Installing outlets in an attached garage


Old 02-03-11, 06:38 PM
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Installing outlets in an attached garage

I'd like to install 4 outlet boxes, one in each corner of the garage, with 4 outlets per box. I have 2 switches on the back wall, next to the door to enter the house, one for the light in the garage and the second for the light in the attic. I plan on running Romex along the top plate in the attic of the garage, drilling holes above the spot where I want the outlet box and dropping the Romex down. Code here states I can use Romex and I don't need conduit.

My questions. Which of the 2 switches would have a wire that is constantly hot? Both? Can I pull a wire up from there to a box I could mount in the attic then run my Romex to all 4 corners from there? If not how would I be able to get power for those outlets.

Most importantly, is this a DIY project that I can do safely without fear of damaging or destroying my home, or would you suggest I get an electrician.
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Old 02-03-11, 06:53 PM
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I don't know if I'm understanding the question, but both switch boxes should have full time hot wires in them. My question is what are you planning on using in the garage? Do you know if the wire going to the garage is # 12 rated for 20amps? Do you need 20 amps?
This is actually a very straight forward project that should not be to hard to do.
Old 02-03-11, 08:17 PM
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It does sound like a reasonably easy project, though a few things to consider:

- Often garage/attic lights are added onto an existing circuit that already has other things on it. Since the lights don't use much power, no one ever knows the difference. But by adding garage receptacles, you may run into tripped breakers when you fire up your circular saw or whatever other tools you may plug in. I'd recommend figuring out what else is on the circuit first to see how much "extra" you have to play with. Personally, I'd always run a dedicated 20A circuit to the garage for tools and such (but you don't have to).

- Even though your area allows NM (Romex), you still have to protect it as it runs down the walls. If you can run it behind drywall, you're all set. Otherwise, you'll want to sleeve it in conduit.

- The receptacles will need to be GFI protected. You can do it with one GFI receptacle as the first receptacle, then run the others off the 'load' side.

Good luck!
Old 02-03-11, 09:27 PM
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My questions. Which of the 2 switches would have a wire that is constantly hot? Both?
Real question is not if there is a hot, there is, but if there is a neutral. If both switches are switch loops there won't be. No neutral you can't draw power from it.
Old 02-04-11, 08:29 AM
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I'd be concerned about having enough power to run everything I would want, especially if this was only a 15 amp circuit
Old 02-04-11, 09:34 PM
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This is why I always check here first before doing anything I'm not to sure of. I'll have to see what else is on that circuit and make sure it's 20 amp. If not, then I guess it's call the electrician and get a 20 Amp dedicated circuit put in for the garage.

Thanks to all. Once again got some good answers and learned something new. Thanks again

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