Change 30 amp circuit to a 20 amp?

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Old 06-27-11, 12:53 PM
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Question Change 30 amp circuit to a 20 amp?

I'm trying to add outlets in my garage, which currently only has one. My first thought was to tap into that outlet until I looked up and saw an empty box with wire in it. Upon investigating the wire (which is 10/2 wire) is on a 30 amp circuit. Apparently when the previous homeowners got a new water heater they ran new wire for it so I have a 30 amp circuit that is sitting there unused.

Our garage is completely finished so I want to run surface mounted outlets. I don't think that I can just use 15A or 20A outlets with it being a 30 amp circuit, so is it possible to switch the 30 amp breaker out for a 20 amp and then install my outlets? Will this work even though the current wiring in the walls is 10/2? What is the easiest way for me to use this 30 amp circuit and add outlets in my garage?:helpme 2:
 
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Old 06-27-11, 12:59 PM
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You can safely reduce the breaker to a single pole 20A. You will also need to move the white wire to the neutral bus. After the breaker is reduced to 20A you may continue throughout the garage using #12 wire to your new receptacles. For surface mounting you can use wiremold, PVC or EMT conduits. Wiremold looks the best, EMT is cheapest, PVC is easiest to work with.

Make sure you have GFCI protection on all receptacles in the garage.
 
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Old 06-27-11, 06:22 PM
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Our garage is completely finished
If the garage is completely finished living space and no longer used as a garage, I am thinking you may need AFCI protection, depending on what code your area has adopted. I believe the key would be, is this still a garage or is this living space? I am not stating this as fact, but throwing it out there for others to comment on because I really am not sure.
 
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Old 06-27-11, 06:47 PM
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I think he means 'finished' as in sheetrocked with no exposed stud cavities. But even if it has been furnished for use as a man cave or rec room, if it has a garage door (overhead or barn style) that can accommodate a vehicle then it is a garage and garage code applies. It can not be reclassified as an official living space (as far as Code is concerned) unless the car access door is removed. Only then would living space code apply.
 
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Old 06-28-11, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JerseyMatt View Post
I think he means 'finished' as in sheetrocked with no exposed stud cavities. But even if it has been furnished for use as a man cave or rec room, if it has a garage door (overhead or barn style) that can accommodate a vehicle then it is a garage and garage code applies. It can not be reclassified as an official living space (as far as Code is concerned) unless the car access door is removed. Only then would living space code apply.
When the OP said "completely finished", I though he meant "completely finished". I know what you mean, Matt, about the garage door being gone as a requirement for a living space and I agree. The OP hasn't returned sine the first post so we can't even ask him questions.
 
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