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Forum topic by Luke posted 02-07-2010 08:23 PM 1289 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Luke

540 posts in 1990 days


02-07-2010 08:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop electrical electric table saw motor amperage load wiring

I have a craftsman contractor table saw and I use it in an out building that the previous owners built. The saw has a 1 horse capacitor start motor and every time I switch it on all the lights in the shop dim to dark and they slowly flicker back on till the saw gets up and running. I’m also sure that the saw is not running at it’s full potential. The wiring that goes out there underground is only 14 guage and it runs for about 85 feet underground. Before anyone tells me to run a new line, I have to say that I really don’t want to put any more money in to this house. I am stuck in a bad loan with an underwater mortgage to boot and so far I can not get out. So sinking more money into something that I may lose isn’t really appealing. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Do you think the wire should be able to handle the load? I’m just not sure. BTW… the power to the shop is also running through a standard light switch in the garage that controls the whole works. Could this be limiting flow if it is an low amperage switch?

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com


21 replies so far

View bladeburner's profile

bladeburner

88 posts in 1783 days


#1 posted 02-07-2010 08:50 PM

At 85 feet and 14 gauge, you;re really draining the pipe! Motors and other inductive loads need a lot of startup current and your pipe is both too skinny and too long. If you don’t want to spend any money, the best you can do is to move the motor closer to your panel (shorter wire). And to matters worse, you may have a lot of wire between the panel and that light switch.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112363 posts in 2273 days


#2 posted 02-07-2010 09:42 PM

It sounds like bladeburner has the correct answer to this one.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View sphere's profile

sphere

109 posts in 1727 days


#3 posted 02-07-2010 09:57 PM

Go buy a 100’ 12ga ext cord for the saw and leave the lights on the old wire.
That does 2 things, keeps your saw running better and also if ya blow a breaker with the saw, yer not in the dark.

Take the cord when ya move on.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View bobkberg's profile

bobkberg

363 posts in 1769 days


#4 posted 02-08-2010 03:10 AM

Darn! Sphere beat me to it!

-- Bob www.singularengineering.com - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2795 days


#5 posted 02-08-2010 03:15 AM

You need a 10ga wire to go that far. 12ga is not enough due to load and line voltage drop.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2429 days


#6 posted 02-08-2010 03:49 AM

I concur on the 10 ga. extension cord. This is the very least you should do!

You mention that the feed to the outbuilding is coming off an existing light switch – who knows what else is on that circuit or how much wire length is between the circuit box and that light switch – it all adds to the total distance. Since your lights are dimming when running the saw, you obviously have an overload. If you keep using it as configured right now, chances are that you are gradually damaging the insulation in the existing house wiring from overheating. Whether you like your home or not, I don’t believe you want to burn it down and that is a very real possibility. Whoever ran the outside line off the light switch obviously knew nothing about the National Electrical Code! The line was probably meant to provide lighting to the outbuilding and a utility outlet, not to provide current for major current-drawing equipment.

I can’t stress enough – use the wiring to the outbuilding only for lighting and low amperage devices. If you want to run your table saw, etc. out there, you need to either run an entirely new line from circuit breaker panel, underground (following applicable local codes), to the outbuilding. Actually you should run two – one for lighting and one for the power equipment. The only other option is as has been recommended – a 10 gauge extension cord.

Jim
(Electronics/Computer Tech – 35 years)

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Luke's profile

Luke

540 posts in 1990 days


#7 posted 02-08-2010 05:17 AM

Great Idea. A little bit of a hassle but a lot cheaper and safer to boot. I was worried about the safety of this wiring the way I’m using it. Thing is, the guy built the shed with outlets in it and I think he did welding out there. That tells me that he meant it to be used for more than lights. The neighbor told me that he did his own wiring and screwed up quite a few things. I’ve had to fix quite a few reversed outlets and other wiring no-no’s that he did. Sucks that someone else’s stupidity is leading to so many problems for me. Where should I plug in the extention cord if it will still be running through the household wiring? Close to the panel?

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1764 days


#8 posted 02-08-2010 05:26 AM

You definitely need a 10 gauge extension cord – and a wheelbarrow to carry it. It’ll be a heavy SOB> – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View Luke's profile

Luke

540 posts in 1990 days


#9 posted 02-08-2010 05:50 AM

Well, It’s about 110 feet to the shed from the garage door. So It’s probably another 75 to the box. Not good. I think I might be moving into the garage…. Guess we’ll see. The cord would have to be probably two 75 footers and man what a pain to set those up when I want to work. I would end up never working on anything.

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14905 posts in 2372 days


#10 posted 02-08-2010 06:42 AM

Your 1 hp motor is drawing close to 16 amps on 120 volts; therefore, #10 over 110 feet is the minimum size cord you should use. That should keep your running current within the 5% drop allowed by code. Your lights may still dim when you start the saw. The best thing you could do is go to 220, but I doubt is your 1 hp saw motor has that optioin.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2795 days


#11 posted 02-08-2010 07:33 AM

I was wondering when Topamax would get in on this.

I would listen to him and as a contractor I would be using him for all of my electrical work if we were in the same town.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2429 days


#12 posted 02-08-2010 07:36 PM

When I set up my under-house garage as a workshop, I ran new 20A circuits, one down the right side and another down the left side of the garage. Another circuit feeds the lights. If you are going to move to your garage, as I would highly recommend, you may want to check to see what circuits you have available there. Make sure your outlets are on their own circuit, not sharing with other rooms and equipment.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Clarence's profile

Clarence

125 posts in 1802 days


#13 posted 02-08-2010 09:50 PM

I had a very similar situation. I ran two 10 ga. lines and one 12 from my box, about 90 feet, underground through plastic conduit.

In addition to dimming lights, with that low voltage you are running the risk of ruining some power tools.

-- Getting old is a good thing, but being old kinda stinks.

View kimball's profile

kimball

323 posts in 1993 days


#14 posted 02-08-2010 10:26 PM

Hey Skywalker,
Here’s an off the wall suggestion that won’t put any more money into your house. Buy a generator. It will be nice to have power when the lectricity goes out, you can run your saw as well as other power hungry tools, you can have electricity when you go camping and you can take it with you when you leave.

You might be able to buy one used and if you don’t want to keep it, sell it later.

View Luke's profile

Luke

540 posts in 1990 days


#15 posted 02-09-2010 01:52 AM

Huh, interesting, Can they put out enough power for a saw like that? I assume so or you wouldn’t suggest it I guess. Might be a little loud and I work at night sometimes but it’s a possibility. Thanks!

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

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