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Thread: Electricity Suggestions for Shop

  1. #1
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    Jun 2010
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    Electricity Suggestions for Shop

    Evening all from snowy Vancouver Island.

    I need some electrical advice. I know some of this has been touched on before, but I'm asking again so I can understand it clearly. Give it to me please in little words. Whatever I used to know about electricity I forgot in 1984.

    I had a nasty surprise this morning when I plugged in my two brand new infrared heaters and found that if I ran them at the same time, plugged into 2 different outlets across the room from each other, it threw the breaker.

    So I include some photos. Yes I know it's a mess. Not sure if they'll come out in the right order, but there are 2 photos of the shop in general, one of the 2 heaters, and 2 of the electrical box which is in the garage

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    So my question is, before I have an electrician come over to increase my power and outlets, can you tell me what I need for a) power and b) outlets and yes, I'm going to ask for 220 too.

    I currently have 3 wall outlets only, not including 1 dedicated to the vacuum system. And I have 2 ceiling outlets, one for each electric garage door, although I will be taking out one or both of them.

    And Rob, no I do not want to wire it myself. So unless you're flying out here to do it for me, I'm hiring somebody. So tell me what to ask for. Okay?

    thanks a million,
    cynthia
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  2. #2
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    May 2007
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    How many watts are each of the heaters? If you don't know the wattage, look for the label and see if it says there or if it lists the amperage, either one will be fine.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    London, Ontario
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    - how many watts are the heaters?
    - are the ceiling outlets on the same breaker as the wall outlets?
    - if not, maybe you can plug one into that for now.
    - how many watts is the central vac, is it on a dedicated breaker? Just wondering if you could share that outlet with a heater, again, just for now.
    - The photo is a bit unclear but I think I see 4 open spaces in your electric panel, so you can probably do at least one 220 circuit, and two other 110 outlets.

    - at least your panel is in the garage, so it shouldn't be TOO difficult or too expensive to pull a couple circuits.
    (I'm not an electrician either...)
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  4. #4
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    Okay, the vacuum is 11 Amps and where it's plugged in there's tape over the other plug in to indicate I assume not to use it. Don't know if that's a dedicated circuit.

    The heater book says that with the lamp and heating element on, the heater uses 1500W.

    When that one breaker was thrown, I had on the
    a) overhead lights, i.e. 2 light bulbs,
    b) 2 Makita battery chargers on side of the room and
    c) some small portable flood lights in the same outlet as b),
    d) 2 heaters, one plugged into one overhead outlet alone and the other, alone in another wall outlet.

    Everything went off as soon as I started the second heater.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
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  5. #5
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    From what I could read on the panel labels, the vacuum is on it's own circuit. Looks like the rest of the garage is on another from what I can see.

    Take 1500 divided by 120 Volts, you're looking at needing around 12.5 amps for each heater when they are running full blast. Could probably get away with a 20 amp circuit dedicated to the two of them, but it may trip all the time when they are running full blast. I'd probably suggest a 20 amp for each, then share with some other plugs that won't use much power, such as your chargers.

    They make breakers that allow additional taps for 120 volt circuits if the panel runs out of space. Basically it has two breakers built in the same space as a single breaker. Will have to check with the electrician to see if they meet code in your area. I'd still suggest a sub-panel run to the garage then run the new circuits from there.
    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

  6. #6
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    +1 for what Darren said
    "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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    Sorry, didnt' see that the panel is in the garage...Unless you've just got too many wires in the existing panel, a sub-panel wouldn't be needed unless you run out of breaker spots and can't use the 2 circuit breakers that go in a single space.
    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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    I'd still put in a sub panel.
    "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

  9. #9
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    Feb 2009
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    Whittier, CA, USA
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    Are you using the 220 for the range or dryer? You could always scavenge those circuits if you are using gas.
    Dan Gonzales
    Whittier, CA, USA
    Dona nobis pacem

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gonzales View Post
    Are you using the 220 for the range or dryer? You could always scavenge those circuits if you are using gas.
    how do i figure that out? No we don't have any gas, no natural gas, and no propane. Just electricity.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
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