09:34AM | 08/02/05
Member Since: 08/01/05
4 lifetime posts
We currently have a shed that has power wires run from our breaker box in our cellar, that then runs down into a plastic pipe underground out and then to our shed about 50 feet away.

The problem is there is now no power getting out to the shed. Using a multimeter, I found that there is 120V leaving the breaker box in the cellar, but there is nothing getting out to the shed. So we were thinking of pulling out the old wire and having new wire pulled along with that. Just wasn't sure if there was an easy way to do that, or would we have to dig everything up to fix it? Or is this something i should have an electrician do?

I want to say that the wire going through the plastic pipe is #8. There are three wires going through, 2 black and one white.

thanks for any help you can provide



05:38AM | 08/03/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
With two blacks and one white going to the shed, you should have 240V between the blacks and 120V between each black and ground. Are the black wires both going to a double breaker? Is there a subpanel in the shed? I would do some more troubleshooting before replacing the wire. Chances are the conduit does not extend the entire way, so digging will be necesary.


03:10PM | 08/03/05
Member Since: 05/03/05
79 lifetime posts
You need to do some more troubleshooting! Househelper offers excellent advise. One thought--You said the wires are run through plastic pipe. There should be a ground or green wire. It is possible the original installer used one of the blacks for ground. What is in the shed, where the wires terminate? A panel? A small breaker box? A switch?


04:28PM | 08/03/05
Member Since: 08/01/05
4 lifetime posts
Each black wire leaves its own circuit breaker in the cellar main panel. The wires then go to a small breaker box in the shed with a total of 3 breakers being used currently. One for the outlets, one for the lights and one for an outside light for the driveway.

Here is a picture of the box in the shed, with the wires and breakers detached. The red circles are the two points were the black wires go to, and the white circle is the white wire terminal.

What other kind of tests can I run? I checked the circuit breakers and they are all working fine.

Thank you so much for all of your help :)



05:50PM | 08/03/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
I would try the following:

1. Check the voltage between the two black wires where they are connected to the breakers in the cellar box. You should have 240V.

2. Check the voltage between each of those wires and neutral. You should have 120V.

3. Check the voltage between the two hot wires in the garage. Again, you should have 240V.

4. Check the voltage between each of the black wires and the white wire ion the garage. Again, you should have 120V.

All of this will require working inside a hot panel so please use caution and work scared.

Post back with your results and we can go from there.

Any recent digging in the yard or close lighning strikes?


09:47AM | 08/07/05
Member Since: 08/01/05
4 lifetime posts
1. Has 240V between the two black wires leaving the cellar main panel.

2. Has 120V between each black wire and the neutral leaving the main panel in the cellar.

3. In the shed between the two black wires for some reason I get 6V

4. Then again in the shed between the first black wire and the neutral I get 0V....While between the second black wire and the neutral I get 6V.

I know there hasn't been any digging in the yard, but as far as lightning strikes go there were none that we know about. Also it has been awhile since we tried turning the electricity on in the shed, not sure if that really matters or anything.

Thank You



12:15PM | 08/07/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
You have at least 2 bad wires, maybe all three.

Need to replacement.

It might be conduit the whole way then you can pull the old ones out pull new ones.

Or it might be underground cable with just the conduit just a sleave to protect it until it get under ground.

Dig down my the conduit at one end and see what you see.


08:32AM | 08/09/05
Member Since: 08/03/05
20 lifetime posts
it's possible that your conduit is full of water...not good for wires. If the wire is soaked when you pull it out, use a shop vac to suck or blow the water out before you pull new wire, then take steps to prevent refilling ie.silicon or caulk in ends of pipe.


09:45AM | 08/09/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
I doubt water is the problem, if it were, the breaker would blow when energized.

Bunker - I have to ask..Are you sure the breaker you are checking in the main panel is the correct one for the shed?


02:14PM | 08/09/05
Member Since: 08/01/05
4 lifetime posts
Yea, I'm 100% sure the wires I checked in both panels are the ones for the shed. The two black wires leaving the two breakers I checked, and the white wire leave the breaker box in a totally seperate area, to a metal conduit, that then leads to a plastic conduit that leads underground.

One quick question about pulling the wires, is there an easy way to pull them or do you just grab onto them and pull as hard as you can? haven't tried to yet, but looking at the thickness of the wires they don't look like they'd be very easy to pull through.

Thank you for all of your advice

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