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Thread: Wiring a workshop 3 wire question

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member 83mulligan's Avatar
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    Default Wiring a workshop 3 wire question

    Hello All,

    I have an issue here. I've been reading on this forum a bit and have come to realize I need 4 wire to wire an outbuilding and service panel that meets code.

    Well, here is where I'm at. A few years ago i ran a trench 30 inches deep to my outbuilding. I put in a 2" conduit with a satellite cable, a pex water line and a 10 guage 2 wire with ground. I wrapped the three components in pipe insulation and pulled it through a section of conduit at a time and glued the pvc up. I think its about 60 ft. from house to outbuilding. It was a really tight fit and was a real pain.

    Well, now its 2012 and I'm ready to start building my woodworking shop. I read that in need a 3 wire with ground. My question is this. There is a Romex line running to the outbuilding now that is on one 20 amp circuit in the house panel. its burried along a different path and not in conduit. It is grounded to a rod and it is 12 guage. Can I disconnect it from the main inside and use the wires at the outbuilding as a 4th wire or does the difference in gauge kill this idea?

    I'm a complete novice when it comes to electrician work so please forgive me for messing up terminology.

    Thanks,

    Steve

  2. #2
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    No .

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    As I understand it, if you only have one circuit in the outbuilding (and no subpanel), you could use what you have. Only if you need or want more circuits off a subpanel to include 240vac stuff, would you need a 4-wire connection.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    No .
    Really ?

    A reason would have been nice.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Really ?

    A reason would have been nice.
    Code requires a 4-wire (2-hot, neutral, and separate ground in one cable) to be able to use a subpanel. IOW, the wires must be routed together, not separated.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member kevink1955's Avatar
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    And you cannot put CATV and a water line in the conduit with your electrical service, start diging for a second conduit.

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    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevink1955 View Post
    And you cannot put CATV and a water line in the conduit with your electrical service, start diging for a second conduit.
    No kidding. I'm surprised he did not plumb in a line to the beer keg while he was at it!

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    DIY Junior Member 83mulligan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Code requires a 4-wire (2-hot, neutral, and separate ground in one cable) to be able to use a subpanel. IOW, the wires must be routed together, not separated.
    This is what I thought, thankyou.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member 83mulligan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    No kidding. I'm surprised he did not plumb in a line to the beer keg while he was at it!
    I quit drinking 5 years ago. The old me most certainly would have.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member 83mulligan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevink1955 View Post
    And you cannot put CATV and a water line in the conduit with your electrical service, start diging for a second conduit.
    Why not the water line. I thought burried conduit was considered a wet environment anyways? I think I'll pull the sat cable out and pull a fourth line through for the sub panel. This would work. I suppose I could just not get it inspected as well.

  11. #11
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevink1955 View Post
    And you cannot put CATV and a water line in the conduit with your electrical service, start diging for a second conduit.
    I don't see why not.

    Beer Keg line also.

    Don't forget the compressed air line.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 83mulligan View Post
    Why not the water line. I thought burried conduit was considered a wet environment anyways? I think I'll pull the sat cable out and pull a fourth line through for the sub panel. This would work. I suppose I could just not get it inspected as well.
    The way you want to do it sounds like maybe you should have the water line terminate in the sub-panel with a hose bib

    I assume you are joking, as I am too
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

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