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Old 06-24-2008, 01:09 AM   #1
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Wire gauge recommendations please


We just bought a new home that has a fenced in back yard. I was going to run electric around the perimiter and put in several outlets. It would be used mostly for decorative lighting and a convienient place to plug in the hedge trimmers a couple times per year. The lot dimentions are appx. 150 x 75 so I am figuring on about 450 feet of wire and probably 8-10 outlets. I have a dedicated circut and was going to use a 20 amp breaker. What gauge of wire should I be using? Realistically I'll use it for small Christmas lights, the occasional hedge trimmer use and that is about it.

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Old 06-24-2008, 02:54 AM   #2
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Wire gauge recommendations please


12/2 with 20 amp and use a GFI on first and run other outlets off it so they are protected and you have a good ground. 15 amp use 14/2.

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Old 06-24-2008, 05:33 AM   #3
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12/2 with 20 amp and use a GFI on first and run other outlets off it so they are protected and you have a good ground. 15 amp use 14/2.



At 450'? Might be a little voltage drop, If it was my setup I would just run #10 AWG, with a 20a breaker, (only because you only want to do it once) if money is a factor, #12 would be fine for the load you described.

Last edited by chris75; 06-24-2008 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:01 AM   #4
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Wire gauge recommendations please


Make sure the wire is UF...
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:10 AM   #5
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Wire gauge recommendations please


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Make sure the wire is UF...
and in-use covers, physical protection where it is exposed and if you use gfci protection before you go underground, it only needs to be 12"
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:26 AM   #6
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Wire gauge recommendations please


Using a GFCI breaker will make the trenching a lot easier as wirenut said. Otherwise, you're looking at a 24" burial requirement.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:36 AM   #7
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Thanks all, make sure I got this right. GFCI breaker and no other GFCI outlets are needed, 12/2 UF wiring, I'll put the wire in PVC conduit at each post where there is an outlet from underground into the box and I should be good.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:55 AM   #8
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Wire gauge recommendations please


The hedge trimmer might not run at the receptacle that is 450' away. The voltage drop will be significant. The estimated drop for a 10 amp load on #12 at 450 feet is 18 volts. That means you will have 102 volts for the clippers.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:35 AM   #9
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Thanks all, make sure I got this right. GFCI breaker and no other GFCI outlets are needed, 12/2 UF wiring, I'll put the wire in PVC conduit at each post where there is an outlet from underground into the box and I should be good.
Use schedule 80 pvc at the posts. And "in use" weather proof covers.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:35 PM   #10
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Wire gauge recommendations please


I prefer using deadfront gfci's than a breaker, a little less expensive.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:54 PM   #11
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Wire gauge recommendations please


My personal opinion would be to avoid a continuous run of 450 feet from the panel on a single 120 volt circuit. I would run a multiwire circuit and split it a a jb just before it goes outside. Use gfci receptacles at the first location on each run then wire the load side of each gfci to the rest of your standard receptacles. This will place two 120 volt circuits for each half of the total perimeter and a run of 225 feet for one leg and something less than that for the second leg. The attached image shows the general idea.
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Wire gauge recommendations please-split-multiwire.jpg  

Last edited by Stubbie; 06-24-2008 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:28 PM   #12
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Wire gauge recommendations please


You can't share a neutral on gfci circuits. You can run 2 neutrals or use a double pole gfci breaker.
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:00 PM   #13
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You can't share a neutral on gfci circuits. You can run 2 neutrals or use a double pole gfci breaker.
You wouldn't be. The shared neutral would only be to the line side of the GFCI receptacles, everything past that would not be shared.

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Old 06-24-2008, 04:01 PM   #14
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You can't share a neutral on gfci circuits. You can run 2 neutrals or use a double pole gfci breaker.
Sure you can, if you do it like the picture...

Guess you dont pull to many MWBC in a kitchen huh?
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:37 PM   #15
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The hedge trimmer might not run at the receptacle that is 450' away. The voltage drop will be significant. The estimated drop for a 10 amp load on #12 at 450 feet is 18 volts. That means you will have 102 volts for the clippers.
The farthest I would be using them would be about 200' into the run. Of course it is at the farthest point away from the house. The rest of the run would be returning down the other side of the yard.

I have the space in the box to run 2 seperate lines one down each side of the fence. Thinking about it now that may be the better way to handle things.

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