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  1. #1
    Eric Faber's Avatar
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    Default Garage 120/240v outlets

    I live in Virginia and I am trying to find out if I am able to place additional outlets in my garage. I currently only have one outlet and when I try to use my woodworking equipment it will trip that GCIF outlet.
    If I am able to install outlets outside the drywall is it required to be in conduit and is there any certain requirements for being in a garage (ie, height, wet/dusty enviroment)

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Garage 120/240v outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Faber View Post
    I live in Virginia and I am trying to find out if I am able to place additional outlets in my garage. I currently only have one outlet and when I try to use my woodworking equipment it will trip that GCIF outlet.
    If I am able to install outlets outside the drywall is it required to be in conduit and is there any certain requirements for being in a garage (ie, height, wet/dusty enviroment)
    Eric
    I know of no reason that you cannot install more outlets in a garage.
    Since the GFCI is tripping you very likely have a peice of equipment with a ground fault, could also be overload.
    All (some exceptions) outlets in a garage need to be GFCI protected.
    You should contact an electrical contractor in your area and have them do the work. Also depending on your area an electrical permit is likely required.
    It really is not all that much more to do it correctly.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Eric Faber's Avatar
    Eric Faber Guest

    Default Re: Garage 120/240v outlets

    Rick

    Thanks for info, I will be checking to see if a permit is required.
    That outlet that is in the garage is on the same circuit as the master bathroom which is on the other side of the garage wall. So I am also wondering if this GCFI outlet meets the requirement for them to be near the bathroom sinks????

    Eric


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    Default Re: Garage 120/240v outlets

    You do understand the difference between adding outlets and adding an additional circuit, don't you? Adding more outlets to the existing circuit won't help your overload at all.

    When the circuit trips, do you have to reset the breaker, or are you pushing the reset button on the GFCI receptacle in the bath? The GFCI has nothing to do with overloading a circuit. It only protects for ground faults. If you are resetting the GFCI but not the breaker, the problem is likely in your equipment, as in some type of short.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

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    Default Re: Garage 120/240v outlets

    You probably can install more receptacle outlets, and you will (in areas where there are codes) need a permit, and - MOST IMPORTANT - need to install GFCI protection for each of those new receptacle outlets.

    So installing the new receptacle outlets will not affect that issue, and, as Rick said, it is likely your equipment which is the cause of the tripping as your equipment likely has a ground fault in it (also as Rick said).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  6. #6
    Eric Faber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garage 120/240v outlets

    Jim

    Yes I do, I am going to add new circuits to the garage. I have more than enough open spot on my breaker box. I am going to install 120v and 220v circuit.

    The GCFI outlet is what trips and not the breaker. When I turn on my table saw and then shop vac will cause it to trip. When these items are used alone they will not trip the outlet. There has also been times when the outlet trips without anything added to the circuit. This outlet is also part of the circuit that runs into the MBath just on the other side of the garage wall. There are no GCFI outlets in the MBath.

    I have heard before that a GCFI outlet might be going bad if it continues to trip for no apparent reason, or the box or house might not be properly grounded (that is an issue for a electrician to figure out).


  7. #7
    Eric Faber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garage 120/240v outlets

    I really appreciate all the advice you all are giving me.

    v/r

    Eric


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Garage 120/240v outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Faber View Post
    I have heard before that a GCFI outlet might be going bad if it continues to trip for no apparent reason, or the box or house might not be properly grounded (that is an issue for a electrician to figure out).
    If you think it might be the GFCI, then replace the GFCI first.

    But it if trips again - it is your equipment.

    If the GFCI is REAL OLD, like from the 1970s or 1980, even early 1990s, then the GFCI technology (which is really relatively simple technology) was not as improved and reliable as newer GFCI, so try replacing it first - but then realize it is likely your equipment and there is nothing you can do other than replace your equipment.

    Older appliances and equipment were allowed to have some serious leakage at the motors, up to almost 50 ma. That is what tripped the GFCIs and caused people to think it was nuisance tripping, when in reality it was trying to save your life. Newer appliances and motors are allowed to have about 0.5 ma leakage, and that is well within the 5 ma trip of the GFCI.

    How old is your equipment?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Garage 120/240v outlets

    The house or circuit grounding or lack thereof would have no effect on the GFI tripping.

    The house grounding system is for high voltage events like lightning.

    The grounding conductor run with the circuits is for fault or short circuit conditions.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Garage 120/240v outlets

    The Master Bathroom or any circuit supplying convenience receptacles in a bathroom should not be shared with any outlets in the garage, or anywhere for that matter, other than another bathroom (if dedicated to receptacles only - those should be for bathrooms only) if supplying other than receptacles - than confined to individual bathroom alone all outlets, which includes receptacles and other electricity being "worked" such as lights, fans, etc.). If this device has been installed to provide GFCI protection to outlet(s) in the master bathroom it should be a dead-front GFCI and not provide an "outlet" (place to work electricity, in this case a combination GFCI/receptacle) to the garage.

    You indicate you have a dusty condition in your garage workshop, you have also indicated your garage suffers from "wet" conditions. Flyings from such activities that create a classified condition require additional protections.

    The circumstances and occasions of tripping may be indicitive of actual fault conditions, a poor contact, loose neutral, poor case ground, etc. Posts suggestive operation and use of equipment in "wet" and "dusty" "conditions" present in garage.

    Extension of an existing circuit, reworking of same, installation of a new circuit, are all occassions necessating a permit, "permission", from the authority and inspection, as in "may".

    I for one, would not assume that neither your tools/equipment, the conditions of use, nor your system is devoid of circumstances, conditions, nor occasions of fault and/or overload occurances, especially running appliance of unknown hP/rating power tool(s) of unknown rating upon circuit of unknown rating with multiple outlets and unknown equipment(s) device(s) fastened in place/installed.

    Wonder just what in the master bathroom, is supplied by this circuit (for example - what should be an individual gfci protected circuit for a hydromassage tub - and perhaps should have been a dead-front GFCI not a combination GFCI receptacle at the garage location, for example?).

    Expect you may find your "DIY" topic question having been moved to the "Questions from Home Buyers, Home Owners and DIYers" area in the near future.

    Suggest you engage the services of a licensed electrical contractor to inspect, evaluate, trace, test, design remediations, corrections, and expansions as necessary and/or desired; and perform same under permissive authority (a permit from the authority having jurisdiction), since you, yourself question your own abilities ("can I")/qualifications.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-24-2011 at 09:42 AM.

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