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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
i bought my first home about 6 months ago and it just happened to have a 10' x 20' "shed" (more like a small studio, carpet and everything) in the backyard. the power had been removed completely before the purchase because it wasn't permitted. Now to the fun part, I want to run a sub panel in the shed and turn this room into a small music rehearsal studio. i just want 4, 30 amp breakers, 1 will be for lighting, 1 for an AC unit, the other 2 will have 6 outlets on each. The location of the shed is about 75 feet away from the main panel which is outside of the garage, so fortunate, on the opposite end of the property:no:. What advice can someone give me to make sure I don't burn the house down or the shed?

I came up on some wire, 10 GA white and black, and 14 green. will this work?
Will the distance from the main to the sub require that i use aluminum?

Any advice i can get on this will be great!

Thanks.
 

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Where are you located?
In the US branch circuits are 15a & 20a
What size AC, what power requirements ?
Are you going to bury this run?
You need it 18" deep for grey PVC conduit
You alse need grounding rods at the detached shed
 

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This the most often asked question on this forum by far "how to install a sub panel". Above, see the search function and search "sub panels", "unattached structures" "Wire to shed" those types of keywords. You will be able to get everything and more this way. You will be an expert in no time. If you have any further questions, just let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Scuba Dave, I'm in California, the outlets will be 15a, the breakers will be 30 amps due to multiple items running at a couple amps each. I'm running a few amplifiers and speakers, I've already done the math on it and know it'll be fine with what I'm looking for. It'll be 120v, I've also started the trench myself, saving a few bucks but damn am i tired.:thumbsup: I'll keep an eye out for the grounding rods, thanks.

JV thanks for the heads up, I now see what you're talking about, I will gather up anything I can't find and let you know, so far so good though.

Thanks again.
 

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There's very little reason to have more then 20.

If you have equipment that needs 30 it will probably have a specialized plug or need to be wired directly.
 

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I'm running 6, 15a outlets on 1 30a breaker.
It does not work that way
You would need outlets capable of handling 30a
These are special outlets that take a special plug

You need 20a breaker, 12g wire & either 20a outlets OR 15a outlets that are rated for 20a pass thru

You can't do a 30a breaker with 15a outlets PERIOD
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So if i have 12 pieces of equipment that each use 2amps, that would be 24 total, that's not how its calculated?
 

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No
You start with your load...24a
That means you need (2) circuits - not one
Normal household branch circuits are either 15a or 20a
Special circuits can be more - I have a 24,000BTU AC that needs 10g wire, 30a 240v breaker & a special 30a outlet
So you need to split this into (2) circuits IF you expect this all to be running at the same time

I usually only run 20a circuits for outlets, 12g wire
You balance the loads across the circuits
You don't add them up to see what size breaker you need

Once you have the loads you then decide on breaker & wire
12g is good for up to 20a load = 2400 watts
14g is good for up to 15a load = 1800 watts

Usually do lights - 14g & 15a breaker
But if you are going to buy a roll of wire it might be cheaper to just buy all 12g

The total Load +spare power = less then the main breaker for the sub panel
 

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Civil Engineer
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Outlets are typically daisy chained, meaning the power to first outlet in the chain feeds the second outlet off of load screws on the first outlet. Similarly, the second outlet feeds the third, and so on down the line.

In your case, if each outlet of the 12 had 2A on it, you would indeed draw a total of 24A, and that would be the load on the wire to the first outlet. The problem is that you need to protect the wire to the outlets, so if you use #12 wire (typical), the wire is rated for a maximum of 20A, so you would protect the wire with a 20A breaker. So when you hit the 20A maximum on the circuit, you would blow the breaker.

If you used #10 wire to your outlets, you could indeed carry 30A, and you could install a 30A breaker in the panel. However, you would need to use special 30A outlets with a different type of plug than normal, and none of your amplifiers would plug in.

So the solution is to wire standard 20A outlets, limiting the number of outlets on a single 20A breaker to keep the total load below 20A. Meaning if you expect to pull say 2A per outlet, limit each run to perhaps 6 outlets per breaker, and add a second breaker for another run of 6 outlets. This way you use standard outlets, 12 gage wire, and one 20A breaker per run.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, thank you guys for your help, i know an "electrician" whos losing a job now.good thing i havent bought everything yet.

Again, thank you!
 

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Just check your amps & everything
Make sure they don't have a special plug that needs a 30a outlet
In that case you would need 10g wire & a 30a rated outlet
 

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As you offered, you should just go ahead and burn your house down and save the labor and expense.....


Little friday humor. good advice about searching panel installation code. Cant run outlets by code over 20 amps and thus 12 ga wire. Otherwise you will burn the shed down
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I got a new question, for the 2 breakers that im going to run for the outlets, can i run them through one conduit?

Also, since one outlet actually has two sockets, it would be 4amps per outlet, so i should run 5 outlets on each breaker, or could i run 6 outlets per 20amp breaker? itd be nice to have a couple extra outlets to charge my phone or something.
 

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OK, wait a minute
You said you were running a sub-panel in the shed
You are only allowed to run (2) circuits MAX to a detached structure, after that it has to be a sub-panel

So you run a main feed - larger wire to the sub panel
Then you run circuits from the sub panel
Do a search on this site for sub panel & do some reading

You can have 100 outlets on a circuit, there isn't a restriction
Any single outlet can handle the breaker/wire rated load
In total power draw you can't exceed the breaker rating or it will trip
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm back, I've got just a few more questions.

The wiring, both to to the main and from the sub to receptacles, should they be stranded or solid?

If I run a ground rod at the subpanel, can the wire from the ground bar inside the subpanel to the ground rod be 1 or 2 sizes smaller?

In the main, ive got 2 30a circuit breakers (i think its called a 2 pole) already in (when the house was built in '74). Can i run these together to make one 60a breaker as the feed for the subpanel?
 

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The wiring, both to to the main and from the sub to receptacles, should they be stranded or solid?
Should not really matter

If I run a ground rod at the subpanel, can the wire from the ground bar inside the subpanel to the ground rod be 1 or 2 sizes smaller?
Yes, the ground is normally de-rated to a smaller size


In the main, ive got 2 30a circuit breakers (i think its called a 2 pole) already in (when the house was built in '74). Can i run these together to make one 60a breaker as the feed for the subpanel?
No, that is very dangerous.

I think you should stop playing electrician
 

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dpride, you need to read a book or two before you try and do this.
The questions you are asking indicated that you do not have the basic iodea on electrical work.
Read a couple of books, then come back and ask the questions, or hire someone to do this.
 

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I'd also recommend reading up, do a search on this forum for sub-panels & read & make notes
Pick up a book & read thru that

From sub to ground rods is #6 min as I understand
The breaker you have is a 30a 240v breaker
That will give you 30a 240v in the sub
It gives you 30a 120v on each hot leg

You can't us a 30a 240v 2 pole breaker to supply 60a 240v...that really should be obvious

You also can't use (2) single breakers to supply a 240v sub

You need to read, research & fully understand this before attempting it
 
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