How far apart should electric receptacle outlets be placed in a garage?

Sunday, August 5, 2018

There is no spacing requirement. A minimum of one general purpose receptacle is required in a garage, in addition to any for specific equipment such as a garage door opener.

   But the minimum requirement is not sufficient for most do-it-yourselfers, who line the walls of a two-car garage with power tools and hobby equipment, so we typically see builders providing one outlet on each side wall. The receptacles are required to be GFCI-type for shock protection. One of the garage receptacles will have a GFCI-device in the center—with the two buttons in the center for “TEST” and “RESET.” It will trip when a ground fault (current that has gone astray and my possibly be shocking you) happens at any of the other garage receptacles because they are also on the same circuit.

   The GFCI-receptacle in the garage also sometimes protects any receptacles on the exterior walls of your home. So, if one of them goes dead, check to see if the garage GFCI needs to be reset.

    Also, see our blog post Where are GFCI receptacle outlets required?

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  To learn more about electrical wiring, devices, and receptacles, see these other blog posts:

 • What is the difference between what trips a GFCI (ground fault) receptacle and a circuit breaker?

Why is an opening in the wall around the side of an electrical receptacle outlet a safety defect?  

When was GFCI-protection for kitchen dishwasher receptacle outlet first required? 

When should I replace electric receptacle outlets? 

What are "self-contained" electrical receptacle outlets and switches?

What is the difference between an electrical receptacle, an outlet, and a plug? 

 Does a home inspector remove receptacle outlet cover plates?

When was the current receptacle/outlet spacing of 12-feet first required? 

When was the three-slot (grounding) outlet/receptacle first required? 

Why does painting an electric receptacle (outlet) make it unsafe?

Why are electrical outlets and plugs polarized? 

How many electrical receptacles (outlets) are required in a hallway?  

Is a house required to have outdoor electric receptacle outlets?

How I can tell if a receptacle outlet is tamper resistant?

What is a false ground, bootleg ground, or cheated ground receptacle? 

How can adding wood paneling or a wainscot create an electrical safety hazard?

How can I tell if the electric receptacle outlets are grounded? 

How far apart should the electrical receptacles be placed?

• What are the most common problems/defects found with electric receptacle outlets during a home inspection?

    Visit our ELECTRICAL page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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