Does Garage Door Opener Need Dedicated Circuit?

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Homeowners often ask – “Does the garage door opener need a dedicated circuit?” The short answer is no. However, if you don’t have a separate circuit for your garage door opener, it’s best practice to install one in your garage.

With a separate circuit for the garage door opener, you can improve the security of your garage. For example, when you go out, you can turn off the circuit breaker of your garage. As a result, no one will be able to open the garage door from outside or remotely.

does garage door opener need dedicated circuit

Answered Once & For All: Does Garage Door Opener Need to be Dedicated Circuit? 

NEC 2017 – You need a 20-amp circuit in the garage

According to the new code section included in the NEC 2017, all home garage units will require a 20 Ampere circuit to supply the electricity.

Previously, according to the NEC, it required a 120-volt 20 Ampere circuit for only bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry of the house. But now, a 120-volt 20 Ampere circuit is necessary for the house garage unit too.

However, if you don’t have a garage unit in your house, this rule doesn’t apply to you. But if you have one, no matter whether the garage is attached or detached from the house, your garage will need a 120-volt 20 Ampere circuit to supply the electrical power.

Apart from this rule, your garage circuit cannot have any outlets other than the garage receptacle type outlet. If you supply the garage lighting with the branch circuit, it’ll surely be a violation of this new NEC 2017 rule.

Do I Need a Dedicated Garage Door Opener or GDO Circuit?

No, you don’t need to use a dedicated garage door opener circuit. According to this new change in the NEC 2017, you just need a circuit of 20 Ampere that can supply electricity to the garage.

However, you’re not allowed to use the circuit for any other purposes, say lighting the garage. The main intent of this new change was to mention the usage of plug and cord connected garage appliances that draw less than 20 Ampere of electricity. 

It’s recommended that you use a specific garage door opener circuit to prevent unexpected issues from happening. But it’s not mandatory.

If you’re planning to use a garage door opener circuit, you can check this garage door opener circuit from the Genie Garage Door Opener.

What is Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters or GFCI & Should I Use GFCI in My Garage?

GFCI is usually found in the cords, outlets, and other electrical equipment, which detects electrical imbalances and protects the electrical equipment.

If there is water near the electrical circuit, there will be a short circuit. But GFCI prevents the short circuit from happening by automatically shutting off the electrical power supply, protecting the nearby person from electrocution or other physical damage.

As I mentioned above, GFCI is a lifesaver and can protect people from electrocution. That’s why, according to the NEC rules, garages require GFCI protected outlets.

This rule is applicable for all the single-phase, 125-Volt, and 20 Ampere outlets. Apart from the NEC, the International Residential Code or IRC has recommended using the GFCI in garages.

Does My Garage Door Opener Need GFCI?

According to the previous NEC rules, GFCI was required for only bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry areas.

Because usually in these areas, water comes in proximity of the electrical appliances and can cause electrocution to the nearby persons. But in the NEC 2008 edition, it’s clearly stated to use GIFC in the garage door opener as well.

You should use the GFCI as your protection. Because all the outdoor outlets are exposed to water and snow. And if the electrical appliances get in proximity of the water, it can cause accidents and huge losses. That’s why you must use GFCI in your garage door opener.

FAQs about Garage Door Opener & Circuit

1.     Do My Garage Lights Need to be Protected with the GFCI?

It depends on the lights you have. For example, if you have plug-in garage lights, you’ll have to use GFCI in your garage. But if you have chosen to hardwire your lights, the use of GFCI isn’t required.

2.     Where GFCI is a Must-Have?

According to the NEC, you’ll have to use the GFCI in your kitchen space, bathrooms, and laundry. Apart from these areas, you’ll have to use GFCI in your garage door opener as well.

3.     Can I Add GFCI to My Non-GFCI Garage Outlets?

Unfortunately, you cannot add GFCI to a non-GFCI outlet. You’ll have to replace the whole outlet to add GFCI.

4.     Can I Install GFCI by Myself?

u003cstrongu003eu003ca href=u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003eIf you have experience in handling electrical wiringu003c/au003eu003c/strongu003e, you can install GFCI by yourself. Otherwise, it’s safe to keep it for the professionals.


It’s not mandatory to have a circuit for your garage door. But with a dedicated one, you can prevent unexpected incidents.

Helpful Products For Your Garage

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful. Here are a couple of websites I’ve found that have some helpful products I have personally used to organize, maintain, and help add some style to my garage over the years.

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I was really surprised at the number of brands they carried and their prices were lower than I could find anywhere else. If you need replacement parts for your garage door remote, keypad, or receiver, click the link above. Plus, shipping is free on orders in the United States!

If you need replacement parts for your garage door remote, keypad, or receiver; click the link above to see why they’re the best.

Hi, I am Brent Hartman. I am a DIY enthusiast and love to improve and organize the garage in the most innovative way. I created this website out of my passion for helping people organize their garages.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.