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victorstaggers 12-01-2012 03:03 PM

Wiring my garage
I am trying to connect power to my detached garage, from my in house breaker box. Any suggestions?

Wuzzat? 12-02-2012 07:03 AM

Decide whether you want a subpanel in the garage, which depends on the distance to the garage.
For working on your load center, level 2 arc flash gear is recommended.

JoeD 12-02-2012 08:38 AM

Figure out how much power you need. Then you will know if you need a sub panel or single circuit. Dig a trench 2 feet deep and bury the proper cable or conduit and wire it.

BridgeMan 12-02-2012 07:11 PM

Plan ahead, and try to think of any/all possible future uses in the garage. Such things as--will you ever want to hook up an arc welder, or possibly fire up a kiln for fusing glass or pottery? If you only run a single line of 110 v., and later decide you really need 220 v., you will kick yourself for not putting in the heavier line wire the first time around.

I think a separate sub-panel in the garage is a must. Even if you never have the need for future, larger draw circuits, as it will save a trip back into the house to reset any breakers that trip. If it were me, I'd definitely want a dedicated appliance circuit (20-amp, 12-gauge wire) or two, and then at least one lighting and future electric garage door opener circuit (15-amp, 14-gauge wire), in addition to a 50-amp welding circuit. Pulling them all from the new sub-panel, leaving some room to spare for future circuits. And don't forget to apply for a permit, if required by the AHJ in your area.

Wuzzat? 12-03-2012 02:50 PM

The choice seems to be wiring your garage in increments
going for the full monty:
a lump sum paid now
small lumps paid over years, as you need them.

Note that half the people move in 7 years and almost all move within 14 years so you should judge the likelihood that you'll need the full monty within X years.

Costs & likelihoods will give you a mathematical way to make this decision. It's like another opinion but it's based on science so I guess that makes it a matter of fact.

thomask 12-03-2012 07:54 PM

A wise person once said a man can never have too many outlets in a shop/garage.

Wuzzat? 12-04-2012 08:38 AM

But not all outlets will be used at the same time. The NEC term for this is demand factor or diversity factor.

nealtw 12-04-2012 11:33 AM

If you dig the ditch for underground just put in a bigger conduit so if you or someone else want to up grade, it will be no big deal.

BridgeMan 12-04-2012 02:20 PM


Originally Posted by nealtw (Post 80749)
If you dig the ditch for underground just put in a bigger conduit so if you or someone else want to up grade, it will be no big deal.

Far easier to make all wiring runs when the conduit is placed, especially if it's a long run with some dips and doodles in it. If you choose not to do that, then at least include a pull-wire in the conduit. And use much larger conduit than actually required, so you're not talking to yourself for a whole weekend, trying to jam more wires into/through a tube that's too tiny.

donald73d 12-04-2012 06:27 PM

I would run 10-3+ground to the garage. Cheapest is underground cable. You can put a small sub panel in the garage.

This assumes you will not be doing electric welding in the garage. If you plan on doing welding, then 6-3+ground. Or better yet 100 amp service.

Conduit is always a good thing.

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