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Old 06-09-2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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Shed Wiring


Hello everybody.

I have a 8x10 shed in backyard, currently powered via a "permanently" installed extension cord and power bar, however I am attempting to make a cleaner, more finished installation.

I intend to keep the extension cord (15amp 12 gauge, female end removed) in place rather than run new wiring as it is more time and cost effective. It is secured along my fence and underground in conduit between the shed and fence. The male end of the extension cord connects to a GFCI-protected exterior outlet on its own 15amp circuit.

I am attempting to get a grasp on what I will need and what I will need to do. I have been doing a fair bit of research and have some idea of what needs to be done, however I am unclear on how exactly I should wire this. I've drawn up a diagram of where things will be (1" = 1') but I am unsure of the best way to wire it.

Any advice is much appreciated. If pictures of anything are required for clarity, I can get them.

Note I'm aware that this may or may not violate certain electrical codes, I am just curious if my diagram/method is at all possible. Otherwise I'll simply connect a duplex outlet to the extension cord following this guide: http://www.instructables.com/id/Exte...rd-Outlet-Box/



Last edited by Duff.; 06-09-2009 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:48 PM   #2
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The only how-to answers you are going to get are from other jackleg hacks (if any), because no self respecting electrician or serious DIY'r is going to advise you on this. You laid it out pretty clear that you have no intention of doing it right, so you might as well take a wild stab at a guess and hope for the best.

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Old 06-09-2009, 02:52 PM   #3
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I'd gladly (and prefer) to do this the right way, I just need to be pointed in the right direction. I'm fairly handy, more so with electronics than anything else, however I hope to figure this out as a weekend project. I've read a few guides online that give me some idea of how to approach this.

I haven't purchased anything for this project as of yet, however I expect to keep the total well under $100 (CAD), accounting for junction/device boxes, a bit of wiring and switches/outlets/fixtures.

Last edited by Duff.; 06-09-2009 at 02:57 PM. Reason: updatd
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duff. View Post
I'd gladly (and prefer) to do this the right way, I just need to be pointed in the right direction. I'm fairly handy, more so with electronics than anything else, however I hope to figure this out as a weekend project.
First order of business is to get rid of the extension cord and run a proper branch circuit or feeder to the shed.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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Shed Wiring


Small correction to your plan:

Quote:
Note I'm aware that this will violate many electrical codes
No one on here is going to intentionally help you violate code, especially for something with a higher danger potential than, say, marking a black #6 wire with white electrical tape.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duff. View Post
I'd gladly (and prefer) to do this the right way, I just need to be pointed in the right direction.
Sorry, posted my last comment before reloading the page... ^^^ That's the right idea.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
First order of business is to get rid of the extension cord and run a proper branch circuit or feeder to the shed.
I assume I'd need to run this all the way to the main breaker panel in the house. Unfortunately, the breaker panel is located in the front of the house and both options (running it through the house or running it outside the house to the front where the lines enter the house) are rather cost-prohibitive. Is something such as what is suggested here - http://en.allexperts.com/q/Electrica...ing-Shed-3.htm - more acceptable? I noted in particular:

Quote:
You can use the outdoor outlet as a source, but the outlets in the shed would be limited as to what you could use them for. Drill and small power tools would probably be OK.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
No one on here is going to intentionally help you violate code, especially for something with a higher danger potential than, say, marking a black #6 wire with white electrical tape.
I am trying to learn all I can as I go about doing this, at the very least to avoid a "shocking" experience.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
I intend to keep the extension cord (15amp 12 gauge, female end removed) in place rather than run new wiring
First of all, get rid of that thought. You can do it right/safe for under $100

Determine the closest plave to get power. If you need a dedicated circuit you will need to bring it from the electrical panel. If you just need a light and recep or two, you can come from the closest source.

You can come from the existing GFCI if you have a clear path underground. Simply install a weatherproof extension and run conduit or UF (underground rated cable) to the shed. If there is an easier/closer recep inside the house (exterior wall) you can easily pop outside, set a WP box and run conduit/UF from there.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:19 PM   #9
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I had a feeling the extension cord was a bad idea. The closest place for me to get power is definitely the GFCI outlet. I can get by without a dedicated circuit, as I only intend to power a computer, light and occasionally a drill/saw/other small power tools.

Once I have run the cable into the shed, I grow slightly confused. The cable should bring in three wires, live-neutral-ground, correct? I'm uncertain of the best way to connect the receptacles, switches and light fixture. The reading I've done suggests this won't be too complicated, as I only intend to use a standard single-pole switch for the exterior light and a basic dimmer for the interior light. Is my diagram still "possible", if you replace the extension cord with a proper cable run?

A quick FYI, I am well capable of connecting receptacles, switches and the like, I've changed them many times around the house, I'm just not familiar with creating a complete circuit.

Last edited by Duff.; 06-09-2009 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:22 PM   #10
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A 250' roll of 12-2 UF (underground feed - grey) is well under $100
Maybe even under $50
Any crawl space?

Run from the panel to a GFCI outlet (can be next to the panel)
Then either run thru the crawl space to the back
OR
Dig a 12" deep trench all the way to the shed & bury the UF

Better way is to run conduit & run seperate wires
Still not that expensive
Conduit will allow you to pull a higher gauge wire in case a small sub-panel is ever needed

Get rid of the extension cord before you cause a fire or someone gets hurt
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:30 PM   #11
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My house is a split-entry dwelling, all the bedrooms and such are downstairs, so it is finished. No crawl space.

The cables enter the house through the front, into a tiny cupboard of sorts in the bedroom.



This makes running anything to the main panel rather cumbersome.

For anyone wondering out of curiosity or safety concerns, this is how the extension cord setup looks now. That picture is over two years old, so I've been using this for a while.


Last edited by Duff.; 06-09-2009 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:53 PM   #12
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Everything always works fine.....right up until they fail
I've seen extension cords hold up for quite a while
But eventually the outer jacket will fail/get brittle
Its only a matter of time before someone gets hurt
Its really not that expensive to do this right
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:55 PM   #13
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Well that's why I am hoping to get this wired correctly and stop using my hackjob solution.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Dig a 12" deep trench all the way to the shed & bury the UF
Trench 24" For 12-2 uf or pvc 18" For code
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 300zx View Post
Trench 24" For 12-2 uf or pvc 18" For code
Gfci protected, 12" is good enough.

I would do it like 220 said. Add an extion to the gfci outlet you now plug into, drop a peice of conduit to the ground, then run uf cable to the shed.
Inside the shed, take power to the receptacle, then take power to the lights switches, then on to the lights.
This is based on the US code, and I;m not sure how diffreent it would be for the Canadian code.

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