tried to buy cable to wire my workshop

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Forum topic by HokieMojo posted 03-07-2010 04:13 PM 1634 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2104 posts in 3752 days

03-07-2010 04:13 PM

i posted a blog over here laying out my plans to renovate my garage into a 1/2 garage 1/2 workshop:

Unfortunately, Home Depot was out of a lot of the wiring i needed. I figure I need about 150 ft of NM 10-2 cable to wire up a couple of new garage receptacle circuits around the room. They only had 100’ foot spools. The 250’ would have cost about $120. the 100’ would have been $80. I’ll try another location.

I also couldn’t get NM 2-3 cable to hook up my subpanel. Do they not sell this gauge in this configuration? Maybe I need to just run individual wires? I’ve dont a lot of reading, but I think this project is slightly out of the ordinary, because my books don’t seem to cover this kind of capacity when telling me what wires to use.

I really wanted to post some “before” pics and some shots of my materials, but I’ll need to wait until I can finish my basic purchases. Its hard to start a wiring project without wires.

9 replies so far

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 3202 days

#1 posted 03-07-2010 05:49 PM

Are these to be 115VAC receps? If so, why would you use 10 ga. for normal receptacles? It’s overkill. As far as wiring up your sub, how many amps are you intending on?

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

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2104 posts in 3752 days

#2 posted 03-07-2010 09:52 PM

These are going to be 115V 20 amp circuits. I’m seeing that 12-2 is recommended, but at the end of the run, it will be about 100ft long so I’m thinking that jumping to the next gauge would be prudent since I do run some of my more powerful tools off these like my thickness planer and my dust collector. I appreciate the input so if you think I’m still off base, I’d love to hear it.

As for the sub, it is going to be a 100 amp panel. I’ll have dedicated lighting long with a hardwired furnace blower to use for air filtration. On top of that, I’ll have 3 120V circuits, 2 240V circuits. I do think this 100 amps is probably overkill, but room for a little growth is intended.

I did find 2/2/2/2 copper wire. Its about $6 a foot, but I could probably connect the two panels in adjacent gaps in the studs and get away with only 4 feet of wire. these are just my thoughts.

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2104 posts in 3752 days

#3 posted 03-07-2010 10:24 PM

Oh, one more thing that will probably end up on the subpanel. I’ll eventually probably add an electric heat and A/C unit at some point. I don’t plan on ever running both at the same time though. LOL

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3224 days

#4 posted 03-07-2010 11:36 PM

Why not go to the library and use the National Electric Code Book to make sure you are correct in your ASSUMptions. Most large cable is sold in single wire. You could also go to your local electrical supply house and ask questions there.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 3734 days

#5 posted 03-08-2010 01:08 AM

2/4 SEU aluminum may be what you are looking for. 3 insulated and a bare ground wire. NM doesn’t come that large afaik . . . . If you aren’t sure what you are doing, is a good idea to find someone who does. It isn’t rocket science but it CAN and WILL burn your house down if not done correctly. Be sure to use Noalox on the Aluminum wire!

For a short run the copper is a bit safer and more reliable, but a LOT more expensive than Al . . . you MAY be able to use #4 copper for 100 amps this is information from memory and a lota years old, but I seem to recall that #4 copper used to be used for 100a services. May not be allowed in all areas so you need to do your own research!

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18286 posts in 3700 days

#6 posted 03-08-2010 01:39 AM

you need #3 Cu or #1 al for 100 amps. I don’t do much residential, like almost NONE. I think SE cable is limited to 60 amps, but may be wrong. You should do your subfeed in conduit, IMO.

Unless you find someone who cuts and sells the smaller cables by the foot, you will have to buy 12-2 ect in standard put ups of 100 or 250 feet.

You can run your outlet circuits in #10, but the will will be difficult to work with in standard boxes. You need to put in 2 1/4” deep 4×4 or 4-11 boxes and use mud rings to reduce down the mount the outlets on. Unless your panel is 75 or 100 feet from the area, just use #12. If you do use #10 for voltage drop, then just hit the first box and go with #12 from there on in a 1 car garage sized area.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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2104 posts in 3752 days

#7 posted 03-08-2010 03:34 AM

Thanks everyone. Just a note – my dad does know what he’s doing. He’ll be around to help me next weekend, but I’m trying to buy my suplies before he comes. I also plan to hook up all the outlets to the subpanel. All this will be done while the sub is not attached to the main, so there is really no risk of injury or fire. Just a risk that I’ll mess up and have wasted some $. I’m pretty sure that I can handle the outlets and simple circuits though.

Union Label,
I’m trying to get my hands on the NEC book but its currently checked out. I’ll be picking it up as soon as I can though. The 2/2/2/2 stuff is just four strand of #2 gauge copper. While I can see why is is often sold in single wire amounts, I’m prett sure that this is the stuff that would br used to feed from the meter to the main breaker panel.

I think you are right. i think the NM stuff ends at about the 6 gauge. I’ll probably just stick with the # 2 because its a pretty short run to the sub. there is a Big price difference though $6 vs $1.50. thankfully, only a few feet makes the $6 ok I think.

I’m ok with the 250’ length. I think I need about 200-230. so the extra 20 ft is good insurance. I do really like the idea of switching to #10 after the first box.

Thanks to all of you again. This was great info. Also, I’m being safe so don’t worry about that aspect. All work will be checked by soemone that knows what he’s doing before it gets hooked up to electricity.

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3207 days

#8 posted 03-08-2010 03:46 AM

I wired my garage in December, I was able to get 2 partial rolls of romex ( 1 roll of 130 ft and 1 roll of 100 ft) at Lowe’s. I only paid $65.00 for both. Look for partial rolls.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View sphere's profile


109 posts in 3055 days

#9 posted 03-08-2010 03:53 AM

I HIGHLY suggest you pull a permit and have it inspected before you energize ANY of it.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

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