Wiring Shed


Old 08-03-08, 01:16 PM
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Question Wiring Shed

Hey all,

I have a shed in my back yard that i would like to run power to some time in the near future. I would have to run the cable down the side of the house nearly half way to get to the breaker box ( I am on a slab) I am guessing total run from house to shed is about 40 to 50 feet. I am thinking I will run 2 circuits out to the shed. I would like to put some receptacles out there as well as some lights. Thinking maybe 4 recepts and overhead florescent, and (2) 2 light floods on the outside to light my yard. My thought was to put the recepts on one circuit and the lights on another( i dont have any big tools as of yet and thinking the biggest i would get would be an air compressor). Was thinking 2 20 amp circuits. What type of wire should i bury, individual wires or a single cable with 3 wires plus ground inside and what gauge should i use...I think either way i will put it in PVC. If i was thinking of future use, and wanted to run cat 5 and coax out there should that go in a seperate conduit? Also to GFCI protect it, can i just put 1 GFCI recept in the light circuit and wire the other in series to protect the other recepts on the other circuit or do i need to get 2 GFCI breakers? Trying to keep cost down without cutting corners (if that is even possible) Thanks!
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Old 08-03-08, 05:56 PM
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I can give you a general idea but keep in mind that local codes rule. 2 20 amp circuits should be fine. 12 gauge wires is used with that. There is something called "under foot" cable but I don't know if that's needed when PVC is used. I imagine that running the coax and cat5 in the same pipe is ok. I'm not sure about the GFCI.

There is a good chance that I will see a retired electrcian tomorrow and I'll verify all that.
Old 08-03-08, 09:12 PM
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Cat5, coax, and other low-power circuits must be kept separated from power wiring.

Just run two separate PVC conduits - PVC is cheap!
Old 08-03-08, 09:22 PM
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First, it is a good idea to use PVC. While you can just bury UF type cable in all my installations I have used PVC. Costs a little more but worth it.

You cannot by code run the signal, cable, etc. wires in the same conduit. If you really need them then as long as you have the trench opened put in two conduits. I would recommend 3/4 or 1" for the power and 1/2 or 3/4 for the others.

I don't think it is legal to run two circuits out there originated from your house. It does not sound like you really need two. Why not run 10/2 or 10/3 out there. That gives you less loss and if you run 10/3 you could put a disconnect box out there and have 240 as well as 120 circuits. In any event if you run just the one 10/2, to be code you need to have a disconnect where it enters the shed. This could be just a single pole toggle switch. This should turn everything off. The circuit or circuits out there must be GFCI protected. If you have just one circuit you can put an outlet style GFCI as the first outlet before all the other outlets, lights, etc.

If you use 10/2 from the house to the shed, you can still use 12/2 in the shed to make it easier, so long as you use a 20A breaker in the house.

For the GFCI you have some options. You could use a GFCI breaker it your house panel. This is more expensive. You could use a faceless GFCI in the house in series with the circuit to the shed, or you could use a GFCI outlet as the first device in the shed. The former two have the benefit of protecting the entire circuit.
Old 08-04-08, 01:19 AM
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You can no lomger use a single pole switch as a disconnect on any out building if it has more than one circuit or is over 30 amps. You must set a sub-panel and branch off from there. I just rolled the dice recently on this situation and my inspector knocked me over for it. Also, remember that even though you have a ground coming from the main service, you must re-establish ground by driving another set of ground rods. Overkill? Sure! Its the law......

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