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Inactive
Inactive, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4772
Experience:  Electrical Contractor
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I want to run electrical power to a storage building. I will

Customer Question

I want to run electrical power to a storage building. I will use small hand held tools and a small window unit ac unit in the building. I would like to have an overhead light and 3 electrical outlets. There is a Garage door opener that will need to be plugged in near the ceiling area. The building is approximately 150-200 feet away from the main breaker panel in my house where I would like to run the power from. Is this possible?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
Yes this is possible - but before I tell you how to do it, I need to know what size panel you want to install in the storage building.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am not sure. The building is a 16x20. What do you reccomend?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Do you perfer one brand over another. Looking for good quality materials. Also if you have a diagram showing what I will need to do. I do a lot better with pictures. Just the way my brain works.
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
I do have a preference, but that will depend on its availability in your area. Can you tell me what size electrical service you have in your home? Is it a 100amp or 200amp.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The four main "cut off" breakers in the Main fuse panel say 200. I believe that would be the correct answer. I live in Athens Georgia.
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
I suggest you install a 100amp subpanel. This way if you ever wanted to add additional circuits for expansion it will already be there.

Ok - you have two ways you can do this.

Option1) you can install conduit from the house panel to the garage panel. The size you want to use for that distance would be 2". (trust me the pull will be much easier) Then you will run #4 thhn copper for 3 of the conductors (2 hots 1 neutral) then you will use a #6 for the grounding wire. You will bury this 2' into the ground. Then at the garage panel you will need to install a grounding bar kit to isolate your grounding bar from the neutral bar. Next you will install 2 grounding rods spaced at least 6' apart and bond them to the grounding bar in the panel using a solid #6 grounding wire.

Option 2) you can purchase #2 direct bury Quadraplex. This is an aluminum direct bury service cable and again - you will bury it 2' deep. Now the advantage of doing it this way is that the wire is cheaper and comes as a complete cable. You will need to use conduit on the end runs where the cable exits the ground and goes into the home to the panel. Then at the garage panel you will need to install a grounding bar kit to isolate your grounding bar from the neutral bar. Next you will install 2 grounding rods spaced at least 6' apart and bond them to the grounding bar in the panel using a solid #6 grounding wire.

Now here is a pictoral diagram of how to set this up - now even though it does not show it - you need to be sure you have a main breaker in the subpanel.
graphic
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So it looks like from the diagram I will have a elec meter on the outside of the storage building. Is that correct? The subpanel is what will be on the inside of the storage building? Also it looks like the there is no main breaker that this connects to in the main panel rather it is just connected to the main bar that is always hot. What size main breaker in the subpanel? As far as running the outlets in the storage building what do you reccomend for that(diagram please), size wire GFI circuit breakers how many outlets on one breaker, seperate circuit for the light switch and garage door opener etc? Are there instructions that come with most grounding bar kits? What brands do you recommend?
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
The meter and the first panel is a representation of what you have in your home. The panel all the way to the right will be your subpanel.

Your outlets should be protected with a 20amp gfci breaker. You can put up to 13 outlets on each 20amp breaker. However with you running power tools I would not go more then 3 per circuit. Then for your lights - they dont need to be gfci protected, and I would put them on a 14ga cable attached to a 15amp breaker.

In the main panel you will need to install a 100amp breaker. And you will need a main breaker in the panel at the sub as well.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
That main breaker in the sub will also be a 100amp breaker correct? Looking at your diagram, does ground wire from the main panel connect to the new grounding bus and then leave there to the grounding rods with a new grounding wire? What brands do you like?
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
Quote:
That main breaker in the sub will also be a 100amp breaker correct?

yes you will have a 100amp breaker at both locations - your main panel and the subpanel.

Quote:
Looking at your diagram, does ground wire from the main panel connect to the new grounding bus and then leave there to the grounding rods with a new grounding wire?

In your 4 wire cable - you will have 2 hots 1 neutral and 1 ground. So in the main panel both the neutral and ground will terminate to the neutral bar. However at the subpanel - you will install the neutral wire to the neutral bar, and the grounding wire to the grounding bar. Then when you install all of your circuits - you will need to make sure you keep your grounds and neutrals separated. Then you will run a separate grounding wire from the subpanels grounding bar to the grounding rods.

Quote:
What brands do you like?

I personally am a square d fan. The panel I recommend is a square D QO panel. Very sturdy heavy duty panel. The breakers sit very solidly in the panel.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Sorry for so many questions. I just want to make sure I completely understand. With the four wire cable, are the colors of the wires Red,Black,White,and your ground being copper color? The hot wires being what color and the neutral being what color. Thanks
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
If you use a direct bury aluminum quadraplex cable - it will have black - black with red stripe, black with white stripe and a smaller black wire with a green stripe. If you use conduit - you will pull the individual conductors and will need to mark your cables yourself using red, green and white phase tape.
Inactive, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4772
Experience: Electrical Contractor
Inactive and 3 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok hopefully this will be the last question. I will be using the quadraplex cable. what will be the placement of the wires in both panels and what colors would you use for each.
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
The black and black with red stripe will terminate to the double pole 100amp breaker. Then your black with white stripe and black with green stripe will terminate to the neutral bar in the main panel. And the black with white stripe will terminate to the neutral bar in the subpanel, and black with green stripe will terminate to the grounding bar in the subpanel.

Now keep in mind you will still need conduit as the cable exits the ground all the way to each panel. The cable must still be protected.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The black and black with red stripe will terminate to the double pole 100amp breaker.
That connection is made on both the main and the sub panel correct. When you refer to the neutral bar you are refering to where the white wires are connected to the breakers in most cases?
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
Yes to both of your questions.... :)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for all your help. Hope you have a great holiday season.
John

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