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Thread: Wiring your shop for 220

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio

    Wiring your shop for 220

    There are always a lot of threads about electricity, particularly 110 vs 220. I did some research and have found the definitive answers to all of your questions. So, if you don't understand electricity for your shop, be sure to read this. (Please do not try this at home ;-) )

    220 Volt Wiring Explained:

    I think its time for me to explain about 220 current and why it is so different from 110 volt service. First of all, it's twice as big.

    Secondly, it'll shock you more. Outside of that, 220 is really two 110 volt lines coming to your house from different parts of the globe.

    The up and down 110 comes from the northern hemisphere, and the down and up version comes from below the equator.

    Without trying to get technical, it all boils down to the direction water flows when it goes down the drain. In the top of the earth, it goes clockwise, while on the bottom of the earth it goes counter clockwise. Since most electricity is made from hydro dams, the clockwise flow gives you an up and down sine wave, while the counterclockwise version gives you a down and up sine wave. Between the two, you have 220 volts, while either individual side only gives you 110 volts.

    This is partiularly important to know when buying power tools- which side of the globe did they come from? If you get an Australian saw, for instance, it will turn backwards if connected to a US generated 110 volt source. Sure, you can buy backwards blades for it, but that is an unnecessary burden. Other appliances, like toasters cannot be converted from Australian electricity to American electricity, without horrible results. I knew one person who bought an Australian toaster by mistake and it froze the slices of bread she put in it.

    If you wire your shop with 220 and accidentally get two US-generated 110 volt lines run in by accident, you can get 220 by using a trick I learned from an old electrician. Just put each source into its own fuse box and then turn one of the boxes upside down. That'll invert one of the two up and down sine waves to down and up, giving you 220. DO NOT just turn the box sideways, since that'll give you 165 volts and you'll be limited to just using Candian tools with it.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Such great timing. I am exploring options to add 220v to my shop.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Santa Claus, In
    Quote Originally Posted by Mohammad Madha View Post
    Such great timing. I am exploring options to add 220v to my shop.
    No reason not to now. You have all the info you need
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Jim, you are so full of information*.

    Kudos to you, fine sir.

    * Didn't say it was good information, just that you're full of it.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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