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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-24-2006, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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I have two circuits in my garage/shop that I use. One is a 20a single outlet circuit that I have all my benchtop/stationary tools run off, and the other is the 15a circuit that does the lights, my workbench, the garage doors, etc. I also run my shop vac off the 15a circuit to keep the big tools on their own.

My question is this- which is the better way to run the stationary tools- right now I have a 15ft 12g extension cord with a couple of the orange 3 way splitters on the end giving me 5 usable outlets (I can only run one tool at a time off it) but between all my tools I have to rotate plugs constantly. And we all know that there are more tools out there to be bought. I found a "heavy duty" 8 outlet power strip- 12g 8' cord, 15a circuits, that would be attractive. even has dust covers for unused outlets. But all my manuals say "never" use a power strip- to me this one seems like it can handle it. What do you guys think?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-24-2006, 07:37 AM
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The power strip you described will work fine as long as you use only one tool at a time. The reason for the warning is some people don't consider the amount of amperage needed to run their tools.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-24-2006, 11:53 AM
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I use a power strip for most of my tools. I have my drill press, Miter saw, Battery charger, Large Ridgid Vacuum cleaner for my dust collection. But I only run one tool at a time or it trip the breaker on the strip. I have my air compressor and table saw on a different plug on a splitter so I do not have to unplug and plug back in. At most the only big power users running at the same time would be my Vacuum and Table saw.

One thing I did do was to get my brother to make me a 4 plug extension cord to hang above my work bench. I believe it is 8 or 10 gauge. But again only one tool runs at a time.

One thing I always do is unplug everything when I am finished working in my garage/shop.

Something I bought yesterday was a remote plug for my Vacuum Cleaner that way when I have it hooked up to table saw, Planer, Router table, Belt/Disc sander I do not have to walk across the room and turn it on/off. WOW talk about nice. I picked it up at Ace hardware. I now have remotes for my lights and Vacuum.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-24-2006, 02:00 PM
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Power strips work ok, just so long as you only use 1 tool at a time.
I have a power cord that is 8 gauge wired into 2 boxes fastened together with 4 outlets per box, total, 8 plugs. If you go the route that I've done, I suggest you get outlets with the breakers built-in. They will trip before the main breaker does. Thus eliminating having to find the main breakers and resetting them.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2006, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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how much did that remote set you back goon man? I saw one at rockler but it was $60 which seemed steep at the time.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2006, 01:35 PM
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Rprice54

Why not just do it right ?, most garages are easy to add New circuits,if you have the room in the breaker panel for new breakers.
They make many types of breakers now days, dual pickup off one lug in the panel if you are short on space or opening.(don't put the breakers on the same side in the panel, use the left side lug and the right side lug)(use 20 amp. breakers)
Drop cords are never a good way to go,,,, if you can help it.
For temp service or to run a tool out side the shop, ok some times but most don't use one that can take on the load....or to say the cable size is to small,don't use anything over 25ft. max. for most power tools.
Stop by HomeDepot/Ace Hardware/or ? and have a look around or ask a sales person to help you find the Right breaker(s) for your panel.(write down the Mfg. and model number b/4 you go to pick them up)
Also ask albout a wire snake it will let you pull the wires into the shop.
Just a note,,,don't put two wires into one breaker, if you don't want to take on this easy job ask a mate to give you a hand or a license elec. tech.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2006, 01:42 PM
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I believe it was $24.

One of the things I had in my Garage when I moved in was a 220 plug for a AC unit. The person who lived here before me had conduit ran for the plug this makes it alot easier thanjust having the originals. I kept throwing breakers before changing this plug. (I had a electrician friend change the breaker and the plug so I could use it for 110.) The other plugs in my garage has the Garage door and lights on it.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2006, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj3
Rprice54

Why not just do it right ?, most garages are easy to add New circuits,if you have the room in the breaker panel for new breakers.
that was my first thought but no room for a new circuit. I think the 12g cable should be plenty for an 8 foot cord.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2006, 06:52 PM
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Rprice
That's the norm but that's why I suggested the dual breaker, it takes one slot in the panel but has two switchs and two lugs on one breaker,20amp.per switch.

I should note,,,you can also put in a sub main, that's quick and easy to put in and hook up ,it gets power from a pair of breakers from the main service or
one 50amp. breaker from the main panel.
Most are 10 or less breakers.
Some of the new ones are set up with a remodel kit ,that's to say you cut a hole in the dry wall hook (next to the main) hook up the wires and put in the hole and lock it in, it takes about 45 mins.or so to put one in and warm it up.

Hope this helps

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Last edited by bobj3; 06-27-2006 at 09:49 AM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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It does help. I didn't know dual switches existed... If it turns out we'll stay here long term I will probably put in a sub-board. I have a window ac unit in our basement I would like to have on it's own circuit as well. But we're probably moving in less than a year, so I'm gonna wait before I do that.
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