adding outlets/circuits in garage


Old 06-26-05, 12:54 PM
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adding outlets/circuits in garage

I'd like to add 3 20amp 120v circuits in my drywall-finished, attached garage, with one duplex outlet on each (with at least one being gfci, probably all 3 gfci). My electrical service panel is on the exterior stuccoed wall of the garage. Since I want the outlets on the same wall as the service panel, I was hoping I could just drill a hole in the back of the service panel box, through the wall, into the garage. I don't mind the outlets being in surface mount boxes on the interior garage wall. I want the outlets to be about 15 feet away from where the hole would come through the wall. Can I use schedule-40 PVC conduit to run down the wall from the hole, across the wall near the floor, and then back up the wall and mount 3 pvc surface-mount single-gang outlet boxes daisy-chained (physically, not electrically) up the wall with one outlet (for each circuit) in each box? Can I just run three 12/2 NM cables through that 3/4" pvc? (will it fix? Lowes has some that is really slippery for easy fishing) Or do I need to run 7 separate individual wires (3 hot, 3 neutral, 1 ground) in the pvc? What about the point where it goes through the wall into the back of the service panel? I was thinking of putting one of those small pvc right-angle adapters with a removable front where it goes into the wall.. would it be ok to have the individual wires go directly through the wall (if I can't use 12/2 NM) or would i need a short piece of pvc there too?

It seems like a simple thing to do, but the little details add up..
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Old 06-26-05, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
I would not use NM. Opinions vary about whether NM is allowed in conduit by code, so why go there? You would also need large conduit to run three 12-2 cables.

Use individual conductors instead. You only need seven. On ground can suffice for all three circuits.

Do not drill a hole in your panel box. Look for a knock out that you can use.
Old 06-26-05, 07:14 PM
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Thanks. I'll go with individual conductors. I know I need 12 gauge hots and neutrals (20 amp circuits), but does my ground need to be 12 gauge or will 14 be sufficient?

There is only one unused knock-out in the back and it is both very large and probably not possible to remove since the panel is already mounted to the house (I think there is a big metal or wood sheet behind it) If I can't drill thru the box (I'd drill pretty much through that knock-out), I guess will I have to go down through a knock-out in the bottom of the box and have the pvc conduit exposed to the elements outside with my hole to the garage coming from outside of the panel box.. that would suck. The existing knock-out in the back of the box is already mostly full with all of the existing wiring, but maybe if I remove a large section of drywall inside the garage right where that hole is I can squeeze my new wires through from the back. not fun... or pretty.

Thanks again.
Old 06-27-05, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Ground needs to be #12 too.

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