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detached garage wiring help

Hey guys! I need some advice please. I have a 2 car/2 story detached garage approx 50ft from my house with no electricity. I want to run 4 outlets on each floor and lights on both floors. I am using 12/2 wires and 15amp receptacles. Does this sound good so far? SHould I be using 20amp receptacles? I will be using the basic tools. 110 volt air compressor, welder, radio, air conditioner. I will have 4 20 amp breakers in the 125 amp breaker box.
If I am using 20 amp/single pole breakers, should I also be using 20 amp receptacles?
Also, Can I run 10/3 wire from the house to the garage or 12/3 wire?


Thanks for letting me entertain you!

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Old 10-04-2010, 04:19 PM
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what you should run to the garage is three conductors of #2 (2 hot legs of 120v and a neutral) and you are going to drive 2 ground rods, six feet apart at the garage, continuously connected with a #6 bare ground to the panel, where the neutrals and the grounds are separated.
the breaker inside the house should be no more than 100A.
i would run 12-2 connected to 20A receptacles and breakers.
but that is just what i would do.
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:49 PM
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Hi a 12/3 to the garage is fine. you might want to run a 12/4 for an extra circut for future as far as the 20 amp recepticals are good for a garage some tools need a 20 amp outlet at times you can also do the basics ...that would be 12/2 and 15 amp recepticals and circut breakers but if you have 20's that would be better...4 outlets on each floor is good how many lights on each floor 1 or 2 flouresant fixtures by 4 ft long ... all of this would be fine on 2 circuts plus an extra one for tfuture use... hope this helps ...
Old 10-04-2010, 04:57 PM
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I am not really up on the codes where you are. Some places have different requirements.

But you need to start with load calculations to determine if you have enough potential to power your garage with the devices you intend to use.

Wanting yo use a welder, a/c, etc, you are going to need much more than 12 awg to feed the garage.

Carambola gave good advice. The only thing I would add is to run the two hots, the neutral, and a ground as well from the originating panel. (this helps prevent a condition called a ground loop). That would be 4 wires total coming from the house to the garage.

You are probably going to run a trench from the house to the garage. I bury electrical feeds and such 48" in the ground and at 36" I bury a red "warning underground electrical" safety tape. For #2 I would use 2" pvc with no more than 4 bends. Schedule 80 should be used where the pipe comes out of the ground. You are probably going to have to install a disconnect on the outside of the garage and a distribution panel on the inside of the garage. Furthermore, you may also need a disconnect on the house as well.

There are tons and tons of details to be taken in consideration in order to do a proper and safe installation.

#12 is good for 20 amps. Do not install a 15 amp receptacle on a circuit protected by a 20 amp breaker.

Remember, everything "down the line" of the breaker needs to be rated at or more than the breaker. In other words, you want the breaker to trip long before the wire or outlets start to get hot.

Make sure to separate the outlets and the lights on different circuits. You don't want to trip a breaker at a receptacle and the lights go out at the same time!

Also consider installing a gfci breaker at the start of your outlet circuit. If you wire them properly you only need one gfci per circuit.

Try and calculate your power demands in the garage so you can plan how you are going to "balance" the loads in the panel.

Use my advice at your own risk Check with you local codes and the NEC/NFPA 70 for proper compliance and installation of your electrical upgrade. You could possibly even call your city inspector and most of the time they would be happy give some advice.

Electrical is very dangerous and safety is paramount! DO Not skimp on anything!!! do the job once do it right and make it safe!!!
Old 10-04-2010, 07:03 PM
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Are you planning to wire straight from the breaker in the house to the circuit in the garage or have a sub panel in the garage?

If you're going to have a sub panel in the garage, you'll need to run the suitable sized wire from a two pole breaker in the house to the sub panel in the garage. 2' deep PVC conduit is correct for Houston, so probably OK for OK.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:46 AM
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Check your towns local code for their requirements. But Im positive you will have to run a subpanel out to your garage.

I agree with carambola on everything
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carambola View Post
what you should run to the garage is three conductors of #2 (2 hot legs of 120v and a neutral) and you are going to drive 2 ground rods, six feet apart at the garage, continuously connected with a #6 bare ground to the panel, where the neutrals and the grounds are separated.
the breaker inside the house should be no more than 100A.
i would run 12-2 connected to 20A receptacles and breakers.
but that is just what i would do.
NEC calls for isolated ground on a sub panel last I knew.
I agree that a small sub panel be set in the garage. 220 if possible.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:33 AM
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I did this on my new construction:

240v 50 amp GFCI breaker at the house. From the breaker I ran 6 or 8 gauge (can't recall exactly) to a subpanel in the garage. Grounded the subpanel to an 8' rod and then ran all the circuits from there throughout the building with 12 gauge. I used EMT conduit and didn't need a ground wire, but I added a 14 gauge ground to every point anyhow.

If I didn't have EMT the NEC would have required 12 gauge grounds. I discussed this with the village inspector and he agreed I could use 14 gauge ground since it's a secondary to the EMT anyhow.

My old Square D slide rule says 8 gauge copper is good for 50 amps at 75C.

I've got the latest NEC somewhere, but simply call your building inspector and they will guide you. They are the final say.

Last edited by MotoSook; 10-05-2010 at 07:58 AM..
Old 10-05-2010, 07:45 AM
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Thanks for the advice guys. I am running a seperate breaker box inside the garage with 4 20 amp breakers. Is their a particular reason to bury the cable and conduit 4 ft below the ground? I was thinking 1 foot would be fine. The yard is not going to have any heavy machinery driving on it.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:03 AM
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Won't you need someone licensed for the permits, etc? I'm not familiar with the codes in more. But I know there are some insane codes in other towns up there....
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:12 AM
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I contacted an electrician in the area. Still waiting for a call back....
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:18 AM
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You don't need to bury it 4 ft. I can't see your location on my iPhone, but in the Chicago area, 18" is min depth. Some of the electrical designs I've had done for large construction also have 18" min. You can use PVC conduit in the ground, but with metal risers (where you go into/out of the ground and into the buildings. Rent a Ditchwitch or get a good shovel.
Old 10-05-2010, 10:20 AM
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48" is just the code where I am. Or at least that's what the inspector wanted to see.

Here are some pics of my recent electrical overhaul in my newly built garage.

I ran new service from the "pole" then to the garage and then to the house.


Trench from the pole



To new meter/main 420amps (really 320)


Old 10-05-2010, 03:01 PM
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Trench continues to house.............





Old 10-05-2010, 03:05 PM
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Meter main/ combo that feeds the house and garage. The garage breaker panel is on the other side of this panel. I just core drilled through the concrete and installed a sleeve.

100 amps to the garage and 150 to the house (the breakers in the pic are just the ones that come with this can. I swapped them out later.......


Here is the disconnect panel at the house which is being fed from the main/meter at the garage.

Old 10-05-2010, 03:10 PM
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and lastly here is the breaker panel inside the new garage...




Here is an O crap moment! Right before I called for my inspection I noticed the plans called for a Ufer ground...Thank god I knew where the re-bar was.....



Old 10-05-2010, 03:18 PM
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I hope these pictures help

-Adam
Old 10-05-2010, 03:21 PM
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Run a few lengths of cat-5 too - phone, network, etc
Old 10-05-2010, 05:03 PM
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4' deep? Maybe in the right of way, but I've never heard of that for residential. We went about24" with conduit when I built my detached garage. Went from the panel in the garage to a disconnect outside and then to a disconnect on the garage, with a 200 amp panel. It was set up to run AC, welding, compressor, etc.

I miss my house and garage...
Old 10-05-2010, 05:39 PM
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I thought that the new code calling for the grounding of the foundation steel was kinda goofy, as the rebar will probably be rusted away in a few years.

You used a copper ground rod off the breaker box as well didn't you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nocarrier View Post
and lastly here is the breaker panel inside the new garage...




Here is an O crap moment! Right before I called for my inspection I noticed the plans called for a Ufer ground...Thank god I knew where the re-bar was.....




Old 10-05-2010, 05:41 PM
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