Need help convincing County to get second electric meter

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Forum topic by fiddlebanshee posted 09-17-2013 01:57 PM 1948 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3187 days

09-17-2013 01:57 PM

Hi Lumberjocks.

I’m in the process of building a garage. I want this garage on a second electric meter so that my parkinglot doesn’t have to be torn up. However this is not a valid reason for the county. So I listed that I wanted to use part of the building for woodworking (which is true) and that I needed a bigger panel in the garage for that. He just called and wanted to know what all equipment I would be using.

So, I don’t have any of that equipment yet, but may get it at some point, he said that’s ok, just list what i am planning. So please help me out here. What machines can I put on this list to make this convincing. So far I’ve come up with:

1. a 3 hp table saw
2. a 2 hp dust extraction system
3. a 2 hp bandsaw
4. a joiner and planer

What other equipment would need larger electrical capacity than is typically available in a residence? This is really our only argument and if I can convince them it will save a bundle on the installation of the electric as we need to go only 10 ft across the narrow part of the driveway in stead of 60 ft across a parking lot.


-- As if I needed another hobby!

36 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2818 days

#1 posted 09-17-2013 02:00 PM

I dunno know, how about needing 220 volts for efficiency?

View chrisstef's profile


17803 posts in 3248 days

#2 posted 09-17-2013 02:03 PM

Personally I would flood hem with a laundry list of equipment that I could or would use. Might as well give them the full monty of all the possibilities.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4202 days

#3 posted 09-17-2013 02:04 PM

Add a lathe and a drill press for sure. Maybe even a small welding rig and air compressor.
Ceiling fans or spray booth ventilation, lots of overhead and task lights, bench grinder, belt sander.


View Nygiants77's profile


57 posts in 2199 days

#4 posted 09-17-2013 02:07 PM

I agree with chrisstef, flip out your favorite machinery web site or magazine and list everything you see that you like. You might not have it right now but they are allowing you to list things you don’t have so I would list it all.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5244 posts in 2735 days

#5 posted 09-17-2013 02:07 PM

Don’t leave out the 5 HP compressor.

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

View Mark E.'s profile

Mark E.

387 posts in 3984 days

#6 posted 09-17-2013 02:09 PM

Drill Press
Air Cleaner
Router table
Miter saw
Shop vac
Spindle sander
Portable tools like a drill, sander(s), biscuit joiner, jig saw, circular saw, etc.

And, like was mentioned, list as many as you can with 220 volt motors.

I’m surprised the county even cares. When I had my shop built I just had to convince the electric company.

-- Mark

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3187 days

#7 posted 09-17-2013 02:20 PM

Hey guys, thanks!!! I knew I could count on y’all. The county cares and is very finicky about it. The way it was explained to me is that this is to avoid converting this buidling into a rental unit later.

I liked the welder idea because he mentioned that in particular. I think once the county ok’s it, the powercompany will be a piece of cake. I will pay higher rates but then I’m not using this woodshop everyday so who cares.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2528 days

#8 posted 09-17-2013 02:25 PM

Add air conditioning and electric heat (necessary for safety… no flames)

That should drive it over the top. A separate meter gets you separate billing (usually) which is nice for keeping track of how much your shop is costing you. It also means a separate “service entrance” which means the shop electrical requirements won’t diminish the the capacity of your service entrance for the residence.

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3890 days

#9 posted 09-17-2013 02:34 PM

might as well up your HP requirements:

5HP table saw
5HP dust extraction cyclone
A/C unit (summer)
heater (winter)
5HP air compressor
3HP bandsaw
3HP planer
3HP jointer
3HP belt sander
3HP Shaper

the rest of the tools fall under 110v and smaller HP (1 and under) but you can combine them into hand-held tools

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

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3472 days

#10 posted 09-17-2013 03:03 PM

No one mentioned a drum sander. I just had an elect put in a separate 20 amp circuit for my Grizzly 18-36 drum sander (1 1/2hp).

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3212 days

#11 posted 09-17-2013 03:06 PM

Don’t forget the 6hp shop vac ;^)

Just one comment/question.
I am not sure I understand why a second meter is required to avoid tearing up the parking lot.
Is it because you don’t want buried power cables run to the garage?
If that is it, you can run aerial power cable from the house to the garage for way less expense than a second service.
Unless there is a HOA or some kind of other special restriction on your location, that is.

View Makarov's profile


102 posts in 2047 days

#12 posted 09-17-2013 03:14 PM

Beware of listing a welder, it may add other expense to your shop that you don’t, want such as sheet rock for fire proofing, a spray booth could do the same thing


-- "Complexity is easy; Simplicity is difficult." Georgy Shragin Designer of ppsh41 sub machine gun

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3187 days

#13 posted 09-17-2013 03:14 PM

We have a lot of trees on the property. I would be constantly worried that something would blow on the cable creating a hazard and disrupting power. Also, I want to run an electric fence off of the new service. I have one now running off of the house and when lightning strikes the groundrods the house gets shorted out. We already lost an expensive cooktop because of that. I would not keep my woodworking machinery plugged in when I don’t use it so when it shorts out the garage, it’s not so much of an issue.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3187 days

#14 posted 09-17-2013 03:15 PM

@Makarov, thanks for mentioning that. I had not thought of it. I will leave it off.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2280 days

#15 posted 09-17-2013 03:39 PM

  • I will pay higher rates but then I’m not using this woodshop everyday so who cares.*

Then it really makes absolutely no sense to put in a separate meter. With a separate meter you will not only be paying for the kwh you use, you will also pay a monthly usage fee, taxes and all that other junk they stuff on your bill. Look at your current bill and look at all those extra lines. You’ll be paying those every month for the rest of your life for the convenience of not going under your parking lot. And then the second meter will mean a second address – “whatevermynumberisA” and “whatevermynumberisB” and then the city/state/county/feds will start nosing around bug you about that business they think you’re running and wondering where the taxes and permits are. You’ll get that explained but a year later they’ll forget and bug you again.

I just cut across my driveway with a $39 circular saw from Lowes and the cheapest diamond blade they had. If I wasn’t in the boonies I could have rented a real saw or had someone do cheaply and then patched when done. If it was me, I’d run a branch off my current box.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

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