A simple outbuilding can be turned into a multi-functional space by running wire to a shed.It is within the capabilities of a weekend warrior to power a shed.
The process of wiring involves careful planning, as you have many options to choose from in terms of method and materials.
Although you are wiring the shed yourself, you must get approval from a licensed professional.You risk fines or damage to your property if you don’t.
You will need a permit to work with electricity.It’s true that almost any electrical repair you make in your house or shed requires one from your town.Are you going to install a new light fixture in your living room?
This document from the City of Atlanta is an example of when a permit is not required in most cities and states.You only need to follow NEC guidelines if you live in a rural area.
Most of us won’t get a permit for installing a dimmer switch or a pot light as a novice can safely complete those jobs.A permit is required for bigger jobs such as running power to a shed.
In case of fire, you need a permit.If you neglect to get a permit, your insurance won’t cover your loss if your shed burns down.
If you do electrical work without a permit when you sell your home, it will be a problem for potential buyers.You could lose value on your home.You will maintain value on your home and peace of mind if you spend the money to get a permit.
Building permits are a matter of public record.Why is that important?In a dense area, space is at a premium.
You are near a neighbor.The neighbor thinks he will be a problem.One phone call to the town hall is all it takes for him to find out if you have a permit.
Then what?If a building inspector sees you doing work without a permit, he will shut you down, and you will likely be fined.Some inspectors will order you to destroy the work you have done.
When you go to sell your house is an issue to consider.You don’t have to tell what you renovated or did not get a permit for when you sell.
A home buyer or agent can check to see if you have taken out any building permits.A buyer may hesitate before purchasing a property if it hasn’t been given clearance by a local building department.
If you wire your shed without a permit and then sell your home, you are responsible for any issues that arise for the new owner unless you have clearly stated and signed a document.If you have completed work without a permit, you may be sued.
It’s unsafe to run power to a shed without a permit.There are permits to keep people safe.An inspector will make sure the job was done correctly.
If you don’t get a permit, and you have wired your shed wrong, a fire could result and insurance will not cover the damages.
If you want to run more than one circuit in your shed, you need a sub-panel.A circuit is a group of receptacles, fixture, or switches that are connected by electrical wire.
If the shed doubles as a workshop, it will have more than one circuit.A 20A breaker for heavier tools such as a table saw, small air compressor, or a grinding wheel can be found on a different circuit than the lights and 15A receptacles.
NEC requires all outbuildings to have a shut-off switch or breaker.If you put more than one circuit in your shed without a sub-panel, you’ll need to run at least one wire from your home to the shed.
If you only plan to use a couple of lights in your shed, you could get away with a single 20A circuit.A single switch at the entrance of the shed is all you need to meet code.
There are several options when running power to a shed.Your location, how far away your shed is, what type of ground you have, and more are some of the factors that affect what cable you run.You can run power to your shed.
People run power to their shed using an extension cord.It’s not safe in bad weather and is not permanent.
An extension cord cannot act as a permanent power source, so you can’t advertise your shed as wired when you sell your house.
Out of reach of curious humans, electrical wires must be buried or strung overhead.If you want permanent power to your shed, burying cable from your home to it isn’t an option.
You have to use a cable above the ground.This is a viable method of running power to a structure.
Direct burial cable is buried directly in the ground.The thicker the wire, the stronger the connection between home and shed.
You have a wire that is inches from the surface of your yard.It may not be a good fit in all locations.
The wire is run from the house to the shed.The tubing begins at the house as it leaves through a part of the home.
It goes all the way to your shed, where it reappears and runs up your switch.
The same wire acts the same but is stronger because it is metal.This may be the best option in areas with high traffic.
You have to route the wire in a trench that has many bends or curves if you want to use Wire Encased in Flexible Metal Conduit.A flexible metal conduit may be more practical.
The flexible conduit only needs one piece since it can flex with the trench’s shape.
Thorough planning is required to run power to your shed.The job can be accomplished quickly if you know how to run the power to your shed and what materials you need.You can rent a tool for 4 hours to complete the job if you dig a 100 ft. trench.
If your current electrical panel has enough space to run the wire to a shed, you need to check it out.You most likely have enough space if you have a small house and a 200A panel.
You might not have enough space to run power to a shed if you have a 100A panel.To upgrade your electrical service to 200A, you need to hire an electrician.
You will want to figure out how much power you will supply to the shed once you determine your panel can support it.What machines and tools will you use in your shed?Will it have a freezer?Do you have a welder?
It is better to underestimate the number of Amps you will need than to use multiple tools at once.
You need to figure out how to power your shed from your main panel.You only have one wire.If your panel is in the basement, you will need to run the wire through the header to reach outside.
Since you will be digging a trench to cover the wire, you should dig the shortest trench possible to save your back.This usually means a straight line, so you will have to get your inside wire to the closest point in your house.That is where you will drill a hole to run your wire.
Everyone will have a different experience when wiring a shed because no two homes are the same.If you have a finished basement or crawl space, you may be able to get your wire from your main panel to the outside.The principles in this guide are still applicable.
You will only be running one wire to the shed.What if you have more than one circuit?A sub-panel is needed.You can have multiple circuits up to the capacity of the shed breaker in your main panel with a shed sub-panel.
If you install a 60A breaker for your shed sub-panel, it will be able to handle up to three 20A and four 15A circuits.It is important that you have enough power for the life of the shed.
If you only plan to have one circuit with a few lights and receptacles, then no sub-panel is needed.You will only need a few things in this case.
If you want to supply 240V instead of 120V to your shed, you need to consider another point.Most lights, outlets, and appliances operate at 120 volts.
A dryer or electric range can be larger.You have to use a different type of breaker in your main panel, different wire, and a sub-panel if you want to run 240 volts to your shed.
It is a good idea to use a wire that reads 6/3.There are two hot wires, one black and one red, as well as a neutral and ground wire.6/2 wire has one hot and is only for 120V.
If you want to use your shed only for welding, there are lights that are rated for 240V, so you don’t need a sub-panel.
You will want to assemble the materials after you plan your circuit.Determine the amount of wire you need, as well as boxes, lights, and switches.
A map for an electrical system is a wiring diagram.A wiring diagram will allow you to properly assemble all the materials you will need to complete your shed wiring job, but it will also make visible any issues with circuits.
Load amounts and Amp ratings are easy to forget when doing electrical work.Writing it all down on paper ensures circuits are not overload and allows you to choose the most efficient route for installing the wiring.
It’s not as big of a job to install a sub-panel to run your wiring.A sub-panel is a vehicle that can be used to install more circuits.Take a look at the diagrams to see what a wired shed sub-panel would look like.
You can’t put household wire in your shed.What gauge of wire to run is the first thing you need to think about.The thickness of the wire is referred to as the gauge.The larger the load that can be carried, the heavier the gauge is.
A chart like this is important when thinking about what wire to use.If you are running a couple circuits to a max of 30A, and the length of the run is about 50 feet, then you need this type of wire.You can see which gauge of wire you need by looking at the chart.
This drop is usually low and doesn’t affect service in your house.If you have to go longer than 100 feet to get wire to a shed, you may have a problem.
You can use this calculator to see if the voltage drop between your house and shed is enough to change the type of wire you use.If it’s less than 3%, you’re good to go.
You can run your wire through conduit if you don’t want to use direct burial cable.Adding protection to the wire is what conduit is for.conduit should be considered in environments that are wet, cold, or busy.
It’s a cost-effective way to run wire.It is cheap, easy to cut, and can bend to fit slightly curved trenches.NEC states that it must be buried at least 18′′ deep.This could be a problem if you only have yourself, a shovel, and a trench to dig.
A metallic conduit only needs to be 6 feet deep.You don’t have to dig an extra foot if you use the metallic conduit.
The metallic conduit is more expensive.Flexible and rigid are the two types.Don’t buy flexible metallic conduit if it’s not rated for outdoor use.
There are many different sizes of conduit.The rule of thumb is that your wire should not take up more than 50% of the space within the conduit.
Since you only have one wire through your conduit, it should be more than enough.Going wider makes it easier to pull the wire through the conduit.
The thicknesses of the conduit are called schedules.The thicker the PVC is, the higher the schedule is.
If you install your conduit in areas where it might get damaged, a higher schedule is a good idea.Upgrading the diameter of the conduit is advised because wires will be harder to pull.
It is time to dig your trench after you have purchased your wire and conduit.The conduit must be at least 18 inches deep.The conduit needs to be at least 6 feet deep.
There are options for how the wiring enters your shed.You can either run the wiring underneath the shed and up into the structure or you can run it up the wall.
NEC states that you will need a grounding rod if you are installing a sub-panel.A grounding rod is a piece of metal that is driven into the earth and connected to a single copper ground wire.
Call 811 before digging or going to their website.If you live in an urban area, you need to protect yourself before you dig and hit a gas line.
Once you have dug your trench, it is time to install your switch or sub-panel.The inside or outside of the shed is where your switch or panel can go.If you’re going outside, make sure it’s rated for outdoor use.
When running the conduit, you need to start inside your home, where the wire runs to the outside.A weatherproof exit is needed for the wire running from your home to an external source.
You can drill a hole the same diameter as the conduit you intend to use if you run through a house.A short piece of conduit will suffice.
Your wire should run from your main panel to your shed.It is not recommended to use regular Romex indoor wire and then switch to the exterior wire at the point of exit.
You should caulk around the exterior opening.The junction box will allow the conduit to make a 90-degree turn.The conduit can be turned 90 degrees by an elbow piece in the trench.
There is a cement that bonds conduit to fittings.It will create an impermeable seal that will make your conduit waterproof.
Once you have your conduit set up, you need to pull the wire through it using electrician’s fishing tape.If you have never used it before, take a picture of a long, skinny metal wire with a hook at the end.
Without the wire, feed the tape through the end.Attach it to the wire when it reaches the other end.Pull the tape.It will come.
Attaching the wire to the fishing tape should be done with a tight loop.You should loop individual wires through the eye.This will allow the wire to travel through the conduit better.
The main service panel of your home has a dedicated breaker for your shed.This is where you decide how much power your shed will have.If you want your shed to be 60A, you will need to install a breaker in your service panel.
The service panel has the amount of voltage you supply at it.A single-pole breaker is required for a 120V service to your shed.A single-pole breaker has only one hot terminal, compared to a double pole breaker which has two hots, which allows you to draw double the voltage.
Whatever you choose, make sure you install the right wire for the job.Shut off the power to the house and install the breaker in an empty space in the panel.
You can either put your wire into a sub-panel or a switch.If you connected the wire to the main panel, make sure the breaker is off.If you want to make sure the switch is rated for 120V, you need to wire it.
The metal bridge connecting the neutral and ground bars should be disconnected if you use a sub-panel and wiring for 240V.Your shed’s electrical system is at risk if you neglect to do so.Use a copper ground wire of appropriate size to wire your panel.
It’s important that your shed has a shut-off switch at the sub-panel or immediately after each circuit.Sub-panels do not require a single shut off, but you need to make sure each circuit has a switch that can turn the entire circuit off.If you need to turn off all power in a hurry, the switches must be easily accessible.
It is time to wire your shed.The wiring is easy if you only use one circuit.You should use 12/2 wire if you are using a 20V breaker.If your circuit is 15A, you can install 14/2.
Where applicable, be sure to use wire staplers.Your wiring needs to be in the middle of your studs.The wires are kept out of the way if there is a stray nail or screw into the studs.
The use of GCFI is required in the sheds.The same way as traditional outlets, these receptacles cost a little more.GCFI breakers will make all the receptacles on that circuit.
You need an electrician to check out your shed after you wired it up.The electrician will make sure the work is done correctly.The way for the building inspector to give his final inspection should be clear once the electrician has come to check your work.
The most important step is this.You can plan, but inevitably you will make a mistake.Disasters can be caused by mistakes and electricity.
The main service panel is critical to the operation of your home and can be messed around in.To get the added security of a professional’s stamp of approval, you have to pay a little more.
It won’t cost you an arm or a leg to wiring up your shed on your own.Your wire will be the biggest cost.You will have to pay more for thicker gauge wire if you are using copper wire.A heavier gauge than typical house wire is going to be needed since you are running power some distance from your house.
A coil of 8/3 direct burial wire is going to cost you around $170 if you run a moderate length of wire.If you are running 100A to your shed at a distance, you may need something like this.The cost of that wire may cause you to rethink your power priorities.
Sub-panels are not expensive.The one rated for outdoor use is under $40.The receptacles, boxes, and switches are cheap.If you are running a 240V circuit, make sure the switches and light fixture are rated for the correct voltages.
If you are using rigid metallic conduit, it can be expensive.It will cost around $100 for 100′′ of rigid metallic conduit.The cost of rigid conduit is double that of flexible steel conduit.The cheapest option is PVC, which costs around $75 for 100′ of conduit.
Safety is the most important aspect of this job.When doing panel work, it’s important to switch off your main power breaker.When wiring your shed, keep the power off.Getting an electrician to check your work is the most important part.
Be sure to think through your power requirements for your shed after you have taken all the safety precautions.underestimating is a better idea than overestimating.
If you doubt that one 15A circuit is all you need for your shed, then you better rethink.It is easier to do it right the first time.