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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to wire my backyard shed. It is about 35-40 feet from the back of the house, and maybe another 10-15 feet under the house to electrical box.

I am looking to install an overhead light, and some outlets. It is possible that I will turn the shed into an office eventually so I will need to plan for that.

What I need is some help explaining what components I need, and how to go about doing it. I got some nice help from here a little less than a year ago when I installed a new breaker for a microwave and hoping to get that again.

I have a color diagram of my breaker box that has 1 single slot, so if I need to change something there, I need to know that too please.

I have added two attachments that show my fuse box and the electrical layout of my house, in case that helps.

If you use electrical abbreviations can you please explain them.

Thanks
Matt
 

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How big is the shed?
Where are you located?
Are you planning AC or heat in there?
Computer, copier, scanner, laser printer?

Sub-panel or just 2 circuits?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The shed is roughly 12 x 16.

Located in NC.

Eventually I will probably need AC or Heat as I do plan on eventually having my office (computer(s) and printer in there)

A sub panel would probably be best.

Thanks
 

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Is this a fuse panel or a breaker panel? I cannot tell from the drawing. If it's a fuse panel you only have one spare fuse and cannot get another spare out of it. You need two spares. If this is a breaker panel you can get a tandem (two single pole breakers in one slot) and free up two spaces for the breaker you need to feed your shed sub panel.

I also noted you have a 60 amp service. Is this the only panel in the house? If this is the only panel (main service) in the house, I would be looking at an upgrade before you start adding circuits to this minimal service panel. I believe 60 amp is the smallest service allowed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It is a breaker panel, and yes it is the only panel in the house.

As, for tandem, is this what you are referring to:
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=8991-296-HOMT2020CP&lpage=none

If this is the right item, what would I have to do next. I figure I need to bury wire in a pvc pipe from the house to the shed. What size/type wire (i've read #10). Also, do i need something to cover the wire when it comes out of the ground and into the shed? Also, how do I wire the subpanel? Am I to run two wires out of the main panel (one on each circuit) and then wire them into a main on the sub?.

Thanks
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If I do need to upgrade to a higher amp service, what is the normal now? Also, does the electric co. have to do soemthing, or is it something just done at the house (Upgrade to a new box?). I have installed new breakers before but I have never done anything with the main, is it pretty straight forward to do, as long as the main is off from the outside of the house to the box?

Thanks
Matt
 

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If I do need to upgrade to a higher amp service, what is the normal now? Also, does the electric co. have to do soemthing, or is it something just done at the house (Upgrade to a new box?). I have installed new breakers before but I have never done anything with the main, is it pretty straight forward to do, as long as the main is off from the outside of the house to the box?

Thanks
Matt
Yes, your link shows a tandem breaker. Make sure you install it where you have two spare slots next to (above/below) each other. Then you can install a two pole breaker like the other ones in the panel.

As far as upgrading your current service panel.

I cannot tell you if you need to do this without more information. I can assume you do as you have no room for expansion. If this were my house I would upgrade. Size of the upgrade depends on several factors including the size of the home, age and future plans for the home.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
House was built in 1968. Home is 3 bedroom with 1 1/2 bath around 1800 square feet. Future plans include converting the master closet ( 5' x 9' ) into a master bath, and then converting the half bath to a closet. Probably going to add some lighting on the back deck, there is an outlet out there now, however I'd probably like to wire it instead of something to just plug in.
 

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I would upgrade the service based on the little information you gave me. What stands out is the new bathroom. That room alone must have it's own dedicated circuit. Add a power tub and now you are really pushing the envelope with a 60 amp service. You could install a small sub panel, but I would not suggest you do so.

Most people upgrade to 200 amp, with a house of your size. You could go to 150 amp, but the difference in cost will be so close it would not make economical sense.
You will need a permit and someone qualified to install the service. New wire, new meter, new panel ect... Use a meter/main. Meter and load center (panel) in one enclosure. This will help you for anything you want to do outside and make any inside panel a sub panel. This is the way I do it.

Caution! Get the permit only for the service upgrade and do not mention the other projects. If you do, you will be in for a big surprise. They will make you bring everything up to code. EVERYTHING!

Take it one thing at a time. Upgrade service, then tackle the projects after this is complete. A good qualified and licensed electrician will help you with the requirements.
 
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