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We currently have a single 15 amp circuit feeding the pool filter, then the pool shed and then the gazebo. We recently buried a new conduit from the house to the location of the pool filter receptacle.

I know that I can't have more than one circuit feeding an outbuilding, but can I feed the outdoor receptacle for the pool filter, the pool shed and the gazebo as three separate circuits? And can the wires for the three circuits travel together in the same conduit? I would need to dig another very short conduit from the pool filter location into the shed.

If the circuit for the gazebo traveled through the pool shed but wasn't connected to anything inside the structure would that be ok? not to scale drawing of the backyard

  • Is routing a single circuit from the house to a subpanel in the pool shed, then routing a branch back from the pool shed to the pool filter not an option? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 9 '16 at 4:07
  • It is. I was hoping to avoid the cost of the extra materials for the sub panel. 2 grounding rods plus the panel. My initial thought was a 30 amp sub panel. I also already have 12# THHN but I don't have any 10#. – Ed Haber Dec 9 '16 at 4:27
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    What loads are you running in the gazebo and pool shed? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 9 '16 at 4:51
  • The pool filter largest load. The shed and gazebo have lights and receptacles. The problem we have is when we connect something like a bounce house or flood lights to the receptacles in the gazebo or pool shed we trip the breaker. So maybe 100-300 watts in the other two buildings. – Ed Haber Dec 11 '16 at 17:22
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Feeding three different uses with three different circuits to the same building is precisely what is not allowed. The fact that they go to different places does help. The issue is whether that gazebo circuit is allowed to stop at the shed on the way to the gazebo, since now you have a segment with two redundant circuits.

Actually, you can have more than one circuit feeding an outbuilding if it has different purposes or operating restrictions; or it has different voltages; and several other exceptions described in NEC 225.30. You are welcome to contrive these.

  • For instance, the pool pump can have a switch in your house to turn it on and off. Now, that is a different characteristic as per NEC 225.30D.

  • Gazebo lighting could also have a switch in your house, or an "auto-turn-on-after-dark" switch in your house leaving on-demand control out at the gazebo. - another different characteristic.

  • You could run a multi-wire branch circuit, which is a method for getting 2 circuits for the price of one (well one additional wire). Under 225.30, a multi-wire branch circuit counts as one circuit. (however your inspector may say it counts as a 120V circuit, so it'll be your only one if so.) For instance you could have one leg feeding the shed, and the other the gazebo. In this case be careful about GFCI protection - putting GFCI on a MWBC is hard. Easier to put GFCI protection on each leg of the MWBC after they split.

  • The pool pump (or shed) could have a different voltage, i.e. 240V because of specialized equipment it may have. A pure-240V circuit (no neutral) is different than a MWBC.

  • What I was asking is can i feed two different out buildings with their own circuit when the circuit for out building two is in the same conduit as the circuit for out building one. I was suggesting that the circuit goes into building one but serves NO loads in that building and continues to the second out building. – Ed Haber Dec 11 '16 at 17:24
  • Right, and I think that's enough of a wobbler that your inspector could go either way, and you could end up tearing out work. So you need to be conversant in the code and the logic of the code, so you can at least haggle it with the inspector. – Harper Dec 11 '16 at 20:47
  • MWBC is the cheap way to do it. Take it to the shed, fork off the black side + neutral for the shed, fork off the red side + neutral for the gazebo. First stop after the fork, a GFCI outlet. – Harper Dec 11 '16 at 23:54
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There's a few ways to play this

  1. As ThreePhaseEel said, put a small subpanel in your shed and then tie the pump and gazebo together. Put, say, a 30 amp in your house, run 10-2 to the shed and add a small panel there (small panels and circuit breakers aren't that expensive). This is likely the most straightforward solution.
  2. Feed separate circuits through the same conduit. You can do this, just make sure your conduit is large enough to hold the wires easily. The major downside here is that, while it only requires another conduit run, it also requires you to home run three circuits to your house. That's a lot of wire (and it should be UL, which is more expensive than NM). Anything you save on conduit (which is cheap) is likely going to be eaten up with wire.
  3. Keep them on one circuit. Provided you have 12-2 wire (which you probably do), you could go to a 20 amp breaker. I'm not sure how many amps your pump pulls, but unless you have serious loads on the shed or gazebo, you could keep it as-is.
  • You cannot put 10-2 cable on a 50A breaker, you are constrained to 30A. NEC 240.4D7. You are welcome to use 10-2 on a 20A circuit. However, regardless of wire size, you cannot put a 30A breaker on a circuit which serves common household outlets (NEMA 5-15 or 5-20). NEC 210.21B3. – Harper Dec 9 '16 at 20:24
  • @Harper Yeah, I forgot to edit that (got it right in #3 but forgot to double check). Thanks – Machavity Dec 9 '16 at 20:37
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    Good. In #3, I still think a 30A 120V shared line is fairly useless, as you cannot connect residential lighting to a 30A circuit (210.23B) and cannot connect common outlets (Table 210.21B3, only 30A receptacles allowed on 30A circuits). Code definitely makes it tough. – Harper Dec 9 '16 at 20:47

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