Hardwiring a circuit

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Forum topic by gizmodyne posted 12-29-2007 05:23 PM 1467 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1779 posts in 4083 days

12-29-2007 05:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: electrical

I am getting a new table saw and am thinking about hardwiring it to the circuit breaker.

Has anyone done this before? I have installed boxes, circuits, plugs, circuits before but not hardwired.

When I built the shop, I put a recepticalbox in the floor with conduit running to the sub-panel , but never installed the recepticle or wiring.

So my two choices are: (1) New circuit breaker runs to box with plug/recepticle or (2) I just cover the box with a lid that allows the plug wire to run all the way to the circuit breaker. My shop is tiny so the run is only about 10 feet.

I am worried about dust or other things getting into the recepticle. Am thinking, ‘No worry if I hardwire it’.

Am I on the right track?



-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

6 replies so far

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3868 days

#1 posted 12-29-2007 05:40 PM

John – It would work, but I’m not sure if it would meet code.

My concern would be blade changes if you can’t unplug: Will you walk over to the breaker box and trip the breaker every time, or will you be tempted to skip that step? Even if you do trip the breaker (basically another switch) is that as safe as unplugging?

I seem to be on an SO kick here, but what about running SO cable (basically extension cord) from the box through the conduit and out onto the floor? You wouldn’t have any wire connections in the floor box, so dust wouldn’t be a concern, but you could still unplug the saw.

-- -- --

View gizmodyne's profile


1779 posts in 4083 days

#2 posted 12-29-2007 05:47 PM

Thanks Peter. That’s an intriguing idea. I will need to see how the saw is configured.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View speakerscott's profile


47 posts in 3832 days

#3 posted 12-29-2007 05:48 PM


I’m pretty sure this won’t meet code.

Peter’s concerns about safety with blade changes are more than warranted. My Unisaw had dust in the switch…and turned itself on once…I blew out the switch with compressed air, but it was replaced ASAP. Since then I have been more than religious with unplugging the saw during blade changes.

The second suggestion is a good one as well…not sure if that will pass inspection coming from the floor. Ceiling drops in a commercial setting are done all the time…but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a floor drop. It is a good solution other wise.

Look at getting an out-door box with a cover if you are concerned about dust. My 220V outlet is in the wall…I occasionally blow it out with compressed air…and that’s the end of my worries about it.


-- Scott, Austin-Texas...

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3868 days

#4 posted 12-29-2007 06:05 PM

Scott is right – I meant to mention that it might not meet code coming out of the floor. I can’t think of any reason it would be dangerous, but it might not meet code.

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View BroDave's profile


107 posts in 3808 days

#5 posted 12-29-2007 07:00 PM

It doesn’t violate the NEC in any way. What you have to do is make the wire size and connections according to code, location isn’t a problem you have.

That said, If it were mine I would run the wire and install a recepticle. The you can unplug the saw and move it if you like or need. If you have enough service and room in the breaker panel then put everything on it’s own properly sized breaker with the correctly sized wire.

-- .

View sonicchicken's profile


8 posts in 3884 days

#6 posted 12-31-2007 08:07 PM

Hey Gizmo,

I’d recommend that you go with a plug/receptacle, for both safety and flexibility. Since you’re worried about dust (rightfully so), I would install a single outlet (instead of the usual “duplex”). If you will be leaving the outlet unplugged, you might want to install a floor outlet cover. They’re brass, kind of expensive (about $60 at Home Depot). Personally I’d just leave the saw plugged in! ;)

If you didn’t install a pull string in the conduit, it’s pretty easy to do after-the-fact. Just get some kite string (or similar light, smooth string), tape a little wad of newspaper to the end and feed it into one end of the conduit. Have somebody else on the other end of the conduit with a shop vac. Kite string probably isn’t beefy enough to pull conductors, so tie a heavier line to the kite string and pull that back through the conduit. Now you should be able to pull your conductors.

If you have conduit all the way from the floor box to your breaker panel, use THHN//THWN wire. (These are individual wires, not “Romex”/NM sheathed). These are super easy to pull, too. Just buy black, white, and green/bare wires of the length you need. In my wife’s quilt shop the conduit runs from the floor box to the wall, so we had to use NM cable, which is a bear to pull through conduit! Ideally we would have run the conduit up into a junction box, then used NM in the wall and run THHN in the conduit, but that wasn’t possible in my application.

Hope this helps!

Stringing a conduit:

Conduit wiring:

-- Jim, Sacramento, Calif.

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