I want to install an outlet in between two garage doors. I am wondering if there is something in NEC which either explicitly prohibits, or forces to treat, an outlet in this location as an external location.

Reasoning - during heavy rain and windy conditions if doors are opened then some water might get inside.

Right now I'm planning to use Legrand Wiremold 700 series.

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    I personally don't care for durability of Wiremold, particularly in locations like garages, so I would use either EMT or PVC and wouldn't need to argue if it met the qualification of "normally dry" in the Art.100 definition of Location, Dry or "moderate degree of moisture" in Location, Damp. – NoSparksPlease Feb 28 at 21:09
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    There's absolutely no reason other than cost, to stop you installing an outdoor-rated socket inside. – Criggie Mar 1 at 21:47
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    If there’s plywood under that gypsum board don’t cut it to Install the outlet. It’s a shear wall. Just use surface mount outlet. – Lee Sam Mar 2 at 8:43
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    @LeeSam a little notch in a shear wall isn't an issue. But given the double door headers are resting on that wall, there's a good chance that space is packed with studs, so fitting a box into it may not be possible. Surface mount solves the issue either way. – brichins Mar 3 at 0:51
  • Interesting point about a shear wall. Yes, going with surface mount makes sense. One question regarding a shear wall - I'm planning to wire external flood light with this circuit, so, will need to drill a hole 3/8" through it (on top of right garage door). Does a shear wall extend to a part on top of a garage door? – ZakiMa Mar 3 at 1:22

No nothing special that is a normally dry location as identified by code. All garage receptacles do require GFCI protection so either a GFCI breaker or GFCI receptacle is required.

I would consider a WR (weather resistant) rated receptacle as they last longer in garage locations.


What Ed says.

You are not grandfathered on GFCI protection since this is a circuit extension. You need it.

NEC does not require a GFCI receptacle. The difference between "protection" and "receptacle" is very important here. A GFCI device can protect any circuit extension beyond that point.

E.g. a GFCI breaker protects the whole circuit. A GFCI receptacle protects its own sockets obviously... but it also can protect everything on the circuit past that point. That is the only thing the "Load" terminals should ever be used for. Novices often use the "Load" not knowing why or knowing any better; silly problems then follow.

So in your case, use "Load" quite intentionally, at the outlet you are extending off of. Put the GFCI there, then wire this new receptacle off the "Load" terminals of that GFCI. Now it is a plain recep (use WR as Ed suggests) protected by that other GFCI.

If you're going "wow, I could protect all the garage receps by putting the GFCI at the first location"... then you've got it!

The last snag is the "GFCI Protected" sticker. That's mandatory, but the provided stickers are paper and will get wrecked. I recommend using a white cover plate, and a Brother or P-touch label maker to make the "GFCI Protected" label. I recommend the label also says where the reset is found.

GFCI Protected
Reset near entry door


Oh, one other thing. In surface conduit, no need to wrestle Romex cable. You can use THHN individual wires - black white green are the mandatory colors. Typically sold for about 20 cents a foot. Use solid not stranded. Stranded is a pleasure to work with, but is impossible for novices to attach to side screws on sockets. However, your GFCI will have "screw-to-clamp" back wiring, and if your plain socket does also, then stranded is OK. Better ($3 range) sockets usually have that feature.

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    I beat you by 2 minutes, but your answer is more complete. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Feb 28 at 20:03
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    This makes sense, thank you for very complete answer! In my case I'm extending it from a ceiling receptacle outlet. This circuit doesn't have GFCI protection (neither garage receptacle/circuit had, this requirement was introduced after my house was built). My initial idea was to install a GFCI at the location I'm extending from and power everything else off the "Load" terminals. But as later found it is against code since GFCI reset button must be accessible. Alternative is to install a GFCI breaker but I'm not yet comfortable with this task. – ZakiMa Feb 28 at 20:10
  • Thank you for the point about "GFCI Protected" stickers being mandatory. Didn't know that. Good idea to point where the reset is located. – ZakiMa Feb 28 at 20:11
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    What is the difficulty that novices have in using stranded wire on side screw connections of receptacles? (Personally, the screw-to-clamp back wiring is all I would use, given the choice.) Would crimp u-fittings on copper stranded #12 be preferable to stranded #12 under the screw? – Jim Stewart Mar 1 at 20:25
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    @JimStewart When you tighten the screw, they instantly turn into a "bad hair day". Strands go everywhere and many do not connect properly, which is required to carry the ampacity. Novices would tend to try several times and leave it "the best they can get it". I would prefer to stick to wiring methods an inspector would recognize as normal. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 2 at 2:14

Nothing prohibits it. I have outlets between my garage doors. My house was built (and inspected) in 2013.


If there is a chance of water, then I would use a PVC conduit with sweeps attached to a PVC surface mount box. I do not think the metal Legrand wiremold will hold up well with moisture. Metal and moisture and electricity are not a good combo.

Codes here require all garage outlets to be GFCI protected and if there a chance of any moisture in that area I would suggest using a "waterproof in-use" outlet cover.

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    Yeah, I'd transition to PVC either right before or right after the 90deg bend down – ThreePhaseEel Feb 28 at 19:59
  • In my case I don't think there is a realistic chance of getting water inside. Garage is under partial cover. The wall is dry in that location (I also tested it for moisture and everything seems good). I was more concerned about whether reasoning above resulted in NEC restrictions. Thank you for a suggestion to switch to a PVC! – ZakiMa Feb 28 at 20:17

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