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Old 11-08-2013, 02:03 PM   #1
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Wiring a new 12x20 Storage Shed


Hello folks I have a couple questions on wiring my new storage shed/man cave. Its just a 12x20 shed with a workbench and a loft for storage on each end. It has a 5' door in the middle on the front. My question is all I want is a couple lights and about 8 outlets and thats it. I will never use 220 so just need regular 110 outlets. I only plan to be using a maintainer for my motorcycle and maybe some regular power tools if any skill saw, jigsaw small air compressor ect. How many Amp service do i need to run? I should just need the main breaker and maybe 2 other breakers 1 for the lights and 1 for the outlets unless I need to divide up the 8 outlets on 2 different breakers. Is 14/2 wire fine for the inside running to the lights and outlets? What wire for main breaker to my outside pole/meeter loop. I know how to wire it all up I just need help on the wire sizes, breaker sizes, and if I need to divide up the outlets or run all off 1 breaker. Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-08-2013, 02:33 PM   #2
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Wiring a new 12x20 Storage Shed


This will be a separate service, new utility meter? This will affect a lot of your decisions

Skill saws and compressors have a high inrush (starting current) I would go with 20 amp #12 AWG branch circuits.

For the cost of a circuit breaker you can minimize problems installing two circuits for the receptacles.


Last edited by Know A Little; 11-08-2013 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #3
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This will be a separate service, new utility meter?
It will be coming off same meter as my house.
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:08 PM   #4
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Wiring a new 12x20 Storage Shed


Ok from what I gather from reading.
Its ok to use 14/2 for the lights with a 15amp breaker.
12/2 for the outlets with 20 amp breaker or split them up and use 2 20 amp breakers.

So with that I still need to know what breaker box to use and how many amps do I need it to be? What size wire from my breaker box inside the building out to my main pole?

I forgot to add that the run from the building to the pole is 25yds appriximate.

Last edited by Handyworker; 11-08-2013 at 04:16 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:20 PM   #5
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Wiring a new 12x20 Storage Shed


If that's all the load you have listed in your first post, I would run 12/3 off a 20 amp 2 pole breaker in the house to the shed. This is a MWBC (Multi Wire Branch Circuit) and will you give you 2 20 amp 120 volt circuits, plenty for what you list.
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:38 PM   #6
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Wiring a new 12x20 Storage Shed


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If that's all the load you have listed in your first post, I would run 12/3 off a 20 amp 2 pole breaker in the house to the shed. This is a MWBC (Multi Wire Branch Circuit) and will you give you 2 20 amp 120 volt circuits, plenty for what you list.
Well its a lot farther of a run from in the house where my breaker box is to the shed. I really want to come off the meter at the pole as the shed is only about 18yds from the pole but the cable will be approx 30yds or less counting running up in the meter and up the wall in the shed. I'm just unsure what amp service box and wire to do this with. I'm no electrician by no means of figuring stuff out but can do simple wiring if I have all the correct size stuff to get the job done with.

I dont want to over do it but by no means under do it either. I want it done right.

Last edited by Handyworker; 11-08-2013 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:45 PM   #7
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Wiring a new 12x20 Storage Shed


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Well its a lot farther of a run from in the house where my breaker box is to the shed. I really want to come off the meter at the pole as the shed is only about 18yds from the pole but the cable will be approx 30yds or less counting running up in the meter and up the wall in the shed. I'm just unsure what amp service box and wire to do this with. I'm no electrician by no means of figuring stuff out but can do simple wiring if I have all the correct size stuff to get the job done with.

I dont want to over do it but by no means under do it either. I want it done right.
Unless you have a breaker panel at the meter, you will have to feed from the house.
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:57 PM   #8
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Unless you have a breaker panel at the meter, you will have to feed from the house.
Thanks for pointing that out. I just went and looked and there is a spot for 4 breakers under my meter. 1 spot already has a 20 amp breaker for the outlet thats installed on the bottom of my meter. So that being said. Is a dual 20 amp breaker all I need with 12-3 running to my shed? If so what do I need to run it to to distribute it out in the shed and will I need breakers in the shed?
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:42 PM   #9
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Wiring a new 12x20 Storage Shed


Ok I've thought about the 12-3 with the dual 20 amp breaker. So I've never done this before but seems simple. So the only breaker will be at the pole the dual 20amp. Then take 1 hot to my outlets and 1 hot to my lights and they will share grounds and the white neutral?

Ok this being said where I split them up in the shed from there can I run 14-2 for the lights and 12-2 for the outlets? Also how many outlets can I put on the 20amp circuit? Thanks for all you guys help.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:43 PM   #10
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Wiring a new 12x20 Storage Shed


You will need some sort of service disconnect where the circuit/s first enter the shed. A 2 pole switch will do. All receptacles in the shed will need to be GFI protected.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:52 PM   #11
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You will need some sort of service disconnect where the circuit/s first enter the shed. A 2 pole switch will do. All receptacles in the shed will need to be GFI protected.
Ok I see your a license electrician so I'm sure you know what your talking about. Could you please explain the disconnect and why not the 20amp on the pole for the disconnect? Also I have read on the net that GFI outlets dont work properly on a 12-3 sharing a neutral between 2 circuts on a dual breaker. To be honest I'm kinda confusing myself I think reading all this different info. I'm asking about the GFI's because of what I read. I have a bunch of just normal outlets how can I go about using them instead? Thanks.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:12 PM   #12
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You will need some sort of service disconnect where the circuit/s first enter the shed. A 2 pole switch will do. All receptacles in the shed will need to be GFI protected.
One think I have learned from this forum is somewhat confusing when we (DIY'ers and licensed electricians) add bits and pieces. I am as guilty of this as anybody.

KBUZ- If this was your job lay it out from house over current protection to shed all inclusive.

And of course there is the old BMW or Yugo.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:22 PM   #13
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There is a reason I don't do that. If a DIYer is going to take on a electrical project, I am not going to hold their hand. I will give information that they should already know if they are going to take on the project. If they don't, they need to buy a basic electrical wiring type book and do some research on their own.

I usually get paid for my knowledge in this area and if I am going to help out, it's the least the DIYers can do.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:29 PM   #14
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Ok I see your a license electrician so I'm sure you know what your talking about. Could you please explain the disconnect and why not the 20amp on the pole for the disconnect? Also I have read on the net that GFI outlets dont work properly on a 12-3 sharing a neutral between 2 circuts on a dual breaker. To be honest I'm kinda confusing myself I think reading all this different info. I'm asking about the GFI's because of what I read. I have a bunch of just normal outlets how can I go about using them instead? Thanks.
Every structure needs its own disconnect at the structure. For a small circuit like this, a 20A double pole light switch is all you need to disconnect both hot wires.

You can use the GFCIs on an MWBC, you just have to split the MWBC into two circuits first, and put a GFCI at the beginning of each circuit. So you'd run the neutral and one of the hots to each GFCI, and come off the load side of each GFCI with a 12-2 cable to all of the other outlets you install.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:38 PM   #15
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There is a reason I don't do that. If a DIYer is going to take on a electrical project, I am not going to hold their hand. I will give information that they should already know if they are going to take on the project. If they don't, they need to buy a basic electrical wiring type book and do some research on their own.

I usually get paid for my knowledge in this area and if I am going to help out, it's the least the DIYers can do.
YOu already got him started and are always HELPING on this site!

Myself I have no problem sharing my knowledge, one a DIYer will do it with or without your help, two the knowledge is out there just look at youtube, and three if he screws up he is suing you not me!

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