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Old 11-21-2009, 07:42 PM   #1
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Run power out to shed


With the sun setting earlier these days, I'm eager to get some power out to my shed so I can see what I'm doing out. As far as electrical code goes, I'm not certain what I fall under. I'm located in Barrie, ON Canada.

I've attached a sketch of what I have in mind. Here's how I intend to do it.

1) Tap into an existing light in my basement and run UF-B cable (12/2 if a 20-amp circuit, or 14/2 if a 15-amp circuit) to a GFCI receptacle outside.

2) From the GFCI I intend to bury the cable 2' below grade to the shed with conduit. What are the requirements for the conduit to meet code?

3) Once inside the shed, I'm completely lost. Please help. I want the light switch to turn on/off the interior and exterior light, but I want the receptacle in the shed to be on continuously so I can charge tools.

How do I accomplish this? Does it meet code so far?

Thanks,
Shaun
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Run power out to shed-shed-elec-small.jpg  

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Old 11-21-2009, 09:09 PM   #2
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Run power out to shed


I would check with your local electrical inspector and ask what the requirements are. In my area they have office hours where you can go and ask questions. And better to ask *before* doing any work. Also these will be the guys approving your work, so best to ask them! And in my area there are "local" rules which are different from other areas, I don't know about your area, but again best to ask locally just in case.

As to the shed, there can be a problem running long electric lines called "voltage drop". Search google.com for voltage drop calculator. Basically the longer the distance, the larger wire you want to use.

This problem would be like using a long small gauge extension cord for an electric lawn mower, air compressor, etc. They just don't work.

And might think about what all you might possibly ever use for that outlet in the shed. Some power tools and things like air compressors use a lot of amperage. They might just go "hummm" and not run on a 15 amp circuit with 14 gauge wire!

Would it be possible to trench all the way around to where your breaker panel is and tie in there? If yes, and you might be using power tools which will need more amperage, might want to install a subpanel (circuit breaker panel) in the shed tied off of your main panel. (Might want to have electrician do that part.)

As to the amperage various power tools will need, look at the wattage on the label, then you can convert watts to amps at the following link. Use the single phase calculator...
http://www.jobsite-generators.com/po...lculators.html

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Old 11-21-2009, 09:18 PM   #3
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Run power out to shed


I wouldn't run UF in conduit, it's a pain to pull
How far is it to the shed?
In the US if its GFCI protected before it goes into the ground you only need 12"
Check with your local building Dept for local codes
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:10 PM   #4
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Run power out to shed


It is possible for me to tie into the breaker panel. It would be a 70' to 80' foot run from the main breaker panel in my basement to the shed.

I like the idea of a subpanel, but for what I need I just can't justify hiring an electrician. My original need was just a light so I could see when refueling the the snowblower. The receptacles would just be handy, but aren't required.

Any chance that anyone can help guide me here?
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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Run power out to shed


Quote:
Originally Posted by jalbes View Post
It is possible for me to tie into the breaker panel. It would be a 70' to 80' foot run from the main breaker panel in my basement to the shed.

I like the idea of a subpanel, but for what I need I just can't justify hiring an electrician. My original need was just a light so I could see when refueling the the snowblower. The receptacles would just be handy, but aren't required.

Any chance that anyone can help guide me here?
Look at the top of this page and find the search function. Type in keywords "sub panel" or "garage" or "workshop" or "unattached structure" you get the idea. You will see this is a very common question. All your answers will be available. Then if you require more info, just ask. Good Luck.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:17 AM   #6
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Run power out to shed


I would put a new 20a breaker in the panel
Run it to the GFCI outlet
Then off the load side run THWN single wire in conduit to the shed
Here 12" deep is OK GFCI protected 1st on a single 20a circuit
Once in the shed run to an outlet
Label the outlet GFCI protected
Run additional outlets as needed

From the outlet run power to a 2 gang box
1 switch for an outside light
1 switch for an inside light

Check with your local building Dept for any local codes
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:11 PM   #7
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Run power out to shed


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...Then off the load side run THWN single wire in conduit to the shed...
What's THWN single wire? I went hunting for some on the Home Depot website, and I can't find anything that references this type of wire.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:46 PM   #8
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Run power out to shed


THWN is rated for underground use - which is considered a "wet" location - even in conduit
You need a black, 1 white & 1 green
HD's web-site does not list a lot of stuff

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Old 11-23-2009, 04:11 PM   #9
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Run power out to shed


Might be me, I personally try to put GFCI's inside the house because they don't last crap outside. So, I go straight to a GFCI recept inside and from there go to the shed. If it trips I have to go inside to reset it but at least it lasts and I haven't had mine trip accidentally. I'm not sure how the new Tamper/Weather resistant GFCI's hold up... perhaps they're better than the usual ones when used outside.

I agree, you don't want UF-B that stuff is horrible to pull through conduit... horrible. I tried running it in conduit and within 5' broke my wire puller it was that tough. Check the wire at Home Depot, I'm pretty certain all of Home Depot's THHN wire is also THWN but you have to look at the wire itself. You won't find it labelled as THWN on the box etc. I also recommended stranded especially if it's 12/2.

Running in conduit just make sure it's the gray electrical conduit (it's UV resistant plumbing PVC is not). I don't know how they're listed in Canada but I recommend 3/4" conduit at a minimum. For digging a trench my favorite tool is a cutter mattock. The horizontal blade is great for trenches it's not too wide and makes digging deep easy while the vertical side is great for cutting roots. I'm referring to the bigger splitting maul handle one (I think mine is a 5 lb one). Get some electrical PVC glue as well and whatever fittings you think you need. You swab both fittings, push them together, give them a slight twist, and you have bout 10 seconds and you won't be able to seperate them.

In the USA the first thing the wire has to go to is a kill switch in the shed. If there's a problem you want to be able to kill power to the whole shed right there and not have to run inside to a breaker panel far off. Typically that kill switch is a subpanel breaker but it can be a light switch too if there isn't a subpanel. If you run 20A the kill switch has to be 20A also, in CA that goes without saying because there you can't use a 15A light switch on a 20A circuit like the USA. Oh, that kill switch has to be within 15' of the entrance.

So, once inside the shed you have to wire the black to a switch within 15' of the door (USA though, Canada tends to be more strict I believe) that kills all power. From there you can bring it over to a triple gang box with two switches & recept (one switch for outside, one inside, and one recept). It's pretty simple from there, do you know how to wire a recept and lights?

Last edited by Piedmont; 11-23-2009 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:35 PM   #10
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Run power out to shed


Here is another idea, if you like to be different. How about solar powered? If it is only used occasionally, you can probably get away with a relatively small panel, one or two automotive or marine batteries, a charge controller, and an inverter for a 120 VAC outlet. I think just about all that stuff is available at Canadian Tire. ( keep in mind though, that cheap inverters don't produce a true sine wave ).
You might want to go with 12V lighting.

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