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Old 03-19-2008, 11:29 AM   #1
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Shed Wiring


I would like to install some fluorescent lights in my storage shed. The shed is about 100 square feet. I plan to have 2 banks with 80 watts each. The shed is about 80 feet from the main house. Can I run 14-2 in conduit to power the lights?

Also, I'm a bit unsure about how to bring the wires into the shed. This will be a 15 amp circuit. Can I put a "load center" with a breaker (5 or 10 amp) at the shed to turn off the power, or do you use some kind of switch or cutoff for the power? If not, I could run the wires straight into the switch box, and then on to the lights.

I was planning on running the wires in the shed through ENT, since the shed is just studs with paneling on the outside.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 03-19-2008, 12:34 PM   #2
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You will be okay by the 14 gauge wire. If you are concerned about having a disconnect, why would a regular switch not work. If it was me, I would run a 6 gauge wire out there and set maybe a 60 amp panel so I cound add circuits as I need them. I realize that it isn't that big of a shed but if you ever wanted to add a rec. to power most any tool, you're going to be a little on the small side.

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Old 03-19-2008, 03:04 PM   #3
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So if I run the 14-2 to a switch and connect the ground wires, the shed wouldn't be separately grounded, but connected back to the house ground. Is this acceptable?

Thanks for the response.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:06 PM   #4
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Shed Wiring


A small shed as you speak of can be supplied with a 15 amp branch circuit but it would be much better to supply with a 20 amp branch circuit. The shed needs a disconnect and this can be in the form of a simple toggle switch.

If your running underground a single 20 amp branch circuit and that branch circuit is gfci protected at its origin and in pvc conduit then it only needs to be 12 inches in a trench otherwise if direct buried uf-b cable 24". Any receptacles in the shed must be gfci protected if not the latter. The equipment ground in the branch circuit is all that is required in this application.

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Old 03-19-2008, 04:36 PM   #5
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Watch out givin' this guy info .. he's goin' end up using 14/2 Romex.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:41 PM   #6
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Point well taken. I did mention uf-b but maybe should have been clear that if directly buried he cannot use romex. Romex (NM-B) is indoors dry location only.

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Old 03-26-2008, 12:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips Stubbie. I actually ran THWN wires (black, white and a green) in pvc (3/4") conduit to the shed. My mistake JGarth, as I did say 14-2 which implies a sheathed wire set. I guess I could have run the UF 14-2, but I prefer putting it into the conduit anyway.

Your info brings up another question. The branch circuit to the shed (15 amp) is not GFCI protected. I hadn't planned on placing any GFCI recepticles in the shed, so how do I make it GFCI...maybe by going ahead and installing a GFCI plug ahead of the light switch? Or is there another way to make the shed GFCI compliant without using a plug at all? It's no trouble to install a plug if that is the easiest way.

You said "The equipment ground in the branch circuit is all that is required in this application." I will connect my ground wire to the green ground I ran through the conduit to the shed, and not install a grounding rod at the shed. The shed lights will then be grounded back at the main breaker. I believe I am following your terminology and I am okay in my setup.

Thanks again for the help.
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:21 PM   #8
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Install a GFCI breaker
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcdal View Post
Thanks for the tips Stubbie. I actually ran THWN wires (black, white and a green) in pvc (3/4") conduit to the shed. My mistake JGarth, as I did say 14-2 which implies a sheathed wire set. I guess I could have run the UF 14-2, but I prefer putting it into the conduit anyway.

Your info brings up another question. The branch circuit to the shed (15 amp) is not GFCI protected. I hadn't planned on placing any GFCI recepticles in the shed, so how do I make it GFCI...maybe by going ahead and installing a GFCI plug ahead of the light switch? Or is there another way to make the shed GFCI compliant without using a plug at all? It's no trouble to install a plug if that is the easiest way.

You said "The equipment ground in the branch circuit is all that is required in this application." I will connect my ground wire to the green ground I ran through the conduit to the shed, and not install a grounding rod at the shed. The shed lights will then be grounded back at the main breaker. I believe I am following your terminology and I am okay in my setup.

Thanks again for the help.
I've personally never heard of a rule requiring someone to gfci protect a shed (Canada). But if you want to, you could either install a 15amp gfci breaker in your main panel, and power the shed by it, or make the first box your 3/4 pipe runs to, a gfci plug... and connect the wires going to your sw (from there) to the slave of the gfci plug. <--cheaper
Not doing it at all <---cheaper

No ground rod at shed! The ground rods or plate that exist/s in the ground for you main service is the only ground required. It can be dangerous otherwise.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:28 PM   #10
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Gfci protection is required for all receptacles that are 120 volt in outbuildings in the USA. I believe this is also required in Canada.
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No ground rod at shed! The ground rods or plate that exist/s in the ground for you main service is the only ground required. It can be dangerous otherwise.
The ground rod requirement is dropped for a single 15 or 20 amp circuit to a outbuilding, this includes multiwire circuits. However the ground rod is required for more than one circuit or when running a feeder to a detached building. Whether you install one or not is not going to make anything dangerous.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:28 PM   #11
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The GFCI was suggested to minimize trench depth.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:55 PM   #12
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Yes... I thought you were following up on post #4.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:51 PM   #13
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Thanks guys! You can learn an awful lot here. I guess I should have thought of that...switch to a GFCI breaker.

Thanks again for all the help!

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