Electrical options of r setting up a new shop


New User
Saturday we will finish up adding a 100A panel to my detached garage. The new panel was only 35’ of cable from my main, and the garage is tied to the house by decking so the run was relatively easy.
A friend who does electrical for a local hospital guided me with planning, providing a shopping list, etc. She told my wife I’m a good helper, I catch on quickly, and “usually does not have to tell me something more than twice”
We ran exposed EMT conduit and it looks mighty nice. My first thought was to go with PVC, but EMT was so easy to cut and layout. Plus it is easy access for changes in the future.
My “shop” is my side of a two car garage. We ran two 3/4” EMT lines from the new sub.
One line has six 110-20A quads and the other is six 220-A singles. Each box on a separate circuit about 4’ apart. We also added a 220 30A line for a future mini-spilt or wall mounted heater.
I already plan to make the a couple of the 220s double circular outlets for things like the lathe and bandsaw that are close, but will never be used at the same time. Duplex round covers are hard to find, but lighting supply online had them cheap.
I know just a wee bit about electrical, some things I’ve learned is the amperage of the panel does not limit circuits, the size of the panel does. Go big with lots of spaces.
Planning is key, we changed the conduit routing several times. Each time getting more simple and elegant.
Pulling 1” 2-2-2-4 cable is really hard. It took all the two of us could do to get it routed.
Planning out the wiring for each run of conduit, cutting to length and pulling was something I realized I would have been entirely clueless about. It was tight making turns. Having an expert guide me was invaluable,


Corporate Member
Our electric company would not install a second meter on a residential property. Most residential properties have more than 200 amps coming into the meter so we just tapped of the top of the existing 200 amp box and ran 100 amps under ground service to a subpanel in my detached garage.


Corporate Member
Jerome: As for the electrical, running EMT is a good option if the garage will not have finished walls, and there are a multitude of good videos on the web about how to bend it, calculating the length to cut each piece when it involves bends, fill charts for number of wires and number of each gauge allowed, etc. If you decide to do this yourself, you may want to start a new thread on it. I can give a few observations on making it easier having used it to wire my shop. The most important thing is to get a permit, and if at all possible, talk to the code enforcement inspector. In my case, one of the pet items of the inspector was to make sure that every terminal box and pull box was grounded to the grounding system. Knowing this up front saved me a lot of rework. Also , with just that one extra wire, I was glad I opted for deep boxes instead of the standard.

As for materials, especially the wiring itself, you may do better going to a local electrical supply house. Lowes sells the wire (i.e 12 gauge etc) cut to length, with the shorter the length costing more per foot. At the local supply house, they priced the wire per foot based on their 1000+ foot rolls, so it was considerably cheaper. With EMT, as with pvc, the major cost factor is in the fittings, connectors, etc, not the conduit itself. May want to do some price comparisons there, also. One thing to remember is that if running the wire in conduit, you do not use romex.

When it comes to stranded wire vs solid, stranded is easier to pull, but solid is easier to push as well as easier to connect to the receptacles. With my 16 x 24 shop, I was able to push the wire bundles on almost every run. If working by yourself, it makes it easier. If not into the bending thing, flex metal conduit isn't that much more expensive, but does not lend itself to the "push" technique as well.

As with most things, if you are not comfortable doing it yourself, call a professional.


Senior User



Corporate Member
Don't forget "Before you Dig", call 811. Of course, they will not mark areas unrelated to their service. In 2005 I rented a trencher and dug 80' ditch 18" deep. For some illogical reason the previous home owner buried 12 AVG in a circuitous route to an 8x12 shed. Of course I ripped right through it :)


Senior User
I am a similar situation. I have a new place with a new dedicated detached garage shop. It already has power, but no 220v. The panel doesn't seem to have any available spots to add any either. I know I can just have a new panel put in and run the outlets, but reading these comments it seems I need to be concerned with how the power is getting to the shop? It does not have a separate meter, so I assume then it is a sub-panel from the house.

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