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Old 03-16-2010, 08:50 AM   #1
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


New attached one-car garage and 100 square feet of hallway/entrance way connecting to home. Main panel is just over 30 feet away & requires routing through dirt crawl space. (1) Would it make sense to install a small sub panel in new garage and than to feed from that into the hallway area as well? Power needs minimal. The normal 120v stuff, some outdoor entrance lights and the auto door opener. (2) Have installed independent single overhead lights and switchs before , but the most logical/economical method of putting several on same breaker unclear. Looks like a number of ways to go. For simplicity could maybe just install separate junction box near each light to feed next in line. However, it appears you might be allowed do the splicing right inside either the switch box or light box without needing separate box nearby. Ideas appreciated on both parts of the puzzle. THANKS


Last edited by Mi Feller; 03-16-2010 at 09:04 AM. Reason: clarify wording
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:21 AM   #2
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


If you don't need that much power I'd run a MWBC - multi-wire branch circuit using 12-3
That would give you (2) 20a circuits out there

Make splices in the switch/outlet boxes

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Old 03-16-2010, 09:45 AM   #3
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


Two 12-3 cables for a total of four 20 amp circuits (also permitting a small amount of 240 volt usage) could be run to provide for the future with minimal extra effort and probably still cost less than installing a subpanel.

You will need extra large (22 cubic inch vicinity) single gang boxes for three cables, at least one 12-3, entering: feed, continuation, switched power to light for example. Alternatively, separate square junction boxes may be desirable where for example the 3 conductor cable enters and two 2 conductor cables continue in different directions.

The garage will need GFCI protected receptacles. Two GFCI receptacle units, one for the black half and one for the red half of a 12-3 multiwire branch circuit, can cost less than one double GFCI breaker unit the MWBC would otherwise use, and depending on your wiring, you might only need one GFCI receptacle unit for the time being.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-16-2010 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:58 AM   #4
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


GFCI's sound easy. Do you just connect the 3 wires from panel (hot neutral ground) or does CFCI in a garage require its own ground?
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


Once you get to the garage: you have red, black, white & ground

Easiest way install a double box with (2) GFCI outlets
Pigtail 2 whites & 2 grounds to the incoming white & ground
Red (hot), pigtail white & pigtail ground go to one outlet
Black (hot), pigtail white & pigtail ground to 2nd outlet

Then run whatever else you need off the LOAD side of each GFCI outlet
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


I'd install a small subpanel. Then you only need to run one set of wires and if your needs (or a future homeowner's needs) change, it will be much easier to make changes. Maybe someday you want to add circuits for outdoor lights. Or install an air compressor for tires and toys.

Plus things in a garage draw a lot of current. Let's say you put a freezer out there and a few overhead lights. You have one of those faster 3/4 hp garage door openers. Then you open the door while using a shop vac to clean your car -- you're already up in the 15-20A range.

My two cents,
Robert
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:32 PM   #7
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


My original thought because appears clean and simple. Crawl is cramped and dirty with lots to bang heads on. One run through there would be sweet. Would need to carry 240 or do they make 120 only which is likely all ever needed. My concern was maybe codes don't permit a sub panel to service both a garage and hall area (part of home). Sounds from responses that's probably not an issue. Wondering about grounding the sub. Believe I've read you don't ground them when they're tied in to a grounded main.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:40 PM   #8
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


As long as the garage is attached you do not need grounding rods
As long as its all the same house & not a detached structure you can feed any part of the house from a sub

Run 4 wires - so it will be 240v
Some areas may allow 120v installations
But if you are going to run a sub might as well make it 240v
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:10 PM   #9
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


I second all of Scuba Dave's comments.

My situation is similar to yours. Instead of a crawlspace I have an attic over my hallway with about 1' of clearance. The previous homeowner had one circuit for an oversized 3-car garage. It powered all the interior and exterior lights, 3 garage door openers, all the receptacles, and a connecting hallway. So I was constantly blowing the breaker. I used that wire to pull a new wire for a garage subpanel and am gradually splitting everything up onto multiple circuits. Now the lights stay on if I blow a breaker! Plus I don't have to walk through a dark hallway and part of the house when covered in sawdust.

There are lots of subpanel threads on here which will provide the information you need. I read them and learned everything I needed to know!

Robert
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:13 PM   #10
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


Wondering about minimum amperage. How does 40 w 8 gage sound? Most it might carry would be a 20 amp for small freezer some day.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:38 PM   #11
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


A 40a would be the min I would run
#8 will work

I've always found its better to run more then what I need right now
If you only ran 12-3 (2 circuits) you might regret it some day
Plus it may add resale value to the next person who wants to do more in the garage
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:43 PM   #12
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mi Feller View Post
Wondering about minimum amperage. How does 40 w 8 gage sound? Most it might carry would be a 20 amp for small freezer some day.
Oui { Yes } The 10mm˛{ #8AWG }will work just fine with 40 amp breaker.

Just remember to run 4 conductor cable or in conduit to the subpanel and keep the netural and ground conductors seperated.

Merci,Marc
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:43 PM   #13
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


Sounds fine to me too. I ran 6 gauge, 60 A but my garage is a lot larger. I might also add supplemental heat or A/C someday. Don't recall how much more the cost was compared to 8 g, 40 A but I felt it was worth it. I did check and the cost to go with wires capable of 100 A wasn't worth it. Future homeowners can always run a bigger wire if really needed anyway. RST
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:34 AM   #14
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


Will install subpanel in new attached garage. Plan a 15A circuit for lights and a 20A for regular outlets. In addition, would run 2 dedicated 20A circuits, for refrig & automatic door opener. (Total=75A)
Would a 40A (240V) supply at subpanel be adequate and likely meet code? If my understanding is correct, you double the amps at the 240V sub-panel to determine load capacity at 120V (40x2=80) Thank you.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:43 AM   #15
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Thoughts on wiring new attached garage/hallway


A 40A subpanel cannot run more than 40A at once or it will trip. Your panel is never sized enough to max out all of your circuits at the same time without tripping the main that feeds it. You need to figure out about what the total draw will be at once, not all combined.

How much current does your opener and fridge draw?

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