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Swill

Running power to a shed or garage

47 posts in this topic

Hello gang-

I recently build an exterior shed (14 x 22); which is about 75 yards from the house. I am now thinking an outside overhead light, a few interior lights and 2-3 outlets would be nice to have in there. Any suggestions as to how I can run power?

Also, how can I determine how much power I will be pulling? I have a large compressor and would like to use the shed to charge batteries, power tools, and occasionally run the miter saw.

Lastly, if I want to connect in one of those low volt exterior landscape lighting systems; do I need to plan for that now, or are they pretty easy to add later.

Thanks

Swill

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Best to get a sparky to answer your questions.With all the things you want to run sounds like you need 2 underground rated leads each off its own breaker GFI protected 15 A. Buried at least 18 inches. While your diggin you could be waiting for a sparkies reply.

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Use UF feeder cable, or better yet, pvc pipe, a few 20 amp circuits should be suffice. Make sure all recepticals are GFCI. As for the landscape lighting, the only two things you should preplan for is going under concrete, asphalt, driveways etc., and where you plan to feed it from, the 120 volt source. most low voltage lighting wiring is run in the mulch/rocks etc.

Good Luck

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Why all GFCI's? I find them bothersome when pulling heavy loads like a compressor. Maybe they were just cheap ones though.

It is nice to be able to reset right there instead of running in the house or garage.

You would recommend 12 wire, right?

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depending on the length to the garage for the wire size, you need less than 5 percent voltage drop from the service to the farthest outlet. In the case listed above, I would definatly use 10's, probably 8's. As for the GFCI'S the nec requires them. If you have a problem tripping it could be an issue with the equipment.

Voltage drop= 2*12.9*current*length (in ft)/circular mils of wire

2 * 12.9 * 20 * 225/10380= 11.18 volts for #10 wire

2 * 12.9 * 20 * 225/16510= 7.03 volts for #8 wire

I would use # 8's to get me to the garage, then 12's from there on.

If someone could check my math/formula's, that would be great, haven't used them in a while.

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If you GFCI protect the UF wire you will only have to burry it 12". You can run conduit and not GFCI protect it but that will have to be 18".

You have to use GFCIs in there because the NEC (210.8) states "All 125 volt, single phase, 15 and 20 amp receptacles installed in the locations specified in (1) thru (8) shall have ground-fault circuit-interupter protection for personnel.

(2) Garages, and also accessory building that have a floor located at or below grade level not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and areas of similar use.

Do you have a sub panel in the garage or are you going to come out of the house panel? How many empty breaker spots do you have? Is it a 100 or 200 amp panel? Before I tell you how I would do it, what is the load on your air compressor? How many and what type of lights do you want? Are you just going to charge some batteries or are you going to fire up 10 electric smokers in there? Heat? Put a list together of what you are going to run in there and how many are going to run at the same time and I can give you a rough load calc.

If your just going to run a light or two with one receptacle I'd just run UF cable fed off of a GFCI in the garage, but if you plan on more than that it can get a little more involved. Depending on the size of your air compressor you might need to go bigger than 12ga wire.

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Sparky, depending on what voltage drop formula you use, if you have a full 20 amp load at start up you will need to run 8s.

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Wow, good info.

I didn't know that garages had to be all GFCI's. Thanks.

Swill, has some work cut out for him. \:\)

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Our code book only has about 750 pages in it. Anybody elses come close to that?

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If you can answer a few of those questions it will make it alot easier to give you a good way of doing it. Its always better to leave yourself some room for future usage it will be much easier to add on to in the future if you've already got everything there.

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And yet a homeowner can wire their own new house. Never understood that one. Yet they have to hire a licensed plumber?????????

Personally I think everything should be professionally done. It would make our homes that much better.

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 Originally Posted By: Roofer

Personally I think everything should be professionally done. It would make our homes that much better.

This might be a good statement for the "Rich & Lazy" section of this forum grin.gif. But most Outdoorsmen are also the do-it-yourselfers type of people. Although hiring it done gives you more time to fish. All in all this is a pretty easy job once you have the codes figured out and what materials you need.

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You got it D2E,But not being a sparkie I cant give info here but I do do my own.Puttin power in soon nextdoor on other lot.

Where ya been I just emailed you 1/2 hr. ago.

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I would run at least 60 amps (100 is better)out to that shed with a sub panel out there.

When I built a new detached garage we added an extra 100 amp Tri-Plex wire directly from the meter 18" underground into the garage where I installed a 100 amp Panel. I then ran another 100 amp wire to my other shed and put a sub panel in there. Now I have all the power I could ever want (welder etc.) in both the garage and shed.

So I have 2 100 amp wires coming out of the meter, one for the house and one for the garage and shed. If you get a Pro to run the underground wire and connect to the panel, the rest is pretty straight forward.

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100 amps to a shed. What are you going to be doing in that shed grin.gif?

I ran a 50 sub panel out to my garage and run welders, plasma cutter, compressors, lights, stereo and other junk. It worked out just fine.

I think a 30amp should be more than fine for a shed. IMO, above this, you are just spending money you do not have to. Most homes are run off of a 100amp.

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I agree with shack, that power is not needed, but still wouldn't hurt if you can get a panel for say.....free!

If the shed has it's own panel, is it still needed to have the GFCI's?

Still confuses me. I haven't read that anywhere except here. Are you sure that is a residential code?

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 Originally Posted By: shackbash
100 amps to a shed. What are you going to be doing in that shed grin.gif?

I ran a 50 sub panel out to my garage and run welders, plasma cutter, compressors, lights, stereo and other junk. It worked out just fine.

I think a 30amp should be more than fine for a shed. IMO, above this, you are just spending money you do not have to. Most homes are run off of a 100amp.

My whole garage is on 30 amp its fine,cant run the table saw,joiner,planer at the same time any way without help and when I have help we never overloaded.

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The electrical inspector (in my area) told me that in the shed the first outlet on each circuit needed to be GFCI, but others beyond that on the same circuit didn't need to be.

Tri-Plex wire was still pretty cheap back when I did my stuff, so having the extra power available if needed is nice. The only extra money is for the bigger wire.

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Plus the price diff. from a 30amp switch to a 100amp.

Might as well if you can do it. It all adds up to future stuff and good sale points if you ever sell. It does all add up in the end.

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Inspector is correct, because all other receptacles would then

be downstream from the gfci on the "load side". If adding new

panel remember to undo bonding jumper in sub-panel then put in new ground rod. Or make sure you pull a new ground.

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 Originally Posted By: Roofer
Are you sure that is a residential code?

There is only one NEC. There isn't a commercial book and a residential book. It all falls into that 750 pages. The knowledge of the book falls into where to find it and how to apply it to the proper application.

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 Originally Posted By: Roofer
And yet a homeowner can wire their own new house. Never understood that one. Yet they have to hire a licensed plumber?????????

I'm pretty sure a homeowner can do his own plumbing too. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

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Just an FYI, I am more than what my username implies.........

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I have always been told also that GFCI's are at the beginning of a run only. Not saying that is correct, but that is why I asked.

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I went back and edited it. It wasn't aimed at you or anyone in particular.

You can put a GFCI at the begining and protect the other receptacles downstream from it (the cheap route) or put a GFCI in every hole (the good looking route). Both accomplish the same thing. If you are going to run more than one GFCI on the same circuit you DO NOT feed the second one from the protected side of the first one. Now if you have regular receptacles between them it gets tricky....

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