I have a 16'x12' storage shed in my backyard that I'm going to provide
electricity to via a solar panel, charge controller, and batteries -
this will feed into an inverter which will be hardwired into an AC
distribution panel, so I can then run cable to configure some regular
AC outlets in the shed. My question is: can I use simple 14-2 NM
(Romex) cable to wire to the outlets, or do I need UF, or even aluminum
sheathed, cable? The wiring will in no area be outside the shed, which
of course will be dry on the inside; however, since this is an OUTSIDE
project, I wanted to be sure what type of cable was actually required.
Then by your standards, the wiring inside any residence is an "outside"
project despite none of the wiring on the outside. No, the wiring is
inside and can be treated as such. But to my mind that isn't the main
dividing point which is that it is a shed and may well not be as "tight"
as a house leading to a higher chance of drawing local rodents. Or at
least having them go unnoticed. Which leads me to think that all of the
wiring should be done in such a way as to prevent little rodent teeth
from gnawing on the wiring which makes it seem that BX or conduit should
be used and that the electronics should be in a properly ventilated but
rodent-resistant metal enclosure.
As one who has had the fuel injector wiring harness chewed through on
his truck at the cost of a couple of hundred dollars I have great
respect for the damage that little vermin (and no, I'm not referring to
the neighbor's kids) can cause.
I am not an electrician.
I cannot vouch for code requirements.
Were it my project I would use metalic conduit for any wiring in the
shed. That way you have mechanical protection from rats, mice,
squirrels and clumsy gardeners.
Make sure you fuse the battery supply as a charged battery can dump a
lot of amps into a short in a hurry.
What are they putting in Romex that makes it so tasty to rodents (nothing)?
I think that concern is overblown but any wiring exposed so that a person
could touch it or grab it or hang something on it should be enclosed in a
conduit (metal or PCV) or use BX shielded cable.
Definately heed the advice about protecting the battery, while 12V won't
shock you to death, 100 amps shorted will turn a wire into an ignitor in no
time at all. A fusable link is as good as a fuse for high current.
That's a pretty pricey project for a few outlets in a storage shed. I
presume that the cost of running a line from the house is more expensive
than the solar hook-up?
As others have stated, a shed is common place for critters to snuggle up to
in cold weather or for nesting. I suggest the use of type MC cable which
will offer you rodent and moisture protection.
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