05:11PM | 12/27/02
Member Since: 12/26/02
2 lifetime posts
Im running electricity to my shop that sits about ten feet off of the corner of my attached garage. I am running it through 1-1/4 conduit(80) 18" deep. My question is about where the conduit comes up out of the ground before it enters the capped elbow and goes into the house and shop. Is there a certain distance it needs to be away from the foundation or side of the house.
Also what is required to mount the elbow to the house other than feeding it in the hole that will be cut out.
Is there a certain height from the ground I need to go before the wire enters the house.

Regarding the grounding rods I am going to be sinking. After the wire is connected to the rods and the rods are in the ground, is there any certain way I need to run the wire along the shop wall before it enters the shop? Do I need to encase this in conduit also, or can it be bare along the outside wall.

My last question, anyone have any tips or old tricks on routing my wires through the horizontal 2x4 in the garage attic wall, down into the top of my main panel. I really want to avoid tearing out as much drywall as I can. I was hoping I could punch out one of the top access holes, and route it down through somehow.

Thanks for any help, Mike


04:48AM | 12/29/02
Member Since: 09/01/02
25 lifetime posts
Your conduit can come up the wall right against the house.
The conduit should be secured to the wall within three feet of the LB (capped elbow).
The height above the ground needs to be enough to permit the cover of the LB to be readily removed.

The answer to the questions about your Grounding Electrode Conductor (GEC) depends on the size of the wire and the likelihood of exposure to physical damage from such things as lawn and garden equipment. Sizes smaller than #6 require protection in all installations. #6 AWG requires protection if it is exposed to physical damage. one example would be adjacent to a flower bed were hand tools would be used. #4 AWG and larger requires protection were exposed to severe physical damage. An example would be adjacent to grass cover were lawn mowers and trimmers would be used. The code requires the GEC for the building to be sized according to 250.66 based on the size of the circuit conductors but the GEC to ground rods need not be larger than #6. On a practical level I use number four for my GECs to avoid the need to carry multiple sizes for residential work and avoid the need for protection in most cases. If the GEC will be exposed to power driven lawn care equipment then you should run it in PVC conduit. Do not use metallic conduit unless you are prepared to bond it properly to the conductor at both ends.

As for running the wire to the panel you can make the opening between the studs were you will mount it slightly taller than the panel itself but not so tall that the space you will have to patch will not be hidden by the flush type panel cover. Drill the holes in the top plate, run your wires down, and slide the panel cabinet into place over the prepared ends.

If you have any questions about this advice please ask.

[This message has been edited by tdhorne (edited December 29, 2002).]


09:55AM | 12/29/02
Member Since: 12/26/02
2 lifetime posts
Tell me if this sounds o.k. I ran a 60 amp double poll breaker in the main, ran three #4 THHN wires from breaker and neutral to subpanel. They are wrapped in aluminum flex conduit from where they exit the main to where they exit the garage(about 35'). Then they enter the LP pvc box and are in 1-1/4 schedule 40 conduit buried 18" approximately 13' long where they then come up and enter the shop. Then I used the aluminum conduit where they come into the shop and enter the subpanel. Does it matter that all three wires I used are black as long as I color coated them with red and black tape(for hot) and white(neutral). Im going to run #4 bare to the grounding rods so I dont have to worry about protecting it. The rods will be next to my shops foundation. The only other thing is, is it o.k. to run the feed wires in the bottom of the subpanel and wrap them around to the main breaker inside the panel.


07:40AM | 01/01/03
Member Since: 09/01/02
25 lifetime posts
A couple of important points. Are there any metallic pathways; such as telephone wires, gas line, water pipe, sewer, intercom wiring, alarm system; between the two buildings? Is there any likelihood such wiring or metal piping will be added in the future? If the answer to either question is yes you will need to add an Equipment Grounding Conductor (EGC) to the raceway between the two panels. If you do that you will have the safest possible installation. In the absence of any other metallic pathways between the two buildings it is acceptable to run only the three conductors and rebond the neutral to the second buildings grounding electrode system. Please notice that my use of the term acceptable is deliberate. Best practice would still be to run an EGC in the feeder circuit. If you are willing to run the EGC in the feeder then let us know and I will instruct you on how to bond it to your raceway in order to improve it's performance.

You are allowed to color code conductors that are larger than number six AWG so that is OK.

As to the ground rods it would be a lot better if they were there own length away from any underground structure such as the foundation and if they are more than six feet apart. A good separation distance is twice their length. The electric code does not require this but it is the better practice so ask yourself if you only want to comply with the minimum standards of the code or if you want a fully effective grounding electrode system. The degree of resistance to surge and spike damage is directly controlled by the impedance of the grounding electrode system. This is even more important if you are unwilling to repull the feeder raceway to install an EGC.

Yes it is OK to run the feeder conductors from the bottom of the panel cabinet to the lugs at the top. Keep the conductors together until they are near the lugs to minimize the strength of the magnetic field. This becomes important during a fault condition. If the panel can be mounted either way up because all the breaker handles, including any main, throw horizontally then mount it with the main lugs at the bottom to make the wiring easier and cleaner.

You can reach me directly at
hornetd (at) mindspring (dot) com if you would prefer.

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