Looking for help in trying to get more electrical outlets installed in my woefully under-receptacled garage. I have one GFCI 20A outlet at the door going into the garage, one single ceiling outlet for the garage door opener, and one single outlet on the opposite wall that is powering my sprinkler system. I don't like the Clark Griswold approach I've got now at my workbench-an extension cord from the GFCI that connects to a power strip to handle all of my tool needs. I would rather wire outlets properly. My question is how many standard outlets can be strung in series from the GFCI? The outlet hasn't tripped with as many as 8 items running simultaneously (mostly LED bench lights mind you), so I was thinking of installing two 4-outlet boxes or perhaps a switch at my bench to power these outlets. Would these be simply run in a chain from the GFCI to each outlet (or switch)? Are the number of outlets added simply dependent on the load? Any advice would be appreciated.

I would rather do something even more efficient like adding a new circuit or two to the panel, but that may be outside of my skill set. Any tips you can provide will be appreciated.


1 Answer 1


Step one - determine (or tell us) if these are all one circuit (and are there garage lights other than the opener and your bench lights, and are those on the same circuit as any/all the outlets, or not?)

Step two - there are rules of thumb, though they can be adapted to actual use-cases, such as your low-draw LED lights. Following them won't keep things happy if too many heavy-duty things are all running at once. Exceeding them won't make the circuit blow if 27 outlets each have a 10 watt LED light plugged in. 8 (duplex) receptacles on a 15 amp and 10 on a 20 amp circuit is one such RoT - I've also seen 7 suggested. As such your plan to add 4 duplex would fit within nearly every RoT on a 20 amp circuit with 3 outlets now. Also, you are running the same stuff now on the same circuit without trouble, which is a good sign, until you add more stuff running at the same time, or open the garage door while running a power saw and sprinkling the lawn.

If you have a panel/sub-panel in the garage, running a new circuit is probably worthwhile - if it needs to come from the house main panel, that may be more work and expense than you want to go to for a setup that works now from extension cords.

The wires for your outlets would run from the LOAD side of the GFCI (there may already be wires connected there if it's all one circuit in the garage) and then run to the first outlet, from the first to the second, etc.

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