wiring an out building (need help)

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  #1  
Old 09-08-08, 04:14 PM
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wiring an out building (need help)

I want to run electric power to a storage / work shop out-building from my home's main service box (200 amp). Shed / shop is about 30 feet from main service box. Only need to supply 2 lights with a switch and one or two GFI outlets for table saw and other power tools. what size breaker and wire should I use and should the wire be run through a gray PVC conduit. Step by step info would be very helpful. I live in Saratoga County NY.
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  #2  
Old 09-08-08, 04:55 PM
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It sounds like a single 20A circuit would be fine with #12 wire. You could bump up to #10 but I don't think that is necessary. I would put it in PVC conduit. The stuff is cheap enough. 3/4 inch would be fine but you could use 1". Also if you plan to have a wired phone, cable, or any other wired control device out there you would need a separate conduit which is a lot easier to throw in the hole while it is open if you think you will ever need it. Bury to depth of 18" minimum. Use the PVC 3/4" within the shed also using PVC boxes, 90's etc as needed. Plan it out and go to Home Depot or Lowes and spend some time in the PVC isle selecting what you need. The fittings are glued together. Everything should be in conduit. You have the option of using 12/2 UF or pull separate THWN wires, black, white, green. Separate wires are easier to work with especially within the shed.

By code you need a switch as the first device in the shed for emergency turnoff purposes. They make what they call a faceless GFCI and I am wondering if this qualifies as a switch switch as it is labeled on and off on the front and rated as a disconnect. Someone else can comment on that, If it is acceptable then that would be ideal as the first device in a PVC box inside the shed. It would then feed all other devices in the shed. Maybe a couple of outlets, a light switch and light, etc.

In the house you can just put in a 20A breaker in the panel. Another option would be to put a 20A GFCI breaker in the panel and then a standard toggle switch as the first device in the shed as an emergency shutoff. The breaker option is more expensive but has the added advantage of protecting the entire run should anyone ever dig into it. I believe you can also bury it at 12" in that case also.

I just built a potting shed and did about what I am describing.

I have a tip that might work for you. In Lowes fluorescent light dept. they have a shop light that uses T8 35W bulbs and is spec'ed down to 0 deg F. They ar about $17 plus the bulbs. I have several and they work great. You can get all kinds of different color temperature T8 bulbs from soft light to sunlight.
These are plug in lights - come with a plug. So you would put a switched outlet where you want the light.
 
  #3  
Old 09-08-08, 06:25 PM
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do it right

wiring should be installed in pvc pipe and buried at least 24" per code. but its a real world out there and sometimes 12" is gonna have to do. although your electrical demand is small at this time things could change down the road. so my suggestion would be to run #10 uf cable from the house to the shed. a double pole 30 amp breaker (same manufacturer as main panel) will protect this size wire. in the shed add a six circuit main lug panel. from this you can wire your lights and plugs as needed. one circuit for lights one for plugs. and the extra spaces for the future without any additional work between the house and the shed. its not a bad idea to add a extra pipe in the trench just cap it off outside of both buildings. pvc is cheap. for the #10/3 uf i would use 1 1/4 inch pipe, for the spare 3/4 inch is fine. the feeder pipe must be continues between both panels. the guys at the home centers should be able to set you up with the proper fittings needed for this job.
 
  #4  
Old 09-08-08, 06:41 PM
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man you sure like to spend this guys money. He said he had a small shed and was runiing a few power tools not a wood shop.

If you really want to get into running a panel out there fine but from this gentleman's post I am not sure he is up to doing all that.

By the way if you do decide to do it this way it is 10/3 cable, 220 to the shed which is split to give you 2-4 20A circuits out there. Each circuit will have to have a GFCI installed as the first device.

Unless you are running a shop with more than one person it is doubtful you will be running any more than one power tool at a time. You have to make that decision.
 
  #5  
Old 09-08-08, 06:45 PM
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JJkjr.,,

Normaly if you run full PVC conduit it will be much better off to run THHN/THWN conductor { wire } and it don't need to be that big unless you are planning to run much larger conductor in future typically with #10's in the conduit the 3/4 inch is the smallest size typically used in PVC .

For myself I useally used 1 inch PVC or larger and have it buried 24 inches { 600 MM } deep .

Merci,Marc

side note Tyically the NEC useally say about burial depth is 18 inches {450 MM } but the reason why I stated more deeper due I have to get below of frost line otherwise some situation the frost can break the conduct and cause some issue later on the time.
 

Last edited by french277V; 09-08-08 at 06:54 PM. Reason: add a side note
  #6  
Old 09-08-08, 06:48 PM
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I don't mean to give you too many options or opinions, but here's one more.

Instead of running just one circuit, you can run a multi-wire branch circuit using 12/3 wire. This will give you two 20A circuits which will be plenty for what you're planning. It will also allow you to use two separate circuits for lighting and power tools which should decrease or eliminate dimming of the lights when the power tools start up. You can use UF wire (like Romex, but gray and direct-burial rated), or PVC conduit with individual conductors.

Burial depth is minimum 18", unless the wire is GFI protected (GFI Breaker or faceless GFI before it leaves the house) in which case 12" is the minimum.

Good luck!
 
  #7  
Old 09-08-08, 08:57 PM
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The multiwire might be a good option assuming he really needs more than one circuit. You would not be able to use GFCI's inside though unless it was a double pole GFCI which is prohibitively expensive. GDCI's need their own neutral and that would not happen until you splot the circuits at the shed. Then you would use two GFCI's there.

So if we have not confused you to much and you are still there and have questions fire away.
 
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Old 09-09-08, 12:02 AM
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Oh, heck, I might as well add my nickel's worth.

Run one inch PVC conduit. Pull one each of a #12 type THHN/THWN wire in black, white and green. Install a 60 ampere air conditioning disconnect. Wire only the black through the disconnect keeping the white and green uncut. Wire the black, white and green to a GFCI receptacle's LINE side terminals. Run a black and white from the LOAD side terminals of the GFCI receptacle to any other lights and receptacles. (You will need to "pigtail" the green.)

This gives a local disconnect, GFCI protection to all loads, meets all current needs, is code compliant and also makes the system fully upgradeable to 60 amperes/240-120 volts in the future by simply replacing the wires in the conduit and adding a MLO circuit breaker panel.
 
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Old 09-09-08, 05:24 AM
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If a metal box or disconnect were used it would still need to be bonded to the green conductor.
 
  #10  
Old 09-09-08, 10:05 AM
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Thanks to all you guys for the advice. I think I’ll stick with the first reply from dsc3507 as I only need to have a light or two and maybe two outlets in the building (shed). So, here’s the plan: From the supply at the house, install a 20A GFCI breaker (Square –D)… run 12/2 in 1” gray PVC buried 18-24 inches (no big deal cuz I have sand with about 4” of top-soil) to an on/off switch installed in a PVC box in the shed. From there, run 12/2 to lights and outlets (using PVC boxes).
Question… should outlets in the shed be GFI?
Any further advice, please throw it my way.

Thanks again!
GM
 
  #11  
Old 09-09-08, 10:16 AM
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Yes, the receptacles need GFI protection.

Make sure that the cable or wire used is rated for use in wet areas. Outside in conduit is a wet area. Regular non-metallic cable, commonly called romex, is not suitable for this use. you could use UF cable or individual conductors rated THWN.
 
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Old 09-09-08, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
Yes, the receptacles need GFI protection.

Make sure that the cable or wire used is rated for use in wet areas. Outside in conduit is a wet area. Regular non-metallic cable, commonly called romex, is not suitable for this use. you could use UF cable or individual conductors rated THWN.
The receptacles in the shed should be GFI outlets even when using a GFCI breaker at the power source?
 
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Old 09-09-08, 11:26 AM
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The GFI protection can be provided by the GFI breaker or the GFI receptacle.

It may be more convenient to have the GFI receptacles. It would be easier to reset should they trip instead of having to go into the house. GFi receptacles are also cheaper than GFI breakers.
 
  #14  
Old 09-09-08, 11:25 PM
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Plan sounds good. Another option is to use a faceless GFCI in the house in a box before the circuit goes outside. This would save you some bucks over using the breaker GFCI and still protect the whole circuit.

It is not required to have the circuit to the shed GFCI just once it gets there and you could put the GFCI at the shed if so desired. As stated in my previous post, I believe you could use a faceless GFCI as the first device in the shed and it would qualify as the required disconnect switch. Home Depot or Lowes have faceless GFCI's. I bought one a few weeks ago and they were a few bucks less that a standard GFCI outlet.

A GFCI breaker would vary but might be around $35. A (good) GFCI outlet $15 and a faceless $13.
 
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