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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Default Shop Wiring?

Good mornin,

I plan on taking over half our garage (maybe more) for my new woodshop. I think I have plenty of space, but power is a problem. There is only one 15 amp circuit from the house and the lights dim when the Miter Saw winds up.

I know I'm gonna have to have more circuits run, but not sure if I need additional service from The Electric Company. My 120 year old house only has 100 amps, but I do have 2 or 3 spare breakers (1 15 amp circuit just running to the outlet in the crawl space).

Advice? I've just bought a router, jointer and planer so I'd like to spend as little as possible on this...LOL.

Thanks,
Chris
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 09:57 AM
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15 Amps won't cut it for many bigger tools. I had to redo my panel and add 20 amp circuits. My table saw while rated for 15 amps actually used more to get it started... in other words the draw was higher on start up.... it would blow the fuse. So I ended up putting 3 - 20 amp circuits in the shop. If it dims now with the miter saw, most likely it will blow with a table saw or a planer.

Corey

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 10:17 AM
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Hi Chris

The 1st thing you want to do is check the load panel and see if the other spare breakers are marked 20amp. if so find the breaker that is being used for the garage and pull the wire out of that breaker and put it in one of the other ones marked 20 amp.

If you don't have one you can pull one of the breakers and take it to HomeDepot/Lowes and get a 20 amp. breaker, one you can pop in..that should help for just a little bit..

A good rule to go by is to walk around the shop and write down all the tools you have and write down the amps they pull that will give you a idea what kind of service you will need in the shop..then div. that by 2 ,because you will never have all them running at one time...but this just a swag rule of thumb but do think down the road,,,a 220 volt drop to shop is nice, that will give you two 110 volt drops.in one so to speak..or if you get a bigger power tool you will have the power for it without a rework ...update...

You didn't say if the garage/shop is next to the house if so it will be easy to get more power/out lets to the shop BUT if not will need to update/drop to the service to the garage..

Some of the old homes have just two wires running to the garage and you need to update that..

It's always best to over update ,that's to say a new load center panel (breaker box) to a 200 amp. service...but this will take a new elec.permit you can pull the permit as a home owner but you may want to call a lic. electrician to check it out and give you and hand...

I should note you can do it all it's not hard it just takes a bit of home work.

BUT the bottom line,, it just maybe wire size ,you said the lights would dim, that's a real tip off the norm..that the wire size is to small..

Think of like a water line,, 1/2" line it can only let so much water run but if you use 3/4" water line ,all the water outlets have what they need...

So it maybe time to use the other Spare breakers you have and run some more wire to the shop...two 20 amp. lines should do the job for now.

==============







Quote:
Originally Posted by NortonChris
Good mornin,

I plan on taking over half our garage (maybe more) for my new woodshop. I think I have plenty of space, but power is a problem. There is only one 15 amp circuit from the house and the lights dim when the Miter Saw winds up.

I know I'm gonna have to have more circuits run, but not sure if I need additional service from The Electric Company. My 120 year old house only has 100 amps, but I do have 2 or 3 spare breakers (1 15 amp circuit just running to the outlet in the crawl space).

Advice? I've just bought a router, jointer and planer so I'd like to spend as little as possible on this...LOL.

Thanks,
Chris



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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by challagan
15 Amps won't cut it for many bigger tools. I had to redo my panel and add 20 amp circuits. My table saw while rated for 15 amps actually used more to get it started... in other words the draw was higher on start up.... it would blow the fuse. So I ended up putting 3 - 20 amp circuits in the shop. If it dims now with the miter saw, most likely it will blow with a table saw or a planer.

Corey

Ditto...

And remember...
NORMALLY, there will be only ONE tool turned on at one time... except for dust collection (someday, if not today). Two good circuits to handle that... plus another one to make it more convenient.

That's exactly what I'm planning on doing, in addition to a 220 circuit, of course.

Have Fun,
Joe

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 10:42 AM
 
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The other thing you might consider doing is running a new leg to the garage and installing a new / separate sub-panel. From that, you can pick your amperage. A 75 amp sub panel should fit right in, provide all the power you need, and bring your shop up to date and get away from the 100 year / older 100 amp panel which is (as it sounds) pretty maxed out as far as expansion is concerned.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noddy
The other thing you might consider doing is running a new leg to the garage and installing a new / separate sub-panel. From that, you can pick your amperage. A 75 amp sub panel should fit right in, provide all the power you need, and bring your shop up to date and get away from the 100 year / older 100 amp panel which is (as it sounds) pretty maxed out as far as expansion is concerned.
Yes... I forgot to mention that...

Have Fun,
Joe

Alta Loma, CA

www.WoodworkStuff.net
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 11:21 AM
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Hi: The 100 Amp service that is to the house will not likely be enough, and should be updated to 200Amp service at220 volts. Changing breakers from 15 Amp to twenty amp is not agood idea since 15 Amp circuits are used for lighting and are usually run
using Number 14 cable which is not for 20 Amp service. For that you need size 12 wiring. On start up any motor will draw from two to four times the run current listed on the motor info. If the circuit is adequate the breaker may not trip since most breakers are made to carry a temporary start up current load. But you don't say what is being powered in the house. Like Air Condtioning, Washer, and dryer circuits etc.
I suggest you get an electrician to check the whole thing over and make a recomendation and cost estimate for you to consider. Hope this helps, Woodnut65
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 11:47 AM
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Best choice would be replace existing panel, switching to a 200amp as Woodnut suggested. I suggest a newer panel for this reason, you will have the space for adding additional circuits if and when needed. Your breakers should be 20amps.

Whichever way you decide to go from other suggestions, you will still need to update to a 200amp service panel. Changing these out aren't that difficult.

Ken

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 02:09 PM
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Woodnut-

You beat me to the point. Just changing a breaker doesn't turn a 15 amp circuit into a 20 amp. The conductor size is the important factor. You may have big enough cable, but better check first. A lot of new houses aren't putting any more copper than they have to, so be leary about swapping out breakers there as well.

I would recommend getting an electrician out to survey your situation, mainly for insurance purposes should something go wrong later. If you cobble something together and the worse should happen, you may not be fully covered.

That being said, if you are going to put some money in your shop electrical system, do it right from the get go. Leave the existing circuit for lighting, garage door opener, battery charger outlet, etc., and add a sub panel with a disconnect switch. Off of that panel, run an additional lighting circuit, a couple of 20 amp power tool receptacle circuits, and 2 220v receptacle circuits. This way, as your shop 'matures', you can have the big air compressor, dust collector, or the jointer to run on 220.

The disconnect switch is nice, because once you are done in your shop you can kill everything at once. This prevents the air compressor from firing up in the middle of the night should you forget to turn it off.

It will probably set you back a few bucks, but it's worth it. You may find that your local code requires GFCI units in your garage, or that all receptacles have to be positioned a certain height off of the floor. A good electrician will know what you need. You may be able to save a few bucks by running the conduit and mounting the boxes yourself, and have him just do the hook ups.


Just a few thoughts,

Doug
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodnut65
Hi: The 100 Amp service that is to the house will not likely be enough, and should be updated to 200Amp service at220 volts. Changing breakers from 15 Amp to twenty amp is not agood idea since 15 Amp circuits are used for lighting and are usually run
using Number 14 cable which is not for 20 Amp service. For that you need size 12 wiring. On start up any motor will draw from two to four times the run current listed on the motor info. If the circuit is adequate the breaker may not trip since most breakers are made to carry a temporary start up current load. But you don't say what is being powered in the house. Like Air Condtioning, Washer, and dryer circuits etc.
I suggest you get an electrician to check the whole thing over and make a recomendation and cost estimate for you to consider. Hope this helps, Woodnut65
That is right, I had to completely change my panel.... upgraded the service to I believe 150 amps and 3 dedicated 20 amp lines for the shop and still have more room for future expansion ( used up 1 for the dishwasher in the remodel) and changed everything from fuses to circuit breakers as well while at it. My brother is an electrician so he helped out greatly here.

Corey

My Carving Website: The Iowa Woodcarver
http://iowacarver.tripod.com/
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