I have an unfinished garage which I am looking to upgrade the service to.

Currently it is 15amps running through some difficult to access sub-ground conduit, but if I run the band saw plus the vacuum and lights, the breaker trips. I'm not very familiar with Canadian electrical code, but I am guessing that the main wire picture below is probably 14/3, and I can't imagine you would run more than 15 amps on that?

Snaking/Fishing a new wire might prove to be very difficult as there are several 90 degree bends, and the entire line is behind drywall up to the box. Is there any hope here or am I doomed to shell out some serious cash to get the work done?

Here a photo of where the main wire runs in (the largest of the 3)

enter image description here

  • 1
    how far is the garage from the electrical source (house)? It may not be a big deal to run a new conduit with 12/3 or 10/3 AWG. If it is not running under a driveway or paved area, UF just a foot or so down may be OK. Check your local code. I am not up on Canadian codes, but I do know they are somewhat stricter than here in the US Apr 1 '13 at 22:40
  • 1
    Use 10AWG or thicker, and put a subpanel in your garage. From that, you can run whatever you want, on as many circuits as you want, with less voltage drop, faster motor speeds, and less heat/wear on the motors.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Apr 2 '13 at 5:18
  • 3
    If you're going to do it, do it right. Lay some new #8 or #6 cable, and install a 40-50A subpanel. Then you'll have expansion possibilities, and you shouldn't find yourself wanting to run more cable in the future.
    – Tester101
    Apr 2 '13 at 11:08
  • 1
    One other observation: the wire run to that switch appears to be zip cord and probably not even 14awg, which is what you need for 15A. It's not approved for permanent wiring, and I believe what you have there would need to be replaced. In the US, Romex can be run exposed in a garage and would be a suitable replacement. Also, the wires enter the box directly through the knockouts, and there appears to be no clamp or other device to reduce the risk of mechanical wear on the insulation. That's also not allowed.
    – jbeldock
    Apr 9 '13 at 2:50


Run at least 12/3, you get more current (20A per leg) and you get 240V if needed for a welder or compressor down the road

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