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bootpdx 09-08-2009 02:17 PM

New outlet for Garage Door Opener
Howdy y'all. I am getting ready to install a new outlet for a new garage door opener in a garage and hope the expert and very helpful members of this forum can advise me.

My garage is unfinished (no drywall) with no plans to finish it. It currently only has one outlet, I need to install more and have many blanks on my new panel to do so, but that is a separate project. My opener requires 120volt. I am planning on running 12 gauge NM wire directly from a 20 amp single pole breaker to a single 20 amp 120 Volt outlet. Should I use a GFCI outlet? Can I use any box for a ceiling outlet?

When I do add more outlets to the garage, is 20 amps standard for power tools etc.? I was planning on running 15 amp circuits for the lights.

Thanks - this forum rocks!

kok328 09-08-2009 02:28 PM

GFIC outlet is not necessary for a garage door opener outlet.
20 amp circuit is not necessary for a garage door opener, you can use a 15 amp circuit with 14/2 NM wire.
You can use a 2x4 plastic outlet box.
20 amp circuit would be better for power tools in a garage.
15 amp circuit is fine for standard lighting (incandescent or flourescent).

bootpdx 09-08-2009 02:37 PM

kok328 - thanks - this is exactly why I only visit this forum. Thanks for correcting me and setting me straight.

JoeD 09-08-2009 05:37 PM

Under the new 2008 code ALL receptacles in a garage, including the door opener need to be GFCI. I don't think you need 20 amp. 15 amp is more than enough for an opener.

bootpdx 09-08-2009 05:41 PM

Thanks Joe!

mudmixer 09-08-2009 06:13 PM

Just put the outlet in the obvious position (ceiling) near the opener where it will be out of the way.

kok328 09-08-2009 07:25 PM

Hey JoeD, do you have the NEC section/paragraph that supports your statement.
This may be a Canadian code which is not covered by NEC.
The motor start up draw with capacitor will most likely trip the outlet.

speedy petey 09-09-2009 05:05 AM

It certainly is in the 2008 NEC.

(A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in (1) through (8) shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

(2) Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor located at or below grade level not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and areas of similar use

Handbook commentary:

The requirement for GFCI receptacles in garages and sheds, as illustrated in Exhibit 210.10, improves safety for persons using portable handheld tools, gardening appliances, lawn mowers, string trimmers, snow blowers, and so on, that might be connected to these receptacles, which are often the closest ones available. GFCI protection is also required in garage areas where auto repair work and general workshop electrical tools are used.
Exhibit 210.10 Examples of receptacles in a garage that are required by 210.8(A)(2) to have GFCI protection.
The exceptions to 210.8(A)(2) have been deleted from the 2008 Code, to ensure that all 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in garages provide GFCI protection for the user of appliances or other equipment regardless of where the receptacle is located in the garage. Appliance leakage currents permitted by today's product standards are far less than the operational threshold of a GFCI.

kok328 09-09-2009 07:09 AM

Thanks for the update Speedy, that's the info. I was looking for but, still don't see where it says that a ceiling outlet needs to be GFI. Who climbs a ladder to plug in the above mentioned equipment?

speedy petey 09-09-2009 09:46 AM


Originally Posted by kok328 (Post 34459)
...... but, still don't see where it says that a ceiling outlet needs to be GFI.

It doesn't, specifically. It does not have to.

210.8(A) says all 125v 15 & 20a receptacles in (1) through (8). (2) is "Garages", and similar residential outbuildings. All the previous exceptions were removed, such as inaccessible (ceilings) and behind large appliances.

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