I'm thinking about building a workbench on one side of my garage, but I need more outlets for all of my tools. I'm not planning on running everything at once, I just don't want to keep unplugging everything when I need to plug something else in. The most I might run at the same time might be a small shopvac and an orbital sander.

Some solutions I've considered are:

  • Mounting a separate double gang box on the side of the bench and plugging it into the wall outlet. Is this against electrical code? The cord running to the workbench box wouldn't be enclosed, so it's not considered a permanent fixture, right?
  • Replace the single gang outlet with a double gang? Do I need to worry about the extra electrical load? (I noticed this question after I originally posted. I hope they're not too similar.)
  • Just using a power strip. Do they make mountable power strips? It would be nice not to have to crawl under the bench to unplug tools.
  • 3
    If you (or anyone reading this) is going to run an outlet like that, I don't think that regular NM (romex) wire is suitable or allowed, you need to use SJO, which is the same stuff used for extension cords and power bars.
    – gregmac
    Feb 9, 2011 at 19:57
  • @gregmac: That's what I was planning on doing. I'm leaning towards Tester101's suggestion now though.
    – Doresoom
    Feb 9, 2011 at 20:38

2 Answers 2


I like power strips similar to this for work areas. They are nice because they have an on/off switch, which if mounted in an easy to reach location could save life and limb. enter image description here

Using a power strip like this should not be a problem, as long as you don't run too many tools at once. And it should conform to most codes, as it would be classified as an extension cord (I think).

  • This looks like a good option. Much easier than retrofitting the wall outlet.
    – Doresoom
    Feb 9, 2011 at 17:56

The short answer is "yes"; you are limited by amperage on the circuit, not by the number of outlets that may happen to be on that circuit.

A long power strip like the one listed above is a great solution.

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