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Forum topic by Blurrytree posted 185 days ago 1438 views 0 times favorited 56 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Blurrytree

65 posts in 192 days


185 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: electrical wiring small shop amps breaker circuit safety panel

Hey everyone,

My shop is set up in an unfinished basement corner. I am not knowledgable with this type of thing and am the type that likes things “safe”.

I have a 200 amp panel. The main breaker switch has a 200 on it. There are two outlets in the entire basement and it has some basic lighting.

One outlet has an upright freezer and the other has a water heater and water softener plugged into it.

I have not yet determined 100% if they are on separate breakers. It looks like there are two 15a breakers for the basement.

I currently run a thick extension cord from each outlet and have used it without any trouble so far.

However, since adding a table saw and a dust collector I am starting to wonder.

Table saw is a ridgid R4512 (12 amp motor, 120v)

Dust collector is a shop fox 1.5 hp (volt 120/240 amp 12/6 ph 1)

I also run an extra set of lights (similar to a shop halogen light)

I am also considering an overhead air filter (will most likely run when the tools are off in this situation). I am considering having a licensed electrician take care of all this.

Anyway, please have a look and any input is appreciated.

Thanks


56 replies so far

View Stephenw's profile

Stephenw

273 posts in 983 days


#1 posted 185 days ago

The pictures you posted of your panel are not clear enough to read. With that said, there are plenty of blanks where extra circuits can be added.

Get an electrician to add 20 amp outlets for your shop area. You can also add a 240 volt circuit if you need it.

-- http://www.garagebulletin.com/

View Blurrytree's profile

Blurrytree

65 posts in 192 days


#2 posted 185 days ago

Thanks Stephen and sorry about the picture quality. It is terrible on my old ipad! This is a little clearer.

View bbc557ci's profile

bbc557ci

541 posts in 672 days


#3 posted 185 days ago

Wow, lots of blanks….congrats :o) Wish I had that many blanks on mine.

What Stephen said. If you’re no comfy running new lines yourself hire an electrician. Looks like a piece’o cake.

-- Bill, central NY...no where near the "big apple"

View Blurrytree's profile

Blurrytree

65 posts in 192 days


#4 posted 185 days ago

Thanks Bill!

I wired up some lights in the past but I have never worked in the panel.

I have a “friend of a friend” who does this type of work so I may ask him to oversee it if I tackle it myself.

So basically buy some 12 ga. wire and a couple 20 amp breakers and then run the wires to the designated area? Nice that the basement is unfinished…never thought I would say that. haha!

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

381 posts in 1596 days


#5 posted 185 days ago

Bill is right, you have about 1/2 a panel available. Congratulations!

A couple thoughts:

1) Installing new breaker and wiring isn’t difficult, but is you have the least bit of doubt, get a professional. That’s what they do.

2) I have a plethora of double wall outlets and overhead outlets, but I find that I could use more. If you think that you will need10 outlets, plan for 20. You won’t be sorry.

3) Though you don’t have the tools at the moment, reserve some space for a 240 outlet.

4) Also save some space in your panel for upstairs—your wife will appreciate that new whirlpool tub much more if she can turn it on.

5) You will want to have dedicated outlets for the machinery you concurrently run. The table saw, jounter and planner can be on the same circuit, but the dust collector should be on a separate circuit. I think it is highly unlikely that you will have the table saw, jointer or planner on at the same time; however you will have the dust collector on concurrently with these tools.

Good luck and have fun!

Greg

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Blurrytree

65 posts in 192 days


#6 posted 185 days ago

Hi Greg,

Wow, I feel like something is finally working in my favour for once. :)

If I doubt myself or am operating out of pure ignorance/arrogance at any stage I will not proceed. I have a family and that comes first. I appreciate the warning.

Good point on having plenty of outlets. I have ton in my kitchen and know the feeling of not “enough”.. I will probably try to run a couple first and then add more later. The reason being is the wire cost will add up a little beyond my current budget. However, I will know how to do it the next time around.

Also, good point about not hogging the panel… :)

I will certainly get this all sorted soon. Do you foresee any trouble with using my current wiring? I just put a bit of money into my workshop and if I have to approach my wife about another “immediate” expense she might not be the most enthusiastic about it.

Thanks everyone

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

162 posts in 1665 days


#7 posted 185 days ago

Nice, half empty panel! I’m in an unfinished basement as well. I’m not as fortunate as you though. I’ve only got two spots left. General rule I use is one circuit for my DC and one for my other tools. I use mostly 220v. Put in 20A circuits or you will pop breakers with a sander. Wiring is not complicated. I’ve worked around it for ever though. If you are not sure of something or are in doubt hire a PRO, it ain’t worth burning down the house.

KEY is to do it by code and find out the rules in your municipality. I’ve lived in different areas, and most don’t require a pro to do the work, but require permits and inspections. A word of warning. Failure to do it to code, can pose a risk to insurance should something happen. Just be careful.

View Blurrytree's profile

Blurrytree

65 posts in 192 days


#8 posted 185 days ago

Wow, the empty panel is going to start going to my head…hahaha

I can actually follow the existing lines and can mimic what they are doing. Everything is really open so I don’t foresee anything out of the ordinary. Not exactly the same, but when I put fluorescent lights in I wired them up to an existing light and had the electrician who did the house double check. His response was “he would hire me”. I still don’t want to commit to more than I am comfortable with.

I think I may run the wire to the area and outlets as a start. (It is about a 60 ’ path) and then get someone I know to do the final steps on the panel.

Thanks so much everyone, it is very much appreciated.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3046 posts in 1273 days


#9 posted 185 days ago

You appear to be in good shape with this panel. If you don’t feel very confident then hire the pro. He should know the code. I run the risk of being chewed up here by saying that but there are people in all walks of life that should know what they are doing but it seems you always find one that doesn’t. Give the rest a bad name. I would not use the current receptacles for my shop tools. They are wired this way for a reason. Freezers that have a tripped breaker are bad news. Just add new circuits for the shop. Make them large enough. 20 amp for the 120V tools and personally I would probably use 10 ga. wire for all the 220V tools unless you know you will need a larger breaker. The 10 ga. will allow a 30 amp breaker or a 20 amp breaker. It will cost more but you don’t know what you will have next year after the wife gets that whirlpool tub operating. I believe after you check everything you will need GFCI receptacles in an unfinished basement. You can daisy chain those and save some money. You freezer or sump pump does not have to be GFCI protected.

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Blurrytree

65 posts in 192 days


#10 posted 185 days ago

Hi Grandpa,

I don’t see why you would get chewed up for expressing caution so no worries here.

Thank you for the added info on wire gauge. It looks as if 10 ga is about 2-3x more money than 12 ga. If that is what it takes then I am not opposed.

I am not sure what the code is for an unfinished basement but I think GFCI is only required in bedrooms here. I can confirm. I have had trouble in the past with GFCI since they seem quite sensitive. But I will stick to code.

Thanks!

View wseand's profile

wseand

2116 posts in 1639 days


#11 posted 185 days ago

You said that your water heater and softener were plugged into the same outlet. That seems a bit fishy, a water heater should have it’s own Circuit in most cases, as well all appliances should be a separate circuit.
I would take a look at that and make sure it correct.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3046 posts in 1273 days


#12 posted 185 days ago

GFCI is required on all kitchen counter receptacles, all bathroom receptacles, all garage receptacles all outdoor receptacles and within 15 feet of a pool or spa so your wife’s whirlpool will have to be GFCI. The bedrooms require ARC Fault breakers. Those are available only as a breaker where GFCI can be a breaker or a receptacle. I used them in my shop and I have no problems with them. Some people say they won’t start a motor but I do it daily. I didn’t use them for my shop lights just the receptacles for the tools. I shopped around and found some wire that wasn’t much different in cost between the 10 and 12 ga. I ran the larger wire in case I wanted to change it to a larger breaker for a larger tool later. Just the way I did it. One of those things you wish for later so do it earlier….. Either way would be okay as long as you meet the minimum code requirements. The GFCI is required by the NEC. Municipalities have their own requirements. Chicago is like a group of Nazi’s….no offense to you men that have to live there. I am not sure about Canada.

View bbc557ci's profile

bbc557ci

541 posts in 672 days


#13 posted 185 days ago

I wired up some lights in the past but I have never worked in the panel.

I have a “friend of a friend” who does this type of work so I may ask him to oversee it if I tackle it myself.

So basically buy some 12 ga. wire and a couple 20 amp breakers and then run the wires to the designated area? Nice that the basement is unfinished…never thought I would say that. haha!

Working in the panel, as you put it, really isn’t all that complicated. About 25-30 years ago I bought the ol’ How To book and was able to run underground cable (thru conduit of course) to my then detached garage, put in a sub panel, and got lights, receptacles, switches, etc. working just fine. Had an electrician friend check things out and all was good, including a 3 way switch I installed. And recently I wired my new shop with subpanel, and 110 and 220. That said however, if you have any doubts about tackling the electric install yourself, it would be best to contact an electrician. Also, wire everything to code…better safe than sorry. Best of luck, and learn something new :o)

-- Bill, central NY...no where near the "big apple"

View Blurrytree's profile

Blurrytree

65 posts in 192 days


#14 posted 185 days ago

Hi Bill,

There is an outlet in the furnace area and the water heater is plugged into it. The softener was installed later and was plugged in there as well. Unless I am missing something here? I will confirm.

Thanks for that further info Grandpa, very helpful, I will look into it.

View Blurrytree's profile

Blurrytree

65 posts in 192 days


#15 posted 185 days ago

Bill, your response just showed up… weird. Thanks for that info. I like to learn new stuff so am excited to “try”. Thanks for the added confidence.

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