Wiring attached garage

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  #1  
Old 05-28-07, 06:56 PM
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Wiring attached garage

I am going to add some wiring to my attached garage since when built they only installed 1 light, one outlet. I want to add 4 fluorcent lights and 5 20amp outlets. What size wire should I run from the main box to the garage? Could I use 10/2 or 12/2 romex to run from the main to the garage. Do I need to add a breaker box to the garage or just a regular junction box. How many wires can I put in 1/2" pipe? How high off the ground should the boxes be?
 
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Old 05-28-07, 07:14 PM
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You could probably add the new lights to the existing circuit, but it's nice to always remember which receptacle is on the lighting circuit so you don't overload it and lose your lights while you stumble to the panel to reset it. Are there other things on the same circuit as the garage now?

Do the new 20A receptacles need to be on separate circuits for equipment, or are they just for convenience? #12 wire for these, either way. Unless you need lots of dedicated receptacles for machines, no need to bother with a subpanel at this time. If your existing panel is almost full or will be after this, you may want to go ahead, so you'll have the ability to expand again.

No specific code on receptacle height. 12-18" is typical, but you can also put some higher for behind a counter or workbench, or whatever is convenient for a machine that will plug into it. Remember that they have to be GFCI-protected for this application. Now's a good time to make sure the existing one is, too, unless a fridge or freezer is plugged into it.

Where is this 1/2"pipe going to be used? Are you running everything in conduit or with Romex?
 
  #3  
Old 05-28-07, 07:39 PM
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The main panel was just upgraded to 200amp with extra room. I think the one outlet(not gfic) is on the living room circuit. The bad part is they ran a very thin extension cord from the outlet up the wall and across the ceiling to run the garage door opener, stapled it and then painted it. What size romex should I use to go from the main to the garage? I was going to use 1/2" metal conduit to go from outlet to outlet and the lights. I am going to have my 110v air compressor, bench grinder and other usual garage toys, nothing extreme.
 
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Old 05-28-07, 07:53 PM
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In garages, I prefer the receptacles up higher for easier access and so they don't get blocked by stuff on the floor. Maybe about 48" or so.

Normally, you'd run NM-B cable (what you call Romex) inside the walls. Where exposed to physical damage, you need some protection. You could run individual wires inside conduit, or use armored cable. If you transition between the two, you need to do so in an electrical box. The best bet would probably be to run all the cabling inside the walls, even if you have to remove and replace some drywall to do so. Then you can use all NM-B. If you have a short run for this this is not practical, you can sleeve the NM-B in conduit. I suggest 3/4" flexible metallic conduit with plastic bushings on the ends to prevent cable damage.

12/2 NM-B would be the appropriate size for all circuits protected by a 20-amp breaker (which is what I'd suggest for any new circuits). If extending a circuit protected by a 15-amp breaker, you can use 14/2.
 
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Old 05-28-07, 07:53 PM
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Might as well run two new circuits, you can do so with 12/3 Romex and multiwire it by sharing the neutral and using a two-pole breaker.

With two more circuits, you can run other power tools while the compressor is on and filling its tank, without worrying about an overload.
 
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Old 05-28-07, 07:58 PM
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I agree with John that higher receptacles are easier to use. I have a bad back and hate bending over if I don't have to. One caution with higher receptacles, especially, is to make sure the cords don't create a tripping hazard as they angle to where you are using them.
 
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Old 05-29-07, 04:22 AM
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One comment, which is too late for you, but may help others. When you purchased the house you should have had the owner correct the extension cord powering the garage door opener. Any extension cord used as permanent wiring is wrong, and a thin one is asking for a fire.
 
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