Wiring My shop for Electric

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Luke posted 03-13-2010 06:08 AM 3803 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3322 days

03-13-2010 06:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: electric shop wiring wiring

Okay I’ve decided to put a little money into my house and go for it on this one as I need a useable shop space.
Here’s my plan:
New 50 amp 2 pole breaker in the main panel,
10-3 indoor wire ran to outside into sched 40 down into the ground,
Run the same 10-3 indoor wire all the way out to the shed inside the sch 40 that will be sealed 24” under ground,
Come up under the shed and terminate into a sub panel which will go to several breakers for different outlets,

Can I use indoor cable inside of conduit like described or does it HAVE to be UF type?
Can I use the ground from the main panel in this way or do I have to have a separate ground rod?
Can I use 10-2 and put a grounding rod at the sub panel out at the shop using the ground wire inside the 10-2 for the nuetral?
Any help would be appreciated.


-- LAS,

9 replies so far

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3034 days

#1 posted 03-13-2010 06:20 AM

#10 wire is kinda small. Have a Sub panel at the end of that run with maybe 4- 15 amp breakers in it Some for lights, some for machines. Keep the breakers at about 15 amps and you will probably be alright but don’t run more than one machine at a time.

Most counties in CA won’t let you put romex in pipe. It should be individual stranded wire.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3345 days

#2 posted 03-22-2010 10:45 PM

I built a detached workshop in the backyard last summer. It’s a 60A feed from the main panel. I had to hire a licensed electrician for the permit – he ran it in conduit underground, but used #6/3 with Ground UF stranded, not solid wire. It seemed odd to me that he could re-use the ground from the house and not sink a new ground in the workshop, but that’s code here (Nashville). Also, you’d need to use #6 wire for 50 Amps here (#8 for 40A, #10 for 30A, #12 for 20A, etc).

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3781 days

#3 posted 03-23-2010 12:00 AM

10/3 is way to small for a 50 amp circuit, I also have 6/3 running to the shop. And went with stranded in plastic conduit. The wire was not cheap, I think around 240.00 for a 125 ft spool.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View wdwrkr's profile


26 posts in 3030 days

#4 posted 03-23-2010 02:58 AM

Before anything, check your local code requirements. You can call the building and development office in your county and they will help with the details. In general, you have to use UF if it’s underground in conduit or not, and you will need 6/3 (two hots for 240V, neutral, and ground). You should absolutely run it in conduit. Code permits you to bury wire deep enough to skip using conduit, depending on where it is actually being routed. In my experience, I have never seen a wire buried to the correct depth, people always forget where the wire is actually routed, the risk of cutting into the wire while planting a tree is high, and you may not live there forever and the new owners are at risk. Use conduit.
As for your panel, it will be a subpanel and they have certain rules for safety reasons. You should drive a new ground rod and run an 8 gauge ground wire to it. When wiring the subpanel, you must not allow the neutral and ground to make an electrical connection inside the subpanel. They make a connection back at the house panel (the service panel in your house has the neutral and ground connected in the panel).
Stranded or solid makes no difference. It’s the gauge and wire insulation material that matters. Use stranded because it’s easier to route. Also, #6 aluminum will not carry the same current as #6 copper. My recommendation is use copper. It’s more expensive but worth it as it is smaller and easier to work with.

View Belg1960's profile


1072 posts in 3094 days

#5 posted 03-24-2010 01:54 AM

Luke, contact me off list I’ll be glad to help you with any questions. I’m a licensed electrician by trade but will not post in open forum. Pat

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Tom Bloom's profile

Tom Bloom

18 posts in 3956 days

#6 posted 03-24-2010 04:23 AM

Ground rods are cheap and you can never have too many grounds. Using the house neutral and a ground rod at the shop is just good back up. I always like to go one size larger on the conductor than code requires. It more than covers line voltage drop and insures the wire won’t become warm. The cost is not that much more and you never know when you might want to upgrade you panel.

One other thing you might want to run a 220v circuit to you shop for that new 8” jointer, compressor or table saw you haven’t Momma about just yet.

Good luck with it send pix of the shop.

-- The cost of a thing is the amount, of what I call life, which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3491 days

#7 posted 03-24-2010 04:39 AM

The best thing would be to call a licensed electrician. Sometimes you can get some help and even a price reduction if you are able to do some of the labor, digging, pulling wire etc. I would leave all the connections to the licensed electrician.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3322 days

#8 posted 03-24-2010 06:28 AM

I’ve made some changes to the plan since last posting.
I’m switching to 8 gauge stranded copper wire and staying with the 50 amp breaker. I think that will do me just fine.
I’m going to run a separate ground bar out at the shop and not let the ground bar get mixed with the neutral on the panel which will be connected back at the house.
I will dig an 18” trench and bury the wire inside conduit shc 40. I believe 1” which looks to be plenty big enough.
I’ve already run the wiring from the main panel in my basement to the back door location where I installed a new plastic J box and now have the wire inside there with the breaker off.
I now need to dig the trench 110’... ugh, and put all the pipes in and glue them together.
My next question is how do I pull the wire through? Should I just run all the pipe and then suck a feed line through with a shop vac? Or should I run the wire as I go inside the pipes? I don’t want to get it all glued up and water tight only to find out that I”ll never get the wire to go through.
Thanks for all the help! I believe it will turn out great!

-- LAS,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18293 posts in 3704 days

#9 posted 03-24-2010 07:09 AM

Yoiu should be able to suck a line through with the shop vac. Using rigid steel 90s may save you a lot of grief. Sometimes a string or rope will cut through the inside radius of a 90.

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics