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Running power to detached shed shop

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Forum topic by nogeel posted 07-23-2015 06:40 AM 6227 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nogeel

68 posts in 534 days


07-23-2015 06:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: woodshop power electricity

I have a 20×12 shed on cinder blocks that I am using for my woodshop. Right now I am running an extension cord to the shop from an outdoor outlet which is a pain.

For this to fit in the budget I need to do the vast majority of work myself. I will get a Licensed electrician to finalize any plans before I do anything (and possibly do the final hookup and check) Before I hire a licensed electrician to approve a plan/give advice I wanted to see if my theory would work rather than waste money I could spend on router bit, saw blades, hand planes, etc.

I want to run a 40 A or 50 A subpanel that I can put a 3×110’s (1 circuit for lights (possible a heater or portable A/C), 1 for a tool, and one for a 110 shop vac or dust collection) and 1 (or 2 if your aren’t supposed to daisy chain 220V outlets) if I get future tools that use it.

The previous owners run to 3/4” PVC conduits underground to the shop already after a failed attempt at running power for lights from my utility room to the shed. My dryer is on a 220/230V 50 Amp circuit could I feasibly split that circuit to feed a subpanel in my shop? My dryer is in use maybe 1-2 days a week and according to the manual only has to be on a 30A breaker.

Also, it is about 60 – 70 ft from the house to the shed. Can I get by with 10 AWG wire to feed a 40-50 Amp subpanel at 220? Would it need to be four strand?

Again, I will get a licensed electrician or codes involved before I do anything

-- Jeff, Tennessee


32 replies so far

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

842 posts in 2440 days


#1 posted 07-23-2015 11:16 AM

Not an expert, but I think you will need to get down to 4 or 6 awg. Yes on 4 conductors for a subpanel in detached building because you need separate neutral and ground. Also, from some shopping I’ve recently done, I don’t think you will find a 50amp box that will hold that many circuits. Most seem to only have 4 spaces and will hold 8 110 circuits by using those double breakers. But, not enough room for several 110 and a 220. I’m going with a 100amp.

View dustyoldman's profile

dustyoldman

22 posts in 710 days


#2 posted 07-23-2015 11:33 AM

My advise is to ask an electrician so that you will be doing this according to code

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 945 days


#3 posted 07-23-2015 11:51 AM

+1 Dusty.

I know you’re not supposed to have more than one wire on a circuity breaker, but I’ve done it and not had a problem.

You can open up a couple slots to add a double pole breaker in your service panel by converting 4 120 V circuits to 2-120V split breakers. This will open up two slots for a 50 A DP breaker to your shop.

Wire size is usually determined by the breaker (or vice versa) so for a 50A you’re probably looking at #6.
I know a 50A is oversized for #10 wire.
I would check the wire size to your dryer and see what it is.

For that distance I don’t think you’ll have a big voltage drop.
Check around for supanels. I have one with 3 double poles and 2 single pole breaker.

You can daisy chain a 240V circuit to mutilple machines, but for thing like a big compressor or DC you need a dedicated circuit.

Then run everything by an electrician.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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canadianchips

2356 posts in 2462 days


#4 posted 07-23-2015 11:56 AM

You are on right path.
Another question to ask ? Is the service into your house large enough to handle 60 AMP sub-panel ?

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#5 posted 07-23-2015 12:04 PM

Pretty much no for almost all of that. Hire an electrician bud.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

842 posts in 2440 days


#6 posted 07-23-2015 12:44 PM

OP said twice he is going to involve a licensed electrician.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1145 days


#7 posted 07-23-2015 12:50 PM

My advise is to call around and find a electrician that will quote the job and talk to him about parts you can do yourself to cut down on costs. Some will work with you and some may not but you should be able to find someone who is willing. At the very least a quote will give you a idea of the scope of the project and how much it’s going to take to do it right.

View JayT's profile

JayT

4783 posts in 1676 days


#8 posted 07-23-2015 01:10 PM

+1 to Richard H

Part of the issue is what your local building codes do and do not specify and what work can be done by the homeowner vs a licensed professional. In general, those codes will follow the national standard, but localities can place their own requirements. Even if one of our recommendations is safe, it may not be legal in your particular area.

Since you are going to hire an electrician for part of it, it’s best to get them involved from the beginning. Some will not want homeowner involvement and may actually charge more than if they did the whole job. One that is willing to have you do some work will be able to spell out what you can do to save him time & money.

You might also be surprised by cost (don’t know if you’ve had the job quoted, yet). A friend of mine built a house and was planning to run the electrical himself. He talked to an electrician about doing just a couple things and got a quote for the whole project that was just barely over what he would have spent on just the materials, so had the pro do the whole job.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3942 posts in 1958 days


#9 posted 07-23-2015 01:14 PM

You will not get by with #10 wire for 40 or 50 amps…at least not safely. The subpanel in the shed would be the easiest approach, then you can run your own circuits inside the building once the service is connected. The 240V receptacles can be daisy chained. There is probably a way to get a dedicated breaker to feed the shop, you don’t want to try and load up on the dryer breaker. I think asking an electrician is the way to go.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1768 posts in 603 days


#10 posted 07-23-2015 03:15 PM

I’m with Richard H and JayT.

Find an electrician who will spend a couple hours drawing up a schematic for you on how to do it to code and who will spec. all the parts you need and get you the parts at his cost (if you want him to) for $100 or so. I know several electricians and most, if not all of them, would be happy to make some easy money without having to break a sweat or use a tool.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View WhyMe's profile

WhyMe

614 posts in 1026 days


#11 posted 07-23-2015 03:48 PM

No you can’t use the dryer circuit to feed the sub-panel. Sub-panel is to be on it’s own feeder. And for 50A you need at least #6 copper UF or #8 copper THWN in conduit or #6 aluminum in conduit. If your locality follows the IRC (International Residential Code) then you cannot daisy chain 240V outlet greater than 20A. IRC limits multiple outlets on a circuit to 20A. 30A and up need to be on single circuits. IRC E3702.5

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#12 posted 07-23-2015 03:59 PM



OP said twice he is going to involve a licensed electrician.

- hotbyte

No shlt.

15 yrs exp here. I’d suggest you just go ahead and talk to one if you were going to do it anyway bud.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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hotbyte

842 posts in 2440 days


#13 posted 07-23-2015 05:43 PM

He was just looking to become more informed for when he talks to electrician not get chastised for asking a question…

OP said twice he is going to involve a licensed electrician.

- hotbyte

No shlt.

15 yrs exp here. I d suggest you just go ahead and talk to one if you were going to do it anyway bud.

- TheFridge


View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

4534 posts in 1977 days


#14 posted 07-23-2015 06:58 PM

Sub panels are cheap and you should be fine with #6, no smaller if you plan on running 240 volt. I just upgraded my shop from a 30 amp using #10 to a 50 amp using #6 feeding an 8 space sup panel one double pole breaker in the sub is dedicated to my 240V window unit.

canadianchips has a good point, but… if you’re not running everything in the house at once you should be OK, the electrician will be able to help you here.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3140 days


#15 posted 07-24-2015 01:56 AM

You are on the right track getting a pro. You should b e OK with #6 or 8 Cu, #8 neutral, and #10 Ground in the 3/4 conduit. Your Voltage drop should be OK. Don’t scab off the dryer circuit. Come directly off your main panel. Daisy chaining 220 outlets is ok for a circuit with 220 receptacles, not hard wired equipment.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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