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Posted by (PeteCresswell) on January 26, 2012, 10:07 pm
Per amdx:

Not really.

If 12v can be run without code considerations, that would seem tb
a no-brainer replacement for 120v.
Pete Cresswell

Posted by Neon John on January 26, 2012, 10:04 pm

Yeah, I see several.  The material costs are going to be high compared
to alternatives.  And there is a huge amount of labor involved even if
you do rent a DitchWitch.

If you run conduit, you must include a pull box about every 50 feet.
Otherwise you won't be able to pull the cable in.

It's against Code and good practice to run signal and power leads in
the same conduit or even next to each other because of the potential
for cross-talk.

You didn't say how far away this shed is but assuming it's less than
about 1000 feet, here's what I'd do.  I use 10 gauge type UF (direct
burial) cable for 120 volt power.  If it's over 500 feet move up to 8
gauge.  This stuff requires no conduit and if you get the type with an
optional UV rating, can be run overhead.

If the shed is not too far away and is direct line of sight (no trees
or other obstacles), I'd consider overhead.

If you want to go underground, rent a slit trencher.  Instead of
digging a ditch (which requires filling in - more labor), a slit
trencher has a large vibrating blade extending down into the ground.
It slits and spreads the dirt a couple of inches.  The spool of wire
rides on the trencher.  A feeder tube feeds the wire into the newly
opened trench.  As the machine passes by, the compressed earth swells
back into place, covering the cable and leaving almost no signs on the

The blade can cut roots and either break or move aside rocks.  About
the only thing that will stop it is solid stone and very hard things
like steel pipe.  That's a good thing - you don't want to cut your
water or natural gas pipe!

Now you have 120 volts at the shed for your light and a few outlets
which are always handy to have around.  For the video, get an
ethernet-enabled camera and route the signal back to your house using
a pair of WiFi nodes set up peer-to-peer.  Old, slow WiFi units are a
dime a dozen but still plenty fast enough for this application.

One last thing.  Call the local "Call before You Dig" number and have
your property mapped for existing underground  utilities.  This is a
free service, paid for by the utilities, and relieves you of any
liability if you cut into an un-mapped underground service.

Many areas of the country have implemented "811" as the number to call
for this service.  If yours hasn't, go here:


to find out the proper number for your area.


John DeArmond
Tellico Plains, Occupied TN
See website for email address
Feed by Giganews

Posted by (PeteCresswell) on January 27, 2012, 6:22 pm
 Per PeteCress:

Per Neon John:


I'm *really* glad I started this thread....

Didn't even know there was such a thing as a slit trencher....

Somebody mentioned 12v outdoor lighting cable - which would work
for me as an alternative to 12ov.

Can that just be run any old way, or are there code
considerations there too?
Pete Cresswell

Posted by Pete C. on January 27, 2012, 9:27 pm
Neon John wrote:

If it's a fairly straight shot it's not that much work with a ditch
witch. I did 80' in rock hard clay in an afternoon with a small

Woa! That is *way* off. You only need pull boxes if you have too much
accumulated bend in the conduit. 500' straight pulls are extremely
common (with $0 cable lube), and the spec for underground electric
service is commonly 650' max and 360deg total bend max.

Cross talk really isn't an issue these days, so it's only a safety issue
running power and data (other than fiber) in the same conduit. My
recommendation is two PVC conduits in the same trench, and 3/4" or 1"
conduit will be fine if it's a straight shot to the outbuilding.

The extra cost of UF cable doesn't give you savings over using PVC
conduit, and if you UF it, you can't pull it out for repair if needed in
the future. I never direct bury anything, PVC conduit is too

Overhead is unsightly, UV bombarded (use the correct wire or it
deteriorates fast), birds crap on it, squirrels chew on it, you hit it
with the ROPS on your tractor, lightning hits it, etc.

A ditch witch puts all the fill right beside the trench. Put conduit in
the trench, knock and tamp fill in to about 6" depth, put marker tape in
then knock the rest of the fill back in and tamp down. A bit of grass
seed and you're good to go.

Those are good for installing sprinkler tubing, but I really don't like
them for anything electrical.

A ditch witch will chew through pipes if you let it, so pay close
attention when running one.

120V power in the shed can be nice, but may not really be worth the cost
if the shed isn't used much. I've done plenty of work at remote sheds
just bringing along a little EU2000 to run tools.

Absolutely. Also know what utilities are *not* covered by your CBYD
number, around here they do power, phone and cable, but they do not do
water or sewer (no gas around here).

Posted by (PeteCresswell) on January 28, 2012, 2:11 am
 Per Pete C.:

Pete Cresswell

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