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Old 02-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #1
elguappo
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Question Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

Im going to be building a small (4x8) shed in my side yard, and want to be able to have a light and at least 1 outlet over there to plug things into. Maybe even an externally mounted, motion sensing security light.

Its only about 25' from the main panel, but there is a concrete walkway in between. I can dig under that, no problem, but my questions come to: How far do I need to go?

I imagine conduit at least 12" below grade is needed.
Will I need a small sub panel in the shed?
Is there anything else obvious I am missing?

Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

12" or so should be fine. I would not use a sub-panel. If you have room in your main panel, add a 15A breaker, and run black 12/2 UF (underground feeder, sometimes grey colored) from your box to an outlet in the shed. From the outlet you can power your lights.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

Use direct bury UF 12/2, this is good for 120V 20A. Can be direct buried 12" if not over 120V @ 20A with GFCI protection. No sub-panel is needed just use a junction box for splitting to outlet and light. If the feed is not GFCI protected from the source (GFCI breaker or GFCI outlet) then the feed needs to be buried 24" if direct buried, 18" in PVC conduit, 6" in metal conduit.

Last edited by pattenp; 02-24-2012 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elguappo View Post
... but there is a concrete walkway in between. I can dig under that, no problem, ...
If the walk way is small (less than 4') you can actually push a pipe under it.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

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If the walk way is small (less than 4') you can actually push a pipe under it.
Or use a running garden hose if the soil is soft to excavate under it, just keep pushing until you get through to the other side.

patten's idea of 12-2 or 14-2 UF sounds like a plan.

You could also run 12-3 or 14-3 and have a MWBC, doubling your capacity for only a small increase in cost. I believe a MWBC is still acceptable to a shed even with the 1-circuit limit?
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

A multiwire branch circuit is considered a single circuit for the purpose of this section, NEC 225.30 Number of Supplies.

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Or use a running garden hose if the soil is soft to excavate under it, just keep pushing until you get through to the other side.

patten's idea of 12-2 or 14-2 UF sounds like a plan.

You could also run 12-3 or 14-3 and have a MWBC, doubling your capacity for only a small increase in cost. I believe a MWBC is still acceptable to a shed even with the 1-circuit limit?
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

we ran a sub panel so we could run a compressor in the shed at night so it doesn't bother the neighbors.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

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Originally Posted by theoldwizard1 View Post
If the walk way is small (less than 4') you can actually push a pipe under it.
I agree, push or drive a pipe under it and slide a conduit or wire through it.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

Thanks guys.
Getting the wires under the walkway is the easy part (FOR ME).
I am pretty pissed because I specified to the monkey doing the walkway and pad under the trash cans, that I wanted conduit pipes at least 2" run under the walkway in at least 2 spots. He put down some 1/2" EMT. Not pleased.

I will have to take down a 5' section of fence to trench under it. It had to come down anyway to get rebuilt, so no big deal.

1 other question: how do I transition from the box to in the wall to the foundation to into the ground?

Thanks
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

If you are using direct bury UF cable then you need conduit from where it exits the ground to in the shed. The conduit can stop once it enters the shed and the cable can be run in the wall to where ever you place the box.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pattenp View Post
If you are using direct bury UF cable then you need conduit from where it exits the ground to in the shed. The conduit can stop once it enters the shed and the cable can be run in the wall to where ever you place the box.
Thanks Pattenp,
I was more meaning at the main panel on the house, into the ground.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

You can run Romex from the panel to a junction box close to where it passes through the foundation, then run the conduit starting from the junction box out to the shed. Or you can just start the conduit at the panel.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

Have you decided to use UF cable? If so, UF can be installed the same as NM sheathed cable, meaning you can run one continuous UF cable with no splices from your house main panel out into the shed. The only places you need conduit is where the UF cable exits the house to where it enters the earth and where it exits the earth and enters the shed. Put bushings on the ends of conduit where the cable exits/enters the conduit to protect the cable from being cut. Use LB boxes where the cable will exit and enter the house wall and shed wall. Use short stubs of conduit just long enough to pass through the house foundation and shed wall. The conduit in the ground can stop after the sweep elbow.



Last edited by pattenp; 02-25-2012 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

Perfect.
EXactly what I wanted to know.
Thanks guys!
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elguappo View Post
...I wanted conduit pipes at least 2" run under the walkway in at least 2 spots. He put down some 1/2" EMT. Not pleased.
This is metal EMT conduit, not PVC, right? A single run of 12-2 UF should fit through a 1/2" EMT. Run 12-2 UF end-to-end. You would just be using the EMT as a sleeve under the concrete.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: Getting electrical to a small, external shed?

Ick, 12/2 is a tight fit in 1/2" romex. I would go bigger for ease of install.

I just had to buy 100 feet of 14/3 and the cost was DOUBLE the cost of 14/2.
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