Sub-Panel? Junction Box? Impossible? Help.

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  #1  
Old 04-10-16, 01:23 PM
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Sub-Panel? Junction Box? Impossible? Help.

Hello! Greenhorn to the forum. I've been reading a lot of threads and posts and can't quite find what I'm looking for. Here's my situation. I have a 1200 square foot shop about 20 yards from my house. I have a 40 AMP line that goes into the shop and all electrical outlets are on that line which is activated by a single light switch. When I flip that switch everything comes on. What I would like to do is create 4 separate lines (romex) with electrical outlets on each line and each of those 4 lines go into their own light switch. So if I want the orange line (see diagram) and outlets on that line to be one, I flip the switch. If I want the blue and orange lines on, I flip their corresponding switches. There are times when I only want to use one side of the shop and it's electrical outlets and therefore don't really need the other lines on. Does that make sense? So I have one 40 AMP electrical line coming from the house, into the shop up to 4 light switches that will turn on their corresponding electrical lines. I have made a terrible (thank God I'm not an artist) diagram which I hope explains it? So, is that a sub-panel, a junction box, a really stupid idea? Any help would be appreciated.
 
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Old 04-10-16, 01:34 PM
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Since general-purpose circuits (lights and receptacles) cannot be protected at more than 20 amperes you need a sub-panel to break it down to multiple 20 ampere circuits.

You probably need a lot more but you at least need that. What voltage do you have and how many individual wires in your 40 ampere circuit?
 
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Old 04-10-16, 01:51 PM
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Once you install the sub panel you can use a breaker as the switch. You would just need 4 circuits.
 
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Old 04-10-16, 02:41 PM
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Not quiet clear. Very important:
  • Do you have four wires from the house, two hot, nor neutral, one ground?
  • Is it wire or is it cable from the house?
  • If cable is it NM-b (Romex) or UF (gray jacket)?
  • Is the size of the wire or cable at least #8 (except for ground)?
  • If wire is it in PVC conduit buried at least 18"?
  • If cable is it direct buried 24"?
 
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