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Thread: Electrical in Workshop

  1. #1

    Electrical in Workshop

    My shop currently only has two 30Amp 220v receptacles (single circuit) in the center of a 40x40 area, and a couple by the panel, and one in the corner.
    Most of the equipment will be in the center near the receptacles, but there are not enough receptacles.

    Should I..
    1) add more boxes so they can all plug in?
    2) Consolidate some breakers and create another circuit? (Will need to surface mount, as it is totally finished)

    Should not need to run more than one item at a time, so I am leaning towards more receptacles on the same circuit.

    With regards to power needs not near a jack, I'm not going to rip up the floor.. or buy a raised floor (I wish)
    So what do you guys do.. use the walk over power runs?

    Tim

  2. #2
    Since it is just me in my shop, I have a dedicated 240 circuit for the dust collector, and everything else (240 V) share another circuit. I don't see any reason not to just add additional receptacles to your existing circuit as long as you'll only be running one thing at a time. If in future it becomes an issue, then run another circuit.

    For power in the middle of the room, I generally run the power along with the dust collector duct. In my case that is in one area along the floor. I've arranged things so I don't have to step over it often, but it's not a big deal when I need to. I find I prefer having the ducts and power on the floor where they aren't in the way of carrying or swinging long stock around as they would be with ceiling drops. That works as long as you can arrange things so the duct and power aren't in a high traffic area.

  3. #3
    Install a 100-amp sub-panel and run as many new circuits as you need along the ceiling or rafter ties.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  4. #4
    My shop has receptacles hanging from the ceiling for some of my machines. Actually, the wire is above the ceiling, with a wire coming down through the ceiling to the right place for my machines. Make sure you have permanent locations for your machines before you do this. And electricians can tell you the proper way to hang the wires. My old neighbor was an electrician when I was setting up the shop. Now I have a state trooper.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
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    1,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    My shop has receptacles hanging from the ceiling for some of my machines. Actually, the wire is above the ceiling, with a wire coming down through the ceiling to the right place for my machines. Make sure you have permanent locations for your machines before you do this. And electricians can tell you the proper way to hang the wires. My old neighbor was an electrician when I was setting up the shop. Now I have a state trooper.
    Having cord drops from the ceiling is a great idea. It is important that you don't have the cord running up through the ceiling into a box in the attic though. Portable cord is not permitted to run in or through a wall or ceiling partition. A box on the ceiling is needed, with the cord connected to the box & an approved strain relief used to suspend the cord.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    9,470
    Like Paul, aside from lighting my shop has 2 circuits, one for the cyclone, one for everything else as I can only run one machine at a time.......Regards, Rod.

  7. #7
    30 amps might be enough. Not knowing what your usage is makes it difficult to say for sure. What you need to do is make a list of everything you might have running at the same time including the lights and add up the amperage. Then make your limit 24 amps if you think you would be at it for extended lengths at a time. For extended use you should always limit the draw to 80% of what the breaker is rated at.

    To run more outlets you would need to put in a sub-panel so you could use a smaller wire and breaker. If you just tied into that 30 amp wire with a smaller wire the smaller wire could burn up before the 30 amp breaker would trip. Then your homeowners insurance wouldn't pay because of incorrect wiring.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F Franklin View Post
    Since it is just me in my shop, I have a dedicated 240 circuit for the dust collector, and everything else (240 V) share another circuit. I don't see any reason not to just add additional receptacles to your existing circuit as long as you'll only be running one thing at a time. If in future it becomes an issue, then run another circuit.
    +1

    On some of my machines, I the electrics supply runs alongside the DC ducts and I mount a receptacle right on the machine base.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
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    1,481
    Question on running a cord through a ceiling. I just installed a phase converter, and put the rotor up in the hayloft to get it both out of the way and out of dust in the main shop. How big does the hole in the ceiling need to be to "not count" or is there such a thing? I'm currently dropping a 10/3 SO cord through a 6" x 12" hole in the 3/4" floorboards up to the loft. It never occurred to me that I might need to interrupt the transition with a box as the cord doesn't even touch the wood. I understand the reasons for prohibiting using an extension cord as permanent wiring through a wall, but at what point does a hole in a wall become an opening where such use is OK? Or do I really need to run NM cable the 4 ft up to the loft and install a box with a transition to SO?

    In our labs we frequently dropped electrical down from above the benches, In those installations the electricians put boxes above the drop ceilings and dropped the SO cords through a grommet in the ceiling tiles. That seemed to pass muster with the electrical and fire inspectors just fine.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Question on running a cord through a ceiling. I just installed a phase converter, and put the rotor up in the hayloft to get it both out of the way and out of dust in the main shop. How big does the hole in the ceiling need to be to "not count" or is there such a thing? I'm currently dropping a 10/3 SO cord through a 6" x 12" hole in the 3/4" floorboards up to the loft. It never occurred to me that I might need to interrupt the transition with a box as the cord doesn't even touch the wood. I understand the reasons for prohibiting using an extension cord as permanent wiring through a wall, but at what point does a hole in a wall become an opening where such use is OK? Or do I really need to run NM cable the 4 ft up to the loft and install a box with a transition to SO?


    In our labs we frequently dropped electrical down from above the benches, In those installations the electricians put boxes above the drop ceilings and dropped the SO cords through a grommet in the ceiling tiles. That seemed to pass muster with the electrical and fire inspectors just fine.
    Cord is not permitted to pass through a wall or ceiling or any opening, nor can it pass through a ceiling tile, strictly prohibited by the NEC. See NEC article 400.8(2).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    3,989
    I know code doesn't like it, but personally, I don't worry about a well sized SO through a loose hole, any more than I worry about NM running through a hole in a stud.

  12. The use of ceiling drop cords are very common in the food industry. Of course all have finished ceilings. They install a junction box as you would for a light fixture with the wire going down through a cable restraint clamp plus the used strain relief devices.
    I just finished building my shop and used this system to supply power to a centrally located tablesaw. The inspector was the one who put me on to this during my planning, small town plus. Educated myself for the details via YouTube and Google. I passed on first inspection.

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