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ok guys this might not be the right place but i thought i could at least ask here, someone in the electrical field might know here. I just moved into my first house and the garage dosen't have any electric in it. right now i am living on extention cords and it working for now but it not a a permanent solution. what i do have is a camper power plug that they old home owners used to power there camper. It is a 30A 120V ac circuit. i am planning on running this to my garage for my power. Is this ok, or is it to much for my garage. i will have power tools running off this from time to time as well as lights and a freezer. can i run this to a circuit breaker box and split off of this or do i have to keep it all in series. what are my options here. good bad ugly. if this is the wrong place for this please either move to right area, or delete altogether, but please let me know.
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if you have any room in your electrical panel you should run a 40 double and dig in a cable to the garage and use a small panel box to split up your circuits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
40 double? lost me there.
 

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it depends on how much stuff you want out there you can have 8 circuits on 1 breaker ( say 4 outlets and 4 lights equal 8 circuits) if you plan on running alot of power tools i would put a 50 amp double pole breaker and run 8 guage wire to your garage and put in a sub panel
 

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40 double? lost me there.
So that you will have 40 amps of service capable of 120 / 240 volts.
As to your original question I don't think that the 30 amps of 120 is near enough! I am a staking engineer and recommend no less than 60 amps for most garages running minimal equipment and lights.
If you are the only one using ANY power equipment at one time you can get by on 30 amps, but you are pushing it.
Also, how far is the garage from the meter base location? You must consider the voltage drop due to distance in relation to your wire size. You never want to fall below 105 volts or you will burn up your equipment. Most problems with "garage" wiring is related to voltage and not amps.
 

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So that you will have 40 amps of service capable of 120 / 240 volts.
As to your original question I don't think that the 30 amps of 120 is near enough! I am a staking engineer and recommend no less than 60 amps for most garages running minimal equipment and lights.
If you are the only one using ANY power equipment at one time you can get by on 30 amps, but you are pushing it.
Also, how far is the garage from the meter base location? You must consider the voltage drop due to distance in relation to your wire size. You never want to fall below 105 volts or you will burn up your equipment. Most problems with "garage" wiring is related to voltage and not amps.
I would agree with this. With mine I had to start from scratch (all it had was a 14ga 120v circuit running out to it). I plan on running a 1/0 underground service and having the garage have it's own panel. In my situation it just works better for me due to the distance my garage is from my house. Your setup ie: house/garage spatial relationship is going to dictate a lot of what you can do or to what extreme you want to go. I know some guys will disagree, but I think a garage that doesn't have 220v to at least one point is a mistake. If you are going to the work, do it so you won't have to upgrade later or if you sell someone won't have to redo your work. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the inputs so far guys, i knew someone would know. the wire is really big i would guess in the 8-6 gauge range. i have personally never used wire this big at work or any other project i have worked on. the run is minimal, i think some where around 30-40 feet. this cable was used to power a camper that there parents were living in so i thought that it would be big enough for my garage. is it ok to run basic things like the freezer, lights, tv and a couple of chargers off of this circuit. the biggest power tool i have, right now, is my dewalt miter saw, everything else is small like a jig saw and a circular saw. what other info do you need to know right now.
 

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If the garage you intend to electrify is one in which you drive your vehicles into, then I would strongly suggest that your outlets, or sources, be GFI (Ground Fault Interrupt). This is a safety precaution in case you should be stepping in something wet from your vehicles, etc, while using your equipment, such as melted snow from your car. This is a code requirement in my area.

Also, if you are going to do the wiring yourself, I would also suggest you review your plans with a licensed electrician both before & after, and before you use the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
understand. i took some electrical classes in college for my power plant major, but i have become a I&C tech and only deal with small wire and low voltages. this is why i am asking, i dont know to much about large circuits like this, so i thought i would ask. you all have had great inputs, and all are dully noted.
 

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hey no problem. this has always been my plan to use this and i wanted to know if it was possible. it sounds like from what i am hearing that i can use it for the basic things light and a few outlets, but not really for any major tool use. good to know stuff. i am gonna ask on of the guys that i work with about it and see what his take on it is since he is a licensed electrician and has done work for me in the past, should have started there huh. thanks for all the ideas and knowledge guys, keep them coming if you think of something else.
 

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30 amp RV power supply wire is 10 gauge. Are you looking to leave this stuff exposed or buried? Keep in mind most RV applications are very temporary, people typically only use them a few weekends a year. That wire is also made with that in mind. It will breakdown in a few years of being buried or exposed. If you're looking to save $$$$, best bet would be to get a 50 amp 220 panel installed in the garage with an outlet or 2 to get you by for now. Then add additional circuits as you find necessary, like overhead lighting, a heater, even a 220v outlet for a welder etc. Don't get me wrong, the RV wire will work but remember it will be short lived.
 

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I was in the same boat as you when I first moved into my houes. I started with running a 12/2 with ground overhead just to get a couple of lights and deep freeze working. the house had an older 100 amp service, which I wanted to upgrade any way, so I put a new 200 amp service in the house and put the 100 amp box out in the garage. I put a 100 amp breaker in the new 200 amp box and ran the appropriate size cables underground out to the garage. This way, I have plenty of separate circuits for deep freeze, frig, lights and wall outlets. It also gave me enough power for my 220v air compressor and welder as well. It is better to oversize and not need it rather than go small and have problems.
TC
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
yeah my plan is to run it through pvc pipe underground to my garage to keep it semi protected. i understand that this is a temporary thing until i can do a serious upgrade to the garage.
 

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yeah my plan is to run it through pvc pipe underground to my garage to keep it semi protected. i understand that this is a temporary thing until i can do a serious upgrade to the garage.
Also,
You might want to plan for some other "stuff" you or your S.O. may want in the future (i.e Hot tub, Pond and waterfall), and do all the "rough in" now.
 

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Electric

it depends on how much stuff you want out there you can have 8 circuits on 1 breaker ( say 4 outlets and 4 lights equal 8 circuits) if you plan on running alot of power tools i would put a 50 amp double pole breaker and run 8 guage wire to your garage and put in a sub panel
4 recepticles and 4 switches does not make 8 circuits.
1 breaker = 1circuit.

Your best option is to install a subpanel in your garage. The size of the circuit feeding the panel depends on your expected loads. If you are just going to be using small hand held tools and lighting you can get away with a 30 amp circuit. If you are going to be running compressors, table saws or other large equipment you should have a 40 or 50 amp feed.

You can get a 4, 6, or 8 space panel. The panel can be rated for any current greater than the rating of the feeder circuit. In order to properly feed the panel you will need to run a 4-conductor cable [2 hots(red and black), 1 neutral(white) and 1 ground(green or bare copper)]

In the main panel: you will connect the hot wires to a 2 pole breaker, the neutral and ground will attach to the grounded bus(just like all the other cicuits in the panel.

In the new subpanel: you will attach the hot wires either to the main breaker (if the panel is equiped with one) or to the main lugs. The neutral wire will attach to the aluminum bus similar to the bus in the main panel. {Important note: DO NOT INSTALL THE GREEN BONDING SCREW THAT GROUNDS THIS BUS TO THE PANEL} The neutral wire is only to be grounded at the primary panel. You will need to install a separate ground bar directly to the panel box and attach the ground wire to it.

When installing new circuits in the subpanel the white wires attach to the neutral bus and the ground wires attach to the ground bar.

If you have any questions, or need anything clarified drop me a PM. If necessary I'll give you my phone # if you need to discuss anything further.

Larry

FYI - I have over 25 years experience as an electrician
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks Larry, i haven't laid down any solid plans yet, but am starting the process so that i am ready when the time comes. i will defiantly pm you if i have any questions. thanks for the advise.
 

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plow, drill trench a 4 ot line from house to garage. have electrician hook up and your golden.....

should be capable of welder, air compressor, lights and so forth,,, if you don't desire all the ammenities, then down size the wire.
 

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4 recepticles and 4 switches does not make 8 circuits.
1 breaker = 1circuit.

Your best option is to install a subpanel in your garage. The size of the circuit feeding the panel depends on your expected loads. If you are just going to be using small hand held tools and lighting you can get away with a 30 amp circuit. If you are going to be running compressors, table saws or other large equipment you should have a 40 or 50 amp feed.

You can get a 4, 6, or 8 space panel. The panel can be rated for any current greater than the rating of the feeder circuit. In order to properly feed the panel you will need to run a 4-conductor cable [2 hots(red and black), 1 neutral(white) and 1 ground(green or bare copper)]

In the main panel: you will connect the hot wires to a 2 pole breaker, the neutral and ground will attach to the grounded bus(just like all the other cicuits in the panel.

In the new subpanel: you will attach the hot wires either to the main breaker (if the panel is equiped with one) or to the main lugs. The neutral wire will attach to the aluminum bus similar to the bus in the main panel. {Important note: DO NOT INSTALL THE GREEN BONDING SCREW THAT GROUNDS THIS BUS TO THE PANEL} The neutral wire is only to be grounded at the primary panel. You will need to install a separate ground bar directly to the panel box and attach the ground wire to it.

When installing new circuits in the subpanel the white wires attach to the neutral bus and the ground wires attach to the ground bar.

If you have any questions, or need anything clarified drop me a PM. If necessary I'll give you my phone # if you need to discuss anything further.

Larry

FYI - I have over 25 years experience as an electrician
Good advice here, but if the sub panel is in a separate building you need to drive a separate ground rod at the separate building. Article 250 NEC. Technically it's what is called a separately derived system and the ground from the existing panel is not necessary, but certainly won't hurt anything. The important thing is the separate ground rod is required at a separate building.

David Reid
Electric Contractor for 20 years, 30 years as an electrician
 
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