New Garage & question regarding power.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by juicegoose posted 09-02-2010 05:50 PM 1081 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View juicegoose's profile


117 posts in 3087 days

09-02-2010 05:50 PM

Guys I’m a hobby woodworker and have some larger tools bandsaw and stuff but all can work on a 15A circuit. The problem in my last house was that if I had my shop vac running with any of the machines it would trip the circuit. I just bought a new home and was going to put in some new receptacles all 20A. Problem is I can’t decide if I want to go with 1 duplex at each point or go all out and put 2 duplexes(4 receptacles) at each point and have each duplex on it’s own circuit. I think the later is overkill but at the same time I don’t want to be popping circuits like before. By the way I will be purchasing a 220v dust collector in the not to distant future so really the miter saw will utilize the shop vac. It’s a 12” milwaukee. Have ay of you experienced any problem with 20A circuits not being enough in the shop? by not being enough what i mean is due you find the breaker tripping often when you might have say your planer and jointer rolling at once
I’ve got a 13” dewalt planer and 6” ridgid jointer

8 replies so far

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3008 days

#1 posted 09-02-2010 07:44 PM

I’m setting up my new shop with the 120 as quads/4 receptacles. With each set of 2 on its own breaker. Not that I will use all at the same time but so I don’t have to keep unplugging things all the time. Since your DC will be 240 it will be on its own circuit, if it was 120 I would recommend its own as well. If you decide to use a shop vac in conjunction with another tool be sure they are plugged into separate circuits. Also you may while your at it want to add a couple of extra 240’s for in the future, in case you decide to do some upgrading. To answer your question of 2 tools at the same time. The only thing you will really be running will be your DC and whatever machine your using at the time.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2905 days

#2 posted 09-02-2010 09:44 PM

I set up a shop in my garage this year and had to give a major upgrade to the electric. The first thing you should consider is having a sub panel installed in the garage. I have one 240 amp double breaker that runs power to a sub panel in my garage. In the sub panel I have I think 5 20 amp breakers. I have two breakers for my lights. I installed a lot of florescent light fixtures and put half on one breaker, half on another. This way I don’t have the lights dim when I use any of my tools. I have a 3rd breaker that has one outlet which is for my table saw. The last two breakers I have power my outlets. I have not tripped a switch yet with this set up. I am also not running more then a couple of tools at once. 20amp circuits should be fine for most tools but your not going to want to run more then a couple at once on the circuit especially if your lights are not on a separate breaker. The 220v tools will need their own circuits.

I would recommend a sub panel if at all possible and splitting up your circuits based on layout of the shop. I made mine easy by having having one side of my shops outlets going to one 20 amp breaker and the other side going to a different one. I later added the breaker for my table saw when I bought it. This also shows benefit of a sub panel. I have the ability to add more breakers when ever I need them without having to go into the main box.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3489 days

#3 posted 09-02-2010 10:10 PM

Overkill with electrical supply isn’t. If you have any hint of an inclination you may want additional power or supply put it in now. You’ll be happy later. Much cheaper to wire upfront than to try to redo it later. Local codes are sometimes more restrictive than national code too. Our local town won’t allow any wire smaller than 12ga, even for lighting circuits. NO KIDDING!
Always run lights on separate circuit from plugs. You can have power to run auxiliary lights if you have to work on the lights. Your not stuck in the dark! A sub-panel in the shop is a must. You don’t have to run into the house to kill a circuit and know that it stays off while working on it. Much easier to reset if you do trip one too.
Remember live load isn’t the same as capacity of circuit. Just because it’s a 20amp circuit doesn’t mean the load is pulling 20amp. Don’t mean to talk down or over simplify so please don’t take anything wrong.
If in any doubt what so ever call a pro. Could save your life or your structure or both. Electricity is overall really safe but completely unforgiving.
Hope this helps, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View EEngineer's profile


1103 posts in 3638 days

#4 posted 09-03-2010 02:40 AM

I agree with most of what’s said here. I am the only one that works in my shop and I don’t run more than one tool at a time. I could run the entire shop off of 1 20 Amp circuit (and did until I got tired of plugging/unplugging tools all the time).

I ran 220V out to my garage shop and wired quad receptacles wired much like Gregon said with each duplex on its own circuit. In addition, each duplex in the quad receptacles is on a different phase (NOT so I can get 220V at the receptacles – just to help balance the load). I installed ganged 20 Amp mains, 2 X 20 amp circuits for each side wall, a 15 amp circuit for two duplexes over the workbench and a 15 amp circuit for the lights. I haven’t tripped a circuit breaker yet.

I don’t have any 220V tools yet, but if do get one there is extra room in the box to install a ganged circuit breaker for it.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View 489tad's profile


3368 posts in 3036 days

#5 posted 09-03-2010 03:48 AM

In a previous house we built, the garage was on seperate breakers. I do not have anything running 220v but ran the proper gage wire to two outlets in the event I ever changed over. Current house I had garage put on its own breakers. I was dimming the kitchen lights when I turned on my saw.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3165 posts in 3134 days

#6 posted 09-03-2010 04:10 AM

I am lucky that my garage had an electric dryer when I moved in. It and the electric stove were the first things to go when I got a little money ahead. The replacement gas dryer and stove paid for themselves in less than a year. So, why lucky? I had the 220 in the garage, already, and only had to run it another 15 feet down the wall. I split that into TWO GCFI quad outlets after that 220V outlet. I never use them all at the same time, but I have 50 amps a side. I can run the air compressor, sprinkler controller and Malibu lights on the same circuit. Those three are always plugged in, but the compressor only gets switched on when needed.

Don’t skimp on wire or outlets. You will not regret it. The cost of the wires and outlets will be forgotten long after you have them installed. And you won’t ever have to cuss out the power problem. Consult an electrician and do it right the first time.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2951 days

#7 posted 09-04-2010 03:55 PM

I have 40 duplex receptacles in my shop (salvaged supplies and the wire is cheap) and sometimes they are not where I need them as they are behind lumber, base cabinets, etc.

We wired ours so every third one is on an alternate circuit, most are about 5’ apart.

I agree with what was said above, don’t skimp!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3489 days

#8 posted 09-04-2010 06:07 PM

One more point.
If you are placing plugs in an area where any fuel or volitile fumes may collect the plugs are supposed to be above 48 inches from the floor. It’s a safety measure to keep sparking out of fuel vapor. I’ve found they are very handy because they don’t get stuck behind clutter on the floor or end up behind cabinets. They are also between counter top and overhead cabinet height.
Good luck, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics