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How To Add An Extra Plug-In Outlet To Your Garage

If you're tired of pulling an extension cord across the garage every time you want to use a trouble light or use a skill saw, install a new wall outlet, or duplex receptacle.

In our garage, we tapped into a ceiling outlet to provide power to the new wall outlet. We ran 1/2-in conduit(metal tubing), across the ceiling and down the wall. (Conduit is sold in different lengths for a reasonable price and is sold by the linear foot; it's also called EMT(electrical metallic tubing.) To bend conduit,you use a simple hand tool called a conduit bender. We took the easy way out and bought preformed 90-degree conduit elbows.

Once the conduit is installed in your garage, push three 12-ga., single-strand copper wires or use a tool called a wire fish through the tubing. There should be one white wire, one black wire and one green grounding wire. At the end of the conduit, install a 4-in.-sq. metal box and two duplex outlets (two plug outlet with three prongs).One of the outlets is a GFCI, or ground-fault circuit interrupter outlet which is good to have if working around water and electricity the other is a standard grounded outlet. Note that one white wire goes from the top, left-side terminal screw on the standard outlet to the top, left-side "load" terminal on the GFCI. The black wire takes a similar route from the top, right-side terminal screw on the standard outlet to the top, right-side "load" terminal on the GFCI. The long, continuous ground wire runs from the metal box to the GFCI and then to the outlet.

According to the National Electrical Code, all garage-wall outlets must be GFCI outlets or standard outlets protected by GFCI circuit breakers. As mentioned above, this is important so that you do not get electrocuted while working in a high moisture area