Wiring power to shed

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  #1  
Old 10-18-12, 07:25 AM
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Wiring power to shed

My question is this. I have a new shed workshop I had a "sub-panel" put in that I want to run power from meter panel to. Is 12/2 gray plastic coated wire good for project? There are 2 - 20amp breakers in sub-panel, just 3 lights, 1 light switch and 4 receptacles. The only things I will run will be maybe a table saw, drill, stuff like that. No big tools, no welders. I live in a very remote rural area with no inspections or permits required. How do I connect wires in sub-panel and in meter panel? Help!!
Thanks, George
 
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  #2  
Old 10-18-12, 07:44 AM
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Running something like 12-2 UF would only give you 20 amps worth of power. I do not think this is enough power for a table saw and still have lighting. Have you also considered heating?

I think a small 30 or 40 amp subpanel will give you more options.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 07:54 AM
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I had a "sub-panel" put in that I want to run power from meter panel to. Is 12/2 gray plastic coated wire good for project? There are 2 - 20amp breakers in sub-panel, just 3 lights, 1 light switch and 4 receptacles.
No. Presumably you mean UF-B. 12-2 UFB is really only good for a single 120 volt circuit with no subpanel and that is assuming the shed is within 100 feet of the main panel.

You may be okay with a multiwire circuit and no subpanel. That would require 12-3 UF-b from a 240 volt 20 amp breaker and NO subpanel. That would provide two 20 amp 120 volt circuits. (Assumes 100 feet or less).

If you go the subpanel route you will probably likely need a minimum of 10-3 on a 30 amp 240 volt breaker (assumes 100 feet or less). If the panel has more then six spaces you will need a disconnect. If this is main breaker panel the main breaker can be the disconnect. If main lug you can add a back fed breaker held by a clip. The panel will need a bonded ground bar, usually sold separate, and an isolated neutral bar plus at least one ground ground rod.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 11:12 AM
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Please take several pictures of the installed sub-panel, your "main" (Service) panel and the area between the house and the shop.

Also, please purchase the book, Wiring Simplified and read it cover to cover. Wiring Simplified is available at most big box mega-mart homecenters in the electrical aisle (not the books and magazine section) and costs less than $10. It is also available from many on-line merchants such as Amazon.

Wiring Simplified is the single most important book you can read for DIY electrical installations. It has been in continuous print (with revisions) for more than fifty years and tells not only HOW to do electrical work but also tells you WHY things are done the way they are done. It will be the best money you can spend on this project.

There are MANY steps to accomplish your task and it is easy for the professional (and non-pro) respondents on this forum to forget one or more steps until reminded. Without the background that you will get from Wiring Simplified you cannot even begin to know what questions to ask of us.

Don't let me scare you, you CAN do this job with our help. It isn't rocket science but there ARE things that have to be done in exactly a certain way to ensure the safety of the project. Electricity is an equal opportunity killer and no one here wants to see anyone hurt.
 
  #5  
Old 10-18-12, 11:22 AM
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Ditto on Furd's post. Also be aware that though you write "no inspections or permits required" all advice we give you will be based on national code and best practices. We are here to help you and await the pictures plus the distance between the house and shed, and full load amps of all stationary tools you might use plus heat or AC.
 
  #6  
Old 10-18-12, 04:52 PM
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Smile Wiring to shed

Thanks for the advice folks. I will take some pics & figure out how to download them here & send them. The distance from meter to shed is approx 42'. The panel in the shed, provided by the shed mfg, has six slots, 2 of which there are 2 - 20 amp spst breakers & a bonded ground bar. It has been wired from breakers to the 2 circuits of 3 lites & 4 recpts. I'll get back to ya on the amp draw of tools.

Later, George
 
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Old 10-18-12, 05:38 PM
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  #8  
Old 10-18-12, 08:32 PM
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At the very least you will need to add an eight-foot long grounding electrode (ground rod) in the soil adjacent to the panel in the shed and connect it to the equipment grounding bus in the panel with no less than #6 copper wire. If the panel will accept "twin" circuit breakers then you will need to supply and install a double pole circuit breaker AND hold-down kit for use as a main circuit breaker.

Many more things.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 09:09 PM
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& a bonded ground bar
Just to verify there is also an isolated neutral bar, correct? Who is the manufacturer of the panel and what is its model number?
 
  #10  
Old 10-21-12, 07:00 PM
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Thumbs up wiring to shed

Thanks to all who gave me advice on my shed wiring problem. It got fixed today. The mayor here is a good friend who happens to be pretty handy when it comes to DIY projects. Actually he does a lot of odd jobs around town for lots of folks. He came by today & got me all set up with power to my shed. Now I can do whatever I want or need to do. He changed out the 2 - 20amp spst 120v breakers with a couple of 30 amp ones. We are good. Again, thanks for the help.

R/George
 
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Old 10-21-12, 07:14 PM
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He changed out the 2 - 20amp spst 120v breakers with a couple of 30 amp ones.
If you mean the 120 volt breakers in the subpanel he a created code violation and fire hazard. Will he pay for rebuilding your shed if it burns down? Was the 12-2 replaced with at least 10-3? Do you have a 240 volt 30 amp breaker at the main panel. If I understand your post he may be a smart mayor but he shouldn't be left anywhere near electrical. If I'm wrong let me know and I'll apologize but if I'm right you are going to have to replace everything he did.
 
  #12  
Old 10-26-12, 04:56 PM
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Wiring the shed

Sorry folks for not responding sooner, but been busy. Anyway, yes we replaced the 12-2 with 10-3, the main has 240v 60amp breaker to shut down the whole system. I did have a licensed electrician take a look at the set up the other day when he stopped by for coffee. He's a retired USN EMC (electrician) who worked for a contractor after he retired from USN, so I feel pretty good about it all now. Everyone stay safe. Later, George
 
  #13  
Old 10-26-12, 05:41 PM
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we replaced the 12-2 with 10-3, the main has 240v 60amp breaker to shut down the whole system.
You may be good. Just one question, though: Where is that 240V 60A breaker? In the main panel in the house or in the subpanel in the shed?
 
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Old 10-26-12, 06:04 PM
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Hate to keep asking this but you haven't explained:
He changed out the 2 - 20amp spst 120v breakers with a couple of 30 amp ones.
No way that can be correct. Do you mean you installed a 240 volt 30 amp breaker in the panel at the house?
 
  #15  
Old 10-29-12, 08:23 AM
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Wiring to shed

Ok, here it is. The main panel is on the power pole that the meter is connected to, outside. The panel in the shed is one that was installed by the builder of the shed. It came with 2 - 20amp 120v spst breakers. The main panel at the meter is 240v 100amp that controls everything. My friend the mayor, connected the 10-3 to the main at the meter, replaced the 2 - 20amp breakers in the shed panel with 2 - 30amp breakers. The shed got a ground rod outside, attached to the shed panel. Then my friend the retired electrician looked everything over and said everything is good to go. Said he saw no problems with anything. As for the shed panel, the 2 breakers are for 4 recpts, 1 lite switch & 3 lite fixtures. At no time will any more than 1 power tool be used, the most of which is approx 15amps. No welders, etc will be used. I basically will use it for small woodworking projects & "tinkering". I just kinda "putz around". No large jobs.
R/George

Mod note: the work described in this post appears to create three or more code violations, each of which has the potential to shock or electrocute someone, or let a fire burn without interruption, or both, and to ignore more violations. It should not be used as an example of the proper way to complete a project like this. See post #17.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 10-30-12 at 03:47 PM. Reason: to add note
  #16  
Old 10-29-12, 08:35 AM
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replaced the 2 - 20amp breakers in the shed panel with 2 - 30amp breakers.
WRONG. This must be corrected. They should be no larger then 20 amps*. It is a fire hazard with the 30 amp breakers.

You still haven't told us how they connected it to the panel on the pole. If any way but a 30 amp 240 volt breaker it is wrong.

You need to get a competent electrician. Neither of these two gentleman know what they are doing based on what you have written. Can you show us a picture of the shed panel and pole panel with the front cover off. Stand back enough so we can see the whole panel.

Other question did they run UF-b betwen pole and shed and was it burried at least 24".

*20 amp breaker for #12 or 15 amp breaker for #14.
 
  #17  
Old 10-30-12, 03:36 PM
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Ok, here it is. The main panel is on the power pole that the meter is connected to, outside. The panel in the shed is one that was installed by the builder of the shed. It came with 2 - 20amp 120v spst breakers. The main panel at the meter is 240v 100amp that controls everything. My friend the mayor, connected the 10-3 to the main at the meter, replaced the 2 - 20amp breakers in the shed panel with 2 - 30amp breakers. The shed got a ground rod outside, attached to the shed panel. Then my friend the retired electrician looked everything over and said everything is good to go. Said he saw no problems with anything. As for the shed panel, the 2 breakers are for 4 recpts, 1 lite switch & 3 lite fixtures. At no time will any more than 1 power tool be used, the most of which is approx 15amps. No welders, etc will be used.
Here's the way I see it, based on this description: Your friend the mayor replaced the 12AWG wiring from the main panel to the shed with 10AWG wiring. He terminated the 10AWG hot wires by adding them in with the other wires on the load side of the 60A 2-pole breaker in the main panel. If so, that created two code violations. One, a circuit breaker is designed to protect only one circuit, not two or more. Second, a 60A breaker will not protect 10AWG conductors. The ampacity of 10AWG copper conductors is 30A, which means that they must be protected at 30A or less.

There may be a third violation here. You did not tell us the type of wire or cable, nor the installation method, that was used for the run between the main panel and the shed, so we can't tell whether the materials and method are approved for that use. The code is very specific about which materials and methods may be used for feeders, depending on the location.

You also say that the mayor replaced the two existing 20A single-pole breakers in the subpanel with two 30A breakers. Since
the 2 breakers are for 4 recpts, 1 lite switch & 3 lite fixtures. At no time will any more than 1 power tool be used, the most of which is approx 15amps,
that created another code violation. As I said earlier, 30A breakers are used to protect 10AWG conductors, minimum. A 30A circuit is appropriate for an electric clothes dryer. The circuits in your shed should either be 20A circuits, as they originally were, wired with 12AWG conductors, or 15A circuits wired with 14AWG conductors.

I don't see a description of the way the feed neutral, the feed ground and the new grounding electrode conductor are terminated, and whether they are bonded or isolated, nor of any provision for GFCI protection for the power in the shed.

So the mayor created three or more code violations, each of which has the potential to shock or electrocute someone, or let a fire burn without interruption, or both, and ignored more.

And then your other friend, the "electrician," said it all looked good.

If you're willing and able to do the work, we can tell you how to correct all of this. Posting the pictures that Ray asked for will help us do that more accurately. If you're not willing or able to do the work yourself, you need to hire a licensed electrician to do it for you. Either way, you should not use, or even energize, the circuits in the shed until the corrections are made.
 
  #18  
Old 11-14-12, 02:43 PM
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Shed Wiring

OK Folks. I finally broke down & found a licensed electrician to hook up my shed. Everything is up tp code and works like a charm. I also got an inspector to come out & sign off on it. Cost me some $$, but probably worth it. The problem I had was getting the electrician & inspector out here in the sticks. But it is a done deal. Thanks for all the comments & advise. Hope you all have agreat Thanksgiving!

Mitch
 
  #19  
Old 11-14-12, 03:47 PM
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Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
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