Trying to FIX my garage... advice and critiquing welcome!


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Old 08-02-14, 03:53 PM
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Trying to FIX my garage... advice and critiquing welcome!

Hello and thanks in advance for any advice/corrections!

I will begin by stating that I am NOT an electrician, nor to I have a great deal of DIY wiring experience. I am, however, intelligent enough to follow directions and seek out expert advice when I think I need it.

I purchased my house 5 years ago and have made many improvements, but now it is time to "fix" the sins of the past that is my garage sub-panel.

This started out being a simple case of "I only have 4 receptacles out here and one of them only works when I shake it!" (turns out there was a nail through the wire), I need to add a few more receptacles. Having investigated further this has become a "Pandora's Box" project.

Here is a picture of the original garage sub-panel:
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Yes, that is ten (10) 14/2 NM cables heading into the panel, ALL connected to six (6) 20 amp breakers! Also note the 3 THHN 10 AWG wires coming in from the lower right with no bushing or connector... these wires were taped together behind the sheet-rock and fed into a dryer receptacle, which also connected to 12/2 NM cable feeding a 220V through-the-wall air conditioner in the house, using the bare ground:
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So, after discovering that some of these 14/2 cables are supplying power inside the house, I decided that I needed to rewire the garage and try to make things right.

First, I removed all of the sheet-rock and insulation from the garage. Then I removed 5 fluorescent 4 ft. fixtures that had been hanging from chains from the joists and had exposed 14/2 cable to them. These I replaced with 15 Halo ICAT cans with 10 watt Sylvania recessed LED lights, all running to a single 15 amp circuit:
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Then I wired 13 double work boxes with 12/2 cable, 2 circuits in each:
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Then I wired all of the cans to a Leviton occupancy sensor, so no light switch is needed:
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Then I hard-wired my garage door opener to eliminate the ceiling mounted receptacle that the prior owner had installed, which I have read that all garage receptacles must be GFCI protected and that motors can trip GFCI's. I ran the cable through a Leviton illuminated commercial grade service switch so that I can disable the opener when needed:
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So, for the panel I purchased a Square D 100 amp kit with (2) 30 amp breakers and (3) 20 amp breakers (QO132M100VP), which has 32 spaces/circuits, and 100 ft of 2/2/2/4 AL SE cable.

I plan on wiring 2 Dayton 3Kw unit heaters which, I assume, will require running 10/2 cable through the studs to a work box, then through the blue ENT to the unit heater?

I also plan on using the following receptacles with each GFCI receptacle being the first thing wired on each of the four (4) 20 amp receptacle circuits:
Leviton X7899-E 20 Amp GFCI Tamper Resistant Slim Line Outlets, Black = 4 units
Hubbell USB20X2BK 20 Amp Dual USB Tamper Resistant Outlets, Black = 3 units
Leviton TDR20-E 20 Amp Tamper Resistant Slim Line Outlets, Black = 20 units

So, how am I doing thus far? If I am screwing any of this up, please let me know!

The 3 questions I have that I can not seem to fin answers to looking through the forums are:

1) Is it okay to run cables on top of the connections between joists, like this:
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2) What is the best way for me to get the 2/2/2/4 AL SE cable up to the new sub-panel? I can not avoid the concrete wall, but I do not want to follow in the prior owners footsteps:
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3) Can I use the same blue ENT that I used for the garage door opener hard-wiring to run the NM cable from the work boxes to the unit heaters?

Thank you for any and all help!
 
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Old 08-02-14, 04:49 PM
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Never heard of GD opener being hard wired. Whats the story behind that?
 
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Old 08-02-14, 07:18 PM
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after discovering that some of these 14/2 cables are supplying power inside the house, I decided that I needed to rewire the garage and try to make things right.
From this statement I assume the garage is attached to the house......correct?
 
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Old 08-02-14, 09:13 PM
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Hi CasualJoe,

Yes, the garage is attached to the house.

Hi Ray2047,

I only hard wired the GD opener to avoid having it on a GFI, since I have read that the motor amp draw can cause a trip. It is an attempt to avoid the possibility of not being able to open the door while still staying within code.
 
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Old 08-02-14, 09:29 PM
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I only hard wired the GD opener to avoid having it on a GFI, since I have read that the motor amp draw can cause a trip.
False. GFCI do not rip because of load. They trip because of a ground fault.
It is an attempt to avoid the possibility of not being able to open the door
The soution to that is the disengagement cable that allows you to manually lift the door. There are locking ones that install outside.

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Source Garage Door Stuff
 
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Old 08-02-14, 09:56 PM
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Thank you for clarifying that Ray.

And my post was not clear. I meant that if the GFCI did trip with the GDO plugged into a receptacle then I would have to come into the house to reset the receptacle to get power to the motor again.

There is no harm in hard wiring the GDO though, correct? My sole intent is to do the right thing.

Thank you for your reply.
 
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Old 08-02-14, 10:03 PM
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I meant that if the GFCI did trip with the GDO plugged into a receptacle then I would have to come into the house to reset the receptacle
Why the GDO receptacle should be a non GFCI receptacle fed from the load side of a GFCI in the garage that can be easily reached.
There is no harm in hard wiring the GDO though
You violated the UL listing and an inspector might red flag you on it because it is not the way it is intended to be connected. There is also a safety issue because the plug acts as a disconnect when servicing the GDO.
 
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Old 08-02-14, 10:08 PM
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I did add a switch to the feed cable going to the hard wired GDO for servicing, but I did not realize I violated the UL listing. Thank you for explaining the problem.

Allow of the new white and yellow NM cable in the photos is new cable runs I made. Hopefully those are okay... or I will have a lot of corrections to make.

Thanks again for the input Ray.
 
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Old 08-03-14, 05:54 AM
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I meant that if the GFCI did trip with the GDO plugged into a receptacle then I would have to come into the house to reset the receptacle to get power to the motor again.
I would have fed the GDO from the subpanel in the garage with a regular single pole breaker to a GFCI receptacle on the wall and using the load terminals of the GFCI receptacle, then fed a duplex receptacle on the ceiling.....like Ray said.
 
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Old 08-03-14, 05:57 AM
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Most concerning is why is there 12awg double tapped to that dryer outlet!!!!!!! What is that circuit fused at?
 
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Old 08-03-14, 06:20 AM
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Good point Pete. That and the open conductors running within the wall.
 
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Old 08-03-14, 06:53 AM
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While the manufacture of the GDO likely didn't intend on having it hard wired, an inspector would likely give you a pass on it since you had the forethought to install a disconnect on the wall.

You only need one GFCI device per circuit. You can install one at the first outlet and then protect the others on the load side of the device.

1) Is it okay to run cables on top of the connections between joists, like this:
Yes.

2) What is the best way for me to get the 2/2/2/4 AL SE cable up to the new sub-panel? I can not avoid the concrete wall, but I do not want to follow in the prior owners footsteps:
I would something better then ENT. EMT or PVC Sch 80 would be my choices.

3) Can I use the same blue ENT that I used for the garage door opener hard-wiring to run the NM cable from the work boxes to the unit heaters?
You can, however you also need a disconnect, same as the GDO. Your circuit breakers may qualify for that.
 
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Old 08-03-14, 08:24 AM
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Hi Pete,

The 12awg double tapped to the dryer outlet was connected to a 30amp breaker in the sub-panel via the 10awg THHN wire in the photo. I have remove the THHN wire, the 30amp breaker and the 12awg running to the through-the-wall A/C.
 
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Old 08-03-14, 08:35 AM
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Hi Tolyn Ironhand,

Thank you very much for the responses!

Yes, each of my receptacle circuits will begin with a GFCI Leviton X7899-E 20 Amp receptacle.

As far as the cables running across the top of the joists, I need to run some 10awg for the unit heaters. I understand that they will also need disconnects, but is there a limit to how many cables you can run across the top of the joists close together? Meaning if I already have two 12/2 and two 14/2 cables and I add a 10/3 cable right next to them, is that okay?

Also, what do you recommend for the diameter of the EMT or Sch 80 for the 2/2/2/4 SE cable? I should NOT remove the cable jacket inside the tubing, correct? Never remove the cable jacket, is what I have read.

Thank you for the advice!
 
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Old 08-03-14, 09:02 AM
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will begin with a GFCI Leviton X7899-E 20 Amp receptacle
15 amp GFCIs can be used on a 20 amp circuit so long as there are at least two places to plugin. A duplex receptacle counts as two places.

If the conduit will be continuous between the two boxes no need for cable. Just run individual conductors such as THHN/THWN. A lot easier to pull. A minimum of 1" conduit if using individual conductors.
 
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Old 08-03-14, 09:22 AM
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Thanks Ray,

I already have the four 20 amp Leviton GFCIs, one for each of the 12/2 cable runs.

The 2/2/2/4 AL cable will be a 90+ ft. run direct run from the 200 amp main panel to the new garage sub-panel. The conduit question was in regards to the last 3 feet where the cable will be exposed. All of the rest of the run will be in a wall or through the basement. I do not currently have conduit in place, but the existing 8/3 NM cable is running through the basement.
 
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Old 08-03-14, 09:31 AM
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Another question to all:

Tolyn mentioned a disconnect is needed for the two unit heaters. These will each be on their own 30 amp circuits. What should I use for a service disconnect? Do they make a 30 amp toggle switch for this purpose? Or is it okay to use the 30 amp circuit breaker as the disconnect, since they will be dedicated circuits?

Thanks for the help all!
 
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Old 08-03-14, 09:55 AM
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Meaning if I already have two 12/2 and two 14/2 cables and I add a 10/3 cable right next to them, is that okay?
Yes, that is fine.

If you are just using a short piece of pipe to sleeve the cable for protection in your picture, that is fine. If you are going to run continuous conduit from the sub to the main panel, use individual conductors as Ray suggests. Conduit size will depend on wiring method used. You are correct, do not remove the cable jacket and install it in conduit.

The disconnect for the heaters can be the circuit breaker if it is within sight and 50', or can be locked off.
 
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Old 08-03-14, 10:55 AM
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Excellent!

Since I will be doing a direct run of the cable indoors and the last few feet will be inside conduit, I will use the EMT or Sch 80 with an 1 diameter, as suggested.

The garage is 25 ft. x 27 ft. with a direct line of site to the heaters, so the circuit breakers will be the disconnects for servicing.

Thank you all for the help!!
 
 

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