Basic Wiring for a Detached Garage

Old 07-11-02, 06:12 PM
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Basic Wiring for a Detached Garage

Hello. I am having a detached garage built - 24'x24'. It will be about 15' away from my house, but about 70' from the main service panel. I have no special tools I use that would create excess demand. All i really want is:
- a few wall receptacles near a work bench (just hand drills etc)
- a few receptacles in the cieling joists for flourescnt lighting (switch controlled).
- a receptacle for the Garage door opener.
- there's a chance i'll put a motion-sensor light on the gable end.

The walls and ceiling will be open - not finished.

I was thinking i'd run 10/2 UF wire to the garage (buried with conduit) on a 20 amp circuit. Use all GFCI outlets. 12/2 NM cable inside the garage.

Am i on the right path here? Any special issues with the walls being open? Also, are there any requirements for how many receptacles need to be in a garage, like living space? thanks.
Old 07-11-02, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
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This sounds fine. You probably won't have the extra capacity for heating or cooling or a welder or a chest freezer, but you can deal with that in the future should the need arise. You could even bury 12/2 UF instead of the 10/2 UF if you want. 70 feet isn't that far. Bury it at least 18" deep unless you GFCI protect the cable before it leaves the house (in which case 12" is enough).

You don't need all GFCI receptacles if you use one GFCI receptacle to protect them all.

There are no requirements for receptacle spacing or placement in a garage. Put as many or few as you want, and put them wherever you think they will be most convenient. I'd probably mount them about 4-feet high for convenient access, since there is no reason to put them at the 18" height typical in a living space.

Protect your cable. This normally means running it through bored holes in the studs -- don't attach cable to the surface of anything. I'd recommend running the cable up high for maximum protection, and then bringing it down along the studs to the receptacles and switches. Pay special attention to protecting it where it enters and exits the ground -- often this means inside a short section of conduit.

Be aware that you are using an exception in the NEC that allows this for one circuit. If you ever decide you need a second circuit, you'll need to put in a new cable and a subpanel.

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