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i have already had 12-2 wire running through my garage. Now i have a small shed which is 50 feet away from the garage. My plan is to dismantle one of the outlet in the garage which is where the 12-2 wire ends. From there, i will:

  • Install a switch at the old outlet place (That switch will play a role as a circuit breaker for the whole shed)
  • Start connecting my 14-2 wire to my shed.
  • In the shed there would be only 1 more outlet which i use mostly for charging tools.

The reason i use 14-2 wire is because I have a 100ft of 14-2 wire UF from my friend and i do not want to waste it.

Just wonder, is that OK to do as above? Please advise, thanks a lot.

  • If I understand you will feed the switch with the original 12-2.Then interrupt the circuit with a wall switch. Then continue the run with 14-2 to supply the shed? – mikes Sep 12 '16 at 12:29
  • 50' of 12ga 12-2 direct bury wire will be about $30 (the 14ga wire you have is rated for direct bury, right?). If you us the 14ga wire, you'll have to downgrade the breaker to a 15A at a cost of about $4. So it will cost you an extra $26 to run the 12ga. Considering the work to bury & install 50' of wire, this seems trivial. And you'll have a little more power out there if you ever decide to do something more out in that shed. – CoAstroGeek Sep 12 '16 at 19:38
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    And a 50 ft run of 14 gauge wire with a 15 amp load results in a 3.16% voltage drop, just over the limit of 3%. – bib Sep 13 '16 at 16:19
  • thank @bib, then what should be the ideal plan in this case? Selling the 14-2 wire and purchase another 12-2? Thanks – Kiddo Sep 14 '16 at 20:00
  • Most subpanels use dreally big wires, and that is sort of what you are running (even though it is very small). I would opt for the 12/2. – bib Sep 14 '16 at 21:40
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That is fine. Whichever circuit breaker feeds that entire circuit, must be replaced with a 15A breaker. The presence of any 14AWG wire anywhere in the circuit requires the breaker be 15A.

I don't know what you had in mind with the switch, but switches are not circuit breakers.

If you plan to use a full 15A in the shed, a common $1 switch will not handle that, you'd need to upgrade to a $7ish heavy duty switch.

  • Well.. it's quite not fine unless you downgrade the breaker! The OP might want to compare the cost of a breaker vs. the delta cost of 14 vs 12 gauge wire run to the shed. – Carl Witthoft Sep 12 '16 at 16:05
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    @CarlWitthoft i apologize for being unclear. I have edited to bold relevant text. I agree that cost delta 14 vs 12 is probably less than the breaker, however OP already possesses the 14AWG UF cable. – Harper Sep 12 '16 at 16:10
  • Thanks, this seems like an ideal plan. As a newbie to DIY, i was thinking about using a common $1 which you were talking about to be the switch for the whole shed. But will the heavy duty switch good enough for handle the on/off for the whole shed? Thanks – Kiddo Sep 12 '16 at 23:43

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