Detached Garage Wiring

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  #1  
Old 03-21-16, 07:25 PM
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Detached Garage Wiring

Let me start off by saying that I do not know much about what I am doing so I apologize. I am trying to see if anyone can give me some advice/knowledge as I am trying to learn. I appreciate all advice. I will include as many pictures as I have to help my situation.

I just bought a house (first time home buyer) in September. It came with a detached garage. I am trying to turn this into my home gym. There is electrical conduit that is attached to the side wall. This runs from underground, into the garage, then spreads throughout the garage. The garage is broken into the main part, a workshop behind it, and a shed. The workshop used to be an old laundry room so that may be relevant to some electrical things in there. I will try to make this story short.

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This is the wall with the electrical conduit attached on the wall. I want to move this to inside the wall so I can put some board/wood over the wall. The bottom left is where the wires come in from the ground. It runs up to a light outside the garage, to across/through the garage to workshop. Closer image of electrical box from outside wires.

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It has wires I am unfamiliar with. Looks like Gas / Oil Resistant AWG 12 THWN 600v wires. I believe there is Black/White/Green/Red/Brown. From this photo the Green/Black/White branch off to the light outside the garage, then branches off to back towards the workshop through garage.

Here are some other photos to illustrate:

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This is from garage to now workshop. It used to be an old laundry room. It branches off to outside light and down to light switch. From light switch it goes to the next photo of outlets.

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Outlets on the left, and not sure what that is on the right. I am guessing for some old washer/dryer hook up.

My main question: Can I rewire this somehow with regular electrical wire that connects to the electrical wires from the ground? I know the Black/White wires are useful, I believe the green is ground as well. Are the others even necessary if I am not using it as a laundry room? Can I use this 12 AWG 600v THWN wire and connect it to regular 12/2 indoor wire? This will all be enclosed in pvc piping.

I tried to give as much info as possible. I am just trying to easily rewire since I am moving it. I also cut the Green wire halfway through the connection on accident. I figured it would be best to rewire than to wire nut it together.

Any advice is appreciated, sorry for all the possible "noob" questions.

Thank you!
Shawn
 
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  #2  
Old 03-21-16, 08:27 PM
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Your wiring appears to be limited to 20 amps. Is the breaker in the house 20 amp? Is it a single pole breaker or a two pole breaker?
 
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Old 03-21-16, 08:30 PM
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Hi Ray. Thanks for the reply!

Looks like its 2 20 amp breakers. Both are labeled for the garage.

I'm just trying to see if its easier to rewire everything with standard wire or leave it as it is. The only problem is I accidentally cut a wire and will have to wire nut it or replace it all together. If I am going to replace it then I might as well redo it all. Maybe I am just being too ambitious.

Am I right in assuming that the green wire is ground? I believe the Red/Brown wires are useless and can be removed since they only went to the end outlet in my last photo. Not sure what it is.
 
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Old 03-21-16, 08:37 PM
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Looks like its 2 20 amp breakers.
So you may have a multiwire circuit that shares a single neutral.
I'm just trying to see if its easier to rewire everything with standard wire or leave it as it is.
It looks "standard" to me so not sure what you mean.
I believe the Red/Brown wires are useless and can be removed since they only went to the end outlet in my last photo.
Do you have 240 volts between red and brown?

Please post a picture of your breaker box with the cover off and tell us which breakers go to the garage.
 
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Old 03-21-16, 09:02 PM
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Sure thing Ray. "Outdoor Sheds" is garage. Here you go:

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I guess I am unsure what wire to use if I end up having to rewire. I know that wire coming through the ground and throughout the garage now appears to be underground/gas/oil resistant wire. Do I need to continue to use this throughout the garage? Do I need to use outdoor wire if its enclosed indoors in a PVC pipe? By standard I meant something like this:

Southwire 250 ft.12/2 Soild NM-B Wire-28828269 - The Home Depot

Not sure the answer about the Red/Brown wire. All I know is it only went to the very last photo. Whatever is mounted on the wall to the right. It wasn't being used so I figured I could remove them.

Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 03-21-16, 10:12 PM
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You need to take the shot of the breaker box straight on so perspective isn't distorted and most important with the cover off so we can see the wiring to the breakers.
Can I use this 12 AWG 600v THWN wire
THWN is the standard wire used in conduit both inside and out. You are confusing wire with cable. Wire is a single conductor. Cable is two or more wires in a metallic or non metallic sheath. The NM-b you wrote about is cable not wire.
Do I need to use outdoor wire if its enclosed indoors in a PVC pipe?
I suspect you mean cable. Best practice is to not use cable in conduit except for short non continuous lengths to protect it. In conduit the most common wire is what you have. While your is rated only THWN which means it can be used in wet conditions most is dual rated THHN/THWN with THHN being an inside rating. However nothing wrong with using THWN inside.

You, I think, are concentrating on non issues when the real issue is how many amps will you need for the garage. Will it have electric heat? Will there be air conditioning? What power tools will be in the shop? Will there be any 240 volt tools.

One of the reasons we need a picture of the panel off is so we can see if we can Identify where to brown wire comes from. Also we need a better picture of the junction box where the power comes into the garage. The wires need to be pulled out, left connected but moved apart so the wires to each individual connection can be seen.
 
  #7  
Old 03-21-16, 10:27 PM
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From the pictures you posted, it looks like you have 2, 20A circuits going to the garage with shared neutral.

Black(or brown?) and Red will be L1 and L2. You will measure 240V between them and 120V between black and white or red and white.
Black and red will be wired to each of 20A breakers.
Green is ground as you guessed.
You can confirm this by measuring voltages with a multimeter and test which breaker is wired to black and red by individually turning off the breakers and measure voltage to neutral or using non-contact tester.

You can removed everything behind first junction box and start fresh with 12AWG NM-b. You have 2 circuits, so install 2 cables to first junction box with neutral (white wire) tied all together and ground (green and bare copper) tied all together.
Tie each black wires from 2 cables to black and red.

Before you start anything confirm my assumptions first.

Also, as ray said, make sure 2, 20A 120V circuits are all you need. If not, you will have to pull new wires and possibly install a sub panel.
 
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Old 03-22-16, 06:53 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

I may be taking on too much for myself in this situation. I thought it would be an easier project to rewire since I just want to move the conduit. Since everything is working as is (or was) I may leave it for now.

I will retrieve a picture with the breaker cover off.

I don't believe I will have anything with 240 volts. The Red/Brown cables were only coming from the electric box from the ground to the (I believe) old washer/dryer connections. Those aren't being used anymore. All I have in the workshop is a light and outlets. Same for the garage as well. So I don't believe I have to worry about rewiring the Red/Brown cables.

Since I accidentally cut the green cable, am I able to wire nut the end together and put into a PVC conduit? The cable may bend a little bit to get it to fit in the PVC so I am not sure if that is an issue.

Thanks!
 

Last edited by shawndube; 03-22-16 at 07:31 AM.
  #9  
Old 03-22-16, 10:12 AM
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I accidentally cut the green cable, am I able to wire nut the end together and put into a PVC conduit?
All splices must be in an accessible junction box.
 
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Old 03-22-16, 11:40 AM
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If the two 20A breakers are supplying the garage with a shared neutral then there needs to be a handle tie across the two breakers or the two breakers needed to be replaced with one double pole 20A breaker.
 
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