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Today I went to visit with the city inspectors and ask them about installing a sub-panel in our garage. The electrical inspector told me that the panel would need the following:

1. Rated for service
I imagine it will say this on the box. I'm not sure what else it would be rated for though.

2. Neutral isolated
I asked what this meant, but I didn't really understand the guy - he was kind of odd. Is this something I need to look for specifically, or is this pretty standard on a 'main lug' panel (what I understand to be a sub-panel)?

3. Equipment ground bus bonds to enclosure.
Same question as number 2.

4. One light inside the garage (there is no mandoor, which I think is a great work by the way) and one light outside the garage, both on a switch that can be inside the garage.
This makes sense and was something I was planning to do anyways.

5. At least one GFCI receptacle in the garage.
I am planning on several, so this is fine.

6. No more than 6 breakers if there is not a main breaker panel in the garage.
Since I'm putting in a sub-panel, this applies. My question though, what is the main difference between a main breaker panel and a sub-panel? Is it just the way that they each get power?

7. Two 7' (could be 6', but he recommended 7') ground rods connected with #4 copper wire.
I understood that I need two rods because there is no plumbing to ground to in the garage. Are these ground rods a standard item in the electrical department at a hardware store, or do I use something else?

He also said that I don't have to use conduit when I bury the line (18" minimum), but he recommends it. I think it makes sense also, but I thought I'd see what you all would do.

I'm planning on getting a 6 breaker box (appear to be $25-30) and installing 3 20-amp circuit breakers to start (1 circuit for the lights, 1 for indoor receptacles and 1 for outdoor receptacles). This will connect to a 60-amp circuit breaker on the main breaker box. Does this sound reasonable or should I be looking at some other combination?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give. I think that this project is overall pretty simple, I just want to fully understand each piece that I'm doing.

Erin
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