Underground WIring

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Old 09-03-18, 09:59 AM
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Underground WIring

I asked a few weeks ago about the best way to connect an extension cord to my chicken coop for a few days. The answer helped me and I still have it connected as I am only running a 5w light on it.

But I am going to be getting a shed next to the coop and will want power into it so I want to run the power out to the shed and place a breaker box in the shed and split off the power so I can continue to run the 5 watt bulb in the coop.

1. What is the best way to run the power to the shed and coop from the breaker box in my garage? The run is about 70 feet and it will be under dirt.

2. When I get to where the coop is and the shed will be should I stake in a 4x4 and connect an electrical box there and run a 12-2 to the coop then when the shed appears run another 12-2 from the outside box to the shed where I will have its own panel?

Do I need metal conduit under ground or plastic conduit? I thought about running underground wire just by itself but is that a good idea?

Thanks in advance
 
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Old 09-03-18, 10:07 AM
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It is certainly much easier to run a direct burial cable but my opinion is if you are taking the time to dig the trench..... do it once and use PVC conduit. PVC conduit needs to be buried at least 18" deep and direct burial cable.... 24".

If you put the 120v circuit on a 20A or smaller GFI breaker...... you can use direct burial wire at 12".
 
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Old 09-03-18, 10:48 AM
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I'm just down the road from a 60 acre organic farm, chickens, sheep, steer.

They use mobile chicken coops (coop on wheels) to avoid overloading the area around the coop with fertilizer and foot traffic. That also allows them to shift the flock between different pastures to eat insects.

From what I've seen, they're doing fine with a pair or trio of 10 gauge 150' extension cables. The 5 watt bulb needed for a chick heater isn't going to pull much power.
 
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Old 09-04-18, 06:54 AM
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The run to the shed is going to have some tools plugged in but nothing crazy. Chop saw, some battery chargers for tool batteries, etc. What size wire should I run from the house sub panel? Should I run just a 12-2 or something bigger in case I want to add more power to the shed at a later date?

Lastly what size conduit? 3/4" 1", etc?
Should I buy it in sections or just get a roll of the pvc conduit?

Also would it be sensible to run a Ethernet cable through the same conduit?

Thanks guys for you help
 
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Old 09-04-18, 07:19 AM
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The quick and cheap way to do this is to use 12-3/g UF-B direct burial cable at 24" depth. This allows you to run up to (2) 20A circuits sharing the neutral wire and does not require a subpanel or ground rod. Of course since the cable is direct buried there is no way to upgrade if you anticipate future expansion, however it will be plenty enough power for your standard yard or construction power tools.

If you want some room for expansion, run a 1" PVC conduit instead of the direct burial cable. The conduit comes in 10' lengths and is easy to cut and glue with any pre-made fittings. Depth only needs to be 18", and allows for future expansion but will add probably about $150 in materials and a couple more hours work.

You can't run low voltage cables like Ethernet or phone in the same conduit as power, but you can run them in the same trench. I usually run the power conduit at 24" deep, backfill the trench half way, and run a low voltage conduit at 12" deep.
 
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Old 09-04-18, 07:35 AM
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I would run #8 gauge neutral with two hots and #10 gauge ground as individual wet area rated (e.g. THWN) conductors (if using conduit instead of direct burial).

Provided that the coop is permanent (not on wheels) you can for expediency bring the wires into it where you put the first junction box and the switch for the building "complex" and extend from there to the shed later when the latter is built.

The wire size I suggested is for futureproofing. If your crystal ball says something different you can go with that size instead. For the distances involved here there is no voltage drop problem requiring additional calculations or wire upsizing.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 09-04-18 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 09-04-18, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks
You can't run low voltage cables like Ethernet or phone in the same conduit as power,
I've had good results with the "ethernet over power" adapter, even over an extension cord...
 
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Old 09-04-18, 06:53 PM
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Just pickup some bulk outdoor Cat5e or Cat6
Example: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078HN6JNX/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_0AZJBbZVQKD25

Toss it in the same trench as your conduit or NM and you're all good! Won't take any extra time, just the cost of the cable
 
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Old 09-04-18, 07:12 PM
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Wow! I didn't realize how cheap it is. Thanks
 
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