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You have a detached garage and you want to fully equip it with the relevant electric components.
The next thing that you should think of is installing the right size of circuit breaker.
So, which size will be perfect for my detached garage?
- 1 The right size
- 2 What is a detached garage?
- 3 Is 50 amps enough for my detached garage?
- 4 Why should my detached garage have a subpanel?
- 5 How many electrical circuits do I need for my detached garage?
- 6 Will I need a GFCI outlet?
- 7 Wire size of my detached garage circuit breaker
- 8 What size sub panel should I put in my detached garage?
- 9 How do you run power to a detached garage?
- 10 Conclusion
The right size
50 amps is usually deemed the ideal breaker size for a detached garage.
However, this is just the minimum value.
Most people consider 100 amps and some even go up to 300 amps.
But is that all?
No, of course, we are going to look at more details on how we arrived at these figures and other factors that you should consider.
What is a detached garage?
A detached garage is a building separate from your house.
If you have a detached garage, you might not need to install the main service panel since it already has its own circuit breaker.
You have to check with your local building codes first before installing the circuit breaker.
But most likely, you will be installing the circuit breaker in your detached garage and not in your house or in the main service panel.
The reason for this is that you want to make sure that each structure has its own electrical system.
You do not want any fire hazard or power overload in case one of them malfunctions.
Moreover, if there is an overload on one structure’s electrical system, it does not mean that it will affect the other structure’s electrical system because they are separate from each other.
Is 50 amps enough for my detached garage?
Let’s assume that you are running very basic electric components in your detached garage.
You will definitely not need a large breaker panel.
So, a 50 amps circuit breaker will be enough to keep you safe.
However, if you are planning to install high-consumption electronic devices, then you will have to upgrade your circuit breaker.
Maybe go for the 60 amps and even 100 amps circuit breaker.
It is not surprising why some garage owners even go for the 400 amps circuit breakers.
This is because some electric appliances that are related to automotive tasks run on high currents.
Why should my detached garage have a subpanel?
When it comes to installing circuit breakers in a detached garage, it is always advisable to have a separate subpanel.
The reason is that you can have more circuit breakers in the subpanel than in the main panel of your house.
You will have more circuit breakers to protect your garage and its electric appliances.
The subpanel will also be easier to access because it is far from the main panel.
If you need to make changes to your detached garage’s electrical system, then you can easily access the subpanel and do the necessary changes.
How many electrical circuits do I need for my detached garage?
The number of circuits that you will need depends on how many appliances are going to be connected.
For a basic detached garage, a single circuit should be enough for all of your appliances.
But if you are planning to install an air conditioner or a large electric appliance, then you will have to look for another circuit breaker.
Remember that these high-consumption devices require more power than usual and this means that they will use more electricity than other regular appliances.
Will I need a GFCI outlet?
The answer is yes! You should definitely install GFCI outlets in your detached garage because it offers protection from electrical shocks and fires that may occur due to ground faults or stray current paths.
If a person touches an electrically charged object which has been grounded, there is a possibility that he/she will get electrocuted or suffer from electrical burns because of a lack of grounding system or grounding path fault.
This is why GFCI outlets are usually installed in all detached garages.
Wire size of my detached garage circuit breaker
Image source fine home building
As expected, you should always consider the wire size when buying a circuit breaker.
As we have mentioned, the breaker size for this garage can range between 50 amps to 400 amps.
This means that the choices of your wire size should satisfy this range.
So, which wire size should I go with?
If you are using a 50 amps breaker, you will need a size 6 gauge.
And if you are installing a circuit breaker rated 100 amps and above, then you will need a size 2 gauge wire.
Otherwise, always remember to stick to the National Electric Code for wiring when it comes to choosing the best wires for the circuit breaker.
What size sub panel should I put in my detached garage?
Circuit breakers are usually installed in a panel box.
In the case of a detached garage, you will have to install to a sub panel.
So, which is the right sub panel for my circuit breaker?
It is advisable to go for a 60Amp 12/24 panel box for your detached garage circuit breaker.
This panel box is perfect for some heavy electrical work that you are likely to run in your garage.
Even small welder shops opt for this panel box. So, you can be sure that it will serve its purpose perfectly.
How do you run power to a detached garage?
It is best to run your power from the main panel board to the detached garage.
What you should do here is to make sure that you have enough room for the wire you intend to use.
The size of the wire should be proportional to the number of circuits that will be installed in the detached garage.
You can get away with a 2 gauge wire if you are planning on installing one circuit breaker in your detached garage.
If there are more circuits, then it will be best to consider a bigger wire size such as a 4 or 6 gauge.
To find out exactly how many circuits you need in your detached garage, it is best to consult an expert electrician.
Otherwise, this video below will explain how to do it:
I hope that now you know the perfect circuit breaker for your detached garage.
If you are planning to buy a circuit breaker in China, lets us help you.
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