Need help with wiring and lighting - DH wants install electrical

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wsdareme, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. wsdareme

    wsdareme Songster

    Mar 9, 2010
    Yelm, WA
    My DH has run power to the new coop. He wants to know what I want for lighting/outlets/etc. and where I want them. Problem is, I don't know what I need. The coop is going to be about 12'x14', with roughly 12'x9' of that being the girls' space and the front 5' being a storage room. I know I need an overhead light, power for the automatic door, and a few outlets for water heaters, brooder lights, etc.. Can you help me with number and location of outlets and lights? I know it's better to have too many than not enough, but we only have about 30 amps so I have to be careful not to overload. What kinds of things should I consider when planning the outlets and lights? I only get one chance to get it right!! [​IMG]
  2. DaveD

    DaveD Songster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    Just an fyi - an outlet doesn't draw any power, it's what's plugged into it that draws power, so definately put an outlet any place that would be convenient. And don't forget to put one outside and in the run. That goes for the light too - definately put one outside and in the run.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Outlets: Place one fairly close to your auto door. Place one in an area convenient for a heat lamp or fan, just in case. If you think you'll use a water heater base, have one ready. We only put two in, one up high and one down low. I wish we'd put on in each wall in hindsight. For anything that will be on a timer (some of those timers are big), plan for an outlet that will be out of the way if it's a low wall outlet. DH wanted to wire for a ceiling fan, which I though was ridiculous at the time. Now I use a window fan, so the laugh was on me [​IMG]
    You can get some really cheap motion sensor lights, so that's an idea for an outside if you had to go out at night it would light up for you out there...
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Also, don't put outlets so low that deep litter interferes with them. Covering them to keep out dust and litter, when not in use, is a good idea, too.

    I have an outlet on one of the rafters, for a fluorescent shop light and a heat lamp, if needed. It's nice to be able to brood in the coop, instead of in the house.
  5. moetrout

    moetrout Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    You're running a 30 amp circuit? That seems a bit off to me. I would have expected a 15 or 20 amp circuit....actually I would use one 20 amp circuit if it were me. 15 amp circuits are what most of your in house outlet are wired for. Then thinks like your frig (dedicated appliances), kitchen outlets, garage outlets, basically anything that might have a device plugged into it that requires more "juice" would be on a 20 amp circuit. If you do end up running that 30 amp circuit then you have to make sure you size your wire accordingly. A 15 amp circuit requires 14 gauge wire, 20 amp requires 12 guage wire, 30 amp circuit I don't know. Is your 30am circuit really 2 15 amp lines?

    I am not an electrician, but I do like to pretend and have wired several houses (mine and some friends). So my advice, 20 amp circuit, use 12 gauge romex, use outlets approved for a 20 amp circuit, outlets should be 3 feet from the floor and ususaally no more than 12 feet apart. For safetys sake I would run the line first to a GFCI (20amp) outlet and then everything else should be wired off the GFCI so all down stream circuits/devices are protected for shock hazards. The line run to the coup, if underground, should be a of a type meant for burying (usually it's grey and not white like normal household romex wire). Now this part I am not sure of, but I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to sink a separate ground rod just for the coup for added safety. I am not sure about that one and it should work either way. I hope that helps some.
  6. PegramPoultryProprietor

    PegramPoultryProprietor In the Brooder

    May 21, 2010
    Ok, first ask an electrician which I am not. I have however wired my own house and you have some other things to consider. How far away is the coop? Further away, larger circuit, larger wire, 30 amp might be needed. Also, GFIC is a good idea. Adding a grounding rod? Are you building a disconnect in the coop? Ask an electrician ,please.
  7. wsdareme

    wsdareme Songster

    Mar 9, 2010
    Yelm, WA
    My DH says there is 30 amps available. The feed comes from the barn, which has its own electrical panel and a whole array of separate circuits. DH knows what he's doing, so I know he'll wire accordingly. The power will also feed lights and outlets in the adjacent equipment building. I am just looking for suggestions on where to locate outlets, lights, switches that I might not think of. Thanks for the suggestion to put an outlet on the outside of the coop in the run. Wouldn't have thought of that. We have a metal halide light on the end of the barn that will light the run nicely at night. I think we'll probably do what we did in the barn and wire overhead 4-plex outlets so that two are live and two on a switch -- that way the overhead light can be plugged in to either the switch directly or to a timer. I was just looking for ideas that I might not normally think of. [​IMG]
  8. DaveD

    DaveD Songster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    Moet, 30 amp is #10 wire. If you are putting in a sub panel, I'd do the 30amp, but I like to oversize. Also I wouldn't do the direct bury wire - instead use conduit, it will protect the wire much more than direct bury and is a lot cheaper.

    The GFCI - instead of a GFCI outlet, use a GFCI breaker. Also I'd go for one that is Arc fault rated,as well. Arc Fault is the current standard for bedrooms and since the coop is a little bit flamable (shavings and dust from shavings) I'd go with the extra protection, since an Arc is certainly bad there. But then I get my circuit breakers really cheap and wired my whole house with Arc fault breakers (I work for a company that makes them)

    The ground rod situation - a lot depends on the distance from the house and local codes. I'd do an online search for that - I'll be doing one myself shortly, but I am fairly certain that I don't want one.

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  9. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Songster

    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    i would try to have 2 different circuit beakers or fuses in my chicken coop too. if one blow out and u could still have power there [ i live in a old home and when power goes out in a room the whole room is dead] rats
    cover outlets
    put one cover out let by the automatic door opener
    one near a window so could put a fan in
    one near the water feeder in winter you could put a heater in the water if necessary
    3 light switch
    one for main light
    one for heat lamps
    one for brooder lamp for baby chicks

    electric box out for outside light
    outlet box outside for power tools or electric charger

    ceiling fan in a coop i would be afaird of the chicken head or wings get broken !!!!!! yikes

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