Add Garage Circuit

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Old 12-21-16, 10:25 AM
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Add Garage Circuit

Hello All,

I am building a workbench in my garage and would like 2-3 receptacles nearby. There aren't any close to where the bench will be. The main panel is flush mounted in an exterior wall in the garage so there's no crawl access to run a line. Above the garage is a bedroom so no direct attic access either. I don't want to cut out a bunch of drywall to make this happen.

However, I do have a no longer used hot tub circuit (220v, 50A, 4-wire) and I'm wondering if I can re-purpose it for my garage. The line is located on the opposite end of the house (so plenty of length) and terminates at a sub-panel with a disconnect breaker and a 120 receptacle off the sub-panel. It runs through the crawl so I would think it would be easy enough to fish that line up through the bottom plate of the interior-facing garage wall where the bench will be, change out the two pole 50A breaker for a 20A single pole, add some receptacles, and be done.

Is that all I would need to do? Is there any re-wiring I would need to do at the panel? Is this even possible/safe? The house was built in 2007, if that helps knowing what kind of codes I'm under.

Thanks,
Adam
 
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Old 12-21-16, 11:19 AM
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You can do what you are thinking, but I would look at taking that 50A line and adding a small surface mounted subpanel in the garage and run surface conduit for the outlet circuit(s) from there. That will give you a lot of flexibility.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 11:52 AM
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I like the conduit idea, and it gives me another one that may be even less work:

There is a 120v, 20A dedicated circuit/plug in the garage for a never-added home vacuum. All I have plugged into it is a small chest deep freeze rated at 2A. That plug is only about 10-12 linear feet from where my work bench will be located. Either way, couldn't I just pull the dedicated plug and surface mount it then run conduit from that around the corner to my work bench and surface mount a couple receptacles there?

Opinions on that vs. trying to convert the old 220 line???
 
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Old 12-21-16, 12:22 PM
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If that's all the power you need then using the existing 120V outlet and running conduit to the work bench will work and be less work and cost.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 12:37 PM
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Sounds like a good plan (repurposing the vacuum outlet and surface mount receptacles). Then if you decide down the road you need a 240 circuit somewhere for a compressor or welder, you'll still have the option of repurposing the hot tub circuit.

I'd use the metal surface raceway rather than the plastic; it will take a few bumps and bangs without issue in a garage.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 01:00 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I think I'll go with running off the 20A dedicated with surface mount hardware. These new plugs will mainly be for a Dremel, battery chargers for my cordless tools, and lights.

I like the idea of leaving the 220 in place for future use. The sub-panel where the hot tub was has a 120 outlet attached...I was thinking of building a pergola out there and I could still use the 120 for lights, radio, etc.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 01:08 PM
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Is the existing vac outlet a GFCI? If not, be sure to use a GFCI outlet to protect the circuit.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 02:14 PM
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I will make sure to do that. Thanks again!

EDIT: Actually, I think I have a 20A GFCI breaker in my toolbox because I had a treadmill tech swear up and down my GFCI breaker was bad causing the treadmill to malfunction. Meanwhile the actual problem was he hadn't adjusted the gain on the motor's board correctly...so now I have an extra 20A GFCI breaker.

I will probably just swap it out in the panel, if it isn't GFCI already.
 
 

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