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Old 06-08-2009, 01:35 PM   #1
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


[Had to split this up into 2 posts b/c of the limit on the number of images].

Hi all,

I've got a 1 car attached garage (about 25x12) that I've been using for various projects.

I've been wanting to upgrade the electrical since I moved in about 7 months ago, and I figured I'd do it in EMT. It's rather stupid because the wall I'm installing most of the conduit on is adjacent to the house -- however it's framed separately, and there is a ~2" gap between the back of the framing and the side of the house. It would make a perfect wiring chase for NM-B, making the job a hell of a lot cheaper and easier. But I wanted EMT because, well, for fun. It looks cool too. This is the first project I've ever piped, so please go easy , or not...

Background

The garage had 2 20A circuits running to it, one for lighting and 1 recept. group, and the other for just receptacles. Lighting consisted of a single 100W bare bulb in the garage, and another in the garage attic. The receptacles are all about 12-18" off the floor, and were always getting blocked by crap I'd store against the walls. A couple are damaged; probably the previous h/o had been doing a project of his own and knocked into them.

The circuits were basically fine for me for the time being -- my highest draw tools are a 15A contractor table saw and a 12A shop vac. So long as I ran their cords to opposite sides of the garage, I'd be fine. (Of course, I couldn't run my compressor at the same time..).

The lighting was my main problem. I'd get plenty of natural light during the day, but at night I'd need to set up portable lights, which is inconvenient at best and they're never in the right place at the right time.

I happened to rip a 4-bulb T8 fluorescent fixture out of my kitchen recently (installed recessed cans in its place), which is plenty bright. So my plan was to put that in the garage, plus a couple of other light fixtures, and also add some more receptacles.

Pics follow. If anyone has suggestions, comments, criticisms, etc., please let me know! A lot of what I've done here I learned from people on this very forum. So if I did a decent job, I dedicate it to all the experts on here. If I did a terrible job, then I guess it's your fault. (j/k.. I'll take all the blame.) Either way, I hope others can get some ideas for their own project.


Front of the garage. Good lumber storage above, but it makes lighting difficult.


Back of the garage. Good natural lighting and ventilation. I have a couple of window fans I use for cooling and venting out fumes.


My fantastic task lighting. Ceiling is 10ft., BTW.


First Home Depot run. Didn't forget much. Figured I'd post this in case anyone wanted to know what brands I'm using.


New main light fixture. Sorry for the weird angle, but it's the only way I could get the full conduit run in there.


Lights in the front. I realized far too late that the one by the garage door gets hit by the door, so now I can't get it open. I'll have to move it back to the next 2x4. Fortunately I did those lights with AC and not EMT, so it should be an easy move.

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Old 06-08-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT



The jbox just after the panel on the bottom will have a dedicated MWBC split onto 2 receptacles on the same yoke. Next jbox just has wiring connections, no devices. You can see some AC coming out of it; they feed 2 new single-bulb fluorescent fixtures. The EMT coming out the bottom of that box goes to a receptacle unit with a dedicated circuit, to be used for chargers, a radio, and other things.


The conduit that goes up into the ceiling in the previous pic comes out here, in the garage attic. It looks a bit weird, but the offset goes back towards the wall (~3") and also to the left. It is plumb where it heads up towards the jbox, even though it looks angled in this pic. The NM-B coming out of the jbox goes to 2 luminaires on the front of the garage -- they are controlled by the timer in the next pic. Some NM-B that currently runs to a switch next to the door in the back of the garage will enter this jbox from the left.


Timer for the outdoor lights. The GFCI supplies the timer/lights -- personal preference, but I like my outdoor lighting on GFI. I had to put offsets in the EMT coming from the panel because the knockouts close to the wall are all blocked by the neut. buss bar!


Receptacles closest to the front of the garage -- at the end of the conduit run that goes off the right of the panel. I needed to get some usable power coming off the new panel so I can have lights when I disconnect and re-wire the existing circuits.


Close-up of the panel. Not much done yet -- the circuit hooked up is the one from the above pic.

Details

50A breaker at the main panel (in the basement, about 6 feet below and 6 feet to the left of the sub).

6/3 feeder. (Yes, I bought 125 ft. of 6/3. I just could not bring myself to spend $2.36/ft. when I could get 125 ft. for $136). If you're in my area and you've read this far, I have about 100 ft. of 6/3 NM-B for sale!

100A disconnect at the sub.

Why only 50A, and not 100A+? Simply because I don't need more than 50A. And if I ever do, I can pull a new line from the main panel to the garage. It's a very easy pull. The only reason I'm doing a sub is b/c I don't have space in the main panel for all those breakers.

I'll connect the existing receptacles near the floor to the sub today or tomorrow. The single-bulb fixture is going to be rewired w/o a switch -- I have a 3W LED light bulb that will be always-on. For security, I guess.

All wiring in conduit is THHN/THWN, 12 AWG, 75deg. The NM-B in the attic is 14/2 and will be on a 15A breaker. Existing receptacles were wired with 12-2 NM-B. I tagged the wiring for each circuit with its own color of electrical tape (I used green for one which is probably a bad idea.). Wiring is tagged in every box, even if it doesn't terminate in that box.

EGC is #12, except where it hits a future 240V/30A receptacle; there it's #10 from the panel. I didn't want to use the EMT to bond everything together. I don't have a good reason for that...

If you're still reading this, I appreciate it. I've got plenty of other pics, so please let me know if you'd like to see more detail.

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Old 06-09-2009, 01:53 PM   #3
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


I know you are doing the best you can with the EMT. But quite frankly it looks like a DIY job. You used offsets where you did not need them and then you don't use them to enter boxes. Those two offsets on the right could have been straight pieces, or 90 up over and down. This type of bending is fine for hidden pipe, but not for exposed work. I know you did not ask us to critique your work, but I have bent more EMT than you will ever see, and I just had to comment. Please do not be offended. I have seen much worse, much better and excellent.
This pipe thing takes us electricians awhile to learn. Experience is what makes a good pipe bender. It would be great if you knew someone who is good at it, to show you the little nuances of pipe bending. The things that set your work apart from others.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


No worries on the critiquing.. It's my first time working with EMT, so I'm looking for feedback. Like you said, it takes a lot of experience, and I knew that going in. I figured I gotta start somewhere, and the garage is a good place because no one but me will see it (well, unless I post pictures on the internet..).

Quote:
Those two offsets on the right could have been straight pieces, or 90 up over and down.
I thought of coming out the top of the panel, but I figured it would look worse that way. Lack of planning played a part there too; when I laid it out I didn't take into account the garage attic (top conduit), and the fact that the neut. bar would be covering 2 rows of knockouts. (Which is why I couldn't come straight out -- I had to come out of the knockouts ~3" from the wall).

Quote:
and then you don't use them to enter boxes
Yeah, that's bothering me too, b/c obviously the conduit isn't lying flat to the wall. I cut and installed quite a few pieces before I realized it (and pulled some wire too), and I'm still weighing whether or not I want to redo it all.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:45 PM   #5
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


If you do not want to remove it and redo it, you can use mineralic(sp) to hold the pipe.

Here is a link to the pdf.
http://www.minerallac.com/PDF's/Traditional/OB.pdf
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:06 PM   #6
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
If you do not want to remove it and redo it, you can use mineralic(sp) to hold the pipe.

Here is a link to the pdf.
http://www.minerallac.com/PDF's/Traditional/OB.pdf
Thanks, that would be ideal, but it looks like I'd have to remove the pipe anyway to get the clip screwed to the wall.. :/ Except in the middle of the longer runs where I have some play.

You wouldn't happen to know of any clips that provide both a standoff and mounting hole(s) to the side, would you?

The closest I can find on google is this:



.. but that's way too tall and weird looking.

I'm trying to avoid a complete hack job here, but using washers to raise the standard clips up a bit did cross my mind..
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:22 PM   #7
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


Looks good Scottr.The rest of the rec will be gfci protected ?
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:40 PM   #8
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


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Originally Posted by 300zx View Post
Looks good Scottr.The rest of the rec will be gfci protected ?
Thanks.

Ugh, yes... Not that I planned for it when I went shopping. The recept. in the picture with the tester plugged in is not GFI protected -- gotta either return my recepts. and box covers or return my breakers. I realized this well after I got home, of course.

I really like the receptacles though: They're "weather resistant" and the plug slots have an internal cover that moves aside when you insert a plug (also billed as "tamper resistant"). I didn't buy them to keep water out, but more for sawdust and whatever other gunk I might have spraying around the garage in the future.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:52 PM   #9
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


Looks Great I am sure you know the code.Seem like you know what you are doing.Going to post it anyway.
GFCI protection devices are also required for all 15A and 20A, 125V receptacles located in garages and grade-level portions of unfinished or finished accessory buildings used for storage or work areas of a dwelling unit [210.8(A)(2)]. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. GFCI protection is not required for receptacles that are not readily accessible, such as a ceiling-mounted receptacle for a garage door opener. Nor are they required for a receptacle on a dedicated branch circuit located and identified for a cord-and-plug-connected appliance, such as a refrigerator or freezer.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:59 PM   #10
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


Quote:
Originally Posted by 300zx View Post
GFCI protection devices are also required for all 15A and 20A, 125V receptacles located in garages and grade-level portions of unfinished or finished accessory buildings used for storage or work areas of a dwelling unit [210.8(A)(2)]. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. GFCI protection is not required for receptacles that are not readily accessible, such as a ceiling-mounted receptacle for a garage door opener. Nor are they required for a receptacle on a dedicated branch circuit located and identified for a cord-and-plug-connected appliance, such as a refrigerator or freezer.
All of these exceptions have been removed in the 08 edition of the NEC. Even garage door opener receptacles need it under the 08.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:13 PM   #11
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


Yes inspecters here are still not using 2008 yet.I know they are supose to but. 2008 code:210.8
All 15 & 20 AMP receptacles shall be GFCI in a kitchen or food prep area.
All unfinished areas of a house must be GFCI protected.
All garage REC even ceiling must be on a GFCI. ( fridge VAC and door opener )
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:28 PM   #12
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


We're on the 2008 cycle here; I have the Book, and knew that section.. Just completely forgot about it while standing in the aisle of HD. Maybe I'm getting old or something..
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:52 PM   #13
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


Maybe I'm getting old or something.. Me to. Good luck on your project looks great so far .
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:24 PM   #14
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
Thanks, that would be ideal, but it looks like I'd have to remove the pipe anyway to get the clip screwed to the wall.. :/ Except in the middle of the longer runs where I have some play.

You wouldn't happen to know of any clips that provide both a standoff and mounting hole(s) to the side, would you?

The closest I can find on google is this:



.. but that's way too tall and weird looking.

I'm trying to avoid a complete hack job here, but using washers to raise the standard clips up a bit did cross my mind..
Loosen the conduit, and twist it out of the way. Bend the ears of the strap open, screw to the wall, then twist the pipe back up, then bend the ear of the strap close, add the screws to clamp to the pipe, then tighten the pipe back up.

This works well for pipes with offsets, but not so well with straight pipes.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:54 PM   #15
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Garage subpanel installation - EMT


In Post #4 (paraphrasing) "I've got to start somewhere and the garage is a good place to start. No one [else] sees it, anyway"!

It's funny. But I've done plenty of jobs with EMT. And even the customer admonished me sometimes when I wanted to be extra super careful about running the pipe neatly, with the following phrase... "It's only a basement and no one will see it, anyway"! Don't Drink and Drive!!!

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