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Thread: Need professional help

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Cliftonjack's Avatar
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    Default Need professional help

    I live in Northern Virginia (Fairfax County) and have a 250-260 square foot tool shed about 120 feet behind my house. I'd like to wire the shed for electricity. My needs would be for lights (three inside and one outside, all 100 W) and maybe two sockets (one inside and one outside), I would run small appliances from the sockets, such as 3/8ths drill, circular saw, miter chop saw, belt sander, etc (not all at the same time) and a radio (AM/FM). I will need a permit from the county and the wire must be burried in a trench. Can anyone tell me what a professional electrician would charge for running the wire from my main (easily accessible from the back of the house through the siding or sill) to the shed? The run from the house to the shed is open field of grass with no obstacles or trees. I would do the final inside wriring. I'm trying to figure out the budget I'd need before going any further on this project. Also, what kind of wire and conduit would be best to use for this length and type of circuit. Thanks to all. This is a great forum and I've learned a lot over the years and finally got to join today!

  2. #2
    Homeowner
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    I'm not an electrical pro but I had a similar situation. My electrician advised me to use mobile home feeder cable and install it in 2" conduit and bury it 18" deep. That way I could do most anything I wanted later on....So thats what I did ad then had him wire it up for me.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Don't pay the electricians wage rate to dig the ditch. Find out from your electrician what he wants...18" or whatever, and git'r done.

  4. #4
    Homeowner
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Don't pay the electricians wage rate to dig the ditch. Find out from your electrician what he wants...18" or whatever, and git'r done.
    Thats right,as a plumber i give estimates for sewer replacements and its not cheap. I always break the estimate down for excavation and the pipe replacement. I give the option for the owner to dig and cover the trench. I always figure an hour or so to "correct" the trench but take it off if the trench is good. Pleasant surprise for the homeowner on a budget.

  5. #5
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Per code, you are allowed to install ONE circuit in an outbuilding without installing a subpanel. If your loads require more than one circuit, or 220V, then you are required to install a subpanel. In material costs, one vs the other is a pretty big difference.

    The cost of professional labor is subjective and will vary greatly from one area to another.

  6. #6

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    You do not want to pay an electrician's labor rate to dig a ditch. Your electrician doesn't want to do it either and will either hire a day laborer to do it and possibly pocket the difference or give you the name of someone to call. You need to be down 18" in conduit, 24" without. You can get away with 1 20 amp circuit. Use the money you save by digging the ditch yourself to have the electrician install 10 gauge wire instead of 12. At 100 feet your power tools will thank you by working harder (less voltage drop with the #10, especially on startup).


    Probably $350-$400 for one outlet in a shed, #10 wire in conduit, 20 Amp breaker, 3/4 inch conduit, and assuming 100 feet outside and 10 feet inside to an easily accessible panel and thats if the trench is already dug.
    -rick
    Last edited by drick; 02-12-2012 at 04:01 PM.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    As stated, one 20 amp circuit will get it done. The trench can be a lot shallower if you want to pay for rigid steel conduit, but I prefer plastic as I know it will not rust!

    A GFI breaker in the panel would not go amiss, except at that distance it might be a bit sensitive, and if it trips your lights will go out.

    Better, and nearly essential would be GFI outlets. Don't feed the lights thru the GFIs for the reason stated above.

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