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Electric to shed

Posted by ohmmm (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 31, 10 at 13:50

Figured I would run my initial thoughts on this by the electricians here to get feedback.

I have a 14x20 barn type shed located within 20 ft of the garage. It is on 4x6 pressure treated runners, and they rest on a concrete pad, which is 1 foot wider all around than the shed.

I want to install:

3 interior lights, 60w cf
2 exterior dusk/dawn lights 75-150w
1 20A GFCI receptacle
2 15A receptacles(out of reach for security cams)
1 20A GFCI exterior receptacle

The recepts are for hand power tools once in a while. Not going to be set up as a workshop at this point.

My initial thought is to add a 60amp breaker to the main panel in the garage.(Both panels are 200A with plenty of extra spaces.) Run those wires(2 hot, 1 neutral, 1 ground) to a small subpanel inside the shed.(Keeping neutral and grounds separate and not bonded) And then just feed the 12ga and 14ga romex as needed from there.

I would need to run the wire from the 60amp feeder breaker out the top of the main panel, in metal conduit, and up onto the ceiling about a foot or so from the wall. Then all the way across the 3 car garage ceiling and down the wall for the 3rd garage bay.

Attic access is not good because of all the items stored up there currently.

The feed line would exit the house about 15 inches from ground level though brick. At which point I need to do some sort of exterior conduit, gray plastic or liquidtite. It would go into the clay soil and run over to the concrete pad for the shed.

Total run from panel to shed entry point = 57 feet
Total underground distance = 21 feet

Any suggestions or corrections as to how to best do this?
See photos below.
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Electric to shed

use a qo panel from squared.


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RE: Electric to shed

With all those bends you are going to need pull boxes along the way. No more than 360º of bends between pull boxes.

I would consider boring straight down through the slab and tunnelling the foot required under it for the conduit. You could even do it from inside the shed at an angle and come up inside the wall.


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RE: Electric to shed

I don't know what you need to do it, but you did a great job of planning and taking pictures! And I agree with joed...go under that slab.


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RE: Electric to shed

Smithy, at least you are consistent in your never ending quest to be f-ing annoying.


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RE: Electric to shed

This board is about electricity, not about the members, so I probably shouldn't say anything. Still, I think it's a good thing when young folks find something constructive - like electrical work - to focus on. I'm kind of sympathetic to Smithy as I started working on my own home's electrical system when I was only a few years older than he is now.

I do wish he were a little more thoughtful, though, a little less quick to chime in. I'd have more respect for him if he read more and wrote less.

I guess part of growing up is putting yourself in the other guy's shoes - learning when your input is helpful, and when it's just a distraction or annoyance. Forty plus years past Smithy, and I'm still working on that.

Come to think of it, though, listening more and saying less is a pretty good strategy for most everyone regardless of age and occupation, isn't it? I'll shut up now. :)


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RE: Electric to shed

... I have several associates smithy's claimed age. On a good day, I even call them friends.

One, who claims to know nothing about wiring, is a big help to me... another, who is obsessed with it, managed to screw up installing a low-voltage thermostat.


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RE: Electric to shed

Now that we're done with the much needed smity-bashing.

One thing not mentioned in the original post nor in the followups is that there appears to be more than one circuit here SO don't forget your "structure" (skid based or not) requires a grounding electrode system (e.g.,. ground rods).

Don't forget wet rated conductors in the outdoor/underground parts.


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RE: Electric to shed

Yes, there will be two maybe three circuits in the subpanel. I figure if I or someone else wants to use it as a shop in the future, might as well just put a sub panel in.

THWN conductors to the subpanel from 60A feeder breaker.

1 inch gray plastic conduit if I can get it at Depot/Lowes.
(What about using flexible liquid tight conduit for the underground run? That seems like it would handle the jog up over the slab better.)

I don't want to bore a 1.25" inch hole in the new slab if I can avoid it. Slab also has rebar in it.

I forgot about the ground rod iisue. What length rod? What size ground wire to it? And how do I get it pounded down into hard clay with sandstone?

So the ground from the feeder breaker goes to the subpanel. AND then the ground wire from the ground rod, goes to the ground bus on the sub panel too?


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RE: Electric to shed

it would be waaay cheaper to go to the supply house instead of l's or the hd. i dont even go to l's anymore. i go to fromm, and they have a much larger selection and many products l's doesnt carry.


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RE: Electric to shed

Can I just use a 6/3 w ground cable for the interior garage run from the panel to the exterior wall? Or does that line need to be in conduit once it comes down from ceiling height?


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RE: Electric to shed

off topic, but why do you have 2 40 space qo panels DIRECTLY NEXT TO EACH OTHER? at least you could have put one ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HOUSE AND SAVED SOME 12/2.
Btw, i think it all needs to be in conduit, but iam not sure. i personally would put it all in conduit.


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RE: Electric to shed

I did not build the house. You would have to ask the electrician who wired it 7 years ago.


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RE: Electric to shed

You might of saved from 14-2, but you would have to buy some pretty hefty feeder wire to do it.


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RE: Electric to shed

If it isn't done already, I would want to anchor the shed to the slab if I were to run power to it. Just to help ensure some small inadvertant shift of the structure didn't cause a hazardous situation by stretching the feeder.


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RE: Electric to shed

would it be legal to use a 60a gfi breaker in the main panel to feed the subpanel?


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RE: Electric to shed

Yes, I thought about that as well. I am pondering how to best anchor it since it is up on 4x6 runners.

I am going to run 1 1/4" gray pvc conduit from the brick and down underground and over to the shed.

Is there a special way to attach the gray pvc to the subpanel?? Or do I just punch an appropriate knockout and use a pvc EL as the last point outside the shed? The ELs don't have any exterior threading for a nut of any kind like metal conduit.


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RE: Electric to shed

An LB body usually makes pulling easier.


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RE: Electric to shed

it think you would use a male thread adapter with your qo panel


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RE: Electric to shed

The male pvc threaded adapter would work. But I would need to surface mount the box instead of putting in between the studs.

I stopped at Home Depot just to have a look at the various fittings again and there was a guy working there who actually knew the inventory well.

Another way to hook up the pvc to the panel is to use a metal LB instead. It is threaded internally on both openings. So a male pvc adapter screws into the bottom which the pvc conduit can then slide into.

For the panel connection, a metal threaded bushing clamps the panel between it and the LB. So I wouldn't have to move the panel out so far.

Not sure which way I will go with it yet. Have to see how it pans out as I go along.

The wood siding on the shed is only 1/2". Just open stud bays on the inside. So I can easily go either way with mounting the panel.

I think surface mounting it on some plywood might be better. That way all the knockouts on the sides are not blocked by the studs. More flexibility with running wires then.


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RE: Electric to shed

This is what I have so far in materials:
1.25" gray pvc conduit and fittings for exterior/underground
60 amp breakers for main and sub
#4 bare copper for ground rods
Two 5/8" ground rods and direct burial connectors
125 amp Square D sub panel w/isolated neutral/ground
#6 THWN wire(for entire run from feeder to sub)
#10 THWN ground wire(for entire run from feeder to sub)

Still need to get the 1" EMT for the run from the main panel, across ceiling and down opposite wall, somehow connecting up to the 1 1/4" pvc.


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RE: Electric to shed

Had to return the panel I got. Mistakenly got the "main lugs only" box which has no main breaker spot. My bad for not looking more carefully.

Got some 1 inch EMT conduit, LBs and connectors. All stuff for inside the garage running from the main panel.

This time round at the stores, nothing but hourly idiots who call other idiots and they all stand around scratching their heads wondering what you are talking about.

Guy 1 doesn't know anything about electrical, yet is asking me what type of fitting I am looking for. Guy 1 calls guy 2 who also knows nothing about electrical and he wants the specific name of the fitting so he can read all the boxes and land on it. They stand around confused. Then guy 3 shows up, who works the aisle, by which time I found what I needed. Sometimes I just have to laugh.


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RE: Electric to shed

You'll get much better information, and a wider selection of parts, if you'll shop your local electrical jobbers. On balance, at least around here, the larger ones don't cost any more than the big box stores, and often are less. More importantly, their countermen also usually know what they're talking about.


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RE: Electric to shed

"I think surface mounting it on some plywood might be better. That way all the knockouts on the sides are not blocked by the studs. More flexibility with running wires then."

Use 2x lumber so you can staple the NM down near the box as required.

1x splits and 3/4 in ply does not hold well


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RE: Electric to shed

this is why you go to the supply. at fromm, the guys at the counter are well educated, and things are cheaper:) the down side is they do not have sqd, so i have to go out to leesport for the panels:(


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RE: Electric to shed

Got the conduit run across the ceiling. Going to run it down the wall tomorrow.

Found an interesting thing when I took the panel off the right side load center. There is a yellow jacketed romex 12/3 w ground that has bits of black electrical tape cut and put on it in a stripe pattern all the way down to the cut off end, which barely had tape covering it. Tested it, and sure enough, it's live and not connected to any breaker in that panel. Hmmmm. I taped up the end better and left it for now. Not sure how to trace that one in an attic full of yellow romex and blown in insulation. It is getting power from somewhere though.


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RE: Electric to shed

I'd suggest that if you have a live wire that end be capped with the appropriately sized wire nut, not just electrical tape.

I'm assuming it's the white (neutral) wire that's taped. Interesting to say the least and probably something worthy of additional investigation. With Romex it's common to use the white wire as current carrying conductor for something like a switch loop. Do the breakers the other wires are connected to tell you anything?


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RE: Electric to shed

I will have to check on it when I am done with the shed. The romex in question had just been cut off. The wires inside are actually pulled back into the outer jacket a bit, so I can't see anything other than their cut ends. Total length of this hot cable over 2 ft from where it enters the box in the upper left.

It actually is coming in through a large opening that some of the original wiring was all fed through. I don't know. Rather odd. And the bits of black tape attached to it are cut and placed on the surface. If it were an electrician marking it, I would think he would just spiral wrap it instead of this cut and paste thing all the way down.

I will flip the breakers in the other panel one by one and see if it kills power to that. If not, then I will do the same in the panel that it is in.

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RE: Electric to shed

Your EMT run is looking pretty good to these old eyes. Thumbs up for coming back to the forum as you solve the various problems too. FWIW, a couple of notes:

1. It may be water over the dam by now, but a main lug panel would have been fine for the shed, with two provisos: If you have six or fewer breakers (that is, if everything can be shut off with no more than six flicks of the wrist) code doesn't require a disconnect in the shed. Alternatively, you could back-feed a normal breaker in lieu of a main. (A backfed breaker serving as a building disconnect does, however, require a "hold down" kit.) All things considered, you're probably better off with a main breaker panel -- it's slightly safer and more straightforward for a DIYer and it's seldom appreciably more expensive. (Also, based on annecdotal feedback here, there may be some jursdictions that don't follow the "six disconnect" rule.)

2. As for earthing the shed panel, you're fine with those two ground rods and the #4 solid. (#6 would have been OK too, but no biggie.) Make sure that the two rods are at least 6' apart and that there are no splices in the #4 connecting to the panel ground bar.

3. Assuming you've decided to mount the box on 2-by rather than the shed sheathing (a good suggestion by Brick' in my estimation), you should be able to connect using all-PVC by running the conduit into the building using an L-box mounted on the outside somewhat lower than the box and then using another L-box or 90-degree corner EL inside the building. That's not an uncommon method and you could then use a PVC male end with a bushing to enter the box from below.

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Off-topic notes to Smithy:

1. Mounting two 200-amp panels side-by-side is very common with nominal 400-amp service (e.g., 360 amp or whatever). In fact, it's a rather standard installation and not unusual at all.

2. While your big box store may not have Square D products, every Home Despot or Lowes I've bought from in recent years (and that includes stores in Maine, Virginia, Maryland and California) HAS carried Square D products. I'm sure there are exceptions, however, since store product lines tend to be regionalized. Your ongoing Square D advocacy is getting very tiresome. Take a hint, man.

3. Yes, it would be legal to install a two-pole 60-amp GFCI breaker to feed the shed. But why pay extra for the privilege of having to trek from building to building to deal with a simple nuisance trip? And then have no non-GFCI'd power available at the outbuilding? IMO, this would be a poor use of resources (two-pole GFCI breakers are expensive!) that would serve only to increase confusion and limit future options at the shed panel.


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RE: Electric to shed

Thanks for the info. It always helps having experienced guys comment as the project is in progress.

The new panel is a bit longer than the previous main lug one I returned. But I thought if I or anyone else down the road is going to use the shed as a workshop, might as well have the main breaker on it.

Thankfully the local Ace here had one metal box remaining suitable for 1" EMT connectors. I am going to put that a few feet from the outside wall on the ceiling. And then just do a 90 down the wall. Going to drill through the exterior brick today for the 1 1/4" pvc. Hopefully that goes without a hitch. It will take a while since I don't have a core bit. Just going to use a regular drill and masonary bits.

I already verified there are no 2x4 studs, electric, etc in the way where I will be drilling the exterior wall.

Not sure how the pvc will all play out. Will have to dry fit it and see how I can maneuver it up around the concrete slab. Hoping the area next to the driveway where I will have to dig down about 20 inches will be free from chunks of concrete when they laid the driveway.


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RE: Electric to shed

wow..someone whose done there homework and wants to runs it correctly..great!

the only thing I would suggest is upgrade the wiring and subpanel to 100amps. run #4/3 wire from the main to the sub. why? less voltage drop and provides more room for expansion.
Do you think someone someday will want a welder? wash/dryer.
sure its hard to plan for the unknown..to go from 60amp to 100amp for a short run..its should be little money.

just a thought..

-dkenny


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RE: Electric to shed

Photos of progress. Trying to work out the transition from 1" EMT to 1-1/4" pvc.
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Wire gauge

I already bought the 6g wire and 10 ga ground. Both cut off spools. So I can't return it.

The total run from the main panel to the sub panel is only going to be about 57 feet.


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RE: Electric to shed

6 awg is fine for up to 60a.


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RE: Electric to shed

If you put a 1 1/4" to 1" PVC reducing bushing in the PVC LB and connected it to a 1" threaded male connector, that oughta work out well. You'd need a couple of inches of 1" PVC pipe to glue it up, though.

(Sometimes it's frustrating when you only need a short piece, eh? Maybe someone at an electrical supply house or a working job site will toss you a scrap so you don't have to buy more of the 1" than you need.)

****

[BTW, a 60-amp subpanel seems more than adequate for that small shed -- even if you do want to add a welder. And the voltage drop over that 57 run is negligible.]


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RE: Electric to shed

Good idea. Yes, just need a short 4 or 5 inch piece for inside the wall cavity. I do have some schedule 40 plumbing pvc in 1". It is such a short distance and inside the wall, I don't see any reason I couldn't just use that.


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RE: Electric to shed

Code. There's a couple other threads touching this subject. Plumbing pipe for conduit is a no-no.


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RE: Electric to shed

But what is the intent of the code in this case? Is it just a visual thing? In which case, I can easily spray the white pvc gray so it matches.

I don't see from a physical protection standpoint, that a 5 inch piece of sch 40 plumbing pvc is going to provide less protection inside the wall.

But if the code says I have to go spend $3 on a ten foot length of gray pvc in the electrical aisle, use a 5 inch section of it and then toss the rest in a landfill, that seems logical.


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RE: Electric to shed

lol...

I don't think it makes sense either so don't ask me to defend it.


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RE: Electric to shed

"I don't think it makes sense either so don't ask me to defend it."

Me neither. But since you're well on the road to doing this job right, I'd bite the bullet, spend the three-dollar bill and use the right stuff.

(It's the landfill part -- not the cost -- that sticks in my craw too.)


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RE: Electric to shed

that is the code for you.


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Trenching

I decided to order a 2" dry cut core bit that attaches to a standard angle grinder to go through that brick. It should make quick work of it. Pricey bits though.

Meanwhile, nice cool day to do some hand digging with an adz. I decided to dig away from the edge of the driveway. I just did not want to risk running into lots of chunks of concrete from back when they poured the drive.

Things I learned so far with digging.

Digging as a kid...fun.
Digging as an adult...not so fun.
20 inches deep doesn't seem so far down, until you start. Then it seems quite deep.
It's a good workout. Burns calories.
Not good for those with back problems or heart problems.
My girlfriend seems to like the extra muscle I am developing.

Took me 2 1/2 hours to dig 12 feet. About 12 feet to go. Breaking for lunch.


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RE: Electric to shed

If you had used rigid or intermediate metallic conduit you could have dug only 6 inches deep (plus a little more for the conduit diameter).


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RE: Electric to shed

dont forget to ground the box.


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RE: Electric to shed

"dont forget to ground the box."

Out of the mouths of babes....may come the origins of $hit$torms.

A metal box used in an EMT run where the conductors are neither spliced or terminated -- where they merely pass through intact -- does not require additional EG bonding.

Now for the $hit$torm. Some electricians would nevertheless connect the EG wire to the box; others would not. For some, it's a matter of religion. But, religion or not, code doesn't require bonding above and beyond that provided by the EMT in this situation.


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RE: Electric to shed

After all that digging, I think next time rigid conduit sounds like a winner. I didn't get my line exactly straight, but the pvc I am sure will be bendy enough to curve a bit.

I will sleep good tonight.

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RE: Electric to shed

i know emt is an acceptible egc, i ground the box, anyway. what if one of the locknuts comes loose? what if the conduits comes loose? safety first? what is an extra buck or two?


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RE: Electric to shed

"what if one of the locknuts comes loose? what if the conduits comes loose? safety first? what is an extra buck or two?"

What if the fastener for the egc comes loose?

If the fasteners are correctly tightened they rarely come loose.

The loose pones were not installed correctly to start with.


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RE: Electric to shed

i ground everything, including the kitchen sink. (no joke)


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RE: Electric to shed

"i ground everything, including the kitchen sink. (no joke)"

What is going to energize the kitchen sin?

The GD is already grounded.


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RE: Electric to shed

I ground my kitchen sink too. I like to use 1/2" copper. Normally I use 2 grounds- I find it balances better. Is that why you do it smithy?


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RE: Electric to shed

"Digging as a kid...fun.
Digging as an adult...not so fun."

This is precisely the reason I decided to divorce my ex-wife instead of burying her in the back yard. :-)

Seriously though, that trench looks perfectly servicable to me.

****
"i ground everything, including the kitchen sink. (no joke)"

Grounding. What an interesting hobby.

[In the unlikely event that conduit fittings come loose, nothing much happens of consequence. That's because, unless you take a fire ax to the installation or something like that, the unbroken insulated wiring still remains intact and there is no fault.

Where, as here, the box is basically serving as a pull box (i.e., a conduit body), with no splices, terminations or devices, it represents essentially the same risk as a coupling, an LB or a pull box.

With that in mind, Smithy, has it been your routine practice on, say, your last few dozen EMT conduit installations to drill and tap all metal conduit bodies, install ground screws and connect an EGC at each juncture?

And what about the tube segments? What if both ends become loose? Should each piece of tubing be attached to an EGC?

I'd argue that splicing the EGC or skinning it to loop around a ground screw may, in fact, be more fault prone than having a clean uninterupted pull.

YMMV.]


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RE: Electric to shed

Ran into a slight issue with concrete next to the house. I chipped out the easier bits, but what is left is a solid 8 inch thick or so chunk. It doesn't look that thick in the photo, but that hole underneath only goes in a short distance and it's solid concrete all the way down.

I don't want to risk damaging the foundation there, so the only option is to just run the pvc down to it and across the top, and then down into the trench.

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RE: Electric to shed

Hate to say that last bit at the shed with PVC wrapping the footing may not be ideal. Just thinking it is somewhat vulnerable to physical damage. Might want to come up into a metal LB and then up into the shed with another metal LB with rigid in between. You would then have to take metal all the way into the panel to have the metallic section bonded to ground. This might be overkill but having that sch 40, 90 degree bend floating out there just looks like it may get smashed some day. If the rest of the run is straight, you might be able to double 90 around that house footing. You can have up to 360 degrees in bends between pull points, (it will get tough to pull however!). Might adjust the trench to come from the house diagonally to reduce one 90 degree bend to a 45 degree bend. A long sweep 90 would also make the pulling easier.


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RE: Electric to shed

I can't read (and really don't even see) the conduit coming up out of the ground, but that looks like an area subject to physical damage and requires sched 80 conduit if you're using PVC.


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RE: Electric to shed

I suppose "subject to physical damage" is a bit open to interpretation as are many other things with the code.

Though I can see that something could get dropped on the LB accidentally and bust it. I can use a metal one there.

I don't see a problem using the schedule 40 from a metal LB up the shed exterior to a plastic LB going into the panel. I don't think the round pipe would be easily damaged unless someone intentionally made an effort.

I have already glued up the two ten foot straight sections for the trench.

Got the panel located and fitted.

After a while this gets to be like asking 20 chefs how to bake a chocolate cake.

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RE: Electric to shed

you used a square d panel, right? dont forget the neutral and groundd have to be seperated. for added safety, i would use a gfi on the security cam recs. i would run the wires before gluing the end @ the house


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RE: Electric to shed

Yes, SQ D panel. The panels come with a bonding screw which I am not using. I will have to add a separate ground bus on this panel, as it does not come with one. Interestingly, the panel I returned did come with a separate ground bar. It was a smaller panel and probably designed to be used as a sub.

Should I just pull each wire separately? Or try two at a time? (three 6ga, one 10ga).


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RE: Electric to shed

i think you would do them all at the same time, but i am not sure.


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RE: Electric to shed

Pull all the conductors at the same time.

You did purchase stranded wire in each size?

Solid is a real PITA to pill through ANY bends.

Some pulling lube can also help.


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RE: Electric to shed

Yes, I did buy stranded. What can be used for pulling lube?


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LB Ground

If I use a metal LB at the edge of the slab, do I need to ground it?

It will be located between two pvc runs of conduit. But no splices planned there. Just using as a pull point.

I know using rigid metal conduit from that point to the panel would do the job. But I am trying to use the pvc I already have on hand.


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RE: Electric to shed

Your electrical jobber will have pulling lube in a plastic squeeze bottle. It looks and feels a lot like KY jelly (I'm not kidding).


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RE: Electric to shed

I'm taking about the stuff emerging from the grade. Around here that's subject to physical damage and requires something rated for that which Sched 40 is not.


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RE: Electric to shed

When there isn't a supply of lube around, some folks use a 50-50 solution of diluted dish soap. It works nearly as well as store-bought lube.

(Use more lube at the beginning than at the end, rather than waiting for the pull to get hard and then trying to lube.)

As for Smithy's suggestion to pull wires and glue later, I wouldn't recommend it. PVC cement "melts" the plastic in order to achieve what amounts to a "weld". It can also eat through conductor insulation. For that reason, you'd be well-advised to glue up the conduit run first and pull later, IMHO.

Where I absolutely have to glue a joint with the wires already in it, I wrap a sleeve of thin cardboard around the wires at the joint to keep seeping cement from damaging the insultation.

As for pulling the wires, are you putting a messenger rope or stout twine in your conduit as you lay it?

There's at least a couple of approaches. One is to put a messenger in as you assemble the conduit joints using either a fish tape or a length of stiff solid wire.

The other is to attach your cord to a puffed-up plastic bag and suck the cord through the conduit using a vacuum cleaner. Most of the time this works like a champ although the method does not work well if there are any sharp bends.

(Also, although most electrical contractors have fish tapes long enough to do this pull without a messenger, most DIYers don't. YMMV.)

All things considered, pre-running the messenger may be the best choice in your case.

Your run of 3 #6s and a #10 through 1 1/4" conduit shouldn't be that difficult although some lube (or soap) will definitely help. Also, it helps if you have one person pushing, lubing, and keeping the wires unkinked and parallel while another person pulls.


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RE: Electric to shed

I have not made the final EMT run down inside of the garage yet. So I can still get a piece of parachute cord sucked through it. I do have a fish tape, but only about 20 ft.

Waiting on delivery of the core bit to cut the brick. Then I will finish off the garage side and move along to getting all the gray pvc lined up and down in the trench.

So today I am putting in plastic heavy duty boxes inside the shed and will be running some cable to the various spots.

Not sure whether to staple it to the surface of the studs or drill holes in them. I am not putting any drywall or such in there. No insulation, but will be adding a radiant barrier in between all the studs to help reduce summer heat gain.


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RE: Electric to shed

l's has lube, from ideal.


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RE: Electric to shed

Tempting as it is, as I understand it, the code prohibits assembling a raceway around wires. They are to be pulled through a completely assembled raceway. However, there's no reason you can't "glue as you go" with a messenger, as Tom suggests. I've used steel wire for this purpose, I think about #18.


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RE: Electric to shed

please use metal boxes. they look more proffessional, especially with mc or bx.


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RE: Electric to shed

... the inspector is going to come look at your assembled system. I doubt he's going to ask for a video of you assembling it, so I'm not sure "assembling a raceway around wires" constitutes a truly enforceable code.

I've done it. It works. Sometimes it's easier. Sometimes it's not. If the wire is lubed and parallel, and you've got a substantial and solid 'messenger' to pull it with, pulling through the whole run is actually sometimes easier - or at least quicker - than mucking around with it in sections.


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RE: Electric to shed

Nothing wrong with PVC, ignore smitty. I've never seen plastic corrode (though it does get brittle when exposed to sunlight at times).

Better to install sufficient pull points (LB's or other boxes) and use LARGER than the strictly minimum required conduit size. Makes life easier.


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RE: Electric to shed

I'm sure others might tackle this other ways, but given the rather large number of 90's in this run, I'd probably opt to do this pull "middle-out", in two operations.

That is, I'd begin at the PVC LB on the outside of the garage and pull roughly half the wire (i.e., however much it takes) into the box in the shed. Then I'd poke the remainder of the wire through the wall into the garage and do a second pull from the metal LB on the inside garage wall into the main panel.

(Or vice-versa...the EMT first and then the PVC...doesn't really matter.)

This approach has the virtue of more or less halving the length of any single pull and removing the two sharpest turns (the two closely linked LB's) from the middle of a single pull.

Also, those LBs are at convenient working locations. That is, you can do all the pushing and pulling with your feet on the ground rather than up on a stepladder or with one foot in a ditch.

BTW, I doubt you'll need to use the 4 11/16 metal box on the ceiling at all. My bet is that the pull from the LB on the inside wall into the main panel will be a piece of cake.


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RE: Electric to shed

Yes, I thought the same thing about pulling the wires in two stages.

Tom, Brickeye, Ron...What are your thoughts on that pvc coming up above grade at the shed slab?

Should I just bite the bullet and use 1 1/4" RMC vertically coming up to a metal LB at the slab edge, over to a 90 and up to another metal LB to the panel in the shed??

If so, can I just get threadless connectors for all the attach points. I have no pipe threading stuff at all.


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RE: Electric to shed

''Nothing wrong with PVC, ignore smitty. I've never seen plastic corrode (though it does get brittle when exposed to sunlight at times). ''
I was talking about inside receptacle and switch boxes. a 4x4 box looks way better than a plastic box, in my opinion.


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RE: Electric to shed

Got the inside cables routed and stapled. I put three way switches on the doors for the main overhead light.

Installed one exterior receptacle in an appropriate weatherproof box. I put it on a switch so it can be turned on only when needed.

I have 2 quad receptacle boxes on opposite walls. I was going to just use one circuit for each quad. But since I have plenty of panel space and it may be used as a shop at some point, I put each receptacle on it's own circuit. I will probably just use gfci receptacles for each. I already have 2 on hand.

Then I was pondering the idea of adding another exterior receptacle below the panel. Maybe set it up with 8ga wire and a 50 amp breaker, so it could be used for welding out on the driveway.
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RE: Electric to shed

"Tom, Brickeye, Ron...What are your thoughts on that pvc coming up above grade at the shed slab?

Should I just bite the bullet and use 1 1/4" RMC vertically coming up to a metal LB at the slab edge, over to a 90 and up to another metal LB to the panel in the shed??

If so, can I just get threadless connectors for all the attach points. I have no pipe threading stuff at all."

To be honest with ya, Ohmmm, I've been dodging this issue since others have been weighing in on the physical protection implications of that part of your design.

If I had to choose a bullet to bite, I'd still opt for drilling downward though the slab and getting rid of the whole can of worms associated with going up and over the slab.

In addition to the physical protection problems, to me, it just screams "trip on me" and "kluge". I know you said you didn't want to mess with going through the slab but, sorry...There! I've said it.

You have a core bit on the way, right?

****

OK, so let's say that doesn't work for ya.

The right way to do rigid metal conduit, IMhO, is to thread and fit it. (That's all too easy for me to say since I do happen to have large taps and dies.) If you do decide go that way, you might be able to find someone in the Home Despot plumbing department to help.

If you tell 'em a few good semi-off-color jokes :-) and seem like a good guy (no reason to think otherwise), and it isn't a busy Saturday, you may find a good fellow who'll cut you some threads (assuming you've got your act together and have accurately measured your pieces in advance).


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RE: Electric to shed

''Then I was pondering the idea of adding another exterior receptacle below the panel. Maybe set it up with 8ga wire and a 50 amp breaker, so it could be used for welding out on the driveway''
you need 6 awg for 50a.
use a 4 cond receptacle so you can plug in a travel trailer.

I THINK THOSE BLUE PLASTIC BOXES LOOK VERY UNPROFESSIONAL.
dont forget to use 20a devices.


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RE: Electric to shed

Unfortunately homeowners don't have much choice since all the home stores carry blue plastic. I am stuck on a stubborn assumption that blue is a clue that DIY work was done. I just have never found a professional installation that used them. 75% of time when I open up a blue box, I find the grounds twisted with no wire nut, and the 2 inch long blacks and whites held together with yellow wire nuts with gobs of black tape. <-- Leads to my hatred of them! lol. Fiberglass seems to be the choice of almost all pros in residential work. Now in shed however, I suppose the fiberglass could get smashed easier than plastic. This installation would have been a good candidate for 4x4 metal with exposed work GFCI or GFCI quad covers. Sorry to beat this post to death with side discussion (:


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RE: Electric to shed

"''Then I was pondering the idea of adding another exterior receptacle below the panel. Maybe set it up with 8ga wire and a 50 amp breaker, so it could be used for welding out on the driveway''

Smithy wrote: "you need 6 awg for 50a."

As usual, Smithy, you are 100% wrong. In the first place, #8 THHN, with all related parts and terminations rated in the 75 degree column, is 50-amp capable.

But that's almost beside the point. Welders fall under a specific NEC article that links wire size to duty cycle of the welder. Given the duty-cycle consideration, believe it or not, #10AWG would actually be sufficient for most stick welders.

You have NOOOOO idea what you are talking about.

Please, please, stop giving incompetant advice. Now!


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RE: Electric to shed

I have 4x4 boxes with mc in my shed.


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RE: Electric to shed

Yes, core bit is on order. But, not the heavier duty type that can cut through rebar too. So no, not drilling the slab. Trip hazard or not, conduit is wrapping around the slab. Certainly won't be the first time electrical has had to be routed around things.

The entire house was wired with those "unprofessional" blue boxes. So I guess I need to redo the whole house to make it look good.

Standard pipe thread is on the RMC then?


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RE: Electric to shed

"Standard pipe thread is on the RMC then? "

IPT, Iron Pipe Thread. The same as water and other threaded pipe.


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RE: Electric to shed

My un-official, good-for-nothing opinion is that you should change out the blue boxes in the shed for metal. There might not be a requirement for it but I think it would be better since they are exposed. Unless you intend to drywall the shed.

I suppose the same argument could be made that you should use armored/metallic cable rather than Romex, but I think it's too late for that.

As to the two 90* outdoor bends, one will be pretty much buried. The one next to the shed I would make metal. I could just see someone hitting that with a weedeater or lawnmower, or driving over it.

Oh, and I commend you for providing all the pictures. keep it up.


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RE: Electric to shed

Slide the shed over to the edge of the slab.
(you can always find 'stuff' to pile on the
other side, like firewood).


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RE: Electric to shed

If I manage to break a fiberglass box while using the shed, I will replace them with metal. Otherwise, they stay.

Good idea about moving the shed. But I like where it is at with the front 3 feet from the driveway edge.

Got the panel wired for the most part. The two 30amp doubles were included with the panel. I just stuck them in for now.

There is a 50amp double on bottom. Going to wire that up for a 240 recept below the panel. I currently have my table saw set up for 240, so I could roll it out on the driveway and plug it in there if I want. And the recept can handle a welder too if need be. Though with so many 240 receptacle options, it is unlikely that my current 240 plug on the saw would match any welders plugs.

And after debating and talking to the licensed electrician at Depot, I opted for RMC from the subpanel to below grade, where it will connect to PVC.

Basically a pain in the ass working with RMC because unless you own a pipe threader, you have to take it somewhere. Which wound up like this.

1. Measure and cut the RMC, clean up burrs.
2. Call Depot to find out if anyone is working that knows how to thread pipe. Answer was yes.
3. Arrive at Depot to find nobody in plumbing. Eventually pipe threading guy shows up.
4. Has trouble with both the security code on the machine keypad and the forward/reverse switch. Eventually figuring it out.
5. I wander off while he gets that done. Coming back 10 minutes later. Trouble. Got 4 threaded sections cut, but they are not deep enough. He is clueless as to why.
6. He wanders the store in search of someone who knows more than him.
7. I roll my eyes and go to the electrical aisle to get something. Along comes Mr Electrician. We chat a bit. I tell him about the RMC threading issue. We go over to the machine. He gets it going and gets the threads corrected, though he says it is not cutting like it should be. In any case, checked the threads with a coupling, all workable.
8. Original guy finally comes back and wants to know how he did it.
9. I ponder the possibility that this guy might be cutting threads for someones gas pipe one day. Hmmmm

So got it done. It was a hassle. And then I realized today, that upon test fitting, I made the one pipe too long. Grrrrr.

I test messaged one neighbor to see if he had a 1-1/4 pipe threader. No dice.

So wanting to avoid the whole Depot thing again, I take the pipe over two houses to a neighbor who is a plumber. He is not home, wife is there. Wife calls him. He is in town at a job. She says she is going to town anyway, so she can take the pipe, have him thread it and drop it off when she comes back. Ok, fine. I worked on wiring the panel in the meantime. Soon the pipe was back, threaded perfectly.

So my advice to any homeowners treading in the RMC waters, is to have on hand, either rented, or purchased for $60 or so, a manual ratcheting pipe threader and cutting oil. It will save you much aggravation.

Supposed to get storms tomorrow and Friday. Trench is still open. I can see a nice little lake forming in the clay there.

The one thing I had not thought about in regards to using RMC there, was the possibility of little kids grabbing a hold of that pipe in the dog days of summer here that easily hit 100 at times. That is going to sting.
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RE: Electric to shed

"There is a 50amp double on bottom. Going to wire that up for a 240 recept below the panel. I currently have my table saw set up for 240, so I could roll it out on the driveway and plug it in there if I want. And the recept can handle a welder too if need be. Though with so many 240 receptacle options, it is unlikely that my current 240 plug on the saw would match any welders plugs."

I'm not sold on your idea of installing one 240V receptacle to serve both your table saw and your welder. Not all 240V circuits are the same and that's precisely why the plugs are different.

Just shooting from the hip, unless your table saw has, like, a 10 HP motor (all but impossible if it has the option of jumpering between 120V and 240V), your table saw probably requires 15- or 20-amp overcurrent protection @ 240V. The welder, on the other hand, can be "underwired" slightly because of the duty-cycle consideration (see above).

I really wouldn't recommend trying to kill two birds with one stone breaker -- at least not those particular birds.

Just my 2 cents.

"Basically a pain in the ass working with RMC because unless you own a pipe threader, you have to take it somewhere. Which wound up like this..."

Wow, sorry 'bout that, mon. Who knew that Home Despot sometimes employs idiots? :-)


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RE: Electric to shed

One thing strikes me.

Somewhere in my educational reading in the past I learned to pull only about 1/2" of the outer sheating of romex into a box. Where did I read that? If it was just a particular author's preference, then your pulling in almost a foot is okay, but if it was specific instructions, then you oughtta fix that. Looks neater. :)


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RE: Electric to shed

Tom, you are right on the 50amp breaker. Table saw can probably run on a 20. I will have to look at the info on that again what Delta says for the saw. Scratch that sharing idea. I was thinking I had a HUGE table saw. But alas, tis not the case.

I like the yellow insulating jacket in the panel. It brightens things up.

Unless you are lucky enough to get a retired plumber at the hardware store near you, it's a roll of the dice whether you get something threaded correctly. Thankfully this was not gas line. If it were, I would have just tossed it and started over.

So I have the 50amp breaker and a hole in front of the shed for a weatherproof box soon to be installed. I don't have a welder. I do have a table saw. I guess I will just set it up for the 15 or 20 breaker and a receptacle for my saw. It is easy enough to change it over to something else should the need arise.

The rain should make ground rod installation easier.

Here is an interesting link on how a ham radio guy sinks them.

http://www.rogerhalstead.com/ham_files/ground.htm


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RE: Electric to shed

What do you pros here make of the water jet method? I guess eventually the earth will close up onto the ground rod, but it seems to me that it would make for a pretty miserable ground when first installed. The ground rod just drops into the drilled hole - it's not really in solid contact with the earth.

I'm not a pro so fortunately I don't have to sink a ground rod once a week or so. But when I do have to, I use a fence post driver. It's easier than a sledge, and safer for the guy who has to hold the rod for you while you swing at it from a stepladder.


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RE: Electric to shed

lol.

I had the same thought about the water jet thing. Just the same, I'm thinking about modifying it a little and using it.

I'm thinking, if we made the hole SMALLER, there'd still be plenty of earth for the rod to grab, but the pre-existing hole would certainly make it easier. ie, it wouldn't just "drop in" but it would be looser than untouched ground.


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Grounding Rod Wire

Core bit arrived. Can finally get that hole drilled in the brick.

Speaking of grounding. Assuming I am able to get the 8ft rods sunk down below grade. How do I handle the ground wire routing? Just route it up next to the rigid conduit and then inside to the subpanel??

I have 25ft of #4 copper to work with. Shed is 14ft wide.


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RE: Electric to shed

Got the hole drilled in the brick. Ear protection and a dust mask is a good idea. I drilled from inside to out, because I wanted the hole I already cut in the drywall to match up.

I got the rest of the emt run down the wall to the 1" LB. Which then has a 1" pvc male adapter. Then I got some 1" gray pvc for the short section inside the wall. And that connects up to a 1-1/4" plastic LB on the other side via another plastic adaper.

Filled the wall void with spray foam.

Pulled the 4 wires all together today down to the metal LB inside the garage. Did not need the square box on ceiling. No biggie.

Quickly realized I was short on wire. Grrrrr. Can I splice the wires in the plastic LB outside the garage? How do I go about splicing 6ga stranded wire? Already spent $120 so far on the wire.

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RE: Electric to shed

How about using the ceiling box as a splice point. Not sure how much wire it would waste but that would possibly have the volume needed to splice the wires. Or perhaps pull that wire you have now to the shed and add pull a new section of wire from the ceiling box back to the main panel (which ever wastes the least amount of wire. Also hate to say it but the black or red wire is not code legal for your neutral. The code allows re-coloring the wire with tape but only for wires larger than number 6. That said, there are still a lot of pros out there re-taping even #8 wire. Don't know if your having this work inspected but there is a chance the inspector could catch it. The 2 hots can be black, buying red wire isn't required but helps keep track.


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RE: Electric to shed

No inspection, out in the sticks.

That always seems to be an issue when I go for wire. They never have all the colors. So I got two blacks in the run figuring I would tape the one black with white tape and use it as the neutral.

Got the remaining wire last night. This time Lowes had the white 6ga wire in stock but not the #10 green. So I went to Depot and got the #10 green.

Based on the wire I was able to get, it will pan out at the sub panel with.
1 black hot 6ga
1 black with red tape, hot 6ga
1 white, neutral, 6g
1 green ground 10 ga

And wherever I splice it, either the plastic LB or the ceiling box. So from the main panel to the splice:

1 black hot 6ga
1 red hot 6ga
1 black with white tape neutral 6ga
1 green ground 10ga

The ceiling box is a big 4 11/16, 42 cu inch.

So how do I go about splicing the 6ga wire? Do they even make wire nuts that big? Or do I have to use some special tool and copper crimp collars?


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RE: Electric to shed

There are devices for splicing wires that large. The largest 'wire nut' I've personally used went up to #8 and I wouldn't want to see a larger one.

The easiest to find is probably going to be "split bolt" connectors...

There are butt connectors that crimp, but there are also barrel connectors with setscrews.


One of the code gurus will have to comment on this, but I would imagine you could put them through "heat shrink tubing" and solder them.


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RE: Electric to shed

I found some big wire nuts from GB at Ace. I will see how well they hold onto two 6ga wires.

Finished the PVC today. Lot of test fitting and taking apart and I still had to redo a few cuts. Got it all set from the house to the shed now. I don't want to bury it yet until I know for sure that I can get the wire all through there. I don't see any issues, but you never know.

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RE: Electric to shed

Got the second set of wires pulled from the outside plastic LB to the sub panel. Lubed it with some diluted dishwashing soap. First try without soap wound up breaking the parachute cord. So I reset and hooked it up with 3 pull cords and lube. Got it through to the metal LB at the slab. Then routed it up to the panel.


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RE: Electric to shed

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GFCI outside recept for saw

Pondering the exterior receptacle by the double doors on the shed just below the sub panel. Going to set it for 240v table saw for now. But the male plug on the saw is the type with two horizontal hot blades and then the ground.

How do I get a GFCI on a 240v line cost effectively? I imagine a double pole 20a gfci is pricey. I know the hardware stores do not carry them.


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RE: Electric to shed

GFCI protection is not technically required since it is a 240 volt receptacle. But if you would like it for your own piece of mind, a GFCI breaker is what you need. Since you have a Square D homeline panel (not QO) which are basically the cheapest circuit breakers out there, a double pole 20 shouldn't be too bad. Searching on google I found this one for a hundred bux.

http://www.drillspot.com/products/159890/Square_D_HOM220GFI_Circuit_Breaker?s=5

A qo would likely cost near $200.


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RE: Electric to shed

"And wherever I splice it, either the plastic LB or the ceiling box. So from the main panel to the splice:

1 black hot 6ga
1 red hot 6ga
1 black with white tape neutral 6ga
1 green ground 10ga

The ceiling box is a big 4 11/16, 42 cu inch.

So how do I go about splicing the 6ga wire? Do they even make wire nuts that big? Or do I have to use some special tool and copper crimp collars?"

First let's address box fill requirements.

When you splice a conductor in a box, it counts as two (one in, one out). So, from the standpoint of box fill, you have 6 x #6awg. Each #6 requires 5 cubic inches.

Equipment grounds (whether spliced, pigtailed or whatever) collectively count as only one conductor. (I know, I know, it seems counterintuitive but box fill has as much to do with heat management as it does with whether or not you can actually squeeze everything in. :-) ) A #10AWG needs 2.5 cubic inches.

By my calculation, the total size required is 32.5 ci (6 x 5 + 1 x 2.5)

Thus, a 4 11/16 x 2" square box (42 ci) appears to meet box fill minimum.

As for making splices in a conduit body (e.g., an LB), the issue is a little trickier. It wasn't many code revisions ago that splices in LBs were disallowed altogether but they are now allowed provided that the manufacturer specifically labels the LB with the c.i. available for connections. Some do, some don't.

So does this mean that in the case of two otherwise identical LBs -- one of which has volume stamped on it and the second which does not -- that one is OK for splices and the other is a potential code violation? Yep, sure does. Go figure.

I'm with Spencer on this one: I'd probably opt for making the splice in the junction box rather than the LB. (Also, that oughta require less additional wire.)

Now for how to make the splice. As a matter of personal preference, I'm with pharkus on this. I'd probably use split bolt connectors for the current carrying conductors and a red wire nut for the EG.

[Not saying that the big (gray?) wire nuts won't work. They will. I'm just personally more confident that split-bolt splices are secure. Of course, I'm an old fart. :-) ]

However, if you aren't familiar with how to properly tape-up split bolt splices, it might be a better choice for a DIYer to opt for wire nuts.

[If you do decide to use split-bolt connectors and aren't familiar with how to tape them up, come back for further discussion. Taping is a very important part of making split-bolt splices and the proper procedure is more involved than wrapping a couple of turns of black tape over the splice and screwing on the box cover.)

****

BTW, if this were my project, I wouldn't spring for a GFCI breaker for the table saw. But, once again, that's just a personal preference. The larger the motor the less I like the idea of using GFCIs and they ain't that easy on the wallet either.


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RE: Electric to shed

Yes, I think I will skip the GFCI on the 240 recept for the saw.

As far as the feeder splice goes, not sure if I have enough to route that exterior wire up to the ceiling box. Will check that tomorrow.

If not, two conduit bodies on either side of the garage wall will have to be it. The outside pvc one is 32 cu in.

The inside 1" metal LB is, strangely, not marked with a cubic inch, but instead says "maximum 3 #4ga."

If I want to nit pick it, I suppose I could splice the green ground in the metal LB, and the 3 #6ga in the gray pvc LB outside.

Had to cut a 4.25" RMC section for the final nipple at the sub panel. But I needed it threaded on one end. Oh joy.

I had returns to make to both Depot and Lowes. First stop Lowes. Plumbing stocker pulls the machine out and then realizes they do not have a die large enough in it to cut the 1 1/4, or he doesn't know how to adjust it so it will.
No problem...head to Depot.

Find plumbing guy at Depot. Show him the short pipe I need threaded. He says, no, can't do one that short. Why not I say. He says it needs to be a long pipe because the machine grips it in the front and back. I say, welllll, I don't think that is correct, because the electrician at the other Depot managed to do a similar short pipe for me by just clamping it with the front jaws. So he give it a whirl, and low and behold, success. Now he knows it can indeed be done.

Raining and cold today, so didn't get much done other than returns and the pipe threading.

Still have to tackle the ground rods. I may try to sink one to the right of the LB at the slab, and the other one 8 ft to the right of that. I have 25ft of 4g bare copper to work with. Problem is that there is a fair amount of random sandstone all over here. I would guess my chances are very slim to be able to go straight down 8 feet without hitting some.


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Split bolt

And no, I have not used split bolt connectors before. I know what they are and have seen them at the store. I do not know how to tape them up properly.

I do have the big 6ga wire nuts. Ace had them for sale individually in some bins. So I will give those a try and see how I feel about getting a good connection with them.


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Taping

Found a 3M video on taping up split bolts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tsx6im7qng


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RE: Electric to shed

Much easier if you can find these.

Here is a link that might be useful: INSUL-TAP


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RE: Electric to shed

That video clip looks like a great way to sell LOTS of 3M tape. Four layers of rubber tape followed by 4 layers of vinyl? That would be a fairly massive lump.


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RE: Electric to shed

Lots of any brand of tape is apparently needed to tape up those split bolt connections.

Those insulated tap things are nice, but the wire nuts worked fine it seems for the 6ga. I tested them on some scrap first to be sure.

Getting all those 6ga wires, with a bit of slack, into the ceiling box was a challenge.

The poor mans wire tester in the photo below was my way of figuring out which black wire was which going to the shed.
I already had a red wire run from the main panel. So I was going to tape one of the blacks heading to the shed with red to be consistent. But, I needed to know which was which.

So, with the 9v battery clipped to the wires, I used my digital voltmeter over at the sub panel. With red +, and black - on the battery. When the voltmeter is on DC volts and the correct polarity is sensed between the black wires, it shows a positive voltage. When you reverse the probes, it will show a negative voltage. Thus distinguishing the positive from the negative, and which wire is which.

I had to remove the sub panel to get the short pipe nipple on properly. With that done, the wiring got completed there.

Started burying the pipe in the trench. Will finish that tomorrow.

Got the 240v receptacle hooked up.

Silicone around all exterior boxes.

Tomorrow I will make the final connections at the main panel with a 60a double pole feeder breaker.

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Grounding Rods

Oh, and the copper grounding rods need to be sunk still. That may wind up eating the day tomorrow. We shall see.


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RE: Electric to shed

Got the ditch filled in today. Really windy, cold and then started raining. Ground rods will be tomorrow.

Finished the connections at the main panel.

One curious thing. The yellow romex cable with the black tape striped all down it. I turned off all the breakers in that panel, and the main. Checked the romex with my inductive beeper, nothing. So I figured when I was done, I would flip the main back on, and then the breakers one at a time and check that romex to see which circuit was powering it. Went through all of them, no power on that romex now. Hmmmm. Had power previously when I originally took the panel cover off weeks ago.

Moving on to the other panel to the left. So I turned all the breakers off and the main on that panel. Went about fitting the panel cover back on, and it just did not fit right. Hmmm. So I quickly realized that the two 60a doubles for the electric heat were not Square D, but Cutler Hammer. And they are not designed on top, to line up properly with Square D covers. Greeeeat. I had a spare 60 Square D, so I popped that in for the one. The Cutler breaker I removed was broken a bit, as if someone at some point tried to pry it out.

Anyway, got the left panel back on. Turned the main on, flipped the breakers on one at a time. Checking the yellow romex again each time. Nothing. Not a beep. I know my tester works. The main lines at the top cause it to beep.

So I don't know why when I checked that romex multiple times before, it showed power. And clearly, someone marked it to indicate it was hot and not connected to anything in the panel.

But now, it is not showing power. Nobody else has been working at the house besides me. It's a mystery for another day.

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RE: Electric to shed

That stray cable really bothers me. If it were my house, I'd be turning the place upside down to figure out where it goes and what it's supposed to be doing.

I don't fully trust volt ticks. I'd use a Wiggy or at least a neon tester on it.

I'd definitely replace those CH breakers with the proper type. There is no excuse for that kind of hack work.


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RE: Electric to shed

Yes, I will have to check that mystery cable further.

It comes down into the panel through one of the main large conduit feeds. Those are already jam packed with wires. So it seems unlikely it could have been fished through after the initial panel install.

And the black taping of the cable in a stripe fashion all the way down is curious. Because it's not tape that was rolled around and down the cable. Little bits of tape were indidually cut and put on there. Clearly not something an electrician would do.

It apparently was taped like that to indicate to others that is was a hot cable coming into the box. So why am I not getting a power indication on it now, when I was before.

I definitely need to find out where that goes. Unfortunately, the majority of the cable used in the attic are yellow jacketed.


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Ground Rods

Today was ground rod day. And so is tomorrow.

Got the 4ga copper wire connected in the sub panel and snaked through the small knockout in the bottom, the out and down next to the RMC. Then stretched it out to the right in front of the slab.

Got two 8ft, 5/8 rods. Ground was plenty wet from recent rains. But it is clay, so it doesn't percolate very far down.

Managed to get just 2 feet pounded in using sledge and water method.

Next, I had a 1/2" copper pipe about 50" long I found a large hex bolt that would fit inside it. I drilled through the pipe and bolt. Inserted a cotter pin. Then used my dremel with an abrasive wheel to cut teeth into the other end of the pipe. Poor mans core drill basically.

I have a socket adapter that fits my 3/8 electric variable speed drill. So popped a craftsman socket on there and went back to work. Water, drill on hex bolt, go down a bit, remove pipe, whack end of pipe with small 1x2 to get the core out...repeat. Got about another 3 feet using that method. The copper teeth last maybe 5 shots, then need to be recut with dremel. Some of the clay is very dense sticky and much harder to extract from the pipe.

May stop at the rental place in town here and see what they have in demolition hammers and try brute force.


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RE: Electric to shed

I don't have the book handy here to check to be sure that this is still OK - will do so later if I can. However, IIRC, the code allows you to dig trenches and lay the ground rods horizontally. I think you have to go either 30" or 36" down, and the connectors on the rods have to be listed for direct burial.

Don't forget that you're not allowed to have any splices in the ground wire. Thread it through the first rod's connector uncut, and take it right on to the next one's.


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RE: Electric to shed

The exterior lights are installed and functioning fine. Everything else is working properly.

Got delayed on the ground rods. Will be renting a chipping hammer with rod driver attachment tomorrow. I have been soaking the holes with water regularly. Hopefully they will both go in all the way.

Total expenses so far to do this project = about $1200
Used up about 8 gallons of fuel with various trips to
the hardware stores.


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RE: Electric to shed

"Total expenses so far to do this project = about $1200
Used up about 8 gallons of fuel with various trips to
the hardware stores."

When you do the final cost/benefit analysis, don't forget to load up the benefits column with a lot of valuable learning as well as a few tools you now own that you may use again.

It's a matter of philosophy, I suppose, but given the choice of doing something myself for the first time and hiring it out at the same cost, I'll nearly always opt for doing it myself. What I've learned over a lifetime of getting my fingernails dirty is the real difference. And, next time, you'll be able to tackle a wiring project much more efficiently, with a lot fewer trips to the hardware stores.

[Having said that, I gotta admit that although I can usually complete an electrical project with only a couple of trips to the store, I doubt I've ever completed a significant plumbing project with fewer than about a half-dozen trips. :-) Because you had elements of "plumbing" to deal with, your daily commuting runs can be excused in part.]

Because I think this thread would make for an excellent case study for a DIYer considering a project to wire an outbuilding (with great pics to boot), I'd throw in this additional thought, though it won't benefit the OP at this point in the game:

Yes, ground rods can be a b1tch to drive and after all that blood and sweat, they provide for a grounding system that is inferior to electrodes embedded in a building's concrete foundation. Had you laid out most of that #4 copper when the concrete was being poured and bonded it to the rebar, you'd have a better ground (known as a "Ufer") at a lower cost with a fraction of the work.

But hindsight is always 20/20, right?


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RE: Electric to shed

"Yes, ground rods can be a b1tch to drive and after all that blood and sweat, they provide for a grounding system that is inferior to electrodes embedded in a building's concrete foundation."

The UFER may not be as good as the rods depending on local soil conditions, chiefly how wet the earth is at the bottom of the foundation.

In desert areas you can only sometimes only get a reliable connection by dripping water on ground rods driven very deeply.

Local addition to the code can require very deep driven grounds and the watering system.

It is a real PITA to get any kind of antenna to have a decent ground plane also.

We ended up putting radial leads of solid #10 wire from the base of the antenna mast for 5 wavelengths out at the lowest frequency (high HF) then having a sprinkler system installed just above them to water the sand.


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RE: Electric to shed

"The UFER may not be as good as..."

FWIW, it's a Ufer (or if you contend that the word has gained acceptance as a generic, perhaps a ufer). But because it is named for one Herbert G. Ufer, it is not an acronym (i.e., "UFER").

Curiously, Mr. Ufer developed the technique in the Arizona deserts for the Army precisely to avoid having to sink ground rods hundreds of feet over bomb storage vaults.


 o
erratum

err...under bomb storage vaults? :-)


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RE: Electric to shed

Rented a Bosch chipping hammer with a ground rod driver attachment at a local place. Had 3 hours before the rate bumped up to the next level.

Worked on rod #2 first. It was well soaked over the past week. But again, heavy clay here, doesn't percolate down far. And lots of sandstone boulders, some the size of cars. So I knew it was a roll of the dice.

Managed to get rod #2 down to within 18" of grade. That was all she wrote.

Rod #1 had to be repositioned slightly to the left. I got it down about 2 feet in the original spot, but it would not go further. So I used an auto floor jack under the clamp and pried it out of the ground. Moved it and tried again. Got it down to within 8" of grade before stalling out.

I tried bending over rod #2 into the trench, but spring back is not letting me get it down flat.

So do I cut them off, or is there a trick to bending them all the way down?

Yes, learned a lot doing yet another project myself. The info here from you guys helped.

If I were to do it again, I would hire someone to do that trench or rent a small trencher if they had one that I could use in the space I was working with.

Or, I would have just used rigid or intermediate conduit and not had to dig as far down. BUT, I would have rented or purchased a ratcheting manual pipe threader if I went that route. Trying to get the hardware store guys to do pipe threading was just ridiculous.
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Grounding rods

I just read somewhere else that only the primary grounding rod at the electric meter needs to be driven to the 8ft depth. Secondary rods at sub panels have no specific depth requirement. Is this in fact the case?

At this point, cutting them off below grade seems to be the only realistic solution.

The ground will be freezing up shortly here.


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RE: Electric to shed

Where did you read that??? It is totally wrong.


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RE: Electric to shed

I saw it posted on another online electrical forum which I can't locate now. I was just browsing around online at lunch when I saw it.

I did see a mention on the water pipe drilling method and that it leaves the hole too large and not in good contact with earth. Someone responded that for really deep ground rods, they always drill a larger hole, drop the rods in, and then fill the space with a clay slurry.


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RE: Electric to shed

As I suggested before, you can lay the rods horizontally in a ditch. I checked and they're supposed to be buried 30" down. The clamps have to be listed for direct burial.


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RE: Electric to shed

You started this job on October 31??? Wonder how long it would have taken without all the commentary and photos??

Looks like a good job though.


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RE: Electric to shed

Probably longer, as he asked for input several times and, had he not received it, someone at a hardware store would probably have given him bad advice, or simply not known.

Every once in a while I get annoyed with this thread too, but, honestly, it's a good idea, and probably one of the best way for a DIY job to get done correctly.


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RE: Electric to shed

Yes, it took a while, in between everything else I was doing around here. But I got it done and it works, and I learned a lot.

Posting clear photos is more helpful sometimes than trying to explain the issue.

Thanks for the help guys.

End of job.


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RE: Electric to shed

Great thread ohmmm.

Just a quick note on your mystery cable if you haven't found what it might be yet. It might have been for temoporary power during the construction of your house for work lights and receptacles. I often find in my parts contractors leaving the cabling behind after construction in this fashion. Hope this helps.

Jon


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