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Old 06-11-2011, 09:58 PM   #1
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Electric to Shed


So couple questions here. Would like to run electric to my shed out back. Shed is about 20 feet from house. 120 should be sufficient for some lights and a few outlets. I understand i need a cut off at the shed and an 18 inch trench is suggested. What kind of pipe would i use, just galvanized? Also, all my wires coming from the box in the house go into the attic. It is also the fastest route to the shed since the box is in the middle of my house. My other questions is can i run a pipe from the trench and follow the central air lines up the siding to the attic? And what kind of piping should that be? Any help would be appreciated. I would be adding a 20amp circuit to the breaker in the house.

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Old 06-11-2011, 10:25 PM   #2
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Use the grey PVC electrical conduit - cheap and readily available at the big box stores. Three #12 THWN wires (not Romex cable) - hot, ground, and nuetral - in the conduit. Yes, you can go from underground up the wall.

Typically you will need an LB for each wall entry - the house and the shed. You'll need probably three or fours 10' pieces of conduit. Plus two 90 degree sweeps (sweeps are a gradual 90 degree turn rather than a sharp turn like plumbing pipe) - to comes from out of the ground up the side of each building, to the LB. For 120 volt in conduit it typically only needs to be burried 12" deep with a GFCI in the house - either coming off a GFCI recep or panel breaker.

If you want to get a bit fancier - you can get two 120 volt circuits via a MWBC (multip-wire branch circuit) - for a little more money and about the same labor effort. This uses four wires - an extra hot, and the nuetral is shared. A double circuit breaker goes in the main panel. A Search here and you will find more info on MWBC.

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Old 06-11-2011, 10:38 PM   #3
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You are The man...Thank you!
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:56 AM   #4
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I thought it was 18" for PVC?
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:32 PM   #5
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I thought it was 18" for PVC?
There is an exception for residential circuits of 20 amps or less that are GFCI protected prior to the underground run, need only 12".
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:45 PM   #6
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Started digging this trench today! Hard freaking work. After that though, should be a piece of cake.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:50 PM   #7
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Started digging this trench today! Hard freaking work. After that though, should be a piece of cake.
Trenching is pretty easy for me - I hire a guy.

If you dig the top shovel depth all along, then drip water from a garden hose into the shallow trench for several hours and let it sit overnight - next day will likely be much easier to dig. A pick, digging bar, and 4" wide trenching shovel is also good things to make it easier.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:21 PM   #8
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"drip water from a garden hose into the shallow trench for several hours and let it sit overnight - next day will likely be much easier to dig."

Not if you've got clay; then you've a really heavy mess.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:49 PM   #9
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The water worked great, much easier to dig, thanks!
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:36 PM   #10
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OP, where are you located?

Where I am the code is different that what has been provided in this thread.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:46 PM   #11
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Bucks county pa...I did 18" to be safe btw.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:57 PM   #12
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Bucks county pa...I did 18" to be safe btw.
In Ontario it's 600 mm (24") below non-vehicular areas and 900 mm (36") below vehicular areas.

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