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Old 02-21-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
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Better safe than sorry! Re-wiring garage.


I'm building a room in my garage. I've been doing some research and browsing the forums, and I think I got it all planned out.

My thoughts are that I'm going to tear all the existing wiring out. I've found some very interesting stuff. My garage is on a 20amp breaker. I found #14 wiring all throughout the garage, which I've learned is a no-no.

My house was built in 1960. All the wiring is the correct size for amperage of the breakers. The wiring coming from the house to my garage is only 2 conductor, hot and neutral.

First off, I found a 3 conductor wire (2 hot, 1 neu silver wire) in the junction box (shown below). There is a #14 with ground (on the left) going from the box to 3 outlets and a ballast. 2 of the outlets have ballasts plugged into them. I'd bet that the ground wire is hooked up to the outlet. The 2 wires on the right are to and from the house.




The silver wire was ran all the way to another junction box and a red wire was capped off. (shown below). Also, what I thought was strange, was there is a "ground wire", looks to be #12 or #14 ran from this box to the back garage wall.


I went outside to trace the wire, and I saw it was attached to a ground post. (shown below) I know that's how my breaker box is grounded, but I don't think this is right.



MY thoughts on how to wire the garage are depicted on the diagram I've drawn (again, shown below!) #12 Romex for the whole system. My only question is how am I going to give this a good solid ground since the wires coming from my house don't have a ground wire?? The left leg will be my basic garage lighting. The right leg will be the new room I'm building. The fan is a ceiling fan with a light. This way will eliminate a junction box and a lot of excess wire.



Thank you in advance for your advice! I hope you enjoyed my pictures! Please comment on them so I can learn!!!!!

Jay

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Old 02-21-2011, 05:32 PM   #2
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Better safe than sorry! Re-wiring garage.


I'm a little confused about the wire that you say is "to" and "from" the house. Normally there is only one cable feeding the circuit. You only need one 12/2 cable coming in from the house to feed the circuit. Are you replacing the circuit with a new feed from the house? If you are then how are you running this? Are you digging a new underground feed? If yes then I would suggest that you run a new sub panel out there since you are planning to add on later. The ground running to a ground rod is usually from a sub panel to a buried copper ground rod with a proper clamp. If there is no sub panel then the circuit ground is carried on the ground wire as part of the circuit. The cable feeding the circuit in the picture appears not to have a ground as you said so the wire that they ran outside isn't a proper ground and will likely do nothing.

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Old 02-21-2011, 06:48 PM   #3
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Better safe than sorry! Re-wiring garage.


Thanks, let me clarify a few points;

My house and garage are connected. I assumed that of the two wires coming from my house, one was "hot" coming from my service and the other was to power the rest of the circuit. My garage isn't on it's own breaker. It is along with 4 lights in the kitchen, and an outdoor light. Here is a picture of the two wires I was
talking about. You can also see where the first junction box I was talking about is located to give you an idea. I guess what I'm going to have to do is head up into the attic and chase a wire.... Does this help?



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Old 02-22-2011, 01:41 AM   #4
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Better safe than sorry! Re-wiring garage.




in this last photo There are two wires(cables) going into/from the attic over that house. You said that some other lights are also on this circuit. we need to find out how it is wired- Does this circuit come directly from the breaker to the jbox seen in the photo and then in to the house? Or are those two supply cables from the house/panel. or does it go from breaker to house lights to garage. dig out a multimeter

Either way this is poor circuit design IMHO.
I would basically start from fresh- Leave those two wires "coming from the house" in the Jbox and remove everything else-they will remain.
Bring a new 12/2(or two) from the breaker box.


By the way rules for subpanels in attached garages are different. and installing one would open your options.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:13 PM   #5
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Better safe than sorry! Re-wiring garage.


I thought that this was a detached garage so this is actually easier than trenching a new line. You'll have to decide your needs now and in the future. Is this garage for doing work and using machines/power tools or is it just general lighting and garage door openers? Since it is attached you can run multiple circuits from the panel to the garage as opposed to being limited to one multiwire branch circuit or a sub panel for a detached structure. If it were me I would run a sub panel in the garage. If this is within your capabilities then you can get the job done with help here on the forum. If not then it might be wise to hire an electrician.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:59 PM   #6
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Better safe than sorry! Re-wiring garage.


I suggest that you bring a new 10/3 from the house panel and run to a suitable place in the garage for a small sub-panel. the 10 gauge wire will allow for up to a 30a draw and the /3 means that you will be able to so on either 120vac or 240vac. the sub-panel will give you a convenient and clean method of distributing this to various circuits. in the sub-panel you can have multiple 15a or 20a breakers to suit your needs.

once you have re-wired the garage and built your room, i would completely remove all of the old electrical (including the original power runs).

this will remove any doubt on how things are connected and whether they are safe or not.

rod
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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Better safe than sorry! Re-wiring garage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturday Cowboy View Post

in this last photo There are two wires(cables) going into/from the attic over that house. You said that some other lights are also on this circuit. we need to find out how it is wired- Does this circuit come directly from the breaker to the jbox seen in the photo and then in to the house? Or are those two supply cables from the house/panel. or does it go from breaker to house lights to garage. dig out a multimeter

Either way this is poor circuit design IMHO.
I would basically start from fresh- Leave those two wires "coming from the house" in the Jbox and remove everything else-they will remain.
Bring a new 12/2(or two) from the breaker box.


By the way rules for subpanels in attached garages are different. and installing one would open your options.
OK, so after crawling around in my attic, I found out of the two wires coming from the house; one is from the breaker box, and the other is to the switch (duh, I should have known that! Oh well I'm learning.)

Therefore, what I'm going to do is get a large junction box, and run two different circuits.

Also, I found out that the wire from the house is #14 SO I gotta replace a breaker down to 15A while I'm at it!!!!!

In the future I will run a #12 from the breaker to the rest of the garage so I can get my 20A back......
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:55 PM   #8
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Better safe than sorry! Re-wiring garage.


I might put a sub in with a few circuits since its attached
What is the main house feed ? 100a....200a ?
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:28 AM   #9
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Better safe than sorry! Re-wiring garage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I might put a sub in with a few circuits since its attached
What is the main house feed ? 100a....200a ?
100amp

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