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Forum topic by dddddmorgan posted 12-27-2016 03:23 PM 1114 views 0 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dddddmorgan

87 posts in 967 days


12-27-2016 03:23 PM

I’m sure this topic has been discussed ad nauseum but I’m wondering what are your recommendations based on experience for 220v wiring, three or four wire?

I’m remodeling the garage and I’m going to put boxes and pull wiring into the attic for the electrician and I will have two 220v outlets and I’m wondering if I need to go to the expense of four wire or not?

I don’t think this will have any bearing on the plug end of any cord I will use will it?

And yes I’ve searched L.J. and I’ve had many of my questions answered but these specific ones I’m still wondering.

Thanks

-- Maintenance Man - I do precision guesswork based on unreliable data from people of questionable knowledge...


47 replies so far

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Jack Lewis

208 posts in 917 days


#1 posted 12-27-2016 03:34 PM

Here is my layman’s thought on this subject. IF there is only one operator and one 220 v. circuit being used at any one time what good would the extra wire do? The same philosophy is used for 115 v. circuits. If you are talking about a dedicated A/C circuit that is different. Ask your self, “How many starting loads at the same time could occur?”.

-- "Now we are getting no where, thanks to me"

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splintergroup

1705 posts in 1062 days


#2 posted 12-27-2016 03:39 PM

The four wire will allow for tools with built in task lights (110v).

You will need to change the plugs in your tools to match the receptacles.

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dddddmorgan

87 posts in 967 days


#3 posted 12-27-2016 04:36 PM

Sounds like I can run the two wire.

I just wasn’t sure since I want to get a welder and switch my saw to 220v if I needed the extra wire.

-- Maintenance Man - I do precision guesswork based on unreliable data from people of questionable knowledge...

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Madmark2

373 posts in 427 days


#4 posted 12-27-2016 05:34 PM

Use:
Two wire with ground.

NEMA-6 connectors.

M

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Fred Hargis

4766 posts in 2333 days


#5 posted 12-27-2016 05:53 PM

Mark nailed it: 2 wire with ground. If they are 30 amp circuits, then use 10-2, for 20 amp circuits 12-2 (both with ground). The only time you need the 3 wire with ground is if there are 120V devices wired into the tool, something I’ve not seen. It’s common on household appliances like dryers and ovens to have need of a 120V circuit (hence the 3 wire WG), but generally not on tools. The plugs/receptacles do need to match the service.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Carloz

986 posts in 431 days


#6 posted 12-27-2016 05:53 PM

The cost of material is negligible compared to the expenses you need to go later if you need that fourth wire.
Some appliances and tools do require 220v and 110 v. Then I heard somewhere but did not try to find id in NEC and building codes that all new 220 wiring requires 4 wires.

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dddddmorgan

87 posts in 967 days


#7 posted 12-27-2016 07:48 PM

Ya, there won’t be anything fancy, just a table saw and a welder, perhaps in the future a compressor.

10/2 it is!

-- Maintenance Man - I do precision guesswork based on unreliable data from people of questionable knowledge...

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TripH

16 posts in 659 days


#8 posted 12-27-2016 10:23 PM

Couple of considerations:

Length of run: As runs get longer, up-gauging is recommended and becomes code over extended distances – there are on-line NEC tables for reference… Most of my ruins are under 50ft and I run 10/2 up to 5HP – not required by code. 10/20 is an up-gauge in my application… As you approach 100ft runs, code-based up-gauging becomes required.

Cost: In some cases, 4-wire is cheaper than 3-wire (mfg volume). I priced-out 250ft spool of #6/2 and #6/3 and the 4-wire was substantially cheaper. I don’t believe 4-wire is code for residential applications in North America and I don’t believe it is being considered for adoption (but my NEC is a few years old, so YMMV), but it may be more cost effective.

Cost: Purchasing larger spools (say 250ft) can drop cost/ft dramatically. It’s best to run all the same gauge to save on larger spool purchases.

Safety: Obviously check the plates on the various machines for Amp requirements. I personally recommend up-gauging every branch. I don’t know what welder you have, but 10/2 would just squeak by for my setup. Same for my compressor. I run #6 for both.

Old Iron: If you ever intend to look seriously at old iron, run 4-wire (3-phase)...

Run all 220v the same gauge: You never know when you might reorg the shop, so run all the branches with the same gauge and same receptacles. I learned this the hard way—ran all 10/2, but matched the receptacles to the load – so I had a mix of 20a, 30a and disconnects… Then I went to reorg the shop and had a real electric task on my hands…

Think ahead: If you ever intend to do a substantial home renovation (or go to sell your home), the inspector may want to poke around (mine did when he noticed the sub-panel breaker in the main panel). To get his ticket, I had to change my shop receptacles to twist lock (NEMA L5 and L6). Now this was WAY out of scope, and I could have fought it – but I needed his ticket and not a hassle… So I said, “Yes Sir” and spent the $250 for new plugs/receptacles… The point is, when you run your branches, at least follow code to avoid any future problems.

DC: Shop DC is considered constant load, so must be on it’s own dedicated branch—same inspector as above… Thank you very much…

Conduit: If your local application requires conduit (check – don’t guess) – a lot of garage installs require it, then pull individual conductors (big cost savings). Some parts of the US are notorious for specifying requirements beyond NEC (ex. Chicago).

Good luck…

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

479 posts in 1309 days


#9 posted 12-27-2016 11:29 PM

Just being pedantic here, but 220v does not exist in north america. You have 240V or 208V line-line, 120v line-neutral.

It’s possible that your utility service is off, but the spec allows for only a minor variation.

230V line-neutral is common in europe, however.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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TripH

16 posts in 659 days


#10 posted 12-28-2016 12:05 AM

Yea, yea… It’s a 120v/240v/60h setup now, but the 220v tag is the historical (and colloquial) reference to the original 110v setup. Around WWII (early ‘50s?), the 110 setup drifted to the 120 setup—about saving copper, and therefore $$. The requirement was an allowable voltage range (110 – 130?) and 120v was in the range—- and cheaper to run.

Those with pre-war homes (count me in) may still have a few 110v outlets (which are un-polarized and, if old enough, without ground). Note to those with pre-war homes—ever wonder why you can’t plug-in your new vacuum cleaner in that old socket at the back of the closet?

I’m not sure over what time-span the 110->120 switch was rolled-out, but I bet it was into the ‘70s. I’m not even sure if utilities today are required to deliver 120v, just somewhere between 110v and 120v.

BTW: I remember helping my dad with DIY electric and our panel was 110v/leg.

But if you say 220v to someone today in NA, everyone knows you’re talking 240v/60h.

And to your point, we should now say 120/240.

Suppose your terminology depends what the voltage was when you helped your dad with DIY… :)

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Carloz

986 posts in 431 days


#11 posted 12-28-2016 12:18 AM



Just being pedantic here, but 220v does not exist in north america. You have 240V or 208V line-line, 120v line-neutral.

It s possible that your utility service is off, but the spec allows for only a minor variation.

230V line-neutral is common in europe, however.

- William Shelley


There is no 230V in Europe. All networks supply 220V. UK is 240V.
230V is just a fake voltage that is between EU and UK so the electric goods could be designed to something that works in both EU and UK. In reality it is either 220V or 240V.

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TheFridge

8333 posts in 1325 days


#12 posted 12-28-2016 12:35 AM

So you’re saying Santa Claus isn’t real…

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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TripH

16 posts in 659 days


#13 posted 12-28-2016 01:03 AM

I wonder if the local utility agreed to run 3phase to Santa’s shop? Or maybe he generates his own from burning reindeer poop. Who knows? BTW: is the North Pole 50hz or 60hz?—I bet Mrs. Claus runs a pretty tight ship—- 60hz.

Boy are we off topic… Sorry.

Agreed, just run 10/2…

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dddddmorgan

87 posts in 967 days


#14 posted 12-28-2016 02:54 AM

Did some measuring when I got home.

The two 240 outlets will be within 2’ of each other and only 39’ run at the longest.

I will make the two outlets the same. I will only use one at a time but my line of thinking is that I will not want to have to switch machines back and forth.

I have a 19’ x 20’ garage so the chances of “old iron” are nil so I’m not going to worry about 3 phase.

I stopped by the big orange toy store on the way home and I might see if I can get some #6 wire, I have a couple of contacts there that could keep an eye out for a deal.

Thanks for the input.

-- Maintenance Man - I do precision guesswork based on unreliable data from people of questionable knowledge...

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MrUnix

6015 posts in 2038 days


#15 posted 12-28-2016 03:01 AM

I have a 19’ x 20’ garage so the chances of “old iron” are nil so I’m not going to worry about 3 phase.
- dddddmorgan

You shouldn’t worry about it even if you do get a three phase machine. The cost to wire your house up with three phase power would be significant, if it were even possible. If you do get a three phase machine (which are much more robust and efficient), just figure on another couple hundred bucks for a VFD and run it off your existing single phase 240V house supply voltage.

And while running 4 wires for three phase isn’t really a valid reason, the others mentioned above are – like being able to pull 120V off the outlet sometime in the future, or even re-purposing the wiring sometime down the road to provide multiple 120V outlets instead of a single 240V one. And as also mentioned, it can be cheaper depending on where you get your wire.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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