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Adding new electrical circuits to the shop

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Forum topic by nwbusa posted 02-13-2013 11:38 PM 1058 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nwbusa

1017 posts in 938 days


02-13-2013 11:38 PM

I have my new cabinet saw set up in my garage/shop, with no power to run it! Of course I knew that when I bought it, and the plan was to add a couple of 240V 30A circuits (plenty of room in the panel). When I called the city to inquire about a permit, I found out that as a homeowner I’m not allowed to perform this work because we rent out a basement suite. Anyway, the long and short of it is that I have to hire a licensed contractor to add the circuits.

Which gets to the substance of my post. I have two existing 120V 15A circuits in the garage now that run the lights, freezer, and central vac. I was thinking of adding two 240V 30A circuits and two 120V 20A circuits which would be dedicated to my tools. Does that sound about right for a single man hobby shop? So far, the only 240V machine I have is the TS (3 hp) but I will be adding more machines (bandsaw, bigger d/c, and maybe a jointer). All of my other equipment runs on 120V right now.

I’m a bit choked that I have to pay someone to do this work but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I don’t want to risk doing it myself without a permit and have it bite me down the road.

-- John, BC, Canada


22 replies so far

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rum

148 posts in 1238 days


#1 posted 02-13-2013 11:49 PM

only on the 240v side.

Consider that a licensed electrician is unlikely to run multiple outlets for 240V circuits so you may need to unplug/replug machines. Depending on what your panel looks like it might be easier to run one extension circuit and a sub panel and then add a handful of circuits while you’re there just so

The main machine you would want a dedicated circuit for would be the dust collector, so I’d budget for at least one dedicated plug for that.

The rest depends on how much you want to shuffle plugs on machines.

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nwbusa

1017 posts in 938 days


#2 posted 02-13-2013 11:57 PM

Yeah, I did want a couple of outlets on each circuit. It’s a 400 sq ft garage, and the panel is right there. I have the electrician coming by tomorrow, so I’ll see what he is willing to do.

-- John, BC, Canada

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 900 days


#3 posted 02-14-2013 12:06 AM

Electric is next on the list for me. My garage is detached so I only want to do this once. Fortunately I have some experience pulling cable to code, so I will be doing that part. I will have an electrician terminate the wire and “bless” it to satisfy homeowners insurance. I am going to be doing the following:

Sub-pannel in garage.
120v for overhead lighting and 2 outlets
Dedicated 120v – 2 outlets
Dedicated 120v – 4 outlets
Dedicated 240v on one side
Dedicated 240v on the other side

I am going to color code the 120V outlets to ensure I don’t use the same one on two tools. It is rare I will run more than 2 tools at the same time – a tool and dust collection of some sort. If so I have the lighting circuit which will only have 3 double tube fluorescent on it. A hand sander or other low amperage power tool will run fine. Actually any one of my power tools should run fine considering my garage is currently all on ONE circuit that is shared with the entire second floor of my house. The only tool that gives me trouble is my air compressor. It will kick the breaker if it cycles. I have to fill it, then run it til empty before filling again.

Other than my table saw, I don’t have any 240v tools. I don’t plan on buying any more stationary tools either. I am adding the outlet in case I change my shop around, or in case I get a big electric heater

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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MonteCristo

2097 posts in 840 days


#4 posted 02-14-2013 12:53 AM

Your 3 HP TS should run on a 15A 220V circuit. I used 20A just to be safe, but I would say 30A is overkill unless you figure on a big planer or similar.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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nwbusa

1017 posts in 938 days


#5 posted 02-14-2013 03:00 AM

If the electrician won’t install multiple outlets for the 240V circuits then I’ll probably go with 20A instead of 30A. I don’t think I’ll end up with any 5 HP machines. I need to upgrade my lighting to, but I thin I can switch out the existing 4’ T8 fixtures for 8 footers and it will be sufficient.

-- John, BC, Canada

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Bruce Taylor

20 posts in 590 days


#6 posted 02-14-2013 05:46 AM

Lumberjoe is right on track – pull all the circuits yourself. Just verify the wire sizes first. Even wire the receptacles but leave them exposed so that your electrician can give that his blessing before you put them into the boxes.

-- Captain Bruce, Washington State

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nwbusa

1017 posts in 938 days


#7 posted 02-14-2013 05:55 AM

I guess I wasn’t clear enough in my original post. I can’t pull the wire myself because in my city, they won’t issue an electrical permit to homeowners who have a rental suite in their house. Maybe it’s different in other municipalities, but here you need a permit before any of the work is commenced. I could do the entire job myself if I wasn’t concerned about the permit.

-- John, BC, Canada

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Bruce Taylor

20 posts in 590 days


#8 posted 02-14-2013 06:03 AM

Is there anything against collaborating with your electrician after the permit is issued?

-- Captain Bruce, Washington State

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1017 posts in 938 days


#9 posted 02-14-2013 06:16 AM

That’s a good question. I’ll ask the contractor when he comes by tomorrow. Maybe I can save a few bucks by doing the grunt work myself. I know some electricians don’t want to do half the job, they want to control the quality (and price) for the whole thing. It won’t hurt to ask, though. Thanks for the advice!

-- John, BC, Canada

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TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2328 days


#10 posted 02-14-2013 06:35 AM

I know some electricians don’t want to do half the job, they want to control the quality (and price) for the whole thing. ......... AND THEIR LIABILITY EXPOSURES.

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

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nwbusa

1017 posts in 938 days


#11 posted 02-14-2013 06:47 AM

True enough, Topa. And I don’t have a problem with that at all. If I was in their shoes and my butt was on the line, I’d probably have the same policy.

-- John, BC, Canada

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TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2328 days


#12 posted 02-14-2013 07:05 AM

I had an insurance company try to collect $100,000 from me to cover their loss on a fire. Fortunately, the fire marshal did a good job of investigation and documentation. Someone put a penny behind a fuse after I was done and inspected. That was an interesting eye opening experience!

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

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Knothead62

2364 posts in 1613 days


#13 posted 02-14-2013 11:21 AM

“Someone put a penny behind a fuse after I was done and inspected”
Who did that?
Ditch the fuse box and install breakers. I did this in a house many years ago. The box was only for 90 amps! We kept blowing the cartridge fuses because we have more appliances that the original residents. A friend and I installed a 150 amp box and divided up some of the circuits.

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TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2328 days


#14 posted 02-14-2013 07:39 PM

Probably one of the tenants. Slum-lords don’t spend money on new electrical panels. All available funds are appropriated to a new Cadillac, Hawaiian vacations, ect.

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

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3129 posts in 1327 days


#15 posted 02-14-2013 10:03 PM

I just inspected a home being bought by a slum lord. They had actually installed a new panel (I believe it was done by a professional too!) but they didn’t spend anything on the plumbing. The top half of the cast iron waste line was broken out and it appeared to overflow…..often.

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