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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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Hi Im trying to bring electricity into my shed that is

Resolved Question:


I'm trying to bring electricity into my shed that is 75 feet from the house. I'm going to have a light and a computer, printer and a phone in it or maybe two. What wire do I need to put into my trench? Does my trench have to be 24 inches or can I use PVC or the conduit that you can put into 6 inches deep? Would you suggest just having a wire run from the breaker in my house to a shutoff switch or having the whole nine yards? Meaning #6 wire with two rod breaker at my breaker box with a subpanel in the shed. I'm tight on $$$ and time.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  TAKPOWER replied 4 years ago.
Hi. My name is Tim. I will be glad to assist you with your questions.You would be fine using a 12-2 Uf from breaker panel in house to the shed.If your wanting the cheapiest way this is what you would run.Going to the first item in shed and then jumping out to other spots.If you ever thought you might use more power then described you could run a 10-2 and that way you could step up the power in the future.If the ground is not to hard to dig its cheaper to dig it then running pipe.If you install a GFCI breaker in house panel and keep it under 20 amps you can bury it at 12''
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Tim,

Thank you for your answer. Now why would someone suggest running a #6 or #8 to the shed with a sub-panel ?
Expert:  TAKPOWER replied 4 years ago.
That would be over kill for what you said you were going to have.Those wires would be for 220 at 40-60 amps.Then you would have to put panel in shed with ground wire and ground rod.A lot more money involved with that if you were going to run power tools,or have a work shop then maybe you would step it up a little.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Tim,

I do apologize for all these questions. Now, in regards XXXXX XXXXX tools. What about having a computer, printer, phone in the shed? would I need to step that up to the #6 or can I still run it with just a 12-2 ? or 10-2?

I found this online, do you believe this would be helpful for me running what I'm thinking of running in the shed (computer, printer, phone)?
Expert:  TAKPOWER replied 4 years ago.
For a computer,printer and phone 12-2 Uf (under ground feeder) is fine.That site is a good reference,I disagree with the running of the pipe. To save money I would dig the extra six inches,time wise would be the same,well if the ground is really hard maybe not,but by the time you dig a little extra,you put the wire in the hole and cover.And use a little bit of conduit to protect it up the walls and done,versus buying pipe,fitting,cuting,measuring,bending,running wire through the pipe,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Tim,

If the pipe thing is only the extra work to fittnig cutting, measuring etc.. I don't mind. I also don't mind to pu the pipe down 12" perfectly fine.

Alright, so if I understand correctly I will be fine going with a 12-2 UF type cable 12" down and I should have a shut off switch at the shed and a 20amp GFCI breaker in my main box?

Is the switch at the shed they are talking about within the page of the link I posted in my other message, is that switch a breaker in the shed or just a simple proper off/on switch?

What's the maximum I can go, can I go 30 amps on that wire and put it 24" down ?
Expert:  TAKPOWER replied 4 years ago.

12-2 uf yes,If it is only one circuit then you do not need a shutoff in shed.the breaker is your shut off,2 or more circuits is when a shut off is required normally using a breaker in the sub panel you would have in that scenario.If you would like a shut off on the one circuit you could run the main line coming in to shed to a switch first and then run to your lights and outlets.If you went to 30 amps you would then use a 10-2 uf and yes it would go to the 24'' depth

Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
Welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

Please follow the guidelines below for your installation, all information is directly from the National Electric Code and posted from the Articles.

Direct Burial
Cables or

24" deep

PVC Pipe

18" deep

The only exception for the cable being less than 24"
deep. It is when under a driveway only and must go back to 24"
once it is out to open ground again.

300.5 Underground Installations
The requirements for direct-buried conductors and raceways
are given in 300.5(A) and Table 300.5. As noted in Column
4 of Table 300.5, conductors under residential driveways
must be at least 18 in. below grade. However, if the conductors
are protected by an over current device rated at not more
than 20 amperes and provided with ground-fault circuit interrupter
(GFCI) protection for personnel, the burial depth
may be reduced to 12 in.

225.31 Disconnecting Means
Means shall be provided for disconnecting all ungrounded
conductors that supply or pass through the building or structure.

For garages and outbuildings on residential
property, snap switches or 3-way or 4-way snap switches
shall be permitted as the disconnecting means

(1) Emerging from Grade. Direct-buried conductors and
cables emerging from grade and specified in columns 1 and
4 of Table 300.5 shall be protected by enclosures or raceways
extending from the minimum cover distance below
grade required by 300.5(A) to a point at least 2.5 m (8 ft)
above finished grade. In no case shall the protection be required
to exceed 450 mm (18 in.) below finished grade.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What do you mean if its one circut, in other words one line run to the shed?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Tommy,

Just to also confirm with you, you suggest I go 18" deep with PVC sealed ? and snap switches for the disconnect switch at the shed?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
That is correct. Pvc pipe has to be 18" deep.Code allows the disconnect to be a standard switch if it is a single Circuit.( that means one 15 or 20 amp single pole or double pole breaker)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can I run 30 amp in PVC at 18 inches? I've also read somewhere people saying PVC is bad to do because of the heat of the wire and you can't really weatherproof it?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
Yes you can. PVC piping is completely water tight. Use the proper fittings and glue and it is a great way to change any wiring in the future.
PVC piping is the recommended way.
You will have to up the wire size to #10 wires, you will have to find a 30 amp rated switch or use a small disconnect similar to an air conditioner for the shutoff switch.
The problem with 30 amp, is you have no way to lower the amperage size unless you have a sub panel in the shed.
Any receptacles and switches will be 20 amp rated so they will be on a 20 amp breaker.
You have to transition down, so a sub panel is now needed with lower amperage breakers.
That will change the scheme of what you are doing entirely.
Here is how the subpanel is installed.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So if I understand correctly, if I put 30amps compare to 20amps with 12/2 cable, not only do I have to do it at 18" deep in PVC pipe but also use 10/2 cable and 30amp breaker. However if I have anything with 20amps within the shed, I will need the subpanel to use a breaker in that subpanel to lower the 30amps to 20amps with a 20amp breaker. Correct?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
Install #12 and use 20 amp breaker with a switch for the disconnect.
Install #10 and you need 30 amp breaker with small subpanel, so you can put 20's in for your circuits.
PVC pipe is 18" deep, no matter what size wire.
Any cable in the ground is 24" deep, no matter what size wire.
If you go #10 follow the diagram.
#12 is much simpler with just the switch and no panel.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Just to validate my idea, can I put a #10 wire down with 30amp breaker in the house and a subpanel in the shed with 20amp breaker for the lights and 30amp for the outlets. Would that work? Or do I have to run two wires from the house if I'm using 2 different breakers in the sub at the shed?

I was also told that 75 feel will make a 30amp lose power down to 20amp by the time it reaches the shed. Is that correct?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
You can install one of 2 ways.
Either you use a double pole switch or you install a sub panel.
If you use a double pole switch, you run just a simple 12/2 circuit and 115 volts to the shed, connect your receptacles and lights to it and done.
With the sub panel you can install breakers for the outlets and lights to get them down to 15 or 20 amp breakers.
You do not install receptacles on 30 amp breakers.
If you want the sub panel, 30 amps is not that much to work with but should do what you want just fine.
Need to run 10/3 uf with ground and install 240 volts for the sub panle.
Follow the diagram posted for the installation.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So just to keep it simple I should just run a wire and have 20amp disconnect there, that will handle my computer, printer, modem and lights?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
That would be my suggestion for what you need, yes.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What do you think of these items will they work? duit-Fittings-Conduit/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbohlZ1z10su7Z1z111vj/R-202286688/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051

Thank you
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
The UF cable is fine.
The flex really isn't necessary unless you don't have any studded walls to bring the cable up into.
Flex could be used to surface mount no problem.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The flex I was thinking of using underground and put the cable in it?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
No, you need PVC pipe for that, much cheaper also. Get some 3/4" pvc pipe and have installed very quickly.

Flex is used above ground and limited to 6' length.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks that is great, you wouldn't have a diagram how to wire the switch at the shed? Double pole, does that mean one pole for the UF and the other pole for the wire running to light switch, to the outlet, etc..?

I'm also connecting the other end of the underground wire to a 20amp breaker at the house right?

What do I do with the ground wire of the UF at the house and the shed?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
Will post a diagram shortly.
The ground wire connects to the bar in the panel that already has numerous
bare ground wires. They all connect to the same bar.
The white in the cable will connect to the same bar as the other whites in the panel the same way.
Older panel installations actually have the whites and ground on the same bar.
Newer installations, have them on separate bars.
The black will connect to a single 20 amp breaker .
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Tommy,

Thank you for all your help. I will accept all your answers. Do you know if there is a way to lookup electrical code per city in our country. I live in Kenmore, New York and I've been told by building inspector that I need to go 32 inches deep. I thinks that crazy a little so was hoping there was a way to double make sure and look it up if I need to go 18, 12 or 32 inches.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
Give me a short bit, checking with another expert who is in NY and may shed some light.
Let me see what he says.
The NEC is the National Code, but even with that, Local Jurisdictions have amendments to the code and they have the final authority no matter what NEC says.
Just keep that in mind.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Understood sir, and I am young and will probably move out as soon as the kids grow up, so not having it by code and needing to rip it all up to do it right just to be able to sell the house because it needs to be by code would be not a great idea.

Do let me know if your friend sheds any possible light, not easy doing 18 inches either which I did today for half way of 100 feet :) got 50 feet down to about 12 inches so far. It ain't going to get done overnight I do know that :)
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
I will post when I have more, hopefully in a few.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
Not much information on line with Kenmore.
Cannot update on what they require outside of the NEC.

You will have to give them a call.
Click HERE and their number is XXXXX the top of the page.

They have the Authority to require other than the standard NEC, so they will have it in writing somewhere as to the amendments passed by the Village Council.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Tommy,

Thanks for the info, I might just skip this whole thing and do 18" deep, if I remember correctly when having the shed built, they spoke of 32" deep on electrical. Not sure if that was based on the type of cable or amps or other reasons, but I'm not going 32" deep. :) I'll be fine with 18" and when it comes to selling the house down the road, hopefully no one sees.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
Sounds like a plan. Dont know of any reason to require 32" but heard of stranger things by local authorities.
Good luck
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Once again, thank you and thank you for all the help. I'm sure in your 38 years experience you've came across a few things :) In Kenmore, we have to get a permit on light switch swap or outlet swap. I think that little crazy but maybe there is a reason behind it.

Thank you again, I'll keep you posted if I can on my progress.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
Sounds great, thanks.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Tommy,

Just doing the install here, I had few simple q's that I'm unsure about. Can I run a 14-2 wire in the shed inside when the one bringing power at 12-2 and 20 amps? Just have enough of 14-2 laying around for what I need. Unless I can use the 12-2 uf if left over.

Do all my outlets need to be gfci? Or just one being first from the switch?

Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
No, with the power being #12 on a 20 amp breaker, you must stay with all wiring inside to #12.
You cannot go down in size from the main power feeder.

Only the first receptacle is required to be GFCI.
Connect any others to the LOAD terminals on that GFCI and they are protected as well.

You can use the remainder of the cable inside, if you like.
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience: Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
AssuredElectrical and 2 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In your diagram, do I connect the wires from my main breaker to the load or the line side? and then to the first outlet?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 4 years ago.
You connect the power into the shed onto the switch first, that is your disconnect.
If the switch has a line and load, then connect the power to Line
Then you connect from the switch to the GFCI LIne side.

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