06:31AM | 04/06/05
Member Since: 04/03/04
8 lifetime posts
I currently have one unfinished wall in my garage and before I insulate and drywall this section I want to run two new outlets to a new circuit in the basement. I am considering sheathed electrical cable but I am a little worried about running sheathed electrical cable (NM) in the garage even though it will be protected by drywall,

First should I even be concerned about using sheathed electrical cable in the garage?

IF this is a problem then -----

If I did run some type of conduit or piping I would have to run the path through the current studs. I figure that rigid conduit will not be able to bend and fit between the studs. I guess that I am asking if flexible conduit, BX, or PVC (if it bends enough) be a suitable alternative – or should I just stick with the sheathed electrical cable?

IF I do choose sheathed electrical cable (NM) ---

I would feel a little more comfortable if I could run rigid conduit in the basement so my plan would be to have a junction box where I would switch from sheathed electrical cable to a Rigid Conduit, with pulled copper wires, before it drops down into the basement. Again is this suitable alternative?

I am just trying to do this right the first time.

Thanks for your help guys


08:48AM | 04/06/05
Member Since: 09/24/04
128 lifetime posts

Running sheathed electrical cable will be fine for your Garage. Just do what you have planned with the box and you should be fine for the basement penetration. I would add, and you may know this,12 gauge wire for 20 amp or 14 Gauge wire for 15 Amp. Don't know about your area but around here the plug should be GFCI protected. The box must be accessable, with a cover, and sized properly.

U.S.M.C. Semper Fi !!!


11:52AM | 04/06/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
1)if the garage is detached you cannot return the circuit or any metal to the house, also many stringent rules about wiring of detached structures regards to limiting number of recp's etc.

2) Even if attached garage, your act of adding outlets means the grandfather of older code appropriate existing stuff no longer applies.

3) The single duplex recep you had may or may not have been GFCI and might only be 15 amp. and may or may not have been served by a dedicated "garage" circuit. By adding outlets, (recpt's or luminares) you invoke newer code requirements, this means a dedicated 20 amp GFCI protected circuit for your recepticles in the garage (because you have more than one if you're adding 2), your not supposed to combine with a few more "outlets" in your basement when you have more than one recpticle in the garage. You'll need to upgrade all the wiring for this circut to 20 Amp capacity (12 gauge or if distance/resistance requires possibly even 10 gauge), also means recp's, switches and the like will need to be upgraded to true 20 amp not just 15 amp with 20 amp feed-through ratings. By adding outlets to the circuit in the garage means also that the other ones will need to be proper code height above the floor, distance from doors, Water Tight or water-resistant boxes/faces where necessary, as well.

Even if sheathed electrical cable is allowed by your local controlling codes, (here its not), I wouldn't use it in an enclosed wall cavity in a garage -- too likely someone's going to want to mount something on the wall, like a lightweight rake or something, and pierce the sheathed electrical cable and "zap" (not good). Also as you're not IN the garage 24/7, an invasion by a criter, or a sneaky fella investigating when the garage door is open and unattended (like a mouse, squirrel, or racoon, for example) might afford him time and evenutal access in the wall, and those rodents love to gnaw, and find sheathed electrical cable a real treat like chewing gum (and the EM field seems to attact them to it). although the critter might not chew through enough to zap himself, it leaves for a potential failure or problem down the road. I'd go Water tight or resistant boxes/covers, EMT and THHN all the way personally, but that's me.


03:17PM | 04/06/05
Member Since: 04/03/04
8 lifetime posts
Thanks for the great answer.

Thankfully the garage is attached to the house and there is already a dedicated 15 amp circuit run to the garage but that is also combined with the outside lights. I was planning on running a new 20 amp circuit with GFCI solely for these two outlets only since I have about 20 free circuits down in the basement.

I am worried about using sheathed electrical cable for exactly the reasons that you mentioned. However, do you think that I will be able to fit the EMT conduit between the studs? I can't go up with the conduit since there is living space.

I heard that I could possibly use Greenfield conduit? Any other suggestions???

I heard a few weeks ago that sheathed electrical cable was allowed in my county as long as it was above ground.



03:19PM | 04/06/05
Member Since: 04/03/04
8 lifetime posts
How about liquid tight flexible cable??


04:06PM | 04/06/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
well, I can't see your studs so I couldn't say. Don't know about Greenfield, where I'm Greenfield is discouraged, and limited to more than 2 feet but no more than six feet, but I'm in a strange/picky area.

Of course there's always the idea of an ontop of the drywall mount with emt and watertight boxes mounted to studs with water tight face plates and outlet covers.


06:51PM | 04/06/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
Couple of options:

1. Use sheathed electrical cable and protect each stud you penetrate with a nail plate, continue the sheathed electrical cable into the basement to the panel.

2. Use type MC (metal clad) cable the whole way, still use nail plates. Be careful with the metal clad, it's easy to nick the wires if don't use the right tool to cut away the metal.

I like to set garage receptacles 54" off the floor, that way you can lean a 4' wide panel against the wall and still get to the receptacle.


08:53AM | 04/07/05
Member Since: 04/03/04
8 lifetime posts
Thanks for the advice on the height of the outlet - never thought about that
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