Adding an outlet for a garage door motor

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 05:20 PM GMT


QUESTION: I would like to add an outlet to my garage ceiling so that I can plug a garage door motor into it. How can I tap into the light on the ceiling?

Sounds like a solution to a problem, but this is Basic Wiring 101. You tap into the light...

My AllExperts Instructions to questioners: "Sorry, I will not do your research, engineering or design work. I am not willing to teach novices to do installations of advanced work or replace basic personal research. Tell me what you have done and what YOU think the answer is."

How do YOU think you tap into a ceiling light to add a receptacle? [I will give guidance based on your detailed plan]

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: But do I tap into the light at the ceiling location or at the switch location? I did so and when I turn the light on, that¡¯s the only time power is received to the receptacle. How do I tap into the light so that the receptacle can receive power when the light is on or off? I¡¯m guessing I need to tap into the light at the switch? If so, how shall I do it?


All RIGHT then, he said, rubbing his hands together in glee....

The classic problem with getting power at the light is that there is often not continuous power at the light! [I will assume that you are telling me that there is no continuous power at the light....]

You have two basic approaches. One entails leaving the switch on all the time or eliminating it and purchasing a door opener that contains a feature allowing you to turn the light on untimed from the interior door control. The second requires either running a new 3-wire from the switch to the light to allow constant power as well as switched power, or getting your new receptacle feed from somewhere else [is there a bedroom over the garage with a nearby receptacle?]

Good luck


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