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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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Default 220V I'm Not An Electrician

I know just enough about electricity to get hurt. All my 120V breakers are 15 amp. My garage has only two outlets that share the same circuit as the living room and half the kitchen. I usually don't have any problems running tools, since that is a daytime activity. But at night, when lots of lights are on, the breaker trips a couple times a week. I'm not really worried about that, but here's my crazy idea. I have a Delta contractors saw that came set to run 120V, but can run 220V. Can I use the stock cord and rewire it to 220. Then get a 12-3 extension cord(rated for 300V), lop off the plug, and install a 220 plug that fits my dryer outlet. The extension would be 15' or less. Is this possible, safe, dangerous. I'm really asking because tax time is near and I'm planning to use my return to get a new bandsaw that may run 220v. Since I am the single breadwinner in a family of 5, they not only give me back all the tax that has been withheld all year. But they also give me all the sales tax Bobj has paid on his tool purchases(get it while you can,until the kids grow up). Anyway, the dryer is not normally used while I'm woodworking, so I'd like to make use of this outlet. Any ideas on how to achieve this are appreciated.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 06:09 AM
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Would it work? Yes. Would it be safe? No. Would it take a lot to make it safe? No, I did it for a rental I lived in.

It isn't safe that way because the dryer normally has a 50A breaker while your contractors saw draws only 10A or so and should be on a dual-pole 15A or 20A breaker. The safe work-around is to pick up a small (~6 circuit) sub-breaker panel and put a 15A or 20A breaker in it. Use a short (~3 ft) cable (same size as the dryer cord) with a plug to match the dryer socket on one end and wire the other end in to supply the panel. Then wire the breaker (12-3) to your saw. There are some grounding details required for it to make it fully safe and meet code but that's the essence of it. Jerry (xplorerx4) is the best person to answer these questions, having serves as an electrical inspector.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 09:59 AM
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hi




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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 01:35 PM
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If you really want the safest way to accomplish this I have only three words for you... GET AN ELECTRICIAN!!!!!! If you are electrically illiterate that is the ONLY way to do it. Your home and life are worth more than what you would spend to do it right the first time. There are no second chances on this type of thing.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 02:47 PM
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Your best bet is to get some #8-3 wire and install a junction box. With a 30 amp on the main, you should be able to wire up 120vx20 amp and 220vx20 amp plugs.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 02:46 PM
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HI,
I wouldn't do it the way you are planning!! Jim has a working Idea, but I would add that you have someone check your work before you use it. Using the wrong setup can result in a fire. As an ex codes instructor, I know your insurance will refuse to pay if things aren't wired correct. Be safe, 1st rule to follow.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 05:34 PM
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+1 on Harry's post.. Fire *and* life insurance!

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 06:48 PM
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Wow, what you have suggested is not only unsafe, I don't believe it can be done. Your 120V contractors saw has a 3 wire cord and the dryer cord is 4 wire, at least the newer ones are. The only thing I would suggest to anyone is get an electrican, tell him what you want. If it were me I would spec out a new sub panel located in the garage, depending on the main panel's rating ie 100 Amp or more. (Mine panel is a 200 Amp and I will go with a 50-70amp sub panel.) I would spec out all 120v/20amp or 220v/20 or 30 amp depending on the needs of your shop. You could go 15amp for lights but why not 20 amp. I would want 2 ceiling lighting circuts 15 or 20amp, at least 4 to 6 shop circuts all 120v/20amp. I would require that no adjacent recepticales be on the same circut. Next 220 v20 to 30amp I would go with 20amp, one on each wall. That is mostly how my shop is wired except for the aux panel and the 220/20amp circutc and those will be going in during the next few months.

Figure out what your needs and wants are, get an electrican, lisenced of course, and do it the right, safe way. BTW you should be able to ask around and get someone at a reasonable price these days. Be safe, have fun!!!

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 07:53 PM
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Jim I have elctrician/friend that works up that way some times if I find his number I'll pass it on. he's been doing it for 40yrs. not fast but hes good and fair priced

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 08:09 PM
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I'd appreciate that, Scott. I never know when I'll need some work done.

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