I am planning out some renovations to my Garage and I need some advice with what looks like really messy wiring!

I have one outlet on the left side of my garage. I want to add at least two more towards the front on this side plus maybe an additional 2-3 on the other side.

The single outlet has a wire conduit coming in from the roof to the outlet:

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There is a 12 gauge white wire coming out the right side:

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This then goes to the thermostat:

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I am trying to understand the setup here! There doesn't seem to be a breaker for this circuit. There is however a breaker for the lights in the garage, that is it.

What would be the correct way to wire in the new outlets as I assume this current setup is not ideal?

Some questions:

  1. Should I add them to the existing light circuit?
  2. Add a new circuit and put them on that? I think I have 1 empty spot in the breaker.
  • Based on the pictures, I would "guess" that the whole circuit is powered by the breaker that controls the furnace. Then "Handy Homeowner" took it upon himself/herself to extend (unsafely because it's loose cabling and not protected, and no strain relief that I can see on either end of the loose cable) to the outlet box, then "Handy Homeowner 2" later extended the circuit in PVC conduit up and into your ceiling to feed some new power need above your garage. At a minimum, I believe most code requires GFCI for garage outlets, so at a minimum, they'll need GFCI protection of some sort.
    – Milwrdfan
    Mar 1, 2023 at 4:45
  • I'd say a new circuit as opposed to adding to the lighting circuit. Something plugged into the outlet that trips the breaker will leave you in the dark. For the garage I'd go 20 amps. I'd wait for one of the experts to give a better answer. Mar 1, 2023 at 4:59
  • Drywall job is nearly as ugly as the wiring...
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 1, 2023 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


Adding new circuits or expanding an existing circuit in a garage will probably require the addition of of GFCI protection(breaker or outlet).

Electric cable/wires require protection below 8 feet(inside of walls or conduit).

Expanding circuit or adding a new circuit will depend on what the new outlets are for, just to plug in lights or for electric heaters(high power use, new circuit).

First picture good, second and third bad(loose cable, heater).

With having a heater on that circuit, best to add a new breaker circuit, that outlet should probably not be on that circuit in the first place

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