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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In our town a permit is required for just about everything new electrical. I'm also aware of my limited knowledge. So I'd like to hire a contractor to pull the permit and do the following. To save on cost, I can help (pull wires, dig trench, add insulation, and general grunt work.
First question: is it insulting to hire a contractor like this. I don't mean to be disrespectful.
Second, will a local contractor know if such a project is allowed by the town before wasting time on a permit?
Third, is it even reasonable to turn a 9x14 prefab shed (already present) into a small woodshop (retired hobbiest).
Our house's 200AMP service has a preexisting 60AMP subpanel (with lots of free spots) about 50 ft from the shed (10ft of unfinished basement, then 20 ft garage, and finally underground 20 ft).
The shed is wood frame, unfinished with the studs fully exposed.
I'm looking for two light fixtures, six indoor outlets and two outdoor outlets.
Shopsmith lathe (~14/8 AMPS), compressor (15.2/7.6 Amp), and three outlets on one circuit. Dust collector (18/13Amp), three outlets, and lights on another.
What is a reasonable estimate for such a job (in contract hours)?
 

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Very Stable Genius
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Agree with Neale. No reason for contractor to be insulted by your asking,
but most will only want you to do the trench. In my case, I'd politely let
you know that I don't dig trenches.
As a side note, depths for trenches vary based on conduit or direct bury and
vehicular vs non vehicular area, but 600mm (about 2') is generally the
minimum (around here at least), so you may be doing a lot of digging.
 

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You are probably going to have to relocate the existing subpanel or install a new one in the shed. Code only allows a single feed going to an outbuilding so you can't run multiple circuits to it. You would probably be better off running a 240 V feed to a subpanel in the bldg.
 

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I agree that you will need a sub panel for a shop with that total load. A 100 amp would be best (60 might do) so that makes the bid easy for your chosen contractor. Go for it.
 
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The best thing to do is to bring in three electrical contractors/licensed electricians and ask for estimates.


Go over with each of them what it is you are attempting to accomplish and then let them tell you your needs and options and then let them give you an apples to apples estimate. The cheapest is not always the best to select from. You should find an electrician that is willing to work with you in the way of your ideas and thoughts but at the same time an electrician should let you know if your idea or thought could present problems in the future.


Do not purchase any materials nor do any work including digging a trench until you have selected an electrician to do the job and be sure the electrician has no problem with you "joining in" and doing some of the grunt work. Many electricians like to use their own materials and do the work themselves as they have to be concerned with their liability insurance so most will not let home owners do the work for this reason. It is important that you discuss this with the electrician prior to you doing anything on your own.


Don't buy materials you think you may need and start any of the work before you secure the services of an electrician; many will not continue on with work you have started already.


You can get ideas from the forum so you have a broader understanding of what you may want when you sit with the electricians and discuss your needs/wants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
...Do not purchase any materials nor do any work including digging a trench until you have selected an electrician to do the job and be sure the electrician has no problem with you "joining in" and doing some of the grunt work. Many electricians like to use their own materials and do the work themselves as they have to be concerned with their liability insurance so most will not let home owners do the work for this reason. It is important that you discuss this with the electrician prior to you doing anything on your own
....
[snip]
....
You can get ideas from the forum so you have a broader understanding of what you may want when you sit with the electricians and discuss your needs/wants.
Very helpful. thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You are probably going to have to relocate the existing subpanel or install a new one in the shed. Code only allows a single feed going to an outbuilding so you can't run multiple circuits to it. You would probably be better off running a 240 V feed to a subpanel in the bldg.
Yeah. This is why I need to hire someone who knows this stuff.
Is it possible to run a subpanel off a subpanel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Agree with Neale. No reason for contractor to be insulted by your asking,
but most will only want you to do the trench. In my case, I'd politely let
you know that I don't dig trenches.
As a side note, depths for trenches vary based on conduit or direct bury and
vehicular vs non vehicular area, but 600mm (about 2') is generally the
minimum (around here at least), so you may be doing a lot of digging.
18" here with Sch. 40 conduit I've been told. I'll wait for the expert before picking up a shovel.
Moderately rocky soil, so I'll view it as an exercise regime doing a few feet a day ... at my age, I can use the exercise and a slower pace. :wink2:
 
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