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Old 02-27-2012, 12:05 PM   #16
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Running power to shed


Here is a picture of the power box outside. It only has the one breaker there. That is the now I would attach the shed power to right?
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:48 PM   #17
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Running power to shed


A few questions and maybe some answers if I figure out the right wording:

You say you want to run some power tools, table saw etc- Is this a shop saw or a smaller, portable one? I'm asking because the smaller ones can run off of a regular 110v line where as some shop saws which are significantly more powerful (my unisaw for example) require a 220 line. That would help dictate the amount of power you need to run to the shed. I recommend like the other people have said, run at least a 30 amp breaker to the shed. That way, you're covered on both bases. If it's really just 4 plugs and lighting, 30 amps is more than enough, especially if you don't plan to run power to more than just one power tool and a radio and lights or something like that at once.

Running the wire underground, you can use the underground rated cable as suggested or also consider using grey pvc piping which you glue the joints together and such, like a sprinkler system. Those are the ones that really limit the directions you can turn (straight, 45 and 90 degree turns) however I would be weary about where you run the underground cable without a pvc protection in your yard. I would hate to be digging one day with a shovel and hit that wire if it snakes all over a yard to heck and gone (and believe me, it's WAY easier to forget how the line runs underground than you think- take it from me where I forget how we ran sprinkler lines on many installations within a year's time).

Almost all of the DIY Electrical books at a place like Home Depot or Lowe's contain a section that would tell you exactly what it is you want to accomplish, in detail. The Home Depot 1-2-3 Wiring book is good and the Black and Decker Wiring book is as good or better because the current edition always has the current edition of code requirements. Just get one of those books (I recommend both because they could compliment each other quite well) and you should really be set to even do it yourself.

And to answer your question about the location of the sub-panel you want to add. That one single breaker in your photo- that's the master breaker that goes to your house. I assume someplace inside you have a series of breakers. When it comes to splitting off the 30 amp line- I wouldn't dare mess with that one breaker. I would either plug a 30 amp breaker into the main set of breakers inside or leave it to a qualified electrician to do the splitting and verify you have enough amperage coming in to add the 30 amp line to the shed. That's the one area that might not be too great for DIY.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:11 PM   #18
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Running power to shed


You will need to run from the inside panel where the breakers are located. I would run conduit if you can and use individual conductors (12ga THWN wire). For that size building, I would run two hots, a neutral, and a ground which would give you two 20A circuits, but would still be defined as a branch circuit. That means you do not need a subpanel or a ground rod. You will need a disconnect, but a snap switch will suffice. The circuit would be fed from a double pole 20A breaker, so make sure you have two spaces available in your panel.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:41 AM   #19
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Running power to shed


my experience is the trencher will only handle small roots even then if there is a lot in one spot it might bounce you. Larger roots either cut and risk the tree or go around or under. One rental shop wont rent the trencher if he thinks there are much roots or of any size. It really did not do cut roots probably half inch or bigger, doont remember exactly but not very big. The hose in a piece of pipe works good for me, I thought. Also two feet is not that bad to dig with a shovel. wider trench so more yard is tore up but just saying. That is unless it is rooty or rocky.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:52 PM   #20
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I know this is a little old but I have had the shed a while now and am thinking about running power to it since I have a little extra cash at the moment. One thing I wonder about is how do I run the wire to the panel inside? And from there how do I get it outside (I'm assuming I will have to go under the house. I can dig the trench and everything else myself i think. I will get one of those books from Home Depot if for nothing but the current codes.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:32 PM   #21
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Easiest way would be to get the gray PVC, the required glue, and run it underground at code depth or deeper, the reasoning being that you don't want to hit it, if you ever decide to rototil the ground for grass, sprinklers, whatever. Also, not the direction you place your bells cause if you run a wire tape through one way, it should slip straight the ought without hitting anything, as opposed to the other way. That said- you also want a straight run if possible for running wire with curved 90's to again aid with wire runs and repairs. The sharper the angles and the more bends, the harder it is to run anything through. I know they make underground/bury rated romex, but I'm a fan of making something like this a lot harder to pierce and a lot easier to make repairs to. Dig it once and you're good enough. Also- make sure you are planning for the future and run slightly larger piping than you might possibly need. The bigger pipe makes runs way easier, way faster. Then you don't have the problem of over crowding and stuff.

Only other thing- if you are going to send data out there- phone, Internet, cable etc- do NOT run it in the same pipe and run it at least a foot away if you run it in a parallel path. Data doesn't play nice with power when run in parallel.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:16 PM   #22
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How to I attach wire to my panel and then bring it outside? Then can I just drill a hole into the floor of the shed to bring the wire inside since I have vinyl siding? Here's my inside panel which is in my laundry room.


Can I pop those metal pieces out for a new breaker?
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:13 AM   #23
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This really doesn't see like a project you should be tackling as your first electrical project.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:39 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
This really doesn't see like a project you should be tackling as your first electrical project.
I agree with this. My vote is for:

Rent the trencher and dig the trench yourself.

Buy the conduit and the glue (or whatever the fancy term is) and lay the conduit yourself, drill the holes and run it into the shed / basement.

Hire the electrician to pull the wire.

I would not touch the panel as a first project.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:15 AM   #25
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So if I lay the conduit from the house to the shed, which is about 50-60', how in the world will he get wiring thru that? I guess they have their ways...

I'm not sure where to start the trench at the house. Does it matter? I'd hate to dig a trench only to have the electrician tell me I needed to start it somewhere else.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:51 AM   #26
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Running power to shed


He will install a pull string or rope and pull the wire through the conduit. Just have to decide how much power you want out there so you can run conduit that is big enough.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:16 PM   #27
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Dig once!
Conduit is the only way to go!
Also bury a conduit for such as a phone, alarm, intercom, DSL and so forth!
Fifty feet, you can hand dig.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:23 PM   #28
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Edit: please ignore the parts I pointed out that you already answered. It's been awhile since I read the whole thread and I've just been browsing on my iPhone. Several said how the wire would be pulled, the pvc conduit is best and you stated the distance. Plus whatever I said earlier. It's been a tiring week so far and it's not even close to over :P

I agree on the other two. There's multiple factors like the math involved to see if your panel can handle adding in extra breakers or if you need to change part of the service etc. Trenching should be no big deal. Is it a straight shot? They make long rolls of fish tape for 'fishing' an electrical line so the electrician won't have issues as long as its basically a straight run. You can also buy a small gauge steel wire and run that through as you lay the pipe, and the electrician may be able to pull with that if its strong enough a gauge. As long as its straight from the panel to the entry point you will be placing the subpanel in the shed or wherever- I don't think there is an issue.

Just did a little reading in my Black and Decker book from Depot that is up to date with the codes, and some other tips I didn't think of:

-call before you dig (especially if you don't know what's in the yard- if you have a gas line and hit it with that trencher, BIG problems)
-survey the area for sprinklers (guess this depends where you live, I'm in southern Cali so we have em, I think some places freeze up and may not...)
-again, verify that the grey PVC is big enough diameter. If you are running further than 150', you may need larger than 12 gauge wire based on voltage drops)
-the book has a whole section on adding power to an outbuilding, but it recommends IMC (similar to EMT) for into the ground and the. Underground rated romex. I prefer PVC because it won't rust, and like I said- you don't have to retrench to add or rerun a line.
-Depth of trench: the book says check with local codes, it could be as shallow as a foot or as deep as 3'. I think we had to go 3' down when we ran power from the main on a back house to a front house on a lot we just built. Another reason is we typically run our sprinkler lines down about a foot when we install so it would be wise to go deeper in that case.
-Also, you 'should' check with an inspector or electrician if you will be doing this, as it may be something permit required...
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:44 PM   #29
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I think 18" is the depth I found for VA. It's been a while but I hope I didn't make that number up. This picture was taken from the laundry room door. The panel is right behind me so its a straight shot with the exception of one big tree root coming from that tree out past the corner of the shed. I plan on putting the box inside the shed in the front corner. Seems like the only real obstacle is that one large tree root that I can probably go around or under.

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:13 PM   #30
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I ran a piece of low voltage wire I had lying around through the conduit to my garage. I figure when the electrician shows up to wire it he'll either use it to pull the wire through or he'll just get rid of it, I'd rather have it there than not.

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