Electric Service: What Level Is Appropriate for Your Garage?

Electric Service: What Level Is Appropriate for Your Garage?

If you’re working with garage builders on a custom garage plan, one of your most critical considerations during the planning process is electric service. How many amps should opt for? Do you need just enough service to operate the overhead door and interior lights? Or should you opt for more electricity to support additional use of the space?

At Sussel Garages, we know the appropriate level of amperage can (and does) vary widely from one garage to another. What works for one homeowner may miss the mark entirely for another, so today, we’re breaking down the various levels of electric service and how to select the one that best meets your needs.

How Do You Plan to Use the Garage?

When deciding which level of garage electric service to go with, consider how you plan to use the space. Will it function as a shop? A parking area? A storage space? Extended living quarters?

If you’re planning on operating high-draw power tools across multiple receptacles, you’ll need to run more amps to the space to avoid tripping a circuit. Likewise, if you’re planning to use the garage as an additional living space, you’ll need more power to comfortably charge and operate any electronic devices within it. If, however, you plan to use the structure primarily for vehicle parking or storage, you’ll naturally require a lower level of electrical service.

Planning to charge an electric vehicle in your garage? Consult with your garage builders during the planning process to determine the appropriate level of electrical service to support simultaneous vehicle charging and day-to-day garage operations.

How Many Amps Should You Opt For?

How many amps, specifically, should you run to your garage? For perspective, consider this: Most modern homes feature 100, 200, or 400 amps of electrical service. That’s more than enough volts to power multiple household appliances, lighting fixtures, receptacles, your HVAC system — the list goes on.

For the average garage owner, the level of electrical service necessary to operate devices exclusive to the garage won’t reach anywhere near the level of service required to operate an entire home. However, if you plan to tie your garage’s electrical service into your home’s existing service panel, depending on your planned electricity needs, you may need to upgrade your level of service.

Ultimately, your usage plans will determine how many amps you can feed out of your home service and whether you should opt for a separate panel. The distance between your home and your garage also plays a role in determining whether separate service is a better option. Generally speaking, basic service recommendations are as follows:

●        20 amps. Standard lighting, electric garage door operation, handheld power tools, etc. May not be enough service for the simultaneous operation of multiple electrical devices.

●        50 amps. Appropriate for the average household garage. Supports simultaneous operation of multiple electrical devices, lighting, etc.

●        100 amps. Appropriate for garages that see heavy electricity use. Supports heating, air conditioning, lighting, multiple large power tools, etc.

If you’re unsure of which level of electrical service is appropriate for your needs, our team at Sussel Garages is here to help! Whether you’re looking for guidance on building or electrical codes, our 100+ years of experience has allowed us a comprehensive understanding of both. As long as you know how you plan to use your garage, we can recommend the service level that best meets your needs!   

Ready to Plan Your Custom Garage Design? Contact Sussel Garages Today

Since our founding in 1915, our Sussel Garages team has proudly served over 50,000 Twin Cities homeowners, and we’re here to serve you, too! Our garage builders are 100% dedicated to your full satisfaction, so no matter what your vision is for your dream garage, we’re here to help you bring it to life.

To learn more about our custom garage plans or to schedule an estimate, feel free to give our team a call at 651-645-0331 (St. Paul) or 612-379-0949 (Minneapolis). You can also get in touch with us via our contact form, and a member of our team will be in contact with you promptly!

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