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  • Surface mount wiring

    I'm planning to put a sub panel in my garage for my shop, however the garage is already insulated and finished with painted sheetrock walls, don't feel like fishing wire through insulated walls and having to patch things up! What surface mount options do I have for all my receptacles/lighting/heat throughout the garage? I was looking at some wiremold at the local supplier, and despite using individual conductor wiring inside, it's still a bit spendy! Any alternatives I should consider that don't cost as much?
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  • #2

    Re: Surface mount wiring

    Any wires located above 5' can be surface mounted without any special consideration. Any wires below that must be protected. You have some options for protection methods. Using BX or conduit is one way to go or you can simply cover the wires with a piece of wood that has a groove in the back. I'll be surface wiring all the electrical in my shop and I plan on using a mixture of those methods. Short runs will be BX and longer runs will be protected with wood. Wiring for the lighting will be on the ceiling and will not be protected.
    HTH
    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
    Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


    "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

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    • #3

      Re: Surface mount wiring

      Arthur

      J.P. has it right,, myself i would use EMT which is metal conduit it is easier to keep looking neat and tidy and no sagging cables. Also you can run multiple circuits in conduit where as you would have to run multiple cables and it just doesn't look as nice.

      Which ever way you choose to go just remember to pull a permit

      IT'S THE LAW
      If you want me to make it i need this new tool first

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Surface mount wiring

        Hey JP,

        Thanks for the comments on this thread.
        You just saved me a ton of time researching this.
        Like Arthur, I am running a 60amp sub panel into the garage and am faced with the same question regards surface running cable to various recepticles.
        Don (Scarborough)

        Dogguides Canada: Our dogs are more than our friends.
        Vision Assist, Hearing Assist, Special Skills

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Surface mount wiring

          Originally posted by Matrix View Post
          Hey JP,

          Thanks for the comments on this thread.
          You just saved me a ton of time researching this.
          Like Arthur, I am running a 60amp sub panel into the garage and am faced with the same question regards surface running cable to various recepticles.
          Don, JP is quite right but if you drop the cable below 1.5M the cable must be mechanically protected. Todd is right, the easiest way is to run EMT, it looks better and it's easier to add to down the road.

          Mike
          Mike

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Surface mount wiring

            Hi Mike,

            Thanks for the clarification.
            It's great to get expert advisae on electrical matters.
            As to a permit, is this required for a home owner?
            It certainly would be my preference to have the work inspected.
            Don (Scarborough)

            Dogguides Canada: Our dogs are more than our friends.
            Vision Assist, Hearing Assist, Special Skills

            Comment

            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Surface mount wiring

              Originally posted by Matrix View Post
              Hi Mike,

              Thanks for the clarification.
              It's great to get expert advisae on electrical matters.
              As to a permit, is this required for a home owner?
              It certainly would be my preference to have the work inspected.
              Yes, any new wiring, alteration, or repair requires a permit.

              Call 1-877-ESA-SAFE for a permit.

              Mike
              Mike

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Surface mount wiring

                Permit

                What about minor stuff like replacing a faulty recepticle or switch, its a repair but the cost of a permit and the time to host an inspection seems a bit out of proportion.

                On the other hand I have seen some mighty weird homeowner wiring jobs.

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Surface mount wiring

                  Special Considerations

                  Considerations:
                  1. If cables are bundled together for more than 600mm ( 24" ) then they are supposed to be derated due to concerns about heating. The exact rule is a bit more complicated and counts the number of conductors, not including the bare bonding wire;
                  2. Loomex should be strapped ( stapled ) within 300mm ( 12" ) of all outlet boxes and every 1.5M ( 5' ) throughout the run. If it goes through a hole in a stud then this is considered a strapping point;
                  3. In attic spaces with less than 1M ( 3'3" ) headroom cable may be mounted on the upper face of joists and lower faces of rafters, all other attic locations require routing through holes or strapped on the sides;
                  4. If there is danger of physical abrasion then the cable must have mechanical protection such as wood or similar molding, BX cable or conduit also works;
                  5. Thermoplastic insulated cable, such as NMD90 is brittle at -10C ( -14F) and shouldn't be flexed. Either work in warmer temperatures while installing or use cable that is rated for cold weather installation.
                  P.S. Knight publishes a series of books "Electrical Code Simplified Residential Wiring". Each one covers the Canadian Electrical Code and the modifications made by one or more specified provinces. There is also one book covering commercial and industrial wiring. The website is here. I have the Ontario book and consider it the best book I have on electrical wiring. Its clear, covers everything I'm interested in and inexpensive. Its sometimes called the "Yellow Book" but the colour varies depending on the province being covered.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Surface mount wiring

                    Awesome info everyone! Thank you so much!

                    So to clarify, if I'm bringing the cables across the ceiling, I can use the usual 12 or 14 AWG Romex, but anything lower than 1.5m needs to be protected by conduit or raceway (or grooved wood). What is the maximum spacing of the "staples" used to attach the wire to the ceiling?

                    My panel is going on the wall on the house side of the attached garage, feeder coming from the basement, through the wall, and up into the sub panel from the bottom. What do you recommend to seal the hole in the wall, and to protect this thick heavy wire that obviously will be coming into the garage below 1.5m AFF?

                    Do my receptacles need to be GFCI protected?

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Surface mount wiring

                      Originally posted by fdaluet View Post
                      What about minor stuff like replacing a faulty recepticle or switch, its a repair but the cost of a permit and the time to host an inspection seems a bit out of proportion.

                      On the other hand I have seen some mighty weird homeowner wiring jobs.
                      ESA will allow a one for one replacement of receptacles and switches without a permit.
                      Mike

                      Comment

                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: Surface mount wiring

                        Originally posted by Arthur View Post
                        Awesome info everyone! Thank you so much!

                        So to clarify, if I'm bringing the cables across the ceiling, I can use the usual 12 or 14 AWG Romex, but anything lower than 1.5m needs to be protected by conduit or raceway (or grooved wood). What is the maximum spacing of the "staples" used to attach the wire to the ceiling?

                        My panel is going on the wall on the house side of the attached garage, feeder coming from the basement, through the wall, and up into the sub panel from the bottom. What do you recommend to seal the hole in the wall, and to protect this thick heavy wire that obviously will be coming into the garage below 1.5m AFF?

                        Do my receptacles need to be GFCI protected?
                        Cables must be strapped within 300mm of boxes and every 1.5m, cables cannot be double strapped under the same staple unless the strap is specifically designed for the purpose.

                        Install your #6/3 cable in a 1" conduit where it comes through the wall of your garage and to your sub panel. GFCI is not required. If you're using a combination panel for your sub panel make sure the copper bonding jumper is removed between the neutral bus and the panel enclosure, your service can only be grounded in one location.

                        Mike
                        Last edited by Mike in London; 11-05-2007, 11:31 AM.
                        Mike

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: Surface mount wiring

                          I have a 14' cutoff of 6/3 direct bury for sale and a 4' from the other end

                          Todd, you need this at all?
                          Dara
                          SPCHT

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                          • #14

                            Re: Surface mount wiring

                            Staple Spacing Etc
                            1. Staple - See my previous, item 2. ( 300cm from box, every 1.5M )
                            2. BX ( metal armour with cable inside) will also be OK below 1.5M
                            3. There is standard conduit for the power feed into a distribution panel, use it along with standard fittings to go from the house side through the wall and up into the panel. You do not want to accidently rub the insulation off of those wires;
                            4. Get a can of spray foam and use it to seal the hole around the conduit.
                            5. If this is also a garage you don't need GFCI however there should be at least one duplex socket for each car space supplied by a circuit that is only used to supply car space sockets, lights and garage door openers.
                            6. If this is a carport then the recepticle must be GFCI since they are outside;
                            7. If this is a room that was formerly a garage and is now a dedicated workshop I don't know for sure but I suspect "normal" room wiring applies and the garage specific stuff doesn't uless there is a reasonable possiblity of it becoming a garage again. If you assume a two car garage then the garage requirements just mean 1 circuit suppling a max of two garage door openers, two duplex sockets and may a light of two.

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                            • #15

                              Re: Surface mount wiring

                              Originally posted by Mike in London View Post
                              Cables must be strapped within 300mm of boxes and every 1.5m, cables cannot be double strapped under the same staple unless the strap is specifically designed for the purpose.

                              Install your #6/3 cable in a 1" conduit where it comes through the wall of your garage and to your sub panel. GFCI is not required. If you're using a combination panel for your sub panel make sure the copper bonding jumper is removed between the neutral bus and the panel enclosure, your service can only be grounded in one location.

                              Mike
                              Interesting. I'm not sure what you mean by a "combination panel ".
                              My sub panel was already installed when I bought the house. If the rats nest of wires I have already pulled out is any indication, that sub panel is likely wired wrong too. I'll be sure to check that. When I looked at the house I couldn't get to the sub panel to inspect it and the previous owner told me it was 100 amp. It turns out it's a 60 amp panel fed by #8 wire (that's 40 amp right?). Can I just replace the main breaker with a 40 amp breaker? If not I can get a used panel fairly cheap but I may just change the feed wires provided I have the capacity to do so.
                              In addition to the garage circuits, the previous owner was running a central air unit, a hot tub, electric heat for the garage and a bunch of exterior lights and outlets from this panel.
                              J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
                              Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


                              "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

                              Comment

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