On Sun, 06 May 2007 17:23:33 GMT, "Tom Horne, Electrician"
BTW this is a compliant method that a lot of people ignore. If you are
digging in southern Maryland bank run gravel all you really have to do
is mix that stuff with some portland and pour it back in the hole when
you can't dig anymore.
Thanks all for the advice. I have a couple follow up questions
regarding some answers. If I run THWN conductors through the
conduit, once the conduit terminates on the inside of the garage wall
is there a proper way to run them. At this point I believe I will run
either type of cable but am hoping to avoid installing a subpanel in
the garage unless this is entirely unsafe and unwise. The garage has
been wired this way for the past 25 years with no problems. Currently
all I use it for is several various power tools (no two would be
running at the same time) and two sets of fluoro lights. It is hardly
big enough to house a car, perhaps I got a little overzealous
referring to it as a garage when it is really a large shed. Secondly,
I believe 10/3 UF to be closer to $3.00 a foot and the THWN to be
about .42 x4 a foot. What are the advantages to either method?
Third, is 1" conduit really the way to go as I think it would be a lot
of empty space? In response to Tim Smith's question, I understand
that code is meant to keep human and property damages to a minimum,
however I just thought there may be other options for doing it right
while perhaps violating code and saving a few $. I did not mean to
come across as a renegade homeowner.
If you run larger than two 20 amp circuits, you are required to have a panel
and ground rods. You also don't install 15 or 20 amp outlets on 30 amp wire
or fused at 30 amps. If you don't have a need for 30 amps, connect it to a
20 amp breaker at the house, then you won't need a panel in the garage.
Your trench is not deep enough to meet code, so for added protection, I
suggested UF cable sleeved in conduit. If you do this, you only need a
bushing at the house and garage ends of the conduit and the UF can come
right out of it into the structure. If you run conductors in conduit, you'll
have to terminate in a box at either end, where you can transition to some
type of cable
There can be several problems with violating code. Some are:
(1) If you ever do anything that requires a building permit and an
inspection of the completed work, the city/county/whatever may require
you to correct the code violation. That is quite often much more
expensive than doing it up to code in the first place.
(2) For at least some kinds of code violations, licensed electricians
will refuse to work on the system unless it is brought up to code. So,
if a few years down the road, you want something done that is beyond
your DIY skill level, you may end up paying an electrician to bring the
system up to code--almost certainly much more expensive than if you did
it yourself now.
(3) You may run into insurance problems.
(4) If you ever want to sell, the buyer's inspector might spot the code
violation and tell the buyer. This may scare the buyer off. If it
doesn't, the buyer may realize that #1 or #2 or #3 may apply to them in
the future, and either insist that you bring it up to code, or want a
discount on the price.
It's just a really good idea to follow code where feasible.
I understand the dislike of spending large sums of $$$, but you really need
to consider doing this right and per code.
I'd recommend running a 60 or even 100A feeder out in 1-1/4 conduit, THHN
conductors, sub-panel in the garage, ground rods, GFCI's
all done per code. The book "Wiring Simplified" is an excellent resource.
Get it. Read it.
I have a 100A sub in my garage. The only difference between mine and yours
is I did not need to bury conduit or run accessory
ground rods - because my garage is attached. 100A is probably overkill, but
it sure is nice to have.
Can be had fro much less. $1.69 here
I have this type of wire direct buried. It is in conduit where it comes up
from the ground. I'm not sure of codes at present though.
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