Electrical Wiring and Electrical Repairs

Garage Electrical Wiring

garage-electrical-wiring Summary: Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Garage Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects*.

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How to Install Garage Electrical Wiring

Important Factor when Wiring a Garage:
Find out if the Main Service or the Panel that will supply the circuits to the garage have adequate Load Capacity and space for the circuit breakers.

How big will your garage be? (Square Feet)

This will be used to help you lay out the garage with electrical outlets for work benches and any stand alone equipment that will be needed.

Garage Electrical Code Requirements

One outlet on a separate 20 amp circuit must be provided and be within 6 feet of the intended location of a washing machine appliance.
A GFCI is required for all 120 volt receptacles installed within 6 feet of sinks for the home electrical wiring for garages. Receptacles installed for a dedicated purpose, such as clothes washer may have a receptacle which is not protected by GFCI.
All exterior building mounted lighting is to be florescent, or photo-controlled with motion sensor.

Wire Types and Capacities

Cables and common wire types

Devices and Junction Boxes

Select the right box for your application

Garage Wiring Audio
home electrical wiring podcast How to Wire a Garage

Garage Electrical Wiring Garage Wiring

Garage Blueprint and Wiring Design Layout


Garage Electrical Circuit Wiring

When installing electrical wiring in a garage a list should be made of all the proposed electrical devices and equipment that will be used. This list should include lighting fixtures and light switch locations, general purpose outlets and receptacles that will be located so that access will not be blocked by obstacles such as garage shelving and work benches, storage units and other equipment.

clothes dryer clothes washer water heater vacuum system door opener ceiling fixture
Clothes Dryer Clothes Washer Water Heater Vacuum System Door Opener Light Fixtures

Garage Electrical Circuits for Larger Equipment

When making the list of electrical devices be sure to include equipment that may require a dedicated circuit. Larger electrical equipment located in the garage should be fully identified and researched to discover the voltage and amperage requirements. careful electrical circuit planning will help avoid possible circuit overloaded conditions after the garage has been occupied and fully functional. Adding additional electrical circuit after the garage walls have been closed up can be very costly, however adding the electrical wiring while in the construction phase is much less expensive. A good rule of thumb is if there is the possibility of adding something later on, at least install a chase conduit to the location, or a dedicated cable as a spare that will be ready to use.


Garage Electrical Code Requirements

  Garage Electrical Circuits Planning
  120 volt devices
Electrical GFCI Outlets for Hand Tools
Bench Mounted Equipment
Refrigerator or Freezer
Vacuum System
Clothes Dryer
  240 volt equipment
Clothes Dryer
Air Compressor
  120/240 Volt Sub-Panel Circuit Requirements
4-Wire System consisting of:
2-Insulated Power Conductors (Black & Red)
1-Insulated Neutral Conductor (White)
1-Ground Conductor (Bare or Green)
  Sub-Panel Considerations
Correct amperage for all loads and future requirements such as Converting your Garage to a Room.

garage wiring
Lighting Fixture
garage outlet
Wall Plugs


More about: Garage Electrical Wiring


Garage Electrical Wiring

Allowable Electrical Wiring Methods
The photos on this page show how the electrical wiring was installed prior to inspection. After the inspection took place the walls were insulated and sheet rock was installed. If the walls were to be left open then Romex type wiring would not be allowed to be installed because the wiring would be exposed making it vulnerable to damage. When the walls will remain open, approved conduits may be used to protect the electrical wiring. Electrical Conduit such as flex and EMT could be installed along with metal junction boxes.

Electrician and Detached Garage Project

Cable Size for a Garage Sub-Panel
Question from Ko: Electrician and Detached Garage Project.
I have a remodel on a detached garage (with living area above), the underground conduit is 3/4 in. PVC. It has a run of 53', with 4 inch radius bend (90 deg) at both ends. What is the largest set of cables known to pull through 3/4 inch PVC to feed a sub-panel (hot/hot/neutral/ground)? I'm estimating #6 for both legs and neutral and #8 for ground.

Ko, it sounds like you may be limited to #6's and #8's Copper THW/THWN. The PVC size and number of bends could be a problem. Use lots of wire lubricant. The lesson here is to always up-size your PVC conduit. PVC is inexpensive so plan ahead while the trench is open! For more information about conduit fill: http://ask-the-electrician.com/wire-in-conduit.html

Locating the Problem in an Electrical Circuit

I added a few lights, switches, and outlets in my garage. There were two power sources. One was from an existing three-panel switch that ran all over. Everything worked A-Okay with that.

But I blew it with the other line. It was originally feeding only two outlets: one on the ceiling next to the garage door opener (that plugged into it), and the other outlet was a breaker (GFI?) on the back wall. My plan was to tap into this line for three lights and three outlets (the original two plus one more). But when I was ready to test it one switch was not yet installed but the wires were in place wrapped together (and stripped). So it shorted out. After I separated the wires, I reset the breaker with no power. I turned off the main power and went into the panel and switched the black wire from the line to a breaker I knew was working and still nothing. Is it possible the wires were damaged?
Thanks for any advice you can give.

Ed in De Land Florida

Dave's reply:
Ed, it is very possible that when you restore power to the circuit that there is electricity up to a point where a connection has blown apart, so be very careful. This is where a Tick type Voltage Tester comes in handy so you are able to see where the voltage is and where it stops, which will most likely give a clear indication of the location of the problem.

Power for a Garage Electrical Panel

Michael, from Polson, Montana asks:
I have a Cutler Hammer main electrical panel. I want to add another 100A breaker for my garage panel. There doesn't seem to be a space in the panel to plug in another breaker. Am I going to have to replace the panel, or am I missing something?

Depending on the exact Cutlet Hammer panel that you have, it may be possible to swap out a few full size circuit breakers and replace them with tandem circuit breakers which would free up the required space for the 100 amp circuit breaker for the garage panel.

Static From Electronic Light Fixture Ballast

I installed a new electronic ballast in fluorescent fixture. My radio now has static on it. How can I stop it?

Hi Jody, yes some of these light fixtures do produce line noise, especially the economy Shop Light Fixtures. First, make sure the fixture is grounded. Then get yourself a plug strip that has built in line nose suppression and conditioning which should eliminate the line noise. Keep in mind that the noise may be transmitting right into the antenna signal as well. If this is the case, you may need to upgrade the fixture to a better brand.
More about Conditioned Plug Strips:

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