Would it be acceptable to run a branch circuit from a panel to a detached storage shed that will be approximately 200 feet away, instead of a feeder with sub-panel and grounding rods?

The circuit will power 4 low current draw LED wall packs (<1A each), and possibly one wall receptacle that would be used for a battery tender.

Planning direct burial 10/2 with ground.


Yes, you can run a single branch circuit to a structure

Considering you only need a single branch circuit there, you can run a single branch circuit out to your shed with say 10AWG for hot/neutral/ground, or hot/hot/neutral/ground if you want to run a multi-wire branch circuit. The exception to 250.32(A) means you won't need a ground rod at the shed as the equipment grounding conductor to the main structure is a sufficient grounding means for a single branch circuit.

You'll need a disconnecting means at the shed to satisfy 225.31; however, this can be a simple light switch in a weatherproof box or just inside the shed, nothing fancier is needed for a single branch circuit. You'll want the receptacle to be GFCI-protected, by the way, due to the fact this is an unfinished space.

However, I'd trench in a fat conduit anyway

Renting a trencher for the day isn't cheap. Schedule 80 PVC is, even in say 2 or 3" diameter. This means that while you're digging, you might as well put in a fat PVC conduit to the shed even if you're only running a few 10AWG THHNs in it, instead of using a direct bury cable, as the conduit will make expansion way easier. Besides, Schedule 80 is going to hold up to an inadvertent excavator encounter better than a UF cable anyhow.

  • 1
    Why not install a multiwire branch circuit? Also, don't forget the GFCI protection. – Tester101 Aug 31 '17 at 13:36

I ran 12 /3 about 100 ft. to a shed without sub-panel or ground rod ; it hasn't killed me in 15 years. I did use plastic conduit which I recommend and GFI. I use up to 500 watts ( 110 V).

  • 1
    Do you have a disconnect out there? – Sivart Aug 31 '17 at 1:19
  • Not at the shed ; I put a small panel in the garage with a disconnect. I did not read code , but I would never put any electric outside without GFI . – blacksmith37 Aug 31 '17 at 14:42

You're barely pulling 2 amps. 10/2, 10/3 branch circuit will do fine.

Do you hear that? Here come the code book copy/pasters.... The afci's!! Where are the afci's?!?!!!! ;)

  • 2
    Garages and sheds are exempt from AFCI protection, but not GFCI protection. – Kris Aug 31 '17 at 2:27
  • Hahahahahahaaa! +1 for that! – NPM Aug 31 '17 at 10:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.