Which Gauge Wire is best for garage receptacles

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Old 02-02-08, 08:26 PM
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Which Gauge Wire is best for garage receptacles

Hello,
I am wiring an garage 24 X 26 with above living space. 200 AMP main service (existing) and a new 100 AMP subpanel will supply the garage and living space above.

I am adding about 6 duplex receptacles in the garage, primarily along the back wall between 24 to 50' (wire length) from the panel. Occasionaly there will likely be light duty appliances running on these outlets. Maybe some battery chargers, possibly a bench top grinder, circular saw, etc. Not likely to be more than one appliance running at a time.
I was planning to run 15 Amp 14-2 copper for these outlets.
Any problem with this? The outlets would be seperate from any lighting and would be on a dedicated 15 AMP circuit.

I am also putting up 4 exterior lights and 4 exterior GFI outlets. For this circuit I was planning a dedicated 20 AMP breaker and would run 12-2.

The duplex receptacles in the upstairs living space as well as the lighting would be on 1 or more 15 AMP circuits (14-2).

Does all this sould OK? Should all my outlets be on 12-2?

Thank You
 
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Old 02-02-08, 09:17 PM
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If it were my garage, I would (like to) have at least 2 20 amp circuits (12 gauge wire). One tool can use the capacity of a 15 amp circuit, and there are times when you want to run 2 things at once (saw and vacuum for example). Also, I would space the outlets every 6-12 feet. Not a code requirement for a garage, but it makes life easier. If you are going to have a fridge/freezer, run a dedicated circuit for that. Run a dedicated circuit for your garage door opener. I would put the lights on their own circuit, and would put switched outlets in the ceiling for shop lights. Consider other circuits for things like: attic fans, heaters, welders, Christmas lights, pool, etc. The pros will give you more technical advice.
 
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Old 02-02-08, 10:03 PM
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Just a thought, ...but why not buy a bulk of 12/2 wg and do it all in 20 amp., ?

The cost difference between 12 and 14 is negligible, and even better if you buy the full roll, instead of mix'n' match.
 
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Old 02-03-08, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
Just a thought, ...but why not buy a bulk of 12/2 wg and do it all in 20 amp., ?

The cost difference between 12 and 14 is negligible, and even better if you buy the full roll, instead of mix'n' match.
I agree. 14 AWG and 15A circuits only make sense when a contractor is bidding based on code requirements.

A DIYer must do the work to meet code as well, but you have the additional flexibility of doing exactly what you want without too much concern for overhead and profit margin. Take advantage of that fact to give yourself maximum flexibility and capacity.
 
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Old 02-03-08, 07:17 AM
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Will go with the 12 gauge

Good points.
I agree with all posts. My cost is about $10 more for a 250' roll of 12-2 vs. 14-2. I will run all my garage outlets using 12-2 / 20 AMP. Ill save the 14-2 for the bedroom (unless my wife plans on taking up arc welding).
Thanks
 
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Old 02-03-08, 07:57 AM
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If you are going to add a bedroom you may want to checks the codes in your area, you may need to add an Arc Fault CB to the bedroom circuit as well as the smoke alarm circuit.
 
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Old 02-03-08, 11:02 PM
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I believe that the outlets in the garage must also be GFCI protected.

I've read its good to keep the smoke alarms on a circuit with frequently used lights so that you would know if the breaker tripped.

I've also read its not good to keep all the lights on a single circuit as if the breaker trips you will have no light at all. The idea is to mix receptacles and lights on two circuits rather than having lights on one and receptacles on another. (On the other hand, I am not sure if I'd apply that logic for shop tools.)

I'd be interested to see what others think of the last two suggestions.
 
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Old 02-04-08, 12:06 AM
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I just want to give you a head up if your state is adopted with 08 code cycle that will really change a bit with your wiring plans.

If so everything in the garage and i mean everything have to be GFCI expect 240v recpectales.

the garage light circuit and GDO [ Garage door opener ] have to be GFCI'ed and yes that inculding the outside luminaires as well.

Merci, Marc
 
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