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  1. #1
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    Default DIY electric install?

    Not exactly a build it yourself post, but just wondering if any non-electricians have installed their own electric. I had a pole barn (42x56) build that I want to put electricity in. I will be coming from another box in another building so I won't need an inspector or to tie onto the utility pole. I'll be using direct bury cable (I'm still putting it in conduit) in a trench. I'll have to rent a trencher as I want to go at least a ft deep. To match the other boxes and breakers I want a 200 amp Cutler Hammer box. I'm not planning on anything fancy, just 110 volt outlets and some shop lights. I do want one 220 outlet so I can run a welder in the future. There is a double breaker slot open in the box I'll be coming off of so I can have one 220 outlet.

    I'm still debating on the 4' or 8' flourescent lights. I saw some at Lowes that said there was no warm up time down to -35 degrees. I hate turning on a switch then having to wait for the light to warm up before you can see.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: DIY electric install?

    I believe you are mistaken thinking that you don't need to get permits and inspections. Code out here for UF is 20" deep with mylar tape so it can be found. I did almost the exact same project for a 12x20 shed I built and had to pull permits to get the 220 from a sub-panel in my garage to the shed. I didn't use UF, but decided on running conduit instead. 4 years later, we put in a pool and the spot to put the pumps and heater were there at the side of the shed. The pool company had to have the install inspected and had I not pulled permits and gotten inspections, I would have probably been facing a pretty hefty fine.

  3. #3
    Tig
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    Veteran Member Tig's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY electric install?

    Yes, I've done the electrical work in my own houses but a permit and inspections are required.
    Steve

    The best things in life are not things.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Zebrafive's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY electric install?

    I ran power to my barn 85' from the house.

    From your house you need a double breaker. It must be sized to protect the size wire you run. You may need adapter lugs to tie the wire into your neutral/ground bar in your house.

    I used conduit to, but a foot deep is not deep enough. Go deeper

    A 200a box in your barn seems overkill. What size breaker do you plan at the house for this sub panel? There is no need for a main breaker in a sub panel, but it's nice to be able to shut the whole panel down to work on it vs going back to house to shut it off.

    If you already have the 200a panel use it. How many spaces does it have? You will need two spaces for a 240v circuit. I like to put lights and outlets on separate circuits. That way if you overload an outlet and trip a breaker you will not lose your lights too.

    Do not ground/bond the neutral bar in the sub panel.
    Put ground rods in at the sub panel.
    Start each outlet string with a GFCI outlet.
    Use 20a breakers for outlets. Do not use the cheap $.49 outlets. Use at least commercial grade. Do not use "back wire" that you just push the wire into the back of the outlet (trouble down the road). Back wire that requires tightening a screw is fine. Use 12-2/ground wire.
    Use 15a breakers for the lights and 14-2/ground wire (cheaper than 12-2/grd) Limit your light load to 1440watts per breaker.

    I would use 4' T8 lights. I hear 8' T12 are being phased out.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: DIY electric install?

    your getting yourself into trouble. there is a good amount of codes / regulations. that could bite ya quickly. and/or if not done right could be a electric shock to fire hazard, to a bad ground that could cause a bunch of other troubles.

    call up some electricians and see if you can get some free bids done. tell them flat out, what you want to do, and can do yourself. also let ya know if the other box ya coming off of can even allow things. ya you might have an open slot. but amount of amps sending to other shed. could overload the current box you have. most will work with you. some times, it can be just flat out pain in rear to work like that. vs who ever coming in and doing it themselves. (less blah blah blah between you and them) and at times can make there length of time of actually doing things quicker. sometimes not pending on your skills and knowledge.

    normally an electrician will have the proper tools to make a job go quicker and easier. (driven ground rods), special wire tools to deal with insulation on them, already have some lubrication for wire pulling etc...

    ==================
    with above said, i have ran knew 240 volt out to sheds, and redone house and sheds electricity. it is all pretty easy. but the knowledge and keeping to code can be rather tricky and pain at times. but at AMPs you are talking about... get a local electrician involved. so they know the local codes. and can point ya in correct direction to take.
    Ryan

  6. #6
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    Default Re: DIY electric install?

    Technically, yes I should have a permit. And I would do it if the whole permit process wasn't a joke and a pure money grab by the county. The box I want to come out of was permitted, inspected, and passed before the electric company would connect it to the pole. Running out of that already permitted and inspected box should not need another permit. The only reason they want a permit is so they can jack up the property taxes because the barn has electric. I'm being stubborn on principle and politics.

    The only thing running on the current box are some shop lights and an air compressor.

    I do have access to an electician for advice. However, I was hoping to do most of this myself. And he's not much in the motivation department, but he's good when he's willing.
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  7. #7
    Super Member radioman's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY electric install?

    First off- a quick call to your local town to see if a permit is needed should be made. second- 1 foot deep for buried power? you are just asking yourself for alot of problems. If you were not around and someone is tilling or breaking up soil and hit that line .... I shudder to think that they might not make it out alive.

  8. #8
    Silver Member cmore's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY electric install?

    I think it depends on the state and county u are in. Mine doesn't (or at least didn't used to) require a permit. If worried would check with a electric supply and see what they say.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: DIY electric install?

    It is true that most regs are local and vary. As far as the actual work it is another job that is easy to do. Get a book that gives the wire size vs breaker amps and what type of wire for different applications and ground faults where needed. Follow the codes and no problem, do not cheat. Calling the government would be a mistake unless you are going to follow through with the permits and licenses and inspections, once they get wind of a project they will descend on you like a pack of wolfs if they suspect that you have done anything.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member KennyG's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY electric install?

    I've done a lot of electrical work. I'm not a professional but I have relatives who are. If you do it yourself, do it right. Learn about the code requirements. Use the right size and type of wire and breakers. Fasten down the wire where required. Keep in mind that doing it right takes a lot longer than you would expect if you don't do this all the time. When I have needed a major amount of work done or work with wire larger than #10, I hire a pro. It's a bargain when the job is complicated.

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