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Outhouse Main Cable Size

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uniopp

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I want to run a cable from my main house (120V) to my outhouse which is 170’ away.
In my outhouse, I need 10 separate 20A outlets, each on their own circuit with individual breakers (not daisy chained).
What size/gauge would the main cable need to be to handle that kind of load?
Thanks
 

Snoonyb

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Welcome.

So you want to install a 100A sub panel.

What is the size of your existing service, and the main breaker?

Photo's of the service entry panel, open, and of the nomenclature label, will help.
 

JoeD

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Receptacles don't use any power. What do you intend to use those receptacle for? That will determine the size of the feeder.
 

bud16415

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First welcome to the forum.

170’ walk to the outhouse seems like a long walk on a cold morning and 10X (20 amp) seems like a lot of power for an outhouse. What will all the power be used for?
 

Sparky617

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First welcome to the forum.

170’ walk to the outhouse seems like a long walk on a cold morning and 10X (20 amp) seems like a lot of power for an outhouse. What will all the power be used for?
I suspect this outhouse is an outbuilding. Workshop maybe?
 

kok328

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Sounds like a very specific request.
Do you plan on using all 10 circuits at the same time?
Do you have a large enough main panel to support a 200A sub-panel (probably not)?
 

slownsteady

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LOL. So appropriate this week.

Funny, but I also think of an outhouse as a........well, outhouse (or as my italian grandmother used to call it ; "back-housa")
 

Jeff Handy

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Sounds like a grow house being set up.

Whatever you are planning, you need to give much more info.

Or hire a local pro.

And the cable (or conductors in conduit) will be 240 volts, with a neutral and ground.

You can run 120 volts from that, or 240 if needed.

Total amps or watts needed for your planned use, and local codes, will determine your cable type and wire gauge.
Also if conduit is needed, what type, burial depth, many things.
170 feet is a long feeder.

And some devices like heaters or motors that run continuously need heavier gauge than something running occasionally.
 

Jeff Handy

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Sounds like a very specific request.
Do you plan on using all 10 circuits at the same time?
Do you have a large enough main panel to support a 200A sub-panel (probably not)?
You can pull 200 amps of 120 volt from a 100 amp sub panel being fed by 240 volts.
 

afjes_2016

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Code dictates that you can only run one circuit to an unattached building. If you want 10 dedicated circuits you will need to run one main circuit to the out house to a sub panel and then from there branch off to your individual 20amp circuits.

But it would help if you gave us some idea of what you want to run on these individual circuits so we can advise properly what size feeder you should run to the outhouse's sub panel and the size of the sub panel in the out house.

It would also help if you provided us with the size rating of your house panel that you plan to run this main feeder from to the out house.

Usually load calculations are performed to see what size rating panel you need as the sub panel.

Just like Joed said outlets (receptacles) don't use power. Therefore it is hard for use to guide you properly without knowing your intended needs in the out house.
 

uniopp

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Firstly, Thanks for all the replies.
Secondly, I'm sorry for the confusion with my choice of words - "outhouse", I should have said "outbuilding", in fact I should have said sound stage because the building is actually being used to practice music/lighting.
Looks like we need to run one feeder line to a sub panel and then divide up into 10 x 20A individual circuits.
My house mains has 240v (for some air conditioners) and /120v for the rest. We currently have 150A but I assume we can upgrade that if needed.
Anyway, I'm wondering what size the feeder cable should be cover the load.
Of course I will be getting an electrician to hook everything up but would like to lay the feeder myself in the meantime prior to deciding which contractor to use.
Thank you.
 

Jeff Handy

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Post your zip code, and members may be able to advise what is required as far as method of burial, cable type or conduit, etc.
 

afjes_2016

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uniopp: Stop!! - I only say this as a "heads-up" to you.
Of course I will be getting an electrician to hook everything up but would like to lay the feeder myself in the meantime prior to deciding which contractor to use.
Do NOT purchase any materials or do any of the work yourself - YET!!

Most if not all licensed electricians will not pick up where you left off due to liability issues.

They will not take the liability for the work you do or for the materials that you provide.

If you are going to do any of the work yourself or buy any of the materials you MUST FIRST be sure that you have a licensed electrician on board with this and who agrees to this.

I would suggest that you call three electricians. Have them come over. Explain what you want done. Let them give you written estimates. Be sure you mention that you want to do some of the grunt work yourself to save money and be sure the electrician agrees to it prior to starting any of the work.

This is a big mistake that many people make.

Let the electrician decide the size of the feeder based on the demands of the equipment you will be running and the future needs of this building.

I highly suggest that you do this first!!
 

JoeD

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You still haven't answered the question about the size of the loads you will using.
 

afjes_2016

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I'm onboard with the others that suggested maybe you should run a separate service to this building for its power needs.

Asking us for a feeder suggestion to run 10- 20amp circuits is not really going to give you a bright enough picture of your needs and unfortunatly we may misguide you in doing so. The reason is we don't know the "load demand" requirements of the equipment you plan on running in this structure.

Besides the fact of seriously considering a separate electrical service to this structure you should really get a few licensed electricians to not only give you estimates but you should give them a list of all the equipment you plan on running in this building. This way they can perform what is called a "load calculation" to determine what service you will need in this building to run your equipment properly and safely. From there they can write up an estimate for you.

I would seriously suggest to you that you do not purchase any materials or run any conduit etc until you have done what I and others have suggested. You may find that you have spent a lot of money for nothing in materials.

Feeding power to a building that will contain equipment/lighting like this will will require some real thought for power demands. If it were for a living area it would be a bit more cut and dry - sound stage with lighting etc will require far more thought on the electrician's end. Not to mention the codes that may be involved since this is not simply a living area.

I hope you plan on getting a permit for this project and that you are going to be contacting the electrical inspector who will need to sign off on this project to ask him/her what their requirements will be which may be above and beyond (more than likely) of the NEC.
 

Ron Van

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I’m a little confused by all this. When they build a house, the electricians don’t know what the potential load will be but they wire it anyway. Isn’t there a rule of thumb, like 5amps per outlet or something like that? I don’t know how big his band is but my band practiced in a room that only had 2 X 15a circuits in it and never tripped a breaker.
 

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