I screwed up. I need a little help.

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  #1  
Old 05-27-12, 08:24 PM
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I screwed up. I need a little help.

I recently ran power to my new detached garage. It sits 10 feet from my attached garage and about 50' from main panel.

I simply needed power for garage door opener, a shop light, and 5-6 general purpose outlets. No 240v stuff, compressors, etc. At most light duty tools/shop vac/battery charger type stuff.

I got some "advice" from local orange store and left with 14/2 UF-b for the job. I ran two dedicated lines from main panel (15A breakers) and thought I was good to go.

Well I just talked to my uncle about the job and he had some concerns. Briefly, he said I should have ran #12/20A service for the job and I should have a disconnect in the detached structure. After hearing this, I returned home for some additional research and found this forum. I see there are dozens of post about wiring to detached structures and many different options. I'm a little overwhelmed.

At this point I would like to keep the two lines I ran. I can use one for the garage door opener and the other for inside/outside lighting on a switch.

So here's my questions:

- How should I go about adding 20A service? A 20A multi-wire circuit (using 12/3 and double-pole breaker at main) as I've read about in other threads?

- Can I install a disconnect with 3 lines or is a sub-panel required?

- Should I just pull the 14/2 out and run a single dedicated line?

I hope I have been specific enough with details. Thanks for your help!
 
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  #2  
Old 05-27-12, 08:59 PM
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At this point I would like to keep the two lines I ran.
You can only run one feeder to a structure. Sorry.
 
  #3  
Old 05-27-12, 09:36 PM
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I have found numerous scenarios here similar to mine. Ultimately my mistakes were based on not knowing how differently wiring to a detached structure was going to be. I should have been much more thorough. Lesson learned.

Im sure to have many more questions moving forward but I have a pretty good idea of what is required based on similar threads.

Looks like a feeder to sub-panel installation is the proper route. I shall return with questions later. Stay tuned.....

Thanks again.
 

Last edited by DawgOnKing; 05-27-12 at 10:32 PM.
  #4  
Old 05-27-12, 11:35 PM
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I think I have made this recommendation at least three times in the last few days.

Buy the book Wiring Simplified and read it cover to cover. The book is available at many big box mega-mart homecenters in the electrical aisle rather than in the books and magazines section. It is also readily available from on-line book sellers.

Wiring Simplified has been in continuous print for over fifty years and is revised every code cycle (three years) to meet new code requirements. It is the bible for DIY electrical work. It gives both theory and practical information and is written for the lay person. The cost is less than $10.

One more thing. Probably less than 10% of the people working in the electrical aisles of the big box mega-mart homecenters really knows anything about electrical codes and installations. I strongly suggest that you accept their "advice" the same way you would accept advice from a Skid Road drunk.
 
  #5  
Old 05-28-12, 06:16 AM
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If you replace the 2 14-2's with a 12-3 UF cable you can have the two circuits you desire without the need for a subpanel. You would just need a single throw double pole switch to act as the disconnect. The others are correct about only one feeder to n outbuilding. Remove the 14-2s.

The receptacles in the shed will need GFI protection.
 
  #6  
Old 05-28-12, 07:08 AM
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Thanks Furd. Your advice on similar threads has already been taken to heart. I will grab a copy of the book this week. I already tried to download for iPad via iTunes but it's not available.

I will find it...........
 
  #7  
Old 05-28-12, 07:30 AM
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If you replace the 2 14-2's with a 12-3 UF cable you can have the two circuits you desire without the need for a subpanel. You would just need a single throw double pole switch to act as the disconnect. The others are correct about only one feeder to n outbuilding. Remove the 14-2s.

The receptacles in the shed will need GFI protection.
Thanks Boss. I have seen posts by you in other threads as well. I appreciate your advice. In my original post I mention running a multi-wire 20A circuit to the structure using 12/3. I got that from idea from you I believe.

I like the idea of having a panel in the detached garage. I think it would be a nice selling point in the future and I really enjoy learning how to do those type of things.

I think there are other variable at play here after reading these threads for a few hours. I'm gonna start from scratch and do it the right way while relying on the advice of posters here.

I'll start today with an accurate estimate of how much power is required in the structure and go from there....
 
  #8  
Old 05-28-12, 07:47 AM
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Ok, let's start with the basement panel. I have a 200A main. That appears to have been at capacity so they added an adjacent 100A sub panel (I removed cover).

Here's a picture:

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So I guess the first question is this. If that is indeed considered a sub panel, can I run power to another sub panel? Do all sub panels have to be run from the main? Just thought I would start there.

Two 15A circuits and one 20A circuit in the right side box will be removed. There's plenty of room for the job.
 
  #9  
Old 05-28-12, 08:13 AM
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Your subpanel to the garage does not need to be run from the main panel. You can run it off the Square D Homeline panel on the right.

Since you are installing a circuit for a subpanel in the garage you might want to consider bumping it up to a 30 amp circuit. You would need to run 10-3 w/G UF for that. If you do not feel this is necessary, or within your budget, then you can stay with the 20 amp multiwire circuit.

Remember that UF must be buried 24" if bare, or 18" in PVC pipe. You may go 12" if it is 20 amps or less and GFCI protected. As a note, I just bought a 20 amp, 2 -pole GFCI breaker and it was just over $100!

BTW - The Homeline panel on the right is wired wrong. The grounds and neutral should be separated. You need to install ground bars to the steel case and move the grounds there.
 
  #10  
Old 05-28-12, 08:26 AM
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You will see raised bumps for the ground bars in several places in your Square D panel. The grounding wires can be extended by splicing.
 
  #11  
Old 05-28-12, 09:25 AM
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You will see raised bumps for the ground bars in several places in your Square D panel. The grounding wires can be extended by splicing.
BTW - The Homeline panel on the right is wired wrong. The grounds and neutral should be separated. You need to install ground bars to the steel case and move the grounds there.
Thanks for the heads up. I will install ground bars to the case as recommended and post a few pictures to make sure it was done correctly.

I just finished removing the two #14 feeds and circuits. I feel better already.

As for trench, that's the one thing I think I did correctly the first time. I actually placed the UF in conduit and buried at 18 inches. It's a short run in pretty soft ground. It's still exposed and shouldn't be a problem to do correctly/again.
 
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Old 05-28-12, 09:45 AM
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With conduit the whole way you can run individual conductors in the proper colors and sizes. Much easier than pulling UF.
 
  #13  
Old 05-28-12, 09:53 AM
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Now onto power consumption. As I mentioned in the OP, I don't think I will require that much, but I want to have sufficient supply and then some.

Frankly, I need a strong recommendation for the decision. Here's what I plan on having in the garage:

- Garage door opener
- 3/4 t8 style shop lights (one exterior)
- Largest tool demand is a miter saw

Occasionally, I may run miter saw while my using a 3 gallon portable compressor hooked up to finish nailer. That's max capacity there. Always have a few 18V cordless batteries charging, etc....

Essentially, I've narrowed my options to aforementioned 20A multi-wire circuit or bumping up to a 30A feed to sub panel as recommended by a few of you.

Let me ask this though to be clear, using the 20A double-pole NON-GFCI breaker is ok with the 12/3 UF + conduit + 18 inch trench - correct? That would be the combo of option #1. Complete with a labeled single-pole disconnect switch where the power enters the garage. No earth ground required.

It's that option or a double-pole 30A breaker (non-GFCI) with THWN or 10/3 UF + conduit + 18 inch trench to sub panel. Less than 6 circuit, so main disconnect at garage panel not req'd.

All outlets GFCI protected regardless.

Anyway, that's where I'm at here. Thought and recommendations appreciated!
 
  #14  
Old 05-28-12, 10:11 AM
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Until the game is over, one correction. The switch would need to be a single throw double pole if xx-3 or two hots are run. A single pole could only work if the feed is 120 only.
 
  #15  
Old 05-28-12, 10:18 AM
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Until the game is over, one correction. The switch would need to be a single throw double pole if xx-3 or two hots are run. A single pole could only work if the feed is 120 only.
Understood. Thanks for all your help.
 
  #16  
Old 05-28-12, 01:42 PM
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You mentioned installing a subpanel, that is another reason why I mentioned upping it to a 30 amp circuit. Plus, the extra capacity might be handy in the future when you find out how nice it is to have power out there.

If you think you will be fine, now and in the future with two 20 amp circuits in your garage, then I say go for it. You would not need a sub panel and could use the double pole switch as your disconnect. You could still use a small subpanel and yes, if it only can have 6 circuits/breakers or less, you do not need a main.

Really the bottom line is your budget. The main difference will be the cost of the wire.

Let me ask this though to be clear, using the 20A double-pole NON-GFCI breaker is ok with the 12/3 UF + conduit + 18 inch trench - correct?
Yes.
 
  #17  
Old 05-28-12, 02:25 PM
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I have a 200A main. That appears to have been at capacity so they added an adjacent 100A sub panel (I removed cover).
What brand breakers are in the Square D Homeline subpanel? Those with the red handles are definitely not Square D and I can't make out the others. Not a
Homeline expert, but I don't think all your breakers are approved for installation in your Homeline subpanel. There should be a label inside the panel cover/door that will tell you exactly what breakers are U.L. Listed for use in that panel.
 
  #18  
Old 05-28-12, 05:22 PM
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Really the bottom line is your budget. The main difference will be the cost of the wire.
Thanks Tolyn. I think that after all the research, it comes down to that. I can certainly justify doubling the cost to have the added functionality/expandability of a 30A circuit with a garage sub panel. I'm headed to store in the morning to estimate my costs.

What brand breakers are in the Square D Homeline subpanel? Those with the red handles are definitely not Square D and I can't make out the others.
Just looked Joe. They are all homeline but the one you mentioned which happens to be a double pole 30A Westinghouse breaker. The main panel is Westinghouse and they probably had one left over and were too cheap to do it right. I will add it to my list. Thanks!

Final question for the day. I would like to run the wire in a separate location as previous wire. It's a lot more accessible and will save me from twisting and turning around my geo-thermal unit in the basement. Here's the problem, once I bring the wire up through the basement into the attached garage, there no studs for me to run the wire vertically between. There's pegboard with tyvek and sheeting behind it. What is an acceptable means of running the wire 10 feet vertically without embedding behind the wall or between studs? Can I use conduit or some other protective covering?

The line feed location I found previously by removing the sheetrock and cutting a 4" square hole in the sheeting. I drilled a hole up from the basement and was going to run coax thru since I took the time to find access.

I don't want to remove the entire sheet of pegboard and rip the sheeting because there are 3 or 4 electric lines running through there. Big mess. If I have no other choice I will do so. I would like to run the wire vertically along side the shelving brackets if possible. Protected and marked.

Here's a bad picture with poor labels:
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  #19  
Old 05-28-12, 05:44 PM
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Short answer: You may run conduit on the surface of the pegboard.
 
  #20  
Old 05-28-12, 06:07 PM
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Short answer: You may run conduit on the surface of the pegboard.
Good deal. That literally cuts the work in half.
 
  #21  
Old 05-28-12, 06:26 PM
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Be sure to use a bushing on both ends of the conduit sleeve to prevent abrasion and fasten the cable within 12" of the ends of the sleeve.
 
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Old 05-28-12, 06:48 PM
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once I bring the wire up through the basement into the attached garage, there no studs for me to run the wire vertically between. There's pegboard with tyvek and sheeting behind it. What is an acceptable means of running the wire 10 feet vertically without embedding behind the wall or between studs? Can I use conduit or some other protective covering?
Where, or how, will the new cable enter the garage? From the wall or from the floor?
 
  #23  
Old 05-28-12, 06:59 PM
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Where, or how, will the new cable enter the garage? From the wall or from the floor?
The picture below is of my attached garage. I have to run the wire through there then out the wall into conduit over to new structure. I will run it along the ceiling truss to get from one side to the other but I was curious about running it vertically up that first wall.

In the picture below the area labeled "Line Feed" is where I will bring the wire in from. That area is directly above the main panel in the basement. Once I'm up that pictured wall, I'm home free.
 
  #24  
Old 05-28-12, 07:03 PM
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Be sure to use a bushing on both ends of the conduit sleeve to prevent abrasion and fasten the cable within 12" of the ends of the sleeve.
I'm with you on the conduit boss. Not sure I understand what you mean by fastening within 12" of the sleeves though.
 
  #25  
Old 05-28-12, 07:11 PM
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Quick few question about my sub panel. I'm looking at stuff online.

It is ok to run a 30A feeder to a 125A sub panel? I know it seems like overkill, but there aren't too many options at my big box store. There's a 125A that will hold 6 breakers. Seems perfect.

Here's what I'm looking at. I'm assuming I want an indoor main lug box.

125 Amp 8-Space 16-Circuit Indoor Main Lug Load Center-LC008DSU at The Home Depot
 
  #26  
Old 05-28-12, 07:11 PM
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The cable would need to be secured or stapled within 12" of entering or exiting the conduit sleeve.
 
  #27  
Old 05-28-12, 07:15 PM
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The cable would need to be secured or stapled within 12" of entering or exiting the conduit sleeve.
Understood.

Do they sell clips for THWN or are they stapled?
 
  #28  
Old 05-28-12, 07:23 PM
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THWN or other individual conductors are run in a complete conduit system from end to end. They are not run like a cable.
 
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Old 05-28-12, 07:23 PM
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Do they sell clips for THWN or are they stapled?
THWN is single-conductor wire, rated for use outside. It is always contained in raceways and enclosures, not run in free air, and neither clipped nor stapled.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 05-28-12 at 07:43 PM.
  #30  
Old 05-28-12, 07:24 PM
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Yes you can feed the subpanel with a 30 amp breaker.
 
  #31  
Old 05-28-12, 11:25 PM
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And if you forget everything else, remember to cut the power before playing with your place's wiring. My wife's cousin was electrocuted (as in killed) while wiring up a new clothes dryer circuit. He had recently retired following 30 years of service as an electrical lineman, and apparently thought he was smart enough to wire things up "hot."
 
  #32  
Old 05-29-12, 05:44 AM
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THWN is single-conductor wire, rated for use outside. It is always contained in raceways and enclosures, not run in free air, and neither clipped nor stapled.
How far out of the main panel can I take it before it enters an enclosure, if at all? Can it travel 6-12 inches before I enter a horizontal/vertical run of conduit?
 
  #33  
Old 05-29-12, 05:50 AM
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Yes you can feed the subpanel with a 30 amp breaker.
Thank you sir.

And if you forget everything else, remember to cut the power before playing with your place's wiring.
Yeah, I don't take any chances when it comes to this stuff. I enjoy the DIY aspect of maintaining my home while learning how to correctly do basic stuff. As for cutting the power, no worries there, I turn off the 100A breaker that feeds the panel I'm working with, and the main power on the actual panel. I have never taken the cover off my home's main panel.
 
  #34  
Old 05-29-12, 05:52 AM
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How far out of the main panel can I take it before it enters an enclosure, if at all?
Not a t all. It must be totally enclosed outside of a panel or Jbox.
 
  #35  
Old 05-29-12, 05:58 AM
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Not a t all. It must be totally enclosed outside of a panel or Jbox.
Thanks Ray. I just found this picture online that gave me a great visual.

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  #36  
Old 05-29-12, 10:49 AM
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Can the feeder run through a junction box?
 
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Old 05-29-12, 11:31 AM
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How far out of the main panel can I take it before it enters an enclosure, if at all?
Yes. If the jbox is metal it must be grounded.
 
  #38  
Old 05-29-12, 12:39 PM
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I may have missed this - but if he runs a feeder to his detached garage for a sub panel , doesn't the need one or two 8 ft ground rods?
 
  #39  
Old 05-29-12, 01:40 PM
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Yes, he needs a ground rod at the subpanel in addition to a an EGC from the supply panel.
 
  #40  
Old 05-29-12, 07:24 PM
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Again, thanks to all for the advice and oversight.

I didn't have a ton of time today but did manage to get all the material and get things ready for the morning.

- 30A Double Pole NON-GFCI breaker
- #10 THWN (Black, Red, White, Green)
- 3/4" PVC and accessories
- Siemens 125A Outdoor Main Lug Panel (4 Space Max)

I will get things started tomorrow and put up pictures as I go.
 
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