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Mason Simonet

Shop outlets

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Hey guys.

im getting ready to build a new shop (a real shop) :P  And I need some info on what kind of outlets I need, I’m very uneducated in this area. The only equipment I will run that will need a higher voltage outlet are a welder and a belt grinder... so wouldn’t that be 2 phase outlets? And a 2 phase outlet means 220v? If anyone could  inform me in this that would be great. 

Thanks!

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Sounds like you definitely need an electrician to walk you through everything.  Also, at your local hardware store you should be able to pick up a little book called "Wiring Simplified".  Quick notes:  No such thing as 2 phase power available.  Residential gets single phase, industrial gets single and 3 phase.  Single phase gets 110/120 or 220/240.  You need to consider not just voltage, but amperage.  Always get more outlets/circuits than you think you need.  

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33 minutes ago, Jerrod Miller said:

Sounds like you definitely need an electrician to walk you through everything.  Also, at your local hardware store you should be able to pick up a little book called "Wiring Simplified".  Quick notes:  No such thing as 2 phase power available.  Residential gets single phase, industrial gets single and 3 phase.  Single phase gets 110/120 or 220/240.  You need to consider not just voltage, but amperage.  Always get more outlets/circuits than you think you need.  

That’s exactly what I needed to know. an electrician will be doing all the work, just making sure i was getting what I need.

thanks.

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More outlets, and bigger breakers!  At least a 200 amp main.  And the press and power hammer will want 220/240 as well, when you get them.  I have 10 individual 110 outlets (5 doubles) and could use twice that easily. I have two 220 single outlets, one for the welder and one for the grinder.  The hammer I hardwired to the breaker box because that's how the previous owner had it set up.  Kind of silly to have a plug on something that isn't gonna move, after all.

You want big breakers and high-amp service because of all the motors you will be running.  I'm pretty sure if my grinder were running and someone turned on the hammer the main would trip.  Either one alone will dim the lights when first started.  As will the lathe.  

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A good electrician is definitely a person to have on board.  The core of a electrical system is the service rating and the main panel. 200 amps of service is pretty common for a shop or a home. The main panel should be rated for the service and large enough to accommodate everything you want in it breaker wise and have plenty of spaces left over for future expansion.

For outlets in a shop/industrial environment the more the merry. In my shop our 110v single phase outlets are whats called in the electrical trade as "quads", 2 receptacles side by side. Each of the receptacles are rated for 20 amps, and each quad is a "home run", meaning it feeds directly to the panel to a breaker.  If you have multiple devices on one run it may be code, but if you plug too much stuff in it will pop the breaker, so the home run prevents that.  220v outlets are nice to have in multiple places where you think you can use them.  For something stationary like a power hammer, or other big piece of equipment wiring it directly into the panel is fine; but your electrician may opt to put a outlet on the wall, a "disconnect" aka a big switch,  or even a sub-panel near the piece of equipment to allow you to turn it off without going into the main panel. It also will trip the disconnect or the sub panel in the event of a issue instead of the breaker in the main panel.

If you have access to three phase, I would discuss that with the electrician as well. The cost of running three phase can be high, but the benefit of being able to use 3 phase equipment instead of having to use convertors can be worth it. 

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12 hours ago, Jerrod Miller said:

Sounds like you definitely need an electrician to walk you through everything.  Also, at your local hardware store you should be able to pick up a little book called "Wiring Simplified".  Quick notes:  No such thing as 2 phase power available.  Residential gets single phase, industrial gets single and 3 phase.  Single phase gets 110/120 or 220/240.  You need to consider not just voltage, but amperage.  Always get more outlets/circuits than you think you need.  

Amen to this. Point in case, a good air compressor pulls an unbelievable amount of amperage when it first kicks over, once it begins to build up pressure the amperage need begins to lessen. However if you don't have that amperage needed at that moment when it kicks on, you will trip the breaker and each time if has slow start, it begins to wear on the motor. It will eventually lead to  a premature death of the motor.  I tried to tell a fellow knife maker newbie that was his problem in his shop, when he asked what was wrong. No way was he gonna listen to me and argued me down. 

My air compressor is on a dedicated plug that is seperate from the other outlets. Kind of like they put a microwave on a dedicated circuit, it is the amperage that it pulls. A toaster oven is the same way. We have a plug in the kitchen that we have both plugged into, (logistics on the counter top space is why). However you can not run both the microwave and the toaster oven at the same time. Or it pulls so much amperage that it will kick the breaker. So amperage use is very key in a shop! 

Like said, at least get an electrician to sit down and talk with you about the needs in your shop. Who knows an offer of a knife or two, might just pay him to help you out, just enough to keep you from making a mistake that will cause you problems for years in the new shop!! 

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Also, don't just think about breakers, but the wire itself.  220 can need 3 or 4 wires; always run 4.  You can put either outlet in the end (and change later), but re-running wire is not so easy (or cheap).  Also, different amp loads need different wire sizes.  Always err on the side of too big.  If you think you only need 20 amps and wire accordingly, you may end up kicking yourself when you later have a 30 amp tool that needs new wiring.  You can always put a 20 amp breaker on wire that is big enough for 30 amp service.  Breakers are relatively cheap, wire fairly expensive, electrician time fairly expensive, but re-doing anything is always very expensive (initial cost plus upgrade cost).  While over-sizing wire is good, over sizing breakers is bad.  They are a safety device meant to shut off at too high of a load.  The only down side to over sized wire is the initial extra cost.  

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2 hours ago, Jerrod Miller said:

Also, don't just think about breakers, but the wire itself.  220 can need 3 or 4 wires; always run 4.  You can put either outlet in the end (and change later), but re-running wire is not so easy (or cheap).  Also, different amp loads need different wire sizes.  Always err on the side of too big.  If you think you only need 20 amps and wire accordingly, you may end up kicking yourself when you later have a 30 amp tool that needs new wiring.  You can always put a 20 amp breaker on wire that is big enough for 30 amp service.  Breakers are relatively cheap, wire fairly expensive, electrician time fairly expensive, but re-doing anything is always very expensive (initial cost plus upgrade cost).  While over-sizing wire is good, over sizing breakers is bad.  They are a safety device meant to shut off at too high of a load.  The only down side to over sized wire is the initial extra cost.  

This is good advice, but keep in mind that you can't size the breaker for 30A, and then decide to put a 20A outlet in.  Both the wire and the outlet need to be sized for at least the amount of current the breaker is rated for.    EDIT:  The wire can be oversized, but the outlet needs to match the breaker.

Edited by Brian Dougherty

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1 minute ago, Brian Dougherty said:

keep in mind that you can't size the breaker for 30A, and then decide to put a 20A outlet in

Yes, I should have been clearer.  Breakers and outlets must match, wire can be over sized.  Technically, it is physically possible to not match things that should be matched.  You can literally run speaker wire and hook it up to a 50 amp breaker and a 30 amp outlet.  DO NOT DO THAT!  Plan ahead, plan for overkill, it is always easy and relatively cheap to back things down a bit.  

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I should have been clearer as well.  When I said big breakers, I meant have a little more breaker than the expected amp draw.  You don't want to defeat the purpose of breakers!  

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Actually, I needed to be more clear too.  As originally written, mot post was misleading.

I've edited my post.  As jerrod said, the outlet and breaker current rating need to match.

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Thanks for the info guys! I will post some pics of the new shop once it’s finished.

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