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Old 04-30-2015, 12:26 PM   #1
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Garage wiring for my 30A plug

I'm looking to have electricity ran to my detached garage, for some 120v (no 220 needed) outlets, lighting and a plugin for my 30A TT. I'd like some opinions on what kind of service to install. Is a 100A service enough? I'm not an electrician (by ANY means) but any details you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help. I can always count on you all...
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:36 PM   #2
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First question, how are you going to feed electrical to the detached garage? Is it going to come from your house panel itself, or are you running a separate service to it from the pole, etc.?
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:39 PM   #3
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I assumed it would be fed from the existing house panel. Pros/Cons?
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
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I assumed it would be fed from the existing house panel. Pros/Cons?
What is your house panel currently (100 amp, 200 amp)? I assume you are going to install a circuit breaker in your house panel and run the wire from it over to your detached garage.

It works similar to an RV. You only have so many amps . If you have a 100 amp service to your house and run a 100 amp service off of it to your detached garage....you are in essence just sharing the same 100 amp service, but now between two buildings. If you used say 50 amps worth of stuff in your detached garage...then since it's being fed by your house, then you are now limited to 50 amps in your house.

It may not ever be a big deal, but I have no idea what you use in your house, amount of air conditioners, if you have electric stoves, electric heat, etc.

What I ran into was, I actually have three buildings (a house, shop, and two story detached garage). I ran a 200 amp service to the shop, as it was built first with the house planned for future. I then built the house and ran a 100 amp service from the shop to it....leaving 100 amps for the shop and it's air conditioner, electric welders, etc.

Years later, I built a detached garage with air conditioned apartment on the top. Now I had to either feed from the houses 100 amp service or the shops 100 amp service. I chose the shops, but had the electric company come out and do an assessment. They figured out everything, and said it should be good to go, unless I was welding and both air conditioner compressors kicked on at the same time.

Just food for thought, and you may not ever have the electrical requirements I have. Also, all of mine was run underground as I wanted no overhead lines for tree limbs to fall on.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:14 PM   #5
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I'm honestly not sure. I rent this house. It's all electric/no gas. So electric heat/AC, stove and dryer. Might put a portable AC in the garage. No welders. No huge compressor. Hand power tools. Small tabletop power tools.

Should I look at pulling in another circuit from the pole? Is that expensive?
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by LANShark42 View Post
I'm honestly not sure. I rent this house. It's all electric/no gas. So electric heat/AC, stove and dryer. Might put a portable AC in the garage. No welders. No huge compressor. Hand power tools. Small tabletop power tools.

Should I look at pulling in another circuit from the pole? Is that expensive?
Do you know what amp main breaker you have now in the house. You can just open up your circuit breaker box, and you will see the main double pole breaker at top. It is probably 100 amp, but you can check. It might be up to 200.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by LANShark42 View Post
I'm honestly not sure. I rent this house. It's all electric/no gas. So electric heat/AC, stove and dryer. Might put a portable AC in the garage. No welders. No huge compressor. Hand power tools. Small tabletop power tools.

Should I look at pulling in another circuit from the pole? Is that expensive?
Yes it is here in Virginia about 600.00 bucks for them to add a drop. Sometimes it's cheaper to increase the main panel to 200 amps. Then run what you need at the garage or what ever. Most of the time the power line running to your house already is sized for 200 amp. You then just change the panel and increase the size of the Conduit running to the electrical company tie in outside at the hood. Most utility companies will make the switch out side or tie in free. Even some electricians will do it if permitted. I would call a subcontractor and ask them the best and cheapest way. Every State is different, but they should know the code....Hope that helps you... PS: if you have a 200 amp panel already and have breaker space then you probably could run a 50 amp service to the new panel in the garage. Just make sure that if everything is running your not exceeding 200 amps. A energy audit would show you that. If you only have a 100 amp service now it would have to be increased to 200 amps. Your all electric. It sounds like you are probably max out already if you have a 100 amp panel and breaker. All codes are designed to run everything at once, they do not care if you don't want to run the A/C if it is ran to a breaker it counts on or off. That is why you need an electrical audit.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LANShark42 View Post
I'm honestly not sure. I rent this house. It's all electric/no gas. So electric heat/AC, stove and dryer. Might put a portable AC in the garage. No welders. No huge compressor. Hand power tools. Small tabletop power tools.

Should I look at pulling in another circuit from the pole? Is that expensive?

Wait, you rent the house? In that case I'd advise letting the landlord make the choice then. Even if you already have an agreement with the landlord that you'll make this improvement to his property out of pocket, it is still ultimately his property that's receiving this change.








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Old 04-30-2015, 01:44 PM   #9
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I was in your situation a few years ago and if your TT is only 30 amps I would just have the 30 amp outlet installed and tied into your current breaker box. Unless you intend to run the A/C on the TT all the time or run a lot of electrical stuff in the house you shouldn't have a problem. I had a lot more running in the rental I had than you described above and I never had a problem tripping breakers. The other side of the coin is do you really want to put a lot of money into a 200 amp box or running a separate line when you don't own the house? I would juggle my electrical load before I would pay the cost for all that. Good luck.
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:47 PM   #10
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I was in your situation a few years ago and if your TT is only 30 amps I would just have the 30 amp outlet installed and tied into your current breaker box. Unless you intend to run the A/C on the TT all the time or run a lot of electrical stuff in the house you shouldn't have a problem. I had a lot more running in the rental I had than you described above and I never had a problem tripping breakers. The other side of the coin is do you really want to put a lot of money into a 200 amp box or running a separate line when you don't own the house? I would juggle my electrical load before I would pay the cost for all that. Good luck.
If I owned the property, and my tenant wanted to do that for his own use and no other reason, as a landowner I would require a permit so someone wouldn't burn my house down by over loading a electrical panel. To get a permit that would be a requirement by even the National Electrical code which is pretty standard. I wouldn't let any tenant touch anything with out pulling a permit. But I don't know there agreement or where they live either. When you play with electrical your playing with fire. You want a permit for insurance purpose alone, god forbid there was a fire. The insurance Com. wouldn't cover it without a permit. Atleast no ins. co. that I have ever used. As a contractor putting in A/C and heating we were always required to pull a permit. Even if it was just a change out. Then everyone is protected from any litigations. I own my house and added a 30 amp disconnect for my RV. I pulled a permit because it was required and if I sell my house it's best to have it my records that it passed inspection and up to code when done.
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:16 PM   #11
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Looks like a 200A service. There are 4 breakers tied together at the top. The bar tying the breakers together has "200" imprinted on it.There are actually 2 boxes side by side. There are blank slots in one of them...
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:23 PM   #12
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VERY IMPORTANT

The camper is NOT 220. DO NOT let your electrician wire your 30 amp socket for 220. Must be 50 examples here of cooked campers due to "competent electricians or friends" wiring the socket wrong. THOUSANDS of dollars in damages.

Make sure your electrician READS and understands the attached article on how to do it.
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:42 PM   #13
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Just remember that if you tie onto the existing 200 amp service that whatever load you have in your detached garage/ RV will mean that much less for the house.
I am assuming that you have no electric in the garage now?


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Old 05-01-2015, 01:58 PM   #14
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A tenant doesn't have the right to make wiring changes of that magnitude. You need to get the landlord to go down to the planning dept and make an application for an electrical permit to change the existing meter and service. If you have 200 amps in an all electric home you don't have enough amperage to run a sub panel. It will require either a 400 amp meter pan and another 200 amp box with a disconnect between the meter and service panel, or another meter pan and breaker service panel, say 125 amps, both mounted on the garage wall. Then you can run the wires from the lugs of the meter to the two busses in the service panel. You'll probably have to run 1/0 hot wires and #2 ga neutral. Those wires will run from the meter through the conduit and hang about three feet out of the weather head, and that is what the electric company will splice to AFTER the planning dept approves it, and places tape around the conduit with their initials on it. The conduit will probably be ten feet in the air above the meter, wires inside, and may have to go through the edge of the garage roof. My planning dept required a water proof box with a GFCI outlet within 5' of the meter to test. Only then can you start putting breakers in and running wire to lights and outlets. BTW, you want a single pole 30 amp breaker for your TT. One hot will go to the breaker and the other to the neutral bus, and of course a ground. Every state and county have different codes and requirements. I've installed over 20 and rarely found two exactly alike. You can go online for your state and county and find the planning dept. Then look up electrical installations. You want "change or addition to an existing service". They will have diagrams you can print out and an equipment list so you can cost it all out. Personally if I were you, I'd want the 125 amp new service. Then you'd have room for A/C and extra circuits. Good luck to you!
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:11 PM   #15
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Unless I missed it, you did not say what you want to run in the TT. If you are not living it it and just keeping the battery charged, running a few lights you should be fine. Having a 30A service simply means the max load should be 30A. You can draw 3-4 amps and be fine. If you want to run the AC and microwave, you should be running a separate line depending on what the house requirement is. If you have an AC in the house, one in the garage and one in the TT along with a water heater and dryer, you are eating up a lot of your 200 A.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:32 PM   #16
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If you're not running AC in the trailer you could use a 20a to 30a dog bone and save yourself some loot.


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Old 05-01-2015, 09:50 PM   #17
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imo Your landlord must give his approval before you even think about doing anything.
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