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Old 02-05-2013, 12:29 AM   #1
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Optimize New Garage Circuits and Plan For Future


My small 1-car garage (future shop) had no power until electricians recently rewired portions of our upstairs, leaving me with two new dedicated 20A circuits to build from. I'm planning a work table in the back corner that will extend down the wall over time. These outlets are for basic power tools, and maybe more down the road. I could easily bring 240V nearby directly from the panel in the future for heavy tools.

For now, I want two switches of lights (two fixtures each), and four GFCI duplex outlets in two 2-gang boxes near the switches. I have already run each 20A circuit to one of the 2-gang outlet boxes, and one of those runs on to the switches.

I have a few questions about the details of how I set it up, and adjusting things down the road, since the wiring will also become encased in a shear wall and be inaccessible.

1) I believe I am better off putting both light switches together on a circuit with one outlet box. Then, I could change the other outlet box to a dedicated 20A outlet in the future? The down side is both lights can be put out if their circuit trips.

2) I initially bought four GFCI outlets without realizing I could use two GFCIs to protect two regular outlets. Is there a compelling reason to use GFCIs in all four outlet locations? Aside from in the same box one doesn't trip the other?

3) I also believe I should wire the lights to divert around the GFCI so they are not interrupted? This is ok in a garage?

Thanks for the help on these last few things,
Aaron

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Old 02-05-2013, 01:30 AM   #2
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Optimize New Garage Circuits and Plan For Future


You can never have two many outlets, these suggestions are strickly from my own opion and ehat has worked for me on the many garages I've owned and built.
I like to see outlets every 6', plus at least one outside outlet.
I make sure the GFI protecting the outside outlet is inside the building not in the outside outlet. This way you get less faulse trips from moisture.
Over the work area I install double outlets.
I've never seen where outlets near the floor are of any use in a garage so I set them all at about 4'.
I also add one for the overhead door, even if there's not one there now.
I run a dedacated 20 amp. line near a window for an A/C unit.
Not sure what type lights your planing on but I use a lot of overhead floureant lights. I just install 2 X 4 boxes in the ceiling so I can just plug them in and unplug for service.
I also make sure to mount one over the work bench.
I like to see at least a 60 amp panel.
The biggest mistake I see people make time and time again is to not run a big enough wire out to the garage thinking there saving money.
It's all got to be redone if at some point you find out there just not enough avalible power so why not just do it one time.

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Last edited by joecaption; 02-05-2013 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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Optimize New Garage Circuits and Plan For Future


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I like to see at least a 60 amp panel.

The biggest mistake I see people make time and time again
is to not run a big enough wire out to the garage thinking there saving money.
^^This.
I moved it to the top because this is the important message at this point.
All the rest (all of it) can be installed later or changed from this sub panel.

Quote:
You can never have two many outlets...
I like to see outlets every 6', plus at least one outside outlet.
I make sure the GFI protecting the outside outlet is inside the building
Over the work area I install double outlets.
...set them all at about 4'.
I also add one for the overhead door, even if there's not one there now.
I run a dedacated 20 amp. line near a window for an A/C unit.

a lot of overhead floureant lights.
I also make sure to mount on over the work bench.
hth
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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Optimize New Garage Circuits and Plan For Future


To clarify a bit, this is an attached garage in a bungalow. It is in my basement, which is half-sunken, and the garage opens directly to the street. The basement has a full ceiling and will be finished as living space eventually, our main living space is on the upper floor.

I have already had a sub-panel installed adjacent to our main 200A panel (which is full). I'm not sure the size of the sub-panel, but it was installed for a variety of new circuits throughout the house, these two in the garage, and has a few blank spaces for future use.

The ceiling is currently open from the panel to the garage, and it is only about 15' to get into the garage, and 35' to get to my work area. In the future, opening this up again to run wires isn't that big of a deal. The bigger deal is that this particular wall will have structural plywood and cannot easily be opened.

Thanks for the help,
Aaron
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