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Thread: Bringing 220V in the garage/shop

  1. #1
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    Bringing 220V in the garage/shop

    I am considering getting 220V in my shop. My electrical panel is mounted on the rear of the house. My shop is about 30 to 40 feet away from the panel. There is a feed (underground) into the garage. This feeds the four electrical outlets. It also powers four tube lights.

    I think it was Darren or Jim who suggested having a sub-panel. I don't know anything about the electrical stuff and I will hire an electrician to do the job.

    I am not sure how to begin to plan this. I guess I need to calculate the Amps that the machines will draw. Right? But, right now, I don't have any big tools. I hope to acquire a cabinet saw, bigger lathe (maybe Mustard), 18" band saw, drill press, dust collector in the future.

    What is the significance of having a sub-panel?

    What else do I need to consider to plan this?

    Could you give me a rough idea of the cost?

    Thanks in advance for your ideas and suggestions.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohammad Madha View Post
    What is the significance of having a sub-panel?

    well for one thing your going to use up the 4 recepticles real fast. I would be willing to bet that all 4 plugs are on 1 20 amp breaker. I have 2 lighting circuits separate, 8 110 volt circuits on 3 separate 20 amp circuits and 2 -220volt circuits, all to plower my TS, BS, Planner, CS and Lathe.

    What else do I need to consider to plan this?

    See the answer to the first question

    Could you give me a rough idea of the cost?

    I have no idea but it certainly won't be as bad as it could since there is no underground work to be done.

    Thanks in advance for your ideas and suggestions.
    Se the answers in blue
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    So Don, you have allotted 20 Amps for all your 120V connections. How many total Amps for the 220V?

    And do you also have a main panel and a sub-panel? If so, why? Did you run out of space on the main panel?

  4. #4
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    Actually Mohammad i have 3 separate 20 amp 110 volt circuits and 2 separate 20 amp 220 volt circuits. The 2 lighting circuits are each separate 15 amp circuits.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    I am running a dedicated 220 line into my shop too. The previous owner put it in 220 but using 12 gauge wire!!!!

    I went to Borg bought a 100 amp panel (around 100 with panel and fuses)and installed that in my shop. Big importance - it has a main breaker - that is a 100 amp breaker that shuts off the whole shop. If I need to do wiring I just turn off the main breaker and do what I need to do with out fear of turning myself into a light bulb. Also, I can install dedicated fuses to each wall, outlet, machine, lights etc. Plus, if I go out of town on a job I can just shut off the main fuse(ok,ok, breaker) and don't have to worry if the kids go in side and touch any of the machines (that they aren't supposed to do in the first place!)

    You may be able to get a book/friend to help with the wiring and check out some of the other posts on site about how to set up the electrical in a shop, then, if required, get an licensed electrician to sign off on it.(talk with someone first though. Some states require that the licensed sparkie install the work themselves, then have a city/state inspector sign it off)

    just my 2 pennies

    Brian

  6. #6
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    If i were doing you shop I'd put in at least a 60 amp sub panel and at least to separate 110 volts plug circuits and well a 2 separate 220 volt circuits as well as 2 separate lighting circuits.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohammad Madha View Post
    I am not sure how to begin to plan this. I guess I need to calculate the Amps that the machines will draw. Right? But, right now, I don't have any big tools. I hope to acquire a cabinet saw, bigger lathe (maybe Mustard), 18" band saw, drill press, dust collector in the future.
    I'd at least plan for the tools that run at the same time and/or if you've got someone else using your tools at the same time.


    What is the significance of having a sub-panel?
    A sub-panel will give you a main source to tap into at the garage for when you need to run additional circuits. Overall the cost may be greater to run it initially but you'll save money not having to run addition circuits all the way back to the house.

    What else do I need to consider to plan this?
    What size is your panel at the house? Is it a breaker type of system or do you have fuses? I'd put in a minimum of 50 amp sub-panel, 100 would be better, but will depend on how big the panel is at your house.

    Could you give me a rough idea of the cost?
    Can't really say, has a lot of factors, but get multiple bids to compare.
    See answers in blue
    Last edited by Darren Wright; 01-05-2011 at 07:35 PM.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
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    sub-panel vs main-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Mohammad Madha View Post

    And do you also have a main panel and a sub-panel? If so, why? Did you run out of space on the main panel?
    Mohammad,

    Just my thoughts on this...

    The main panel distributes the power throughout your house. A sub panel is going to take a large amperage source (say 60 amps on a 60 amp fuse for example) from your main panel in the house and on a heavy gage wire (2 gauge in my case) and then distribute that out to your shop as you see fit. As I mentioned earlier, the big benefits of a sub-panel, IMHO,
    is that you can:
    1. Draw higher amperage to your shop
    2. If you do trip a breaker, your not shutting down half the house and crashing your computer
    3. You can shut the whole shop down with one breaker and/or switch
    4. Gives you extra room for dedicated breakers for wall, individual outlets, lights, etc
    5. If you can get a book/friends help, cost is very reasonable for such a project. Just remember, electricity like to reach out and touch for some not so good communication! Don't work with live wires!

  9. #9
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    main thing to look at first is what the wire size is coming in to his garge now.. maybe he needs to have a larger line from the house to shop???? or a pole if they have them out there in the big city
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
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    Larry,

    I was thinking the same thing. It might be best to run a new wire (cable?) if there's an existing underground conduit. I was also wondering about the capacity of the existing main panel.

    It *is* nice having a dedicated subpanel in the shop...

    Thanks,

    Bill

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