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Finishing the inside of the cabin with my budget was a little trying at times.






Step 1: Running the electric line

Picture of Running the electric line
cabin2 003.JPG
First thing i had to do was to dig a trench 50 feet.  Then i Ran 12/2 uf   underground wire through 3/4 inch conduit from the panel box in the garage to the junction box in the cabin.
 
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SamanthaT51 month ago
I was wondering if their is a material list icould get so i can build one of this. I love how it looks and the amount of space there is. It would be perfect for me to do all my crafting in!!! Please tell me you have a material list!
JeffA21 month ago

Aaaannd, now that I've read the rest of the comments, I'm guessing you already addressed the issues I brought up... hehehe My bad...

JeffA21 month ago

I'm sorry, but I need to nitpick a few things, mostly for those who don't know better and are just going to follow your instructions. (I have a couple issues with your electrical wiring...) I'm not trying to be a jerk, but want to help those who wouldn't otherwise know...

First thing is regarding how you ran wire to the cabin:

It's in conduit. That's good. But it's only 3" deep. Not so good. (Lazy.) This can be an issue in many obvious scenarios and should be buried deeper.

Second: 12/2 wire providing power to the cabin. (For those that don't know: the first digit is the gauge of the wire and the second digit is the number of wires, not counting ground. Therefore, 12/2 = 2 - 12g(auge) wires (+ground). Those 2 wires are: 1 black and 1 white. All modern "Romex"-style wire will have a bare ground wire also, so there are 3 wires total in a 12/2 or a 14/2. In wires other than Romex *or the like*, the bare copper ground wire may have a green sheath. Green or bare copper is ALWAYS "ground".)

So, back to the 12/2: that's one hot wire, one common, and one ground. And that means that you have one single 20amp breaker feeding power to the cabin, and that's it. (Again, FYI: 12/2 = 12gauge wire which is rated for 20amps continuous. 14/2, which is the other, smaller, household wire, is 14gauge wire and is only rated for 15amps continuous. And that's the difference between the 15 and 20amp breakers in your panel.)

So, one 20amp breaker. And the cabin contains a refrigerator, a microwave, a space heater, multiple lights, an entertainment center w/ tv and audio, .... and that's just what I see in the pictures, nevermind what anyone wants to plug in. (A toaster oven or vacuum cleaner would definitely NOT be an option!!)

With the "everyday items" plugged in, you would not be able to use either the microwave or the space heater without blowing the breaker. No heat and no hot food unless you turn off the lights and unplug the fridge...

With only another $20 (tops!) spent up-front when purchasing the wire, you could have instead run a piece of 12/3 from the main panel out to the cabin. (Another FYI: that means 3 - 12g wires, black/white/red, +ground. The red is the positive leg for a second circuit.) That means 2 - 20amp circuits to the cabin, which would mean no unplugging things... Or, better yet, fun 8ga and give the cabin it's own 50 panel (which would actually translate to at least 6 15amp breakers and plenty of power at every outlet...). But I'm just sayin'....

Also: the junction box illustration will confuse those who don't know, but are otherwise trying to follow directions...

In your illustration, the wire that leads upward, out of the box, says "power out to lights and outside light". This is incorrect.

That wire leads from the junction box to the SWITCH BOX. It provides power to the switches, which then in-turn provide power to the lights, as demonstrated in your switch box wiring diagram.

(Hey homeowners: The power COULD go to the lights first, but the wiring to the switches would then be completely different. Both methods are equally as common, so please feel perfectly comfortable doing it this way.)

Lastly: you really didn't need to do the digital touch-up on that one particular framing pic. Overall, you've done a good job and there was no need for that. But again, I'm just sayin'...

Overall, a good instructable, despite my nitpicks. Cheers!

WhatsnextPpl2 months ago
I have a homeless family member. I have very little obey but have five acres of land. If all family pitch in to build this, is it something he could live in? I didn't see a bathroom but may have missed it.
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  WhatsnextPpl2 months ago

yes you can live in it very easily. if you see for the link for how to build a modern outhouse on my instructable you will see the bathroom

cmies2 years ago
For others looking at this project, I would ask that you please consult with your local electrical codes before attempting your own wiring. In my municipality, there are things in this project that would have to be corrected, things that you would not consider. For instance, I have a similar detached space and the electrical feed had to be burried deeper than 36 inches and encased in conduit. Just be careful.
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  cmies2 years ago
It is encased in conduit.
Yes, I saw that in the comments later, sorry for that.

My comment wasn't specific for your project, I was just trying to make sure people understand the gravity of doing your own wiring, and the things that they might not think of. My city actually has a program for you to become certified to do you own wiring at your primary residence (you still have to pull all the same permits and have all the same inspections). I did the program and it was a great experience. Only took a few weeks of study, and then a Saturday for the test.

Great project by the way!
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  cmies2 years ago
Thank you very much. I still might change the wire to 10/2 i used 12/2 with a ground .Its not a hard job to change it .Juts more money when i already had the 12/2 wire ..maybe ill do it in the spring

I would at least use 10/3wg and put a small breaker box in the cabin for 2 circuits

Agreed. I would highly recommend conduit, just to protect the cabling from the wandering shovel. UG is "underground" but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's safe without a conduit.

A walkway over the conduit is a helpful reminder of where it's buried as well. Given the distance you're pulling the wiring, you may have needed 10/2. It depends on distance and expected load. The "Electrician's Handbook" at your local home store can provide specifics. A heater and a fridge on the the same circuit could be too much draw for your wiring. I would also suggest you use a GFCI breaker, if you haven't already.

As cmies has pointed out, a quick discussion with the city building commission or a local electrician would be highly recommended. Even a chat with the local utility company's offices would be a good start. If you are so lucky as to have a city which lets you self-certify, do take the course.

I've done lots of electrical work on my homes, and I would have enjoyed having a course like this to learn about pigtailing and very useful tips like, "Dry fit all of your underground conduit from end to end, THEN string the bits onto the wire you plan to use, like beads on a necklace, THEN glue the PVC together...."


Not too be rude, but pulling your wire in before gluing PVC conduit is a bad idea. Most common wiring insulation are either vinyl or PVC, both of which can be affected by the solvents in pvc glue.

If you want to put a pull string in while dry fitting the sections of conduit that would be okay.

just my 2 cents worth.

Ah! I see your concern. At the time, I was pulling 8 gauge wire to my hot tub, and let's just say I'd have needed heavy equipment to draw that wire through the tubing. I made sure to only coat the "outside" of the pipe, press into the fitting, and dope the edge. [====] In this example, on the == yes, on the [ or ] connectors, no. I definitely should have explained that more clearly. Thanks for the heads up.

coolbeansbaby68 (author)  cmies2 years ago
Actually i should have used 3 wire instead .I can change that easy.
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  cmies2 years ago
have you seen my modern outhouse yet?
Regardless, somewhere down the road, someone could take ditch witch and would rip right through that. You want to bury electrical DEEEEEEP.
bernie.alvey4 months ago

How many receptacles and how many lights are in the cabin. What is size amperage breaker in the garage panel you are running from.

mdeblasi12 years ago
As the owner of a licensed, insured, bonded, and code compliant electrical contracting company,
this sorta horrifies me.

why ? because he didn't hire you for 50 + bucks an hour to wire it ? might as well ban all the do it yourself books to while your at it , they should horrify you too! his wiring was fine , Most folk that can do something like this can do basic wiring, and know already what he was talking about. don't need an electrical engineer to speak techno babble to figure out basic wiring like this

How about this. As a homeowner (who is NOT a licensed, insured or bonded electrician) who has finished his basement from the cinderblocks out, helped wire the sanctuary in a new church building, and who has remodeled many bathrooms and kitchens and bedrooms, this wiring kinda horrifies me. Granted, building inspectors around here can be a bit overzealous, but the last inspector I had would have made me rip all that out and do it over. I obviously have nothing against do-it-yourselfers when it comes to home wiring, but after coming across many, many very dangerous wiring jobs, I make sure to do it right. Now, nothing I see on here is as bad as the circuit in the house my parents moved into where a light was wired as a "3-way" but was actually wired on two different circuits, so if both switches were on it was pumping 240v to the light, but it does remind me a lot of the wiring jobs I have come across in remodeling this house where I've found things like live lines just dead ending sans wire nuts in a box that contains another circuit. At the very least, all those wires need to be strapped down, and his line from the house needs to be at least a foot deeper.

Let's start with this... I haven't taken ANY electrical classes since high school... ( class os 82' ) but I learned even back then that you wrap all outlets and switch connections with electrical tape... I also noticed NO ties to stud walls ( I don't know codes but should be at least every foot ) The ties are meant to keep the random wall mount photo (etc.) from possibly contacting a live wire. And though I agree that there are many people who can wire they're own home correctly (and safely), The photo's of this job leaves me with many doubts.

Actually, we're $90 an hour,
and licensed
bonded
and our work is inspected.

Just sayin'.
http://ecmweb.com/fire-amp-security/nfpa-releases-report-home-electrical-fires

"Actually, we're $90 an hour"

Which is exactly why such helpful instruction is horrifying to you. If I had a nickel for every time a licensed electrician sounded the alarm bells about the grave dangers of doing it yourself, I could probably afford the sort of price gouging that is standard in your profession.

Sorry, but there's plenty of useful, accurate, and safe instruction out there for those willing to take the time to learn. So while your concern for our safety is touching, it's really not the source of your concern. Just sayin'...

I defer to @Wonderground 's defense of my input,
You may feel free to do as you please and good luck to you.

coolbeansbaby68 (author)  mdeblasi12 years ago
why is that?
Because I was once a teacher and had a student and her sister die and their father loose both eyes and a hand trying to save them ---
In an electrical fire.

There is a good reason for code inspections.
Is there any reason that you won't actually augment your criticism with actual substance? So far we have:

"As the owner of a licensed, insured, bonded, and code compliant electrical contracting company, this sorta horrifies me"

That may be true, but what does that offer? You then follow with and anecdote about injuries from an electrical fire, yet offer no relevant explanation. While that is certainly a sad story, how does it specifically relate to this build? Rather than just being condescending, why not take this opportunity to help the community with actual substance rather than vague derision? What is it specifically that you find horrifying? I would really be interested to know and perhaps learn.

nice reply with offering substance to the conversation without basing and name calling!! Nice to see civil communication. I just wanted to take the time to thank you. :)

The substance of mdeblasi1's post was to establish their credibility in the field of electrical work, and to use that credibility to state that this cabin is, potentially, very dangerous.

I'm an electrical engineer who has done plenty of wiring work, and can back their claim. I am not terribly well versed in construction code, but I am in theory and application, lets visit a life ending possibly.

First, 'black wire', 'white wire', what are those, no one knows, it depends how whoever wired it. Say that you mixed neutral and line, say that your source for this cabin in not on a gfci, if you don't know what can happen because of that you have no business working with a medium as dangerous as line voltage in construction.

Code is there for a reason, it keeps you safe, if you would like to know more about how it keeps you safe, there are plenty of legit places to learn, a comment thread is not one of them.

ANY place is a good place to learn anything , nothing there looked out of the ordinary to me in the wiring . It is NOT illegal for owners to wire anything of themselves or to show others how. This comment thread assumes you already know something about these things, it's not a place for an encyclopedia to be written , or , for that matter know it alls to flaunt themselves .

Respectfully in my opinion in my opinion comment's are critical about something as important electrical installation safety, and not point out the issues, have to be irresponsible. Even calling into question if the person making the criticism has the credentials they state. Why not make that can be constructive to those reading it have been alerted to an issue will not make the mistake after fact checking the validity of the criticism?
I'm not sure I understand your comment.
Is this what you are looking for?
United Systems
Ohio License #10552
nimo4636.5 months ago

I noticed you used Underground rated electrical wiring on your interior, you could have saved on that by using interior grade wiring. nice cabin though.

techscott7 months ago

Great stuff. I enjoyed both the cabin and the interior instructions. BTW, what was the material cost of the interior work?

coolbeansbaby68 (author)  techscott7 months ago

around 500.00 total

jims610 months ago

Query: does the current configuration allow you to make room temperature beer cold? If the answer to my question is yes, then i see no problem with the wiring. Nice cabin and nice site.

Heath A.B1 year ago

How far of a run did you have to get the power there? I would be concerned about voltage drop with that gauge wire if you are going more than 50 feet, very concerned if more than a 100 feet. Have you had any issues with the breaker that feeds it tripping a lot, or appliances not working properly and/or burning out altogether?

coolbeansbaby68 (author)  Heath A.B1 year ago

i ran 50 feet and no troubles

I love it . you did a fantastic job .wtg

jspence11 year ago

Maybe you need a smoke alarm? If you have a heater, you need a carbon monoxide alarm too. Finally a fire extinguisher or two could be handy. All of this stuff is cheap.

Thanks to the others for their 'electrifying comments' ... I learned a lot.

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