Wiring a workshop 3 wire question

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by 83mulligan, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. 83mulligan

    83mulligan New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Michigan
    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. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,003
    Location:
    New England
    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.
  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Really ?

    A reason would have been nice.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,003
    Location:
    New England
    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.
  6. kevink1955

    kevink1955 Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    L.I. New York
    And you cannot put CATV and a water line in the conduit with your electrical service, start diging for a second conduit.
  7. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    No kidding. I'm surprised he did not plumb in a line to the beer keg while he was at it!
  8. 83mulligan

    83mulligan New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Michigan
    This is what I thought, thankyou.
  9. 83mulligan

    83mulligan New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Michigan
    I quit drinking 5 years ago. The old me most certainly would have.
  10. 83mulligan

    83mulligan New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Michigan
    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. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I don't see why not.

    Beer Keg line also.

    Don't forget the compressed air line.
  12. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    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:eek:

    I assume you are joking, as I am too:)
Similar Threads: Wiring workshop
Forum Title Date
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Hot Tub Wiring Aug 25, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog GFCI wiring Jun 2, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Hot Tub Wiring May 28, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Questions on old wiring stapled to bottom of joists Apr 16, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Wiring and layout for barn Mar 5, 2014

Share This Page