I’ve built a small workshop and I’m beginning to workout where I want the receptacles and where I want switches and lighting. Is there anything wrong with pulling wire up close to the ceiling instead of down low? And also bring 90% of the wiring distribution in through the top of the panel?

The building is stand-alone 14x34‘ and I have multiple doors and windows to pull wires over. Almost all of my receptacles will be at 53” from the floor. It just doesn’t make sense to me during the rough in drilling holes to run wire over a doorway then down and back up over the next doorway.

  • My 14 cents - workshop - consider conduit, specifically EMT. Consider surface-mounting it, as well. May not be what you choose, but at least think about it rather than blindly running NM/B
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 22, 2021 at 1:00
  • I have a rough idea for my machine layout and I plan to use 2 gang double outlets. So these outlets / receptacles will go just behind and to the right of each machine location. What could be the benefits of emt for me?
    – D A
    Mar 22, 2021 at 1:45
  • Far more adaptable to changes. Just pull more/different wire.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 22, 2021 at 1:51
  • For a workshop don't be afraid to oversize your wire a bit too. If you're running 15A circuits, using 12 AWG instead of 14 AWG won't usually cost a fortune. On the topic of conduit you can run normal in wall circuits for stuff you're sure you want and still embed a set of empty conduits from near your panel to a few places around the shop. If you want to add a high power load like a compressor, CNC or lathe, just finish the conduit and pull wire. Having some stuff embedded gives you room to run your surface mount in a nicer way.
    – K H
    Mar 22, 2021 at 11:45
  • I do plan to run 12awg for all receptacles, thanks for that tip. I do have a place set aside for 220v equip. Although it is a workshop I really don’t like the look of emt mounted on the walls. But there’s already exposed dust collection plumbing planned for running along one wall so I guess it’s no biggie if the emt is below it.
    – D A
    Mar 23, 2021 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


The way you are prescribing to run the wire will not be an issue at all, especially if the receptacles are higher than 48", it may even save you some wire??

You may already know this, do make sure you do not pull the wiring tight. When running through studs, turning into a stud bay, let the change in direction allow the wiring to "sweep" into the new direction.

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