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Old 06-09-2014, 09:02 PM   #1
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designing for outlets around my yard

I'm in Minnesota. It gets hot in the summer and darn cold in the winter. Rather than moving long extension cords around my yard, I am thinking about installing some outdoor outlets to handle a variety of seasonal requirements -- including a lawnmower, two septic tank heaters, a battery charger, power tools, a lake pump for irrigation, small electronics in a tent, charcoal starter, chain saw, etc.

My present plan is to run two outside circuits to a rain-tight "j-box" with one outlet on each circuit. From the "j-box" each circuit would feed two extensions going to rain-tight outlets at other parts of the yard. That's a total of six outlets, three on each circuit. All outlets would be hooded for plugged-in cords and hoods would be lockable.

The "j-box" would actually be two 4" j-boxes joined together with two short 3/4" PVC ducts, one j-box for wirenuts and the 2nd for outlets. I figure to support the j-box combo and other outlets on weather-treated 4" x 4" posts.

Are six 2x #12 w/G UF cables entering my j-box combo too many?

Would I be wise to put everything in PVC? When to use sched. 40 and when to use sched. 80?

What would be the longest run (panel to furthest outlet) I should consider for #12 conductors?

Where might I find an ohm-meter that would measure resistance up to a few ohms full-scale?

Thanks for your time and thoughts.


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Old 06-13-2014, 01:07 AM   #2
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Daneel, why have two separate boxes? Use this box You can run it several ways; pipe or UF. One run of 12/3 UF or run four 12 AWG THWN (2 hots, a neutral and a ground) in Sched 40 PVC (either requires a two pole breaker). If you want to have each circuit protected by it's own breaker; 2-12/2 UF or 5 THWN (2 hots, 2 neutrals and ground). Sleeve the UF in PVC into the box. Two separate receptacles. Then out of there to your other locations. You'll either have to have GFI protection at the panel or GFI recptacles at the first location. In use covers. My rule of thumb is after 100' (from panel to the end point) go up a wire guage (mostly because I'm too lazy to calculate voltage drop.). Most multimeters use digital displays, so you don't have to worry about a full scale reading.


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Daneel (06-28-2014)
Old 06-15-2014, 02:31 PM   #3
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I'd look into getting a 20A double pole GFCI breaker for your panel. They are hard to find (supply house or online order) and very expensive (usually over $100). However, it will allow you to use 12/3 or 10/3 UF cable buried 12" deep to handle the pair of 20A circuits (a multi-wire branch circuit), with regular receptacles at each location. You can use a single duplex receptacle in each box, with the top and bottom halves split so each duplex receptacle carries both circuits. The high cost of the breaker will be offset by the cheaper wire and easier installation.
I am a lawyer, but not your lawyer. And who cares anyways? We're here to talk construction. This is DIY advice, not legal advice.
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:23 PM   #4
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I like to use sched. 80 where it will be in direct sunlight. The sun can do a number on PVC. Or use rigid.
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