Dear Mr. Electrician How do I install Wiremold surface metal raceway for an electrical receptacle outlet on the ceiling of my garage?   

Answer:  In a few garages where there was already an electrical receptacle installed on the wall, I was able to add Wiremold 500 surface metal raceway to bring power to a ceiling outlet.  Below are some photos of a Wiremold metal surface raceway installation that was used to replace an extra long power cord that was tacked to the garage ceiling and wall for the garage door opener.  NOTE: Text links below go to applicable products on Ebay.com.

One of the switches below was a 3-way for the garage light, the other a single pole for an outside light.  The existing outlet was not GFCI protected.

Two existing switches and one outlet with a brown wall plate
Two existing switches and one outlet with a brown wall plate

Below is the “After” photo of the same switch and outlet location after installing Wiremold 500 for a ceiling outlet above the garage door opener.

Two Decora rocker switches and one GFCI outlet
Two Decora rocker switches and one GFCI outlet

A Wiremold V5751-3 three gang extension box was used to attach onto the existing electrical box.

Garage door opener with power cord attached to ceiling
Garage door opener with power cord attached to ceiling

In the above photo you can see the extra long power cord is tacked across the ceiling to an outlet on the inside front wall of the garage.

Ebay Sells Wiremold Fittings

Power cord going through drilled hole in steel angle iron
Power cord going through drilled hole in steel angle iron

It was not a good idea to pass the cord through this steel bracket.  Whoever did this removed the factory installed power cord from the garage door opener and installed their own much longer cord.  The user installed cord was stapled on the ceiling and down the wall to an outlet at the front of the garage.  The steel could have cut into the cord and created an electrocution hazard.

Two existing switches and an outlet pulled away from the wall
Two existing switches and an outlet pulled away from the wall

The existing wiring consisted of a three way switch for the garage light, a single pole switch for an outside light, and the electrical outlet that was not GFCI protected.  The LINE for the new GFCI outlet gets connected to the same wires from the outlet.  The wires from the new ceiling outlet get connected to the LOAD terminals on the GFCI.  The new switches get wired just like the old switches.

I surmise that the rust on the screws was a result of these devices being mounted inside of an un-insulated outside wall.  There didn’t appear to be any water infiltration.

Wiremold 500 with wires inside attached to three gang extension ring
Wiremold 500 with wires inside attached to three gang extension ring

The three gang extension box base ring is attached to the existing wall box using 6/32 screws.  After installing the base plate it is possible to begin the wiremold installation.  The Wiremold 500 slips onto the short tongue on the base plate.

Note the ground wire pigtail under the green screw.  It is not easy to see, but it is connected to the bunch of ground wires first, then wraps around the green screw and has enough left over to connect to the GFCI.

Three gang Wiremold extension box mounting ring attached to the existing switch box
Three gang Wiremold extension box mounting ring attached to the existing switch box

A big blue wire connector was needed to tightly connect all of the ground wires together.

Two pieces of Wiremold 500 connected by a V517 Internal Elbow
Two pieces of Wiremold 500 connected by a V517 Internal Elbow

The internal elbow is added to one end of the metal raceway and put into place.  After the elbow is secured a piece of raceway can be inserted at the other end.

Wiremold 500 connected to a V5747 box mounting plate
Wiremold 500 connected to a V5747 one gang box mounting plate

The short tongues on the back plate above are a good solid connection after being inserted into the Wiremold.  This box is attached to the ceiling using two toggle bolts.

Side view of a hack saw cut piece of Wiremold 500 depicting metal burrs
Side view of a hack saw cut piece of Wiremold 500 depicting metal burrs

It is important to get rid of the metal burrs after cutting Wiremold.  The inside burrs can nick the insulation and the outer burrs can interfere with the Wiremold connecting to a box or fitting.

I use a small round file for the inside.  A flat file for the outside.  I insert a flat screwdriver into the two slots to clean them out.

Click for Page 2