I would like to be able to add a fluorescent light fixture (T8's) and outlet to my indoor garage. I plan on running 1/2 inch conduit with 12 gauge romex wires. I have an existing 60 Watt light fixture circuit (tied into a light switch) I want to use the power from. However, I need a little help with the wiring. I went ahead and made up a rough draft drawing of my plan to wire this. EDIT Or... there is an existing outlet I can also use power from as well. If this would be easier? *Edit#2 Disregard my ground wires question. The only question I have is if this wire diagram that I have drawn is up to code and is safe to wire it like this?

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  • Your question isn't clear. Typically, ground wires are included in your cable ("12/2 with ground"), and they all connect at each box. They'd also get connected to your devices. Please edit your question to clarify the point of confusion.
    – isherwood
    Apr 6, 2017 at 17:31
  • Since you are only using 1 switch just use the box for the existing light and run the romex on the rafters without conduit, less wire used and easier.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 6, 2017 at 18:50
  • @Ed Beal: I don't have any exposed rafters it's all drywalled in and painted. Didn't want a huge project out of this so that is why I figure using conduit- less mess- nothing to patch up
    – kozmo
    Apr 6, 2017 at 19:17
  • No access to the attic? Are you going to surface mount the conduit?
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 6, 2017 at 22:37
  • You have grey lines drawn as cables, but there are a couple spots with connections that don't make sense (left hand side, above the outlet; right side next to "incoming power"). All electrical connections must be accessible and in a junction box.
    – gregmac
    Apr 7, 2017 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


Your drawing looks fine, as it is. However, the "up to code" section is tricky and more involved:

Your current existing wiring had to be up to code as it was at the time the house was built, and we assume it was. However, if you alter the circuit (add outlets, lights, etc.), the whole circuit has to be up to code as it is now. So all receptacles have to be GFCI protected, a certain minimum height from the floor, etc., etc.

Without knowing more about your current wiring, and without knowing your local bylaws, it's impossible to tell if this change you're planning will be up to code or not.

There are also other things to consider, like maximum fill for a electrical box (if you're adding more wires to your light switch box, you might be in violation of the electrical code because of that).

  • Where is there a height restriction on the outlets? Or switches for that matter.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 6, 2017 at 22:38
  • Uh, I've seen outlets less than 18" above floor rejected (at the inspector's discretion), specifically in the garage. I can't find the code section to back it up right now, many online discussions on the topic though... I'd put it at that height at least, which is a couple inches higher than common residential placement.
    – haimg
    Apr 6, 2017 at 22:51
  • The whole "If you alter the circuit the whole thing needs to be brought up to code" myth is just that, a myth. New work and replacements are a different thing. Apr 6, 2017 at 23:09
  • @SpeedyPetey: if you "just add a receptacle" and the current code says "GFCI in the garage", I'm 100% sure your receptacle will have to be on a GFCI protected circuit, regardless of what you have right now. Moreover, at least where I live, all other receptacles will have to be on GFCI as well. I've been personally affected by a similar issue because of "AFCI in the bedroom" rule.
    – haimg
    Apr 6, 2017 at 23:17
  • @haimg in my state I can extend walls of a bedroom and still do not need to change the type of protection for the new outlets. It depends where you live the level required. You can remodel a kitchen and still use an old 3 wire 240v outlet for the range. If you feel strongly about something find the code section and reference it.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 7, 2017 at 1:21

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