subfeed breaker box that will handle pretty good for most useage and the other reason with subpanel you can able run 240 volt load there if the sisuation called for.

Yes you have to run the ground rod just keep the netual and grounding [ green or bare wire ] wires seperated.

If the breaker box don't have grounding bar you can get one from the big box store for few bucks.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 07-13-08, 11:11 PM
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I just spent a half hour or more reviewing the code and I cannot find a specific reference to disallowing sending two circuits to an outbuilding. I do see disallowance with exceptions of multiple SE to a building, but this is not SE. Can you give me an article and section referring to this?

Also I am quite aware of neutral and ground separation after the main service panel. I adhere to that here.

Doug
 
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Old 07-13-08, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
You can only use one cable or separate conductors in conduit. Minimum circuit should probably be 30a. That would require a minimum of 10-3 with ground UF cable or equivalent THWN single conductors.
I usually draw the line between what is unsafe and what is not. I see no instance where doing this would be unsafe. Just because the cables are bundled or not is really immaterial. I can see where it is certainly not as neat. The only thing I can think of is that someone that is not familiar would interpret the connection incorrectly. Proper labeling and twisting of wires would mostly eliminate that.
 
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Old 07-13-08, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dsc3507 View Post
I just spent a half hour or more reviewing the code and I cannot find a specific reference to disallowing sending two circuits to an outbuilding. I do see disallowance with exceptions of multiple SE to a building, but this is not SE. Can you give me an article and section referring to this?

Doug

Let me corret you a sec so two or three circuit is allowed in one cable what we called MWBC [ multi wire branch circuit ] that part only one cable is allowed to be used however SE [ service entrance ] cable is diffrent.{ that part i will leave it out for now due it is not used in this part}

Right now I don't have the NEC code book with me now but as soon I get the code citation number then I will run it by you but I know it fall in either 260 or 320 area { I will check that to make sure } other wise one of other member here he is a electrician also he will chime in later on so he can run by that one too if I don't chime in fast engouh. { few of us are electrician by trade so we can guide ya in right way}

A double pole switch will serve as disconnect switch that part will meet the code on MWBC set up other wise a subpanel will meet all the requirement.

By the way what code editon you are using 2002 or 2005 or 2008 ? there are few diffrent verison there so need to know so we can dail in the correct code verise.

Merci,Marc
 
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