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Forum topic by david_larch posted 719 days ago 1072 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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david_larch

94 posts in 906 days


719 days ago

We bought our house a year ago amd I’m getting the itch to run 220 to the shop. The previous owners had a hot tub out back with a 220 line and sub panel for it. In my main box I’ve got what I think is a double 50 amp single pole breaker. I’ve heard that these are often run with double hots.

My question is: Can I pull the line from the conduit that used to run the hot tub and repurpose it to wire up an outlet in my shop? I know there are some experienced electrical guys so I’d like to hear your thoughts. Is this an odd situation?


17 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1672 days


#1 posted 719 days ago

Do you have any other 220v loads in your house (oven, clothes dryer, et)? If you’re plannng to abandon the hot tub, that 220v wire could probably be relocated to feed your garage.

If you “think” you have a double 50 amp breaker, this might not be a job you want to take on. Electrical work isn’t terribly difficult, but it can definitely bite you in the ass if you don’t know what you’re doing. An electrician would be able to do your job quickly and safely.

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

View mikedddd's profile

mikedddd

145 posts in 1833 days


#2 posted 719 days ago

A fifty amp service will power a one man woodworking shop nicely, that breaker could also be swapped out for a larger one but the wire will also need to be changed to match the larger breaker.

As Sawkerf has already said though if your not sure what your doing you should really consult an electrician, that is a small job for an electrician.

-- Mike

View Alongiron's profile

Alongiron

401 posts in 1297 days


#3 posted 719 days ago

Do not mess with 220!!!! Call an electrician! !!!!

-- Measure twice and cut once.....

View david_larch's profile

david_larch

94 posts in 906 days


#4 posted 719 days ago

I have no intention of doing it myself, but I want to know what I’m dealing with. If its all new or I can recycle some things makes a big difference in cost. I have no other 220 in the house as its all gas.

My buddy rewired his house and wants to run this line for me. I’m sure he could do it well and safely, but I think an electrician could give me more options. Just want a base of knowledge to start with.

Thanks for the comments.

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1654 days


#5 posted 719 days ago

Go to any big box and buy a book on electrical wiring. Read it twice, and think it through. If you can follow instructions and feel comfortable with your understanding of the material, go for it. If you feel the least bit uncomfortable, call an electrician. The couple hundred bucks you try to save won’t buy you a new house or your wife a new husband. Careful,be very careful.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View klassenl's profile

klassenl

113 posts in 1263 days


#6 posted 719 days ago

Yes. Your hot tub wire can be re-purposed (within reason).

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

463 posts in 803 days


#7 posted 719 days ago

A 50A circuit is a 50A circuit and as long as it was (originally) wired correctly, you should be able to use it without any problem.. in fact, if the run from your breaker to your shop is the same or less than the run from the breaker box to the hot tub location, you should be able to use most of what you already have saving you a lot in costs vs. having to purchase new. Like klasseni sez: within reason :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View david_larch's profile

david_larch

94 posts in 906 days


#8 posted 718 days ago

Thanks, guys. This is good news. I was unsure about it being 4 wire, having only dealt with the smaller stuff personally.

View toolie's profile

toolie

1724 posts in 1232 days


#9 posted 718 days ago

yes you can, if oyu plan on decommissioning the hot tub. if the hot tub will remain operational, i would humbly suggest not pulling any other loads off that circuit. and whay is 4 wire? a 220v ciruit is usually 2 conductors and a ground. a neutral may be included if and appliance, like a hot tub, needs 110v for certain contriols or motors. if yo were wiring a decicated 220v circuit in a shop, assuming the tool being activated has no 110v requirements, the circuit would comprise 2 conductors (both hots) and a ground.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View jmos's profile

jmos

681 posts in 973 days


#10 posted 718 days ago

I wouldn’t get freaked out about 220v; a 220v curcuit is just two 110v hots that are out of phase to give 220v (each hot is 110v to ground, but 220v between the two hots) IF you are comfortable running 110v, 220 is largely the same thing. If you not comfortable running 110v, get help.

Also remember, if you decide to upgrade the breaker, you HAVE TO check the wire size. Going from 50 to 60 amps will likely kick you up to the next wire gauge, and you do not want the wire to be too small or it can overheat and you can have a fire.

-- John

View david_larch's profile

david_larch

94 posts in 906 days


#11 posted 718 days ago

Thanks guys. The hot tub is long gone so that’s no worry.

JMOS that is a great answer. Makes sense to me. Probably won’t need to upgrade amp size. The 50 is plenty big.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3055 posts in 1279 days


#12 posted 718 days ago

According to the code a hot tub should be GFCI protected. I usually see this at the circuit breaker for the tub. You could try this but it might trip. If this is the case you might need to change the breaker to a non GFCI breaker. GFCI tends to trip easily. Try it first and see.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4096 posts in 1460 days


#13 posted 718 days ago

I’m upping to 440v 3 phase

I got the sparks in

I feel safer if the grand kids are around

I also have a hidden breaker. :)

jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1276 posts in 1602 days


#14 posted 718 days ago

Actually, I would suggest if there is a GFCI breaker, leave it. The only reason not to have every circuit a GFCI is expense. Always keep in mind that the Electrical Code is the MINIMUM safety requirements. If a functioning GFCI breaker is tripping, it means there is a problem. Electricity is going to ground somewhere. Basically, a GFCI breaker detects that the current coming back through the common and ground equals the current going in. (Generally speaking. The actual way it works is a bit more complicated.) The only place you should have electricity going to ground is through a properly grounded rod. You really don’t want some electric current finding you to be the most attractive path to ground.

BTW, I have an identical situation. Some time in the future I am going to take an abandoned hot tub circuit and run it to the shop (ok, it’s just a garage) to use for a welder/plasma cutter or any other 220v need I might drag in.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11639 posts in 2292 days


#15 posted 718 days ago

I had an electrician wire my entire shop after he installed a separate sub-panel in my shop…keeps me from running too far to throw a breaker back on , and the other original lights , etc. , don’t go out if I trip a breaker with one of my tools. Peace of mind is priceless…hire a pro : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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