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Forum topic by Iggles88 posted 03-05-2012 04:32 PM 2609 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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247 posts in 2388 days

03-05-2012 04:32 PM

Hey all, let me preface by saying I don’t know anything and I mean anything about electricity and how it’s run. I have talked to my grandfather who knows quite a bit so I am trying to understand the little bit that he has told me. I checked the breaker box in the shop I’m currently using. It’s a basement shop but it’s not mine so I can’t go changing things around. Anyhow there were no open spots for breakers. There was one breaker wired for 220 though and that was labeled drier. The drier in the basement isn’t too far from where I keep my tablesaw but it’s also not too close. About 20 feet. My question is, is it possible to run a 220 v tablesaw off of that outlet if the drier isn’t running? And if so how would I get the wire to extend over to the outlet? Extension cord? I know this is not the ideal setup but it may be the only setup and I really want to buy a cabinet saw instead of a weaker contractor but I don’t have 220 available except if that is an option. Thanks in advance. Oh and please go easy on me when your explaining things because otherwise I probably won’t understand.

29 replies so far

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3024 days

#1 posted 03-05-2012 04:45 PM

Yes it will run it. NO it is NOT a good idea. The reason it is NOT a good idea, the Dryer breaker is 30 amp, your saw will likely only need 20 AMP. IF something were to go wrong the Saw Motor would be ruined before the braker would trip !
Definetly DO NOT hardwire into the breaker.(Your exsisting oanel might not have enough power for another 220v. breaker) Just because there is a spot to instal breaker does NOTmean your panel box will carry the EXTRA load !
An Option might be, if YOU ARE NOT using the dryer, get an electrician (because you said you know NOTHING about wiring) to put a 20 amp breaker and the proper plug to match the size of breaker and run your saw with an extension cord. Do not want to scare you...electricity is nothing to be fooled with, make a mistake and ELECTRICITY ALWAYS WINS !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2388 days

#2 posted 03-05-2012 04:51 PM

The drier is going to be used I just thought it might be an option to use the saw when the drier isn’t on and like I said I can’t change anything around as it isn’t my house, everything needs to stay as is. That was my only chance of getting 220 in the shop.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2720 days

#3 posted 03-05-2012 04:55 PM

I wouldn’t, brother. You’ll get all kinds of contradictory information here, all with the best intentions. Just call an electrician. If you’ve got enough juice going to the subpanel (I’m guessing that’s what you’re looking at), he can install a new subpanel and the proper outlet to match your machine. I’m no sparky but I had mine upgraded within the year. They had to trench a new cable out to my shop, add a new subpanel, new outlets, etc., etc. and it was still only a few hundred bucks. Probably cheaper than a new motor for your saw. Definitely cheaper than the worrying you’ll do if you don’t. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#4 posted 03-05-2012 05:05 PM

I wouldn’t be afraid myself of exploring using the drier
circuit. There will some workaround if you put your mind
to it but you may have to put in a couple of new breakers
to replace the ones that are there or do this:

Check the drier plug, breakers, the drier info panel and
the receptacle to see what the amperage rating is. This
should be noted on all these areas. Report back.

View rkober's profile


137 posts in 2319 days

#5 posted 03-05-2012 05:46 PM

A good electrician would have the final word here but I have to chime in. The breaker is to protect the branch circuit wiring from shorts and NOT the saw motor. A cabinet saw has a starter/overload for protecting the motor. With that being said, if it was me, I would make a #10/2 with ground SJOW extension cord to run to the saw.

-- Ray - Spokane, WA - “Most people don’t recognize opportunity because it’s usually disguised as hard work.” - Unknown

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2998 days

#6 posted 03-05-2012 06:04 PM

Like Bertha said, you will get all kinds of contradictory advise here, but, oh well, here goes.
There is nothing wrong with using the dryer outlet to run your saw.
You can buy, or have made, an extension cord that will plug into the dryer outlet and have a socket to match you saw. I would make this extension cord at least 12 gage wire; better to be 10 gage.
Before folks jump all over this recommendation and say the 12 gage wire shouldn’t be plugged into a 30 amp circuit, consider any other appliance in your house. How many lamps do you have with 12 gage cord sets? None, because the NEC Code rules are different for wire to connect an appliance vs run inside a wall. Many lamps and other appliances only have a 18 gage or 16 gage wire. It’s no problem.
As far as the 30 amp breaker not protecting your motor like a 20 amp breaker, that’s not a big deal either. the dryer on that 30 amp breaker has maybe a 1/4 hp motor in it. The 30 amp breaker is there to protect the wire inside the wall to keep from burning the house down. Not to protect the load attached to the outlet. The code doesn’t care what the load is going to be on the outlet as long as it’s less than the rating.

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2339 days

#7 posted 03-05-2012 06:05 PM

I have to disagree with canadian chips. You do not have to have a breaker rated to the min. draw on a circuit.

You can run a heavy extension cord, a 3 hp saw draws about 17 amps.

rkober is on track, make yourself a nice heavy cord, you will be fine. 10/2 w/gr. The Electrician may wish to install a more suitable receptacle, you do not have to unplug the dryer and replug the saw after every wash day. And the dryer plug is way overkill for the load you have.

Go with what the electrician says.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3901 days

#8 posted 03-05-2012 06:17 PM

Glad I saw this thread! I just checked, and the motor on my coffee grinder is rated at .75 amps, but it’s plugged into an outlet on my 20 amp kitchen circuit! Jeepers! Better have an electrician come wire me up a new circuit with a .75 amp breaker!


-- -- --

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3024 days

#9 posted 03-05-2012 07:13 PM

Danpaddles: The second receptacle is bad advice because…....if given the chance SOMEONE that doesn’t know WILL run BOTH saw and dryer at same time. (Nice helpful neighbor ladies dryer broke, you let her use yours, your in your shop. POOF !Why do we smell smoke )
Your kitchen circuit has more than 1 outlet on that 20 amp circuit, which allows you to plug in more than 1 appliance at a time. coffee grinder .75 + toaster 7.5 + coffee pot 14.5 = OH shit too much already
and there is still the toaster oven. OMG !
Think about it !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


18290 posts in 3703 days

#10 posted 03-05-2012 08:18 PM

I don’t see anyting wrong with using a #10 SO cord properly made up with ground condutor.

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


18290 posts in 3703 days

#11 posted 03-05-2012 08:25 PM

I should have said the saw should have a motor starter with overload protection or the motor may have it internally. Lots of motor circuits require a breaker or fuses a size or 2 too big for the wiring to handle the inrush current when the motor starts.

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

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3675 days

#12 posted 03-05-2012 08:28 PM

+1 on using #10 cord grounded.

the 30Amp breaker in the panel is not there to protect your motor , but to protect the wiring inside the walls and prevent fire. as long as the breaker supports the load of the motor (12amp 220v?) you should be OK, for that matter, running a 12amp (arbitrary number) on a 20amp breaker, or a 30amp breaker will not make any difference protecting your motor. the motor itself (single phase) most likely has it’s own breaker and reset switch to protect itself.

Just don’t micky mouse with the extension cable and make a proper one – or get someone knowledgeable to make it for you.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4949 posts in 3987 days

#13 posted 03-05-2012 10:32 PM

Get an electrician. Ever seen an over-cooked hot dog?
I’m probably too cautious, but I’m still alive. I don’t fool with elec. other than changin’ bulbs and bad wall switches. I pull the main when I do that stuff.


View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


18290 posts in 3703 days

#14 posted 03-05-2012 10:51 PM

I should probably add that you need to look at the name plate on the motor to see what the FLA (full load amps) says. If it is over 24, you are getting into marginal territory for running on the dryer circuit. Even that high may have problems with the starting inrush current, but being a saw starting under no load, it will probably work.

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

View Everett1's profile


213 posts in 2561 days

#15 posted 03-05-2012 11:35 PM

Nothing wrong with using it.

Unless my understanding is totally wrong by people that have helped me in the past with electrical, the comment above about the circuit being 30amp has nothing to do with being able to break your saw if it requires at LEAST 20amp. The breaker size of 30amp is to stop the wire from overheating and causing a fire (which is why it’s important to use the proper gauge wire depending on the amperage). well, it’s also to provide the said 30amps

Just make sure to make your extension cable (or buy one pre-made) that is 10 gauge, you should be good.

If the above about a 30amp breaker breaking a saw that required at least 20amp, then why don’t all of your household devices that plug into 15amp breakers fry if they use below 15amp?

Just remember, make sure to use the right gauge of cable; the breaker rating depends on that when to know to flip before the wire causes a fire.

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

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