I would like to add an outlet to my back yard. In my basement there is a 20 amp circuit that runs from the breaker panel to my garage. Can I tap into the circuit in the middle of the run essentially forming a Y. The bottom part of the Y being at the breaker panel and one branch of the Y runs to the garage and the other branch runs to the backyard. I want to put a GFCI on the outside outlet and there is already one in the garage.

1 Answer 1


The main problem with this approach is that if you simply cut the cable in half, there won't be enough slack in the wires to get sufficient length-in-the-box (6" per NEC) for wiring the intermediate splice. Oops! I would extend from the garage outlet instead -- you can simply tap off its LOAD terminals and have GFCI protection for the outdoor outlet without putting another GFCI in.

  • Thank you for the response. The problem with that it the garage has been dry walled and would be tough to get at. Could I add two junction boxes in the basement to increase the length of available wire to work with and still be in compliance with the NEC?
    – J. Doe
    Nov 12, 2016 at 17:23
  • 1
    @J.Doe -- for a garage space -- using UF to run out the back of the box, so to speak, and then into conduit on the outside of the house to the outlet's an option... Nov 12, 2016 at 21:12
  • Using LBs, you could even pop out and go down into the ground and back up at your exterior outlet location if you want to minimize the exterior conduit running around. I'm pretty sure you only need to go down 12" on a GFCI protected circuit and if you run against the foundation you shouldn't hit it ever.
    – Damon
    Nov 13, 2016 at 9:18
  • I have decided to add a breaker to my panel and have the outside circuit all on its own. I know a bit of over-kill but it was the easiest thing to do in my situation. Thanks everyone for the great suggestions.
    – J. Doe
    Nov 13, 2016 at 15:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.