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Old 02-20-2019, 02:13 PM   #1
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Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


Moved back to the country and have a new-to-me 30'x40' Lester Building / pole barn / shop.

Planning to run electrical power this spring. Will need 250' of wire from house to shop. Calculated anticipated loads (lighting, welder, air compressor, fridge, stereo, computer, table-saw, miter box, misc hand tools, etc., etc., etc.) and I should be good to go with 100 amp service.

At 250' the on-line calculators are saying I need Copper 1 AWG, or Aluminum 2/0 AWG.

I had 240v power run to my garage in old house...I have pulled that box and plan to install in the shop.

I've got a few questions on lighting and power...more to come.
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Old 02-20-2019, 02:59 PM   #2
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


I have the same parameter size, but mine is two story building. I have a 200amp dedicated service. I used all copper and an 80 circuit SquareD bolt in panel. I have about 20 dedicated spaces left in the panel. I wired each circuit with minimal number of devices on each, that is why I used so many. I like being able to turn off any lighting circuit or two, and still have plenty of lights to see, to deal with what ever I am doing, or working on. I have just under (50) 4 foot led two tube fixtures all over the ceiling in the main work area. I have double gang receptacles every 2 feet all around each wall in every room. I pulled all wiring thru conduit for looks and conductor protection. Every major woodworking tool has its own 240 volt circuit in the floor where the tool sits. I designed the electrical layout so that I can move any shop tool and still have 240 volt power to operate it.


There are many things to consider when designing electrical layouts for a building. I would not recommend that large of a building to be a secondary from another source.


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Old 02-20-2019, 03:51 PM   #3
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


Quote:
I would not recommend that large of a building to be a secondary from another source.
In some places you do not have a choice. Many POCO will not put a second service on the same property.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


Hey Daubs... welcome to the forum. I've got a Lester building too, a 30' x 44'. Looking forward to hearing more about your plans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HandyAndyInNC View Post
I would not recommend that large of a building to be a secondary from another source.
What does the size of the building have to do with it?

As long as the line feeding the home is adequate for the total load, no worries.

At our last home we had 200 amp service, and I built 30 x 40 outbuilding. Installed a 100 amp breaker in the panel and ran power to the new building.

Again, no worries.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:14 PM   #5
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


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Originally Posted by HenryMac View Post
Hey Daubs... welcome to the forum. I've got a Lester building too, a 30' x 44'. Looking forward to hearing more about your plans.

At our last home we had 200 amp service, and I built 30 x 40 outbuilding. Installed a 100 amp breaker in the panel and ran power to the new building.

Again, no worries.
The house was built in 2001, and has two breaker boxes in the basement...one with 200 amp service, the other with 150 amps.

We live in a small unincorporated "village" just outside metro area. Neighbors tell me when you build a shed/shop, and do not have electricity, there is no need for an inspection. Typically people around here build the shop, then add electricity in future.

Previous owner stored his mower (we have 3 acres), RV, and other stuff.

Thankfully it's a good structure, cement floor, no mice : )

I will post pictures soon.

My plan is to use for storage and projects. Planning to build a loft in the last 10' of the shop to save floor space. My Dad is a retired carpenter, and between him, Brother and me, not much we cannot do.

I don't like getting in the breaker box, and want to make sure things are correct and safe.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:16 AM   #6
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


I ran 14/2 from box, over the 16' door, down other side of shop...then daisy chained in six 15 amp duplex outlets on the east side of the shop. This is on a 15 amp circuit in the box.

Total length from box to the last outlet is around 85'.

Shouldn't be too long of a run, correct?
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:13 PM   #7
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


Think carefully before you instal a 100A service,
What are the chances of more power being needed in the future ?
It would be far easier to pull a 200A power feed now ,
Rather than upgrade later.
You can still use your 100A panel for now.
But if you need to upgrade in the future
then you can by adding a sub panel
And changing your main diss-conect/breaker.
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:29 PM   #8
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
Think carefully before you instal a 100A service,
What are the chances of more power being needed in the future ?
It would be far easier to pull a 200A power feed now ,
Rather than upgrade later.
You can still use your 100A panel for now.
But if you need to upgrade in the future
then you can by adding a sub panel
And changing your main diss-conect/breaker.
Yes, I have thought long and hard on this one. I even calculated out current loads (welder, compressor, table saw, miter box, tools, etc.) and added in future things like HVAC, plasma cutter, lift, etc. All calculated on max load needs at start up...

Need is 84 amps. I believe 100 amps will cover me.
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:34 PM   #9
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daubs View Post
I ran 14/2 from box, over the 16' door, down other side of shop...then daisy chained in six 15 amp duplex outlets on the east side of the shop. This is on a 15 amp circuit in the box.

Total length from box to the last outlet is around 85'.

Shouldn't be too long of a run, correct?
Typically the way to go about this is to determine what you think you'll be using in the shop, then calculate the amp load, then size the wire and the number of circuits.

I'd never have used 14/2 for outlets in a shop. I'd have used 12/2, and used more than one circuit for 6 duplex outlets. But, again, it depends on what you think you'll be using in the shop.

I made a list of the electric tools I use and then went from there.

For instance.. running a saw, and a shop vac at the same time, you're already over 15 amps.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:58 AM   #10
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


HenryMac: Thanks!

I'm running 14/2 to the east side of the shop only. Those circuits will be used for battery trickle chargers on the ATV's and John Deere, and not much else. That side is mainly for storage.

On the west side of the shop will be my workbench, and 12/2 outlets on 20 amp circuits. Also will have 240v outlets for air compressor and welder.
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Old 02-22-2019, 08:25 AM   #11
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


How far is the barn subpanel from the feeding panel?

You may need to do custom voltage drop calculations. This would take into account the distance from the utility pole to the main (main house?) panel, from the main panel to the barn panel, and from the barn panel to the furthest receptacle. THen you would need to size the wiring accordingly.

Typical power company tolerance is plus or minus 5 percent although it is common to supply the power at a little more than 120/240 where the full 5% drop is expected often. Then, electricians recommend 3% or less voltage drop from outbuilding subpanel to main panel. (Some of us use 4%.) Now we are up to 6% reasonable worst case drop. Using 12 gauge instead of 14 gauge branch circuit wiring in the barn will avoid even more voltage drop most of the time.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-22-2019 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:44 AM   #12
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


Something to consider. Cable looks like crap exposed. Between you, your dad you should use EMT conduit inside the building.
Take your time and make it look good.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:59 AM   #13
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Re: Lighting and electrical in my 30'x40' shop


I second that. Run everything in conduit. It is great protection for the wire. Just my 3 cents, but I would not mix and match wire sizes. Pull everything for single branch circuits in #12. I have even been known to use #10 for longer runs. Use voltage drop calculations and Ohm's Law and Watts Law. Less resistance, less current used.


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