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Thread: Enough amps?

  1. #1
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    Enough amps?

    Our new home has 100 amp service to the house. Currently there is a 60 amp 240 V line running to a subpanel in the garage. I had toyed with the idea of bringing a new service for the shop but in an effort to save a few dollars I am wondering if the 60 amp feed to the subpanel in the garage will be sufficient. Remember it is a one-man shop and I'm likely never to run more than just a dust collector and one PowerTool at a time. What say you?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    Our new home has 100 amp service to the house. Currently there is a 60 amp 240 V line running to a subpanel in the garage. I had toyed with the idea of bringing a new service for the shop but in an effort to save a few dollars I am wondering if the 60 amp feed to the subpanel in the garage will be sufficient. Remember it is a one-man shop and I'm likely never to run more than just a dust collector and one PowerTool at a time. What say you?
    Need a bit more info.
    How big are the Tablesaw, Bandsaw, and Dust Collector? A 3hp saw and a 3hp DC will pretty much eat up your available power, but smaller units will likely be okay.

    Don't forget, you'll need a 20 amp circuit for lights - and what about heat?

    Running an AC in the hot months?

    Outlets for sanders, etc. - another 20 amp circuit.

    Do you have a compressor? How big?
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    When I built an addition to the existing shop at our place in Georgia, I had it provisioned for 100A service with a line from the existing 200A service to the house. If I add up everything I could possibly have on at the same time, it might be near 60A. That includes table saw(3hp), dust collector (3hp), compressor (5hp) kicking on, AC (10,000btu) on, as well as lights, PC, etc. I've never done a current measurement to get real-world usage but I'm sure it's less than calculated.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
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  4. #4
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    I needed to hop out for a minute to check a couple of things. My shop panel has 32 breaker positions with a total of 480A of breakers - on a 100A service. I broke the shop down to many seperate circuits.

    From the Engineering Toolbox website:
    As a "rules of thumb" amps horsepower rating can be estimated to
    115 Volts motor - single-phase : 14 amps/hp
    230 Volts motor - single-phase : 7 amps/hp



    Add up what you'll be using and see what your total is.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  5. #5
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    I may need to go back to school on this one. Actually there are 2 30 amp breaker's linked together supplying the subpanel in the garage. So, I think I may have misspoken and the supply to the garage is 240 V @ 30 amp's. Would that be correct?
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

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  6. #6
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    Jim pretty much asked everything, but keep in mind that LED Lighting is getting a whole lot less expensive and better looking/natural shades of light, so that 20 amps could be cut down to just a few amps. Electric heat would be a big draw, but a pellet stove could run off just a few amps, or just take it out of cycle when running the large machines.
    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

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    I may need to go back to school on this one. Actually there are 2 30 amp breaker's linked together supplying the subpanel in the garage. So, I think I may have misspoken and the supply to the garage is 240 V @ 30 amp's. Would that be correct?
    I believe a picture is in order

    My guess is you have one 30a 240v circuit.

    A short enumeration of your heaviest draw machines would also be handy to figure if you're close or not.
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  8. #8
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    Sounds like you've got a welder circuit at least.
    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

  9. #9
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    Sure sounds like you have 30 amps at the moment. The last 2 shops I had each had 100 amp subpanels, though a lot of folks recommended 60 would be more than plenty. If you have very large tools (5 HP saw, DC, etc.) you may exceed the 60 amp service, but then again you might not.
    I long for the days when Coke was a cola and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard; 1939-2016)

  10. #10
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    Looks like the short answer to enough amps is no. And sufficient power is one are I personally would not want to save pennies in this area. Putting in a 100 amp box when initially building is ever so much cheaper than burning the place down or redoing the panel later.

    My little 700 sqft house will have a 200 amp panel and sufficient lights and outlets everywhere. As the years go by more technology comes along and all of it seems to want an outlet!

    Sometimes it is wiser to bite the bullet and then happily move on. You will mot regret it and you will sleep better at night.
    ++++++

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