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Simplest, Cost Effective Way to Run Power to Garage for Garage Door Opener

Simplest, Cost Effective Way to Run Power to Garage for Garage Door Opener

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  #1  
Old 09-24-14, 10:54 AM
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Simplest, Cost Effective Way to Run Power to Garage for Garage Door Opener

Hey All,

I am a brand new home owner and always looking for ways to save money with all the new projects that are arising. For this one, I want to run power out to my garage. mainly just for the door opener, but also very occasional power tool use. I was thinking just putting a single outlet would be completely fine. I already have a GFCI outlet on the exterior of the house, and my thought was to just move that outlet 30 feet to the front corner of the garage by buying some UF 12/3, splicing into that existing wire, bury 2 feet under ground and come up into the front wall of the garage. Then just run an extension cord up to the door opener, and for any simple small use power tools I might need. Or could I then just get a standard outlet and interior wiring to add one additional outlet at my work bench?

I had an electrician come out the other day, and he was wanting to start all the way back at the panel that is on the other side of the house, run 100-150 ft of Romex inside, then switch to THHN in PVC for the outdoor run and back to Romex in the garage. He hasn't got back to me with the quote yet, but by the sounds of it, I would be looking at several hundred dollars, whereas if i just buy the UF cable I would be under $50.

What do you think? Is there any reason why I should not try it myself? I don't think I would be using enough to trip the current breaker, so the only other reason not to would be if it is unsafe?

Thank you all in advance for your time and expertise!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-24-14, 11:36 AM
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What you propose sounds fine. You'll just need a 12/2 instead of 12/3.

Since you're feeding off an outdoor receptacle that should be GFCI protected, your burial depth will only need to be 12".

Except for the extension cord.
 
  #3  
Old 09-24-14, 11:38 AM
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  #4  
Old 09-24-14, 11:44 AM
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So I would need to add a receptacle up at the garage door opener? What wiring should I use inside the garage, and would I need to put it in any sort of conduit or is stapling it to the framing fine?

And it would be fine to have 3 receptacles in the garage on that same line?
 
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Old 09-24-14, 11:58 AM
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If using UF-b you only need to sleeve it in conduit where it enters and leaves the ground.

I would probably switch to NM-b in the garage because it is easier to work with.. Since you need a disconnect where it enters the garage you can make the transition there. A 4x4 box with a mud ring and a good quality light switch can serve as your disconnect.

If the feed to the garage is not GFCI protected the first receptacle can be a GFCI. That can not be an overhead receptacle for the garage door because the GFCI must be easily assessable.

From the disconnect box you can run one cable (NM-b 12-2) to your switch for the lights (does not need to be GFCI protected) and one 12-2 cable to your first receptacle.
 
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Old 09-24-14, 07:52 PM
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A 4x4 box with a mud ring and a good quality light switch can serve as your disconnect.
Ray gave you a good basic plan, but instead of a mudring and switch plate I would recommend a 4" raised switch cover.

Steel City 2-Gang Toggle Cover - Silver-RS9-10R at The Home Depot
 
  #7  
Old 09-25-14, 05:25 AM
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You have quite a bit more to consider besides if you should use a mudring or a raised cover for that switch.

Its easy to assume Romex is allowed which is not always the case, esp. in basements and garages. You should consult your local AHJ to know for certain what are the requirements in your area for this.

You might also consider adding a subpanel, you will quickly outgrow your single circuit for your opener and your work area as you propose.
 
  #8  
Old 10-20-14, 11:24 AM
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Project Almost Finished

Hey all,

Thanks again for your help, I just finished up running power the garage this weekend. Ran UF-B 12/2 from GFCI on the side of my house in 12" trench to garage, tested everything and it works great. Now just have a couple quick follow up questions.

1. What is the reason for having a disconnect/switch when it enters the garage before the opener? If I am going straight to the door opener that switch would always have to be on anyways for the door to function...seems unnecessary.

2.Now that I have the wire to the garage, I was going to switch to NM-B to wire the two outlets in the garage, do I need to stay with 12/2 or can I go with the cheaper 14/2 option? One outlet is for the garage door opener and the other would be for small power tools only.
 
  #9  
Old 10-20-14, 11:48 AM
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Hang tight - I don't think 12" is buried deep enough.

Off the top of my head, conduit is minimum 18" and direct bury cable is 24" under ground level.
 
  #10  
Old 10-20-14, 11:55 AM
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Yes mitch that is normally true, but because it is feeding off of a GFCI outlet, I was told by a couple sources that it only need to be 12"
 
  #11  
Old 10-20-14, 12:02 PM
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1. What is the reason for having a disconnect/switch when it enters the garage before the opener?
Code requirement.
If I am going straight to the door opener that switch would always have to be on anyways for the door to function...seems unnecessary.
Code tells you what to do but seldom why. I'd put it at five or six feet so less likely to be switched off.
do I need to stay with 12/2 or can I go with the cheaper 14/2 option
Cable must be #12 (or larger) because of the size of the breaker protecting it.
Ran UF-B 12/2 from GFCI on the side of my house
So best practice will be to not have a GFCI in the garage. Two GFCIs can interfere with each other.
 
  #12  
Old 10-20-14, 12:04 PM
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Mitch, the code permits 12" if the feed is 120 volts at no more than 20 amps.
 
  #13  
Old 10-20-14, 12:05 PM
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Works for me

Thanks
 
  #14  
Old 10-20-14, 12:14 PM
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Thanks again ray for the direct answers, look forward to coming back here for any future electrical projects. Saved myself like $700!

Just out of curiosity to mitch's comments, what would be the negative effects of not burying the wire deep enough? (besides not complying with code)
 
  #15  
Old 10-20-14, 12:35 PM
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Just out of curiosity to mitch's comments, what would be the negative effects of not burying the wire deep enough? (besides not complying with code)
Digging into it. A future owner wouldn't have a clue the cable was there.
 
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