Need guidance on running power to shed

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  #1  
Old 08-31-11, 11:12 AM
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Need guidance on running power to shed

Hey all,

I would like to run power to a shed that is on my property. The shed is located about 50 feet from the house. The shed has an electrical outlet, light fixture, and simple light switch installed already, but no power. It looks like the previous owner started on this project but never finished.

Here is a list of conditions and requirements for this job:

- I live on very sandy soil.
- The breaker is located in the garage, which is the point nearest the shed.
- I only need 120V power.
- I plan to run 2 T5 work lights and some power tools simultaneously.


How deep of a trench do I need? What kind of wire should be used? Should I use a conduit, and if so, what material and size?

Thank you in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-31-11, 11:52 AM
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Lowest cost & labor option is to use #14-2 UF-B cable, buried 12" deep, powered from a 15A GFCI breaker. Conduit is only necessary where entering and exiting the ground to protect from damage.

Alternative option is to bury 24" deep and use GFCI receptacle in the shed instead of GFCI breaker in the panel. A little cheaper, but a LOT more digging.

In either case you could increase to 20A breaker and #12 UF-B cable for slightly more cost and 33% more power available to the shed.
 
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Old 08-31-11, 01:03 PM
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Exactly the information I was looking for. Thank you very much.

I think I'm going to go with the 20A breaker in the panel and the #12 cable.
 
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Old 08-31-11, 01:46 PM
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For about $50 you can rent yourself a trenching machine for an hour (some places have a 4 hour minimum for like $80-100 though) and save yourself a LOT of digging. It's basically like a giant chainsaw for dirt. You could cut 50' 24" deep in literally minutes.
 
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Old 01-03-12, 12:31 AM
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Further Assistance!?!

The above info was great, but I need some clarification. I want to run electrical to my shed from my house. I will be using this shed as a backyard office with 1/2 bath. I will have two center ceiling lights, 6 outlets (tv, computer, printer, etc). Additionally, I will be running an window air conditioner/heater.

Here are my issues on this project: my shed is in the back left corner of my lot and the electric panel in my garage (attached to house), on an interior wall. The closest exterior wall is 15 feet away and has a concrete floor. How do I run a line from that?

Is it possible to run electrical from an existing exterior outlet to a sub-panel in the shed to save time/money? Any advice would be great!
 
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Old 01-03-12, 12:35 AM
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Question Help Running Electricty from Far Removed Panel to Shed?

The above info was great, but I need some clarification. I want to run electrical to my shed from my house. I will be using this shed as a backyard office with 1/2 bath. I will have two center ceiling lights, 6 outlets (tv, computer, printer, etc). Additionally, I will be running a window air conditioner/heater.

Here are my issues on this project: my shed is in the back left corner of my lot and the electric panel in my garage (attached to house), on an interior wall. The closest exterior wall is 15 feet away and has a concrete floor. How do I run a line from that?

Is it possible to run electrical from an existing exterior outlet to a sub-panel in the shed to save time/money? Any advice would be great!

Also, im thinking at least a 40 amp breaker for the sub-panel. Let me know what you think.

Read more: Mod note: Previous thread was merged with this one.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-03-12 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 01-03-12, 05:40 AM
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I tested all of the wires with a voltage detector
Not practical in your case. An outdoor receptacle would be 20 amps or less and you need more then that.

my shed is in the back left corner of my lot and the electric panel in my garage (attached to house), on an interior wall. The closest exterior wall is 15 feet away and has a concrete floor. How do I run a line from that?
Through the attic . Is this a one story house?

want to run electrical to my shed from my house. I will be using this shed as a backyard office with 1/2 bath. I will have two center ceiling lights, 6 outlets (tv, computer, printer, etc). Additionally, I will be running a window air conditioner/heater.
Sounds like you might need a 60 or even 100 amp feed. depending on the electric heat. Since you have said your main panel will be difficult to run from you may want to consider changing your meter to double lug and putting a subpanel to feed to the shed on the exterior wall below it.
 
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Old 01-03-12, 05:43 AM
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Your outside outlet on the house is most likely only 15 amps, 20 at the most so there is no way you will get 40 amps from it for your shed in addition to it not being allowed by code.

You may have to run your circuit from the panel and up into the attic to get to the outer edge of the house. How far is your shed from the panel? Make sure you take the total length of wire into consideration when sizing the wire. The run up to the attic, back down and then back up into your shed may add 30 feet of wire length more than the distance across the ground.
 
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Old 01-03-12, 07:59 PM
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1/2 bath. I will have two center ceiling lights, 6 outlets (tv, computer, printer, etc). Additionally, I will be running a window air conditioner/heater.
You'll need at least 2-3 20A circuits, depending on how much electric heat you'll need. It's about 10F in my shed right now so you'd need an awful lot if you're around here.

How do I run a line from that?
Attic or conduit mounted along the wall. The prettiest would be to open up a wall, pull the wiring and redo the drywall but that's a lot of work for a garage.

Is it possible to run electrical from an existing exterior outlet to a sub-panel in the shed to save time/money?
I think the others covered this well enough, but no. The shed feeder will need to be dedicated.

Also, im thinking at least a 40 amp breaker for the sub-panel.
That would be a reasonable size. You may find that 60A is only a very small increase in price over 40A (#6 copper wire vs. #8 copper wire, all other parts the same price).
 
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Old 01-04-12, 06:23 PM
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I want to thank you are for the quick response time and the information given. Here are answers to some of the questions asked above about my project:

1. Accounting for length through the attic, outside, down the house, to the shed and back to the panel again would be about 185 ft.

2. This is a single story house and the panel is literally located under the attic, so running through the attic outside the house is probably the best option (although opening up the wall would probably be the prettiest way)

3. The electric heater would be a space heater only and the a/c would be window based. I live in Florida so A/C is a lot more important than the heater.

Thanks again for the help.
 
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Old 01-04-12, 07:37 PM
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You may want to consider a mini split unit for the heat and AC.
 
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