Need A 220 Volt Outlet In Garage, What To Do? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 04-10-2010, 10:15 PM   #1
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Need a 220 Volt Outlet in garage, what to do?

Hi everybody,

I would like to add a 220 Volt outlet in my garage. Currently everything in my detached garage is fed by one circuit, 15 Amp breaker in my electric panel. I do not have any 220 volt outlets anywhere in the house nor the garage.
I would like to add this 220 Volt outlet to use a MIG welder.

What would it take to add a 220 Volt outlet in the garage? What do I look for in the panel to see if this is possible?
I do not have space in the panel to add an extra breaker? Can I replace the breaker by a bigger one (20A?) and keep the same line that I currently have to the garage?

Too many questions, obviously I have no idea what it takes to make this happen. Would it be something a handy guy can do, or will it requiere an electrician?

Thank you


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Old 04-10-2010, 10:43 PM   #2
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There are some fine electricians here who will give you all the technical info needed to pull this off.

I will just try to give you the basic understanding of a 220 circuit.

Your breaker box actually has two different 110 lines in it. We'll just call it a left and a right line.

If you pull one line from the left and one from the right--you have 220v

the breaker box is built so that every other breaker is either left or right.

A 220 breaker is little more than two single breakers with the handles joined together.

A motor operating on 220 can usually be run off of the two hot wires. A neutral is needed if the device needs to have some control or light that needs 110.

That's as far as I will go on information---Like I said there are others here that know much more than I do.
O.K. someone jump in.---


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Old 04-10-2010, 10:55 PM   #3
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We will need the brand of box that you have(GE--square D--seimens-Federal Pacific-push matic-???)

And the number of openings--and the service amps(usually on the main breaker)

Can the new cable to the garage be buried or must it go over head?

Last edited by oh'mike; 04-10-2010 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 04-11-2010, 02:28 AM   #4
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Where is the panel in relation to the garage? I assume it's fairly close.
Can you post a picture of the panel? The inside of the panel.
It could be very easy to do this even if the panel is "full."
It could also be a little difficult.

Pics help.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:11 AM   #5
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A big question is this garage attached or detached?

If attached then you can add a 220 volt circuit after you make room in the panel. If detached, you need to add a sub-panel in the garage. And that will have a lot of implications.

Sorry did not see the detached in the original post.

Definitely need a sub-panel in the garage.
Coastal South Carolina

Last edited by rjniles; 04-11-2010 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:24 AM   #6
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If you have no spaces in your panel you need to add a sub panel in the house accommodate more breakers..
To make a 240 volt circuit in your detached garage you will need to put in a sub panel since only one circuit is permitted to be pulled to a detached structure. What size circuit does the mig require? That will determine what size panel to install in the garage. 60 amp is the most common size for this application. You will need 6/3 cable and double pole 240 volt 60 amp breaker for our main (or sub) panel. Once the sub panel is installed in the garage then you can add the proper size double pole breaker for your mig and some 15 or 20 amp breakers for the lights and receptacles.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:53 AM   #7
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As stated, Detached Garage you can only run (1) circuit or a MWBC for 2 circuits

What is your main panel rating in the house ?
What Mfg panel ?
How comfortable are you doing electric work ?
What is the distance from the panekl to the garage ?

As Joed said a 60a sub-panel in the garage is fairly common
Burying conduit is the best method & running wires inside the conduit
Will the feed to the garage go under a driveway ?

Without room in your main panel you need to either use a tandem breaker or add a small sub in the house too


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