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Old 01-02-2010, 11:02 AM   #1
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Smokehouse Wiring project questions - 220V

Hi all, new to this forum and have questions to run by all.

Running wiring to a large outdoor smokehouse that will be controlled with a Thermostat rated for 20A, and heated with "salvaged" electic range heating elements. The heating element will have a power of 3400W. For a 220V circuit, I calculate the Amp draw will be roughly 16A. I am going to run the wire in 3/4" pvc underground in a 18" deep trench. I am planning to use a 20A - 220V circuit wired from my house circuit panel.

I have been given some 10-3 romex copper wire. I know 20A usually runs on 12 Gauge wire, but can it be run on larger (10 Gauge) wire? Also, is it ok to just clip the white wire (neutral) on both ends and cover and not use for this wiring situation? Thanks for taking a look.



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Old 01-02-2010, 12:54 PM   #2
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You can use the 10-3 only if it is uf cable.
Standard romex can not be used in a wet location, and underground conduit is a wet loacation.


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Old 01-02-2010, 06:16 PM   #3
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"UF" cable??

will the uf be marked on the cable in a certain way? And is it ok to just clip and wrap up the loose / unused white wire??
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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Interior or exterior lights ,or outlets, or other need at the smoke house? If so, I would suggest to install a small subpanel at the smoke house and run the circuits from there.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:50 PM   #5
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UF cable is usually gray. NM is usually some other color.

It will say somewhere on the cable jacket something like 'type UF' or 'type NM'.

As stated above, NM is not allowed in wet locations.

If it were me, I'd keep the white, and install a sub-panel, as suggested above. Sooner or later you'll want a light or receptacle out there. Planning ahead saves a lot of work later.


P.S. To install the sub-panel, you'll need a total of 4 wires. Two hots (black and red), a neutral (white), and a ground (bare). There's a lot of older 10/3 (no ground) out there, it was commonly used for dryers. It won't work for a sub-panel.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:22 AM   #6
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If you run conduit, run separate wires and use a larger conduit than you need. Like Rob said, you might as well do this right the first time. Pulling cables through conduit is hard and stupid. Use THHN/THWN wire. Set a sub panel and have the ability for lights and even more capacity for the smoke house if you want. Good luck.

What kind of smoke house is this? Cold or Hot?


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