I'm installing an opener for my garage door, and need to run some new wiring in order to get power to the unit. The unit can be hardwired or plugged into an outlet. I'm leaning toward the outlet option for now since it seems more versatile. Is this simply a matter of personal preference, or are there compelling reasons for choosing one option over the other?
Personally, I'd prefer my garage door opener to be outlet powered so that I can unplug the thing when I need to do something with it, instead of going to find a breaker. Other than ease of disabling, I don't think there is any compelling operational reason to do one or the other.
Of course, if your next opener can't be hardwired, that might be a reason to not hardwire this one (the outlet will already be in the right spot next time).
In some countries (Sweden for one) it's illegal to hardwire electrics unless you're an authorized electrician.
So, outlets are simpler & safer to work with.
Hardwiring looks better, OTOH, and can't be tampered with as easily. :)
Check your local code--it may be illegal to have a permanently-installed device plugged into an outlet.
I don't understand the reasoning behind this but it's true of, e.g., installed lighting in some municipalities.
All garage receptacles are now required to be GFCI protected (NEC 2005 was the last year where there was an exception for outlets not readily accessible). If for any reason the GFCI is kicked then you may not be able to access your garage.