Shed Wiring

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  #1  
Old 05-30-12, 01:52 PM
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Shed Wiring

Let me first start off that the wiring is NOT in any way permanatly connected to the house service. It is connected with #12ga. SOOW wire and a grounded plug, and plugged into an outlet when needed. Via an exterior outlet, inverter, or generator. It is permanently installed, but at the same time, never physically plugged in and energized unless in use. It is in a shed that is 300+ft from the house, and is only used for small projects, hangout, and storage.

I know someone will tell me "oh, just hook up some light switches and use them". But I wanted to install a panel because I already have 2 of them that a friend bought, and didn't need, so he gave them to me. I need to know if this is possible. A panel isn't really needed since I am running it off of a 15a, or 20a circuit, but the 15a breakers will protect the existing wiring if plugged into 20a. And in a couple of years, when and if I ever decide to have a service installed out there, then the panel will be there. But, that probably won't happen.
EQ 125 Amp 4-Space 8-Circuit Main Lug Indoor Load Center-E0408ML1125SU at The Home Depot

- How would I jump the 2 lugs to have power to the other side? Would I wire nut and make a pig tail, or jump from one lug to the other?

- The main lugs should support 12 gauge wire, correct?

- Since the shed is damp and humid a lot of times, should I use UF wire for extra protection instead of NM? I would use PVC conduit and THWN, but I really don't want to run the cost up. It is never really wet, but it is hot and humid a lot....I don't want the wire to brittle because of the climate on me.

BTW: What kind of wire connector/strain relief would I use for UF wire outside? I need a weather resistant one to keep water out? I have seen the compression ones for round cords, but I can't find ones for flat wire.

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  #2  
Old 05-30-12, 03:36 PM
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I think if you look closely at the label inside the enclosure you will find that the main lugs are probably listed for a minimum of #4 conductors. That means that you CANNOT connect your #12 conductor to the main lugs.

Since you will have so few circuits the easiest is to just use half of the available spaces; all on one bus. You could use a suitably sized jumper (most likely #4 minimum) to jump the two main lugs and then use a 20 or 30 ampere circuit breaker "back fed" from your source cable as a main breaker. If you do this main breaker arrangement you will need an approved retainer to prevent the main breaker from accidental removal.
 
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Old 05-31-12, 12:39 PM
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Thanks for getting back to me. I accidently posted the wrong link. This is the panel I have. I can't find any minimum wire sizes for the panel, but it only says a max wire size of I think it was #4ga....
Product Details

So if I bought a basic 20a or 30a single pole breaker, and "locked" it into place with a breaker retainer backfeeding it, I will be able to use 12ga wire? Using then a piece of #8 or #6ga thwn to jump the 2 top lugs for use of all slots.
PowerMark Gold Main Breaker Retainer Kit-THQLRK2CP at The Home Depot

Would a double pole breaker work too? To feed both sides, then just make a pig tail since 2 wires can't be under 1 lug?
 
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Old 05-31-12, 03:54 PM
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Minimum and maximum sizes of conductors to the main (or any other) lugs will be detailed on the sticker inside the enclosure or the inside of the enclosure door. I can guarantee that the main lugs in that 100 ampere panel will have a maximum conductor size larger than #4 since the maximum Ampacity of #4 copper is only 85 amperes.

The circuit breaker retainer is brand specific. Your link was for a GE panel and circuit breaker. For a Square D panel you would need a Square D retainer.

I may be mistaken but I think that Square D type QO circuit breakers ARE listed for two wires under the screws and if so that would preclude the necessity of a pigtail arrangement or the jumper on the main lugs by using a two-pole circuit breaker.
 
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