Garage Remodel #7: completion and after thought comments

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Blog entry by Holbs posted 06-09-2013 07:44 PM 1787 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: passed rough in & final in one shot! Part 7 of Garage Remodel series Part 8: reznor natural gas heater, installed and running »

To those who are considering adding a single outlet, multiple outlets, 110v, 220v, lighting, and placement… I’ll share my thought process and experience with my remodel.

1.) I’ve never ran an electrical circuit in my life. I couldn’t tell you the difference between 14/2 and 6/3 wire a couple months ago. Everything I learned was from countless hours of YouTube, GarageJournal forum, LumberJock forum, and internet pictures / videos. For LumberJock and GarageForum, I did not post anything but instead researched a couple million posts about electrical adds and remodels.

2.) I’ll point it out now: I am no electrician. There is a death or burn entire house down hazard with this stuff. I weighed the pro’s and con’s after the research of hiring an electrician or DIY. This is something you also must weigh for yourself, wife, and kids.

3.) I DID get a city permit. Some say, why bother? Sure… I could installed just a 110v circuit without telling anyone. But after the research, I felt being “caught” (low chance of that for minor residential stuff), if I resell the house later on (they WILL find out at house inspection time that electrical remodel was done and that creates financial headaches), or I have something to stand upon with a permit if a fire DID burn things…. the measly $100 city permit was worth it.

5.) Leg1: 12/2 (12gauge / 2 wire + ground) to handle 20amps of power, first into a 20amp GFCI which then feeds a standard 20amp receptacle. This is a garage environment so code MANDATES the first receptacle must be GFCI. Same for Leg2 and Leg3. Total of 6 outlets across 35feet of wall space. Leg4 is a dedicated 12/2 run to ceiling GFCI for corded reel or such. I also added 3 220v with 10/3 (10gauge/3wire + ground). For 220v, you do not need a GFCI. You actually do not even need 10/3 but could use 10/2 (cheaper and easier to install) as 10/3 is used for 220v appliances that also run 110v stuff (like an oven clock or such). I had some 10/3 gained from a friend so used it. I then ran 2 zones for lighting using 14/2: my main wood working area and also a auto mechanic area. I will most likely run both light zones at same time, but seemed prudent to have 2 zone lighting incase light breaker pops while i have a 3200 RPM spinning table saw blade 1” from my fingers. I placed the light switches on opposite wall of where my door way enters into the garage which forces me to initially use the existing single 110v light above garage door opener as this light is connected to the main panel, incase the entire sub-panel blows killing my 2zone lighting.

6.) I placed all electrical outlets roughly 54” high off the floor, to make room for any 4×8 sheets that I may lean against he wall and a couple inches higher for wall work bench height.

7.) I decided to go in-wall thru existing 2×4 studs, as opposed to surface mount with EMT conduit. For me, it was a financial decision more than future growth concerns and also I REALLY needed to know where all my studs were. I simply cut out 8” x 20’ of drywall. When it came time to put holes in the studs… use a 1/2 hole dawg bit with a right angle drill. This will fit 2 (maybe even 3?) x 12/2 or 1×10/3 wire. Use a drill that you can drill holes with. In my case, I initially started off with a 18v Dewalt hammer drill and a paddle bit. This did not work as I had to drill holes at an angle because the drill + paddle bit would not fit between the studs. Also of CODE note: when drilling through the wall studs, drill dead center as you MUST leave 1 1/4” of each side of the hole for structural integrity ( pretty sure it’s 1 1/4”... best look this up for yourself). This allows you to use upto a 5/8” hole. If you make a booboo or have to make larger holes, you will have to install nail plates for each stud. Also, drill in a straight line if possible. This will make pulling wire easier (especially 6gauge to 10gauge wire). I had to zig zag a little bit because of the outside stucco framing nails were in my way. Pulling 14/2 was easier no matter what. 12/2 was a little rougher. but man… 10gauge and 6gauge wire… grrr.

8.) wear gloves :) this will save some skin off your knuckles when it comes time to pull wire.

9.) I installed 2 different dedicated 12/2 20amp to a GFCI outlets up near the cieling for my future air cleaner with a electronic timer and future Reznor forced natural gas heater. I could of went 14/2 but I had left over 12/2 so…..

10.) subpanel. I went with 100amp 20position Square D Homeline series instead of the more industrial series (QD?), for the panel itself and fuses. Since this is a sub-panel, the grounding bar (you have to buy it extra as it does not come in the box) and neutral bar must NOT be bonded together. The only place they are bonded together is in the main service disconnect panel. I ran a 6/3 (6gauge / 3 wire + ground) 6’ from my main disconnect panel. I kept the subpanel low instead of high as I will use more upper real estate than lower. I installed a 60amp from on the main service panel to feed the 6/3 wire.

11.) I used blue remodel boxes. GFCI outlets need a little more depth than standard outlets so keep that in mind when you buy your boxes. I just went ahead and bought all deep boxes. For 220v outlets, I thought smart to use double gang boxes instead of single gang.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

3 comments so far

View jimmyb's profile


186 posts in 2405 days

#1 posted 06-10-2013 12:18 AM

Good job for a non-electrician.

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL

View EEngineer's profile


1120 posts in 4127 days

#2 posted 06-10-2013 01:47 AM

Good job for an electrician… at least the ones I have worked with!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Holbs's profile


2246 posts in 2542 days

#3 posted 06-10-2013 02:00 AM

it was also very confusing, to follow Da Code. For example: everything I read said you could only put 2 12or14 gauge wires thru a single knockout and a 10gauge goes solo through single knockout, in a panel. I did that in my sub-panel (as there were tons of knockouts). But where all the house feeds poke thru the wall to the outside main breaker box, everything goes thru a 3” hole. The city inspector said ‘you gotta do what you gotta do’ so I did the same with my 6gauge feed.

Also, he said he would of liked to of seen6” of wire to be stored from the front of the remodel box, not from the backside of the remodel box like I did. Luckily, he passed it anyways.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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