Wiring an outdoor shed - adding an outlet halfway


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Old 04-30-14, 02:24 PM
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Wiring an outdoor shed - adding an outlet halfway

I'm planning on running electricity to an outdoor shed. Attached you'll see my plan for doing this. Basically, I'm going to use two 20 amp breakers from my main panel and run 12-4 direct bury cable 18" underground (within conduit - although it's not necessary) to the shed. On the shed, I'll have two more 20 amp breakers that will feed 2 circuits within the shed. Each of the first outlets on the circuits will have a GFCI receptacle. Since it's 12-4 wire, there will be a shared neutral, but the 2 breakers at the main panel will be tied together - thus making it to code (NEC 201.4). Sound okay so far?

So here's the question....

My wife wants me to put in an outdoor outlet halfway between the house (main panel) and shed. To accomplish this, can I just use bring the buried cable up to the surface at the point where the outlet goes, use one of the hot wires to supply a GFCI outlet and then continue the run on to the shed according to my plan? Or does my plan need to change now?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 04-30-14, 03:29 PM
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run 12-4 direct bury cable 18" underground
Best practice is not to put direct burial in conduit except fro sleeves where it enters and leaves the ground. If you use conduit use individual conductors. For a subpanel you need 3-conductor cable (two hot, one neutral, one ground) not 4-conductor cable (three hot, one neutral, one ground). However I don't see a need for a subpanel. Just run a 12-3 multiwire circuit. That will give you two 20 amp circuits at the shed or do you have need for more power.
 
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Old 04-30-14, 03:55 PM
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Thanks for the reply and advice. I didn't realize that direct bury cable shouldn't be in conduit underground. I read more on the topic here BTW: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...e-conduit.html

Sorry, by 12-4 cable, I meant two hots, one neutral and one ground. Is that called 12-3?

I'd prefer to just put the subpanel on the shed a) so that I have a place outside to shut off power to the shed & b) I already bought the materials.

Any comments regarding whether I can install an outdoor outlet halfway along my direct bury cable run?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 04-30-14, 04:14 PM
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Sorry, by 12-4 cable, I meant two hots, one neutral and one ground. Is that called 12-3?
Yes.
so that I have a place outside to shut off power
Either way code requires a shutoff. at the shed. I'd suggest take the subpanel back and get a 30 or 60 amp unfused air conditioning disconnect. (60 amp may be easier to find and cheaper because they are more commonly used).
 
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Old 04-30-14, 04:20 PM
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Sorry, by 12-4 cable, I meant two hots, one neutral and one ground. Is that called 12-3?
Yes.

You can install UF in conduit, but it is a big pain in the butt! I would recommend what Ray suggests, although you will have to dig another 6" for a total of 24" down.

Nothing wrong with the sub panel as long as it has a main, or 6 or less breakers.

Yes, you can install a receptacle halfway in the run. Just make sure to use a box big enough for 9 (or more) #12 wires. 2 for the device, one ground, 2 neutrals, 4 hots. (At least 20.25 Cubic Inch) And an in-use cover.
 
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Old 04-30-14, 06:41 PM
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Yes, you can install a receptacle halfway in the run. Just make sure to use a box big enough for 9 (or more) #12 wires. 2 for the device, one ground, 2 neutrals, 4 hots. (At least 20.25 Cubic Inch) And an in-use cover.
In addition, you'll need to pigtail your wires and only connect to the LINE side of the GFCI receptacle. The multiwire branch circuit then can continue to the shed to where it will split to your two new GFCI receptacles.
 
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Old 04-30-14, 10:55 PM
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Thanks guys. So the attached depicts what I'd need to do for a receptacle that's halfway.

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Is this correct? Or do I need to attach the ground to the GFCI receptacle too?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 05-01-14, 06:14 AM
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Or do I need to attach the ground to the GFCI receptacle too?
You also need to attach the ground.
 
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Old 05-01-14, 06:39 AM
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Yes, you need to attach the ground to the GFCI.

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Last edited by ray2047; 05-01-14 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 05-01-14, 08:44 AM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the minimum breaker size to feed a sub-panel 30A?
 
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Old 05-01-14, 10:01 AM
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isn't the minimum breaker size to feed a sub-panel 30A
Never read that but the fact is a subpanel is over kill for a 20amp circuit to supply only two 120v circuits so your never likely to see one. He is also locked into it because of the 120 receptacle mid way limits the circuit to 20 amps. He insists on using the wrong materials already bought so if he doesn't want to return them we are limited in advice to materials he wants to use.
 
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Old 05-01-14, 05:45 PM
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Since you are running this as a multi-wire circuit, there is absolutely no need for the subpanel at the shed...it just complicates matters. If you want a shutoff at the shed (not required since the breaker in the main is the shutoff), do as Ray suggested and go with a disconnect (a 30A disconnect for a water heater would do), or if you want separate switches for the two separate legs of the circuit, just put in a box with two switches (technically should be 20A switches if the entire load of the 20A circuit feeds from it), each switching one of the two hot wires. From that point, the multi-wire splits to two 12-2's going to each of your 20A GFCI's.

Personally, I'd use a 20A double pole breaker in the main rather than 2x single pole breakers, even if you tie them together, if for no reason other than to ensure someone doesn't later "untie" them and re-arrange breakers in such a way that the two hot wires end up on the same leg of your service, and your neutral suddenly has the potential of 40A flowing over it...that would be bad.
 
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Old 05-02-14, 10:21 PM
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Thanks all. Very helpful advice!
 
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Old 05-03-14, 06:19 AM
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If you want a shutoff at the shed (not required since the breaker in the main is the shutoff
A disconnect is required in the shed. This could be as simple as a two pole switch (for a multi-wire circuit), a main breaker in a sub panel, or a sub panel with only 6 maximum breakers in it.

I'd use a 20A double pole breaker in the main rather than 2x single pole breakers
A two pole breaker is required for a multi-wire circuit. A listed handle tie is also approved to meet this requirement.
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 05-03-14 at 07:12 AM.
 

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