1. Rewire the garage and replace the breaker with one suitable for the
ampacity of the wire you used.
2. Replace the breaker with one with a higher amp rating and see if you
can burn the garage down.
My toolshed is near my garage by about 8 feet. I originally just ran a
piece of 12/2 w gnd UF cable, overhead from the garage to the shed
attached to a 20A breaker in the garage. Only intended for a few lights
and an occasional power tool. But that shed got cold in the winter and
hot in the summer, so I wanted to install a small window AC, or plug in
an electric space heater in winter. I just ran a second run of UF cable.
bundled them together with zip ties, and had a separate circuit for
either the AC or the Heater. (I wont be using both at the same time for
obvious reasons). That's all I needed.
By code I'm supposed to have a separate disconect in the shed, but here
on the farm in a rural area they are not real picky, and the Power
Company has seen what I did and did not complain about it.
So, if all you need is an extra circuit for some power tools, just run
another 20A circuit. If you need more, then you may be in for a bigger
and costlier job.
If you're going to dig a trench for the UF cable, spend a few dollars more
and install conduit. Bigger will cost more, but it gives you more options
in the future.
Then, if you decide you need more than your original 12/2 cable, you can
either pull it out and replace it with a larger cable, or you can pull
another cable to suppliment the first one.
It's a small extra cost now, but it sure beats having to dig up the yard
again if your needs change in the future.
On Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 7:41:00 PM UTC-5, HerHusband wrote:
I believe it was you that gave me advice to pull more wire from the main panel instead of putting in a sub panel. Which I did and thanks again. Left the lighting on the original circuit and added 3 20 Amp circuits.
Codes? We don't need no stinkin' codes! :)
I'm curious though what the codes say about running multiple cables from
the main panel instead of installing a subpanel?
I could understand if the garage was detached, but for an attached garage
why would that be any different than running cables to other parts of the
Inquiring minds want to know...
On Mon, 10 Oct 2016 14:40:03 -0000 (UTC), HerHusband
If it's the same building, or an attached part of the same building you
can run as many cables as your panel can handle.
It's just that in the case of my toolshed, it's a separate building.
It's only 8 ft from the garage, but by code I should have a separate
sub-panel. That shed is mostly where I keep most of my tools, and a
place to work on small projects. Big projects like auto repair I do in
the garage, but the garage should be larger. Rather than add on to the
garage, I boight this shed for a real good price, and it's nice because
in cold weather I can easily heat it, whereas heating a whole garage
just to work on my snowblower, is not practical. When I got that shed, I
intentionally spaced it 8ft from the garage in case of fire, and because
of a concrete retaining wall, due to a small hill, I had little choice
but to locate it where I did.
Anyhow, walking from the shed to the garage is about the same distance
as walking to a basement in most homes (to flip a breaker). What I have
is totally safe, but not exactly code, because the code wants a separate
disconnect in a separate building. Yea, I could have put a small breaker
box on those same wires, in the shed, but it seems senseless.
In the past this was not required, and I worked in many detached
garages, where the only disconnect was in the house. My parents home had
a detached garage built in the 1960's, and a professional electrician
wired it. He ran conduit underground from the house and had three
circuits going to the garage. Back then, that was legal, and that was in
a large city where codes are often tougher than in rural areas.
If all you are running in your shed is a small portable heater and a couple
lights, you could probably get by with one 20A circuit. I believe that
would meet code.
However, if you install conduit from the garage to the shed, you can pull
out your current cable and install a larger cable for a subpanel if your
needs change in the future. It's sure a lot easier than having to dig a new
On Mon, 10 Oct 2016 22:28:16 -0000 (UTC), HerHusband
I have these wires running overhead across that 8' span. I used UF
cable. To go underground meant I'd have to tunnel under a poured
concrete retaining wall.
I do need 2 circuits though. One for either electric heater or AC in
summer. The other one for lights and an occaisonal power saw or other
power tool. But I dont need anything more than that.
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