Sign In to join the community | Help
Build & Remodel

Adding additional outlets in garage

Hello community!


I am not an electrition, but I do have a general understanding of AC electricity.


My garage is poorly outfitted with electrical terminals, both outlets and light sockets.  I am not getting into light situation, because that's a completely different project.  I have two grounded outlets in my garage, both are in the center of the room, and on the ceiling.  One supplies energy to my garage opener, and the other comes down from the ceiling in a jacketed cable and into a metal outlet box.  The cord is only 12"-14" long.  Very inconvenient.


Installing outlet boxes and cabling would be no problem, but what would be the best way to connect them all, or would that not be possible/a very bad idea?  My breaker is rated to 20A, which may need to be upgraded.  Would it be a dangerous idea to join multiple outlets to a single connection?  I only need 1 outlet per wall, so 3 or 4 max.


Would this require it's own connection to the breaker panel?  Do I need to fork over the $$ to have an electrician do this for me?

Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2012-02-06T01:57:14+0000  by icanfixit icanfixit


I have done my share of out let additions to many a room, in your question you have stated several things..

So Ill try to keep it on track for me


I will share my knowledge with you ! First I am not an electrician and depending on the area you live there different codes you might want to follow!


I believe you are wanting to put the out lets in what I would call series  ( meaning connect one after the other?)


three to four should not be a problem.


My question to you would be do you know what you will be using them for/ and would you be using them all at once?


A long time ago my father in law told me a saying about wiring (black to brass or might your **bleep**)  just sort of thought of it as I was thinking of all the times he and I would go wire a job he was a master electrician.dealing with some pretty high voltages 440 and 880 stuff. There is a couple of other things I would suggest but maybe I have talk to much already

take care 

Posted 2012-02-06T02:39:00+0000  by Rodg

Hello icanfixit.  Welcome back!


There are lots of garages out there fed by a single 20 amp circuit.  It is the wiring that limits you to 20 amps, not the circuit breaker.


I will assume for now that what you currently have meets code and is safely installed.  You can add on additional outlet boxes.  Having 3 or 4 outlets on one circuit is not unusual.  You can tap off of your ceiling box using 12 gauge wire to accomplish this.  Just keep in mind that you are limited in how many items you can feed with power at any one time.


I would like you to think in terms of how you want to use your garage.  This also needs to include your requirements for lighting.  Planning to install an air compressor?  How about banks of strip lights or outdoor flood lights?  Running a table saw, power tools, a welder?  Setting up power feeds based on your future intended use will save you lots of headaches.


If you have an attached garage, running extra circuits for lighting and outlets off the main service panel should be no problem.  If you have a detached garage, it usually makes more sense to install a small sub-panel box in the garage fed by a larger double pole breaker.  You can then run individual circuits off this panel box. has a few project guides on performing simple electrical work.  You can find them here.


It's up to you to decide whether hiring an electrician to rewire your garage is worth it.  If you would rather do it yourself, I highly recommend reading through the Wiring 1-2-3 book.


Wiring 1-2-3.jpg


In addition, pulling a building permit and talking to your local inspector about specific local code requirements before you start is always a great idea. 


I hope this helps,


Posted 2012-02-07T17:29:52+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
Hello icanfixit, your project isnt a hard one and should not take much time or money.
First, leave the one for your garage opener alone. You do not need to use it.

You have to find out where the 2 outlets are fed from that are in your garage before you do anything. Do they come directly from the panel and one just feeds the other? Or are they fed from another room with other outlets already on them.

For the past 10 or 15 years when we wire homes usually when the garage outlet is instaled, it feeds the outlets that are on the outside of your house also.

Your outlets in your garage should also be GFCI protected.

Let me know what you find out about where these outlets are fed from and I can walk you through and make this an easy project.
Posted 2012-02-07T18:26:21+0000  by AAriondo


Posted 2012-02-08T14:50:02+0000  by AAriondo
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question