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.
-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"