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Thread: Question about adding several 220 volt outlets in my shop

  1. #1

    Question about adding several 220 volt outlets in my shop

    I have a metal pole barn that I use as my woodworking space, along with parking the mower and a trailer I have. I currently only have one 220 outlet. I have added machines over the years and now have 4 machines that require 220, dust collector, table saw, jointer, and lathe. I only have a 100 amp box in the barn and I don't want to use all of the available spaces in the box because I would like to to maybe add some kind of air conditioning. So I would like to do the work by using only 2 or 3 circuits. I'm thinking of putting the dust collector on a circuit by itself, then adding multiple 20 amp circuits on one or two additional circuits. Only one machine would be used aside from the dust collector because its just me. Is there any reason I can't use a 20 amp circuit and string 3 or so outlets of the same circuit as long as only one 20 machine would ever be used at one time on the circuit? I bought an electrical wiring book at Lowes, but it does not address this question. Seems to me it would work fine just like multiple standard outlets. Is there a better way to do this? The barn is not insulated yet, so its wide open and easy to wire, so I want to do it myself.

  2. #2
    That's perfectly fine. As you note, this is frequently done with 120V circuits (multiple receptacles on a circuit), and there is no reason it can't be done with 220V receptacles, as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Southern NH
    Adding a sub-panel off your existing 100AMP box might be an option to consider, I did that in my garage shop because more circuits were needed for additional 110 and 220 lines and to segregate lights, A/C, etc. I'm not experienced with electrical installations so had an electrician do it so I wouldn't burn the house down or get shocked.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Toronto Ontario
    Larry, that's exactly how I wired my shop, one circuit for the cyclone and a second for all the 120/240V machines and tools. (Multi-wire branch circuit).

    I have some 4 inch square boxes at intervals around the shop with one duplex 240V receptacle and one duplex 120V receptacle, split circuit.

    This gives me a 2 X 20A 240 receptacles on each box with 2X 20A 120V receptacles on each box.

    use NEMA 6-20R and 5-20R receptacles and #12/3 wire with a 2 pole 20A breaker...................Rod.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Lewisville, NC
    Blog Entries
    I see no problem in paralleling 220v outlets as you mention; I have done it in my shop for the lathes, bandsaw, dust collector, table saw, etc. Good as I am I can only operate one machine at a time. You mention a 100 A service box. The thing to consider is wire gauge to the service box and length. Both have a significant effect on the current carrying capacity to the machinery. If the length to the box is say 40 ft, I would use 8 or 10 gauge. I used 8 gauge for a 50 feet run. I really wanted a service directly to the basement but it was more $$ than I wanted to spend. So I bought 8 gauge, 3 conductor and ground from the local BORG and wired from the main residential service. Likely you already know this but be certain the neutral and ground are wired correctly. If you have any questions please PM and I will answer. One more thing if the barn has a dirt floor you may want to consider a GFI for personal safety.
    David Woodruff

    If you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter how you get there.

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