I've been in this house, built in 1941, for two years now. I've been working on replacing very old wiring in the basement for some uncomfortable issues I've found. But these issues pale in comparison to what I found in the detached garage/workshop. I plugged my 5 ton electric log splitter into a 20 amp outlet and started it up, when the lights dimmed. Confused, I got my 50ft 20 amp extension cord and ran it to the house, where I had a 20 amp outlet. When I began to investigate why the lights dimmed. I discovered that the wire to that 20 amp outlet was 14/2. In fact all of the wire in the garage was 14/2 not a real big deal until I discovered that there was 14/2 run to another 20 amp outlet. I cut both of those wires immediately then traced the wire back to a square metal junction box. Opening the junction box I found multiple 14/2 wires wired to a 12/3 in a conduit down into the cement floor. With my circuit breaker finder I discovered The breaker was a 20 amp. Scared now, knowing that the 14/2 would burn up before that 20 amp would break. I turned off the breaker and replaced all the incandescent bulbs with LEDs. I started rewiring the outlets with yellow 12/2 but I'd like to keep the 14/2 for the lights. I have a sub-panel box from a previous project. I figured I'd put a 20 amp breaker for the outlets and a 15 amp for the lights. But my line is 12/3 attached (blk/wht) to a 20 amp, and my breaker total is 35.
So I started googling for how to deal with this. I couldn't find any help for my situation but I found a whole lot of questions that were answered by you guys.
So I joined to describe my mess and ask for help.
Can I install a sub-panel with my line being 20 amps? Do I need to install a ground rod because I want to install a sub-panel? If I can supply the sub-panel with 20 amps can I have a 15 and a 20? I'll likely never run more than one power tool at a time and my biggest tool would be the log splitter would 20 amps be enough? If I skipped the sub-panel can I continue the 12/3 line and rewire everything with 12/2? If I skipped the sub-panel would I still need the ground rod(s)