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Old 12-13-2010, 08:52 AM   #1
ixlr8
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Default Garage door opener circuit?

I am at the planning stages for the electrical panel for my garage, trying to figure out number of circuits/spaces I am going to need. I understand that the garage door openers need to be on their own circuit, my question is; Does each door need it's own breaker or can all the doors be on the same breaker?
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

I am not aware of any requirement of garage door openers being on their own circuit. Where did you find this? I know that mine in my house are not separate.

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Old 12-13-2010, 09:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

My new home has one box for a two car door, on it's own breaker. It's a standard 20amp circuit. I have been in some of the 2 car with split doors and it's the same box setup. Of course if you planning some special height door, or more than the normal 2 door set-up I would dedicate a circuit for my other opener, and stay away from using any extension cord. ( come on some of you are doing it)
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

I've got a 3 car garage, two doors. The two GDO outlets are on one 20amp circuit.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

I am sure the legal answer for the size of the circuit would depend on the total draw of the openers.
That said, I doubt you would very often be operating both doors at the same time, so there would be some “load sharing” going on.

BTW. A neat trick I just learned for when you go on vacation.
Either un-plug the opener or flip off the breaker to them.
That stops the guys with the drive by remotes.

I suppose if you are in a real bad neighborhood, or real paranoid, you could put in a switch and turn it off every night.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:45 PM   #6
ixlr8
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

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Originally Posted by jstroede View Post
I am not aware of any requirement of garage door openers being on their own circuit. Where did you find this? I know that mine in my house are not separate.

John
John,
It has posted several times in this forum, although I have not looked in the code books to know for 100% certainty it is a requirement. My last home in Mass they were on seperate breakers. In my present home, in Maine, the garage that is attached to the house, the openers are shared with other outlets. Almost nothing in my house is to code... but I am trying to build my shop to code even if it is not going to get inspected.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

I might be wrong, but I think the new book states that garage door openers now have to b on a gfci, why I don't know. What I usually spec on my homes is a kill switch usually 6 to 8 feet off the floor and above the opener controls so the homeowner can kill power to the openers if they leave for a extended period or as a emergency or service disconnect. This eliminates having to waste panel space for the openers to be on a dedicated breaker. I guess it's like a furnace disconnect switch for garage doors.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

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Originally Posted by cowboyjosh View Post
I might be wrong, but I think the new book states that garage door openers now have to b on a gfci, why I don't know. What I usually spec on my homes is a kill switch usually 6 to 8 feet off the floor and above the opener controls so the homeowner can kill power to the openers if they leave for a extended period or as a emergency or service disconnect. This eliminates having to waste panel space for the openers to be on a dedicated breaker. I guess it's like a furnace disconnect switch for garage doors.
used to be an exception for GDO (and freezers too) but now every receptacle in a garage has to be GFCI protected -no exceptions
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

My door opener is not on it's own circuit. It actually wasn't on GFCI either (house build 2005), but when I added outlets to my garage I found the wiring for it was piggybacked off the GFCI outlet feed, so I just swapped it over to the other side and now it's protected. I don't see why it would need it's own circuit though???

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Old 12-14-2010, 12:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

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Originally Posted by 89MustangGX View Post
My door opener is not on it's own circuit. It actually wasn't on GFCI either (house build 2005), but when I added outlets to my garage I found the wiring for it was piggybacked off the GFCI outlet feed, so I just swapped it over to the other side and now it's protected. I don't see why it would need it's own circuit though???

Adam
going retroactive on code, huh?

My house built in 06-07 doesn't have the GDO and freezer outlets GFCI protected and I personally like that. If I bought or built a new build house tomorrow and everything was GFCI protected, as soon as I took possession of the house I'd rework the wiring taking the GDO and freezer outlet off GFCI. GFCI protecting GDO and freezer outlets in the garage is about as stupid as Arc Faults being required on nearly every circuit in the house and every outlet being tamper. There have been many of pissed off homeowners who have been locked out of their house, because the GFCI tripped, leaving the GDO un-operable; for this reason I see in the next NEC book or two this is repealed.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:05 AM   #11
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

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going retroactive on code, huh?
I actually didn't know it was code for the GDO, I only suspected because it's an outlet in the garage. I really decided to do it when I found the wiring because I have retractable drop light and extension cord that I plug into an outlet I piggybacked off the GDO outlet and I wanted those protected.

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Old 12-14-2010, 12:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

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going retroactive on code, huh?

My house built in 06-07 doesn't have the GDO and freezer outlets GFCI protected and I personally like that. If I bought or built a new build house tomorrow and everything was GFCI protected, as soon as I took possession of the house I'd rework the wiring taking the GDO and freezer outlet off GFCI. GFCI protecting GDO and freezer outlets in the garage is about as stupid as Arc Faults being required on nearly every circuit in the house and every outlet being tamper. There have been many of pissed off homeowners who have been locked out of their house, because the GFCI tripped, leaving the GDO un-operable; for this reason I see in the next NEC book or two this is repealed.
i dont see the GFCI provision being repealed. I think it (for GDO) was brought about by a combination of that kid being killed by an energized garage door (due to bad wiring by a shady contractor, if the work was done to codes in effect at the time the kid would be alive, GFCI or not) and due to people plugging cord reels into the GDO receptacle on the ceiling. I hate AFCIs due to their tripping from normal activities such as plugging something in that is switched on, or vacuum cleaners. GFCIs only trip when there is leakage to ground, if something is tripping a GFCI then it has a ground fault (with exception to certain line filters with huge caps between L-G not usually seen in residential situations) which is a safety issue.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

Reckon your right about repealing it back a bit. Too bad the inaccessible receptacle exception went away with the latest book. The 2008 book is way over the top IMO.

How did we ever survive before GFCI and AFCI's?

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Old 12-14-2010, 01:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: Garage door opener circuit?

just had mine wired. GDOs are GFCI outlets(all outlets in garage are supposed to be) and their own circuit(both on one) i did it purely for convenience(killing just that outlet, or still having power to it if trip something else). talking to the electrician, he said most people have GDO sharing circuit to avoid paying extra on permit...but in the end i believe its better to have more circuits.
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:09 PM   #15
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Exclamation Re: Garage door opener circuit?

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Originally Posted by mrb View Post
...due to people plugging cord reels into the GDO receptacle on the ceiling.
That's exactly where I had my cord reel connected in my last two houses! I was always a little nervous because it wasn't GFCI protected.

When I finish wiring in my new garage I'm going to have a ceiling outlet just for the cord reel (on a GFCI circuit.)

I am slightly annoyed by the NEC 2008 requirement that all 120V garage recepticals need GFCI protection, because (if I understand correctly) that includes my 6 ceiling recepticals for my 12 two-tube 48" T8 hanging fixtures. If I have two 15A dedicated circuits for lights, thats another $50 additional cost for two more GFCI breakers (I want to use GFCI breakers rather than the admitedly cheaper recepticals.)

However, GFCI protection for the lights might not be such a bad idea, becaue I did get a shock from a hanging florescent light fixture once while working under a car! How the heck was that possible? Well, I was singlehandedly reinstalling the engine & transmission in my '76 Celica. I had a 1000# SuperWinch bolted to the ceiling rafters and was using the winch to lower the engine/tranny as I guided it into place under the car (had the remote to the which with me under the car which made it pretty handy to lower or raise back up as needed.)

Now the winch was powered off a 12V car battery, so no danger of shock there. But all of a sudden I got a pretty good tingle! Grabbing my volt meter I measured over 70VAC between the hanging engine and the chasis sitting on jack stands on the concrete floor! What the heck?!?

Well, it turns out the winch cable from which the engine was hanging was rubbing against the metal reflector of a hanging florescent fixture, which was plugged into a (non GFCI) wall receptical using a 2-prong extension cord. The outside of the light fixture had become energized! Either a properly-grounded 3-prong cord or GFCI protection would have been a good safety measure.

So I don't object too strongly to required GFCI protection for my ceiling lighting recepticals. But I still wouldn't like it if I was going to have a freezer in the garage, although new GFCI devices seem less prone to nuisence tripping than a few years ago.

Interesting side note... for the 2008 code cycle, the state of Wisconsin made only one amendment to NEC affecting residential: you can have a non-GFCI protected receptical for a sump pump as long as a GFCI-protected receptical is available within 3 feet. (Saddly, Wisconsin no longer omits the AFCI requirement as they did the previous two code cycles.)
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