I am looking to run two new circuits outside. Initially it was one circuit for a swimming pool, but I figure since I am doing the run to the other side of the yard, I should run another circuit for yard decorations, tools, etc.

I am going to use a GFCI circuit break for both, and I would like to run the same wires in the same conduit. I planned on making the pool circuit 20amps, and the secondary outlet 15amps. I have metal conduit in the house, and would like to lead out of the house from metal conduit to pvc conduit.

1)For inside the house, is it better to run a separate conduit line for these two circuits, or pull through an existing conduit to save time. Here are pictures of the basement ceiling conduit and breaker box, and the corner of the basement I would like to lead the conduit out at. Is there a circuit spot I need to come out of the house at, or any restrictions?

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Bring electric out through this corner. enter image description here

Would like to run conduit along fence line to corner gate, right side. The other trench in picture is for french drain I am installing. The trench would start from left of picture to fence. Pool will be around that corner as well. enter image description here

Trench start from house

2) with the length of the run, about 75ft outside, and then about 40ft to run the wire from the breaker box to the otherside of the basement, then to outside, should I run 12guage wire for both the 20amp and 15amp circuits to reduce any voltage loss? Also, would the wires be 2 neutrals, and 2 hot, and then coming from the outside, 1 ground? What guage should the ground be?

3) can I come out of the house on an angle to shorten the length then with a 45 degree turn, then straight and then a 90 for 4ft, and another 90 for 1ft run then go up to surface mount..

4) how far above ground do the outlets need to be? And can both circuits sit on the same 4x4 post?

5)Anything else I should know?

I have the permit for the pool approved and I was told the electrical is included. I submitted the permit application before I decided to add the extra circuit. Would the second circuit in this scenario usually cover the second circuit inspection since the inspector is basically looking at all the same things?

Thank you!

  • Your pictures don't seem to have made it... Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 3:35
  • Sorry, had to do it from phone. Should be up now.
    – eaglei22
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 3:37
  • Can you get us sizing and fill data on the conduit you wish to reuse for the indoor run? Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 3:45
  • Sure, I dropped the first light bulb housing and see about 6 wires coming through the conduit from breaker box. It is the one farthest left, as the other two seem to go outside, and upstairs. I was thinking of trying to run through this one.
    – eaglei22
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 3:52
  • ^^It's the 3rd picture down and the conduit that is running through light. I was also thinking of feeding all the way through, and coming through the sump pump conduit line if that's possible then head to outside to adjacent wall.
    – eaglei22
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 4:41

1 Answer 1


Two circuits to the same place must be different.

You can't simply run two 120V general-purpose circuits to an outdoor location or outbuilding. There must be something that makes one circuit different from the other. For instance it can be a different voltage (120 vs 240 vs 120/240 split vs MWBC)... Or differently controlled (always-on, on a manual switch, pressure switch, timer, etc.)

For instance you could have a 240v pump working off a pressure switch, a 240V always-hot circuit powering heater on a thermostat in a shed, a general purpose 120V circuit, and two lighting circuits controlled by different switches.

Separate neutrals required; shared ground is fine

In fact, certain types of conduit are permitted to be used as the ground wire. The ground needs to be sized for the largest circuit.

Upsizing wires is a good idea for these distances

It's not required to upsize wires for long distances, but it certainly helps machines perform better and reduce breaker trips.

Once you commit to 12 AWG you might as well breaker for 20A.

No more than four

You can have a maximum four circuits per conduit. 240V/120V circuits count as one circuit. MWBCs count as one circuit.

If you want to have more than four circuits, you can do up to ten if you bump all the circuits up a wire size (well, 2 sizes, 12 to 10 etc.). This applies to circuits up to 20A. For larger, the math is more complicated.

  • Thanks Harper. I am confused to your first statement. A swimming pool pump must have its own dedicated circuit, so I figured the only other way to add another outlet along with the pool pump outlet was to run two circuits then instead of one.
    – eaglei22
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 12:37
  • The risk is of the AHJ saying he sees two constant-on cord-and-plug-connected 120V circuits and saying nope. The NEC rationale is to herd you into using a subpanel instead of a bunch of parallel circuits (not least, so there's a single shut-off for maintenance and emergency response; of course they don't require this where it's impossible.) Break this logic by putting either circuit on a switch. Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 14:35
  • Well I do have outside receptacles attached to the house. Can I tie the additional, general use receptacle (near the dedicated pool one) into that circuit some how?
    – eaglei22
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 15:13
  • 1
    My understanding of 225.30 is it only applies to structures -- you can feed two circuits to a single set of outdoor receptacles because there's no structure involved... Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 23:19
  • 1
    @ThreePhaseEel The way the ECMweb article talked about it, it seemed like it would be applicable to a post, especially one near a structure. Wouldn't do to bypass 225.30 by sticking a 4x4 post right next to a structure! In any case this is one of those AHJ roulette situations, where they could go either way. You'd want to know. Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 23:57

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