Garage Woodworking shop

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  #1  
Old 05-26-06, 11:40 AM
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Garage Woodworking shop

I am adding power tools such as a table saw, planer, radial saw, miter saw, etc. When I am using the table saw with a Shop Vac running to collect the saw dust, the circuit breaker will trip when the saw bogs down a bit such as when I am cutting thick oak. The table saw has a 15 amp rating. The breaker is a 15 amp breaker so when I add the Shop Vac, lichts and fan to keep me cool I am probably over the 15 amps. Also, the breaker is of 1988 vintage.

Can I replace the breaker with a 20 amp breaker and be OK?

John in Durham
 
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Old 05-26-06, 11:50 AM
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The answer is almost certainly no, or else they probably would have put in a 20 amp breaker when they built it.

Is the garage detached? The solution is to replace the existing circuit with either a multi wire circuit or with a sub panel.

Is the garage attached? The solution is to add a new circuit or two. You could instead add a sub panel if you want to , which may make sense if you need more than a single new circuit.

Why donít you start at the beginning and describe the existing setup and what your needs are. When discussing your needs, try to pan ahead for what you might want to add in the future.
 
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Old 05-26-06, 12:00 PM
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Thanks Bob,

The garage is attached and the panel is in the garage. I am going to continue to add equipment, jointer, dust collection system and proper lighting. There is no available spot on the main box to add a new circuit.

Is a sub panel feasable on the cheap? can the new circuit be run on the outside of the sheetrock?

John
 
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Old 05-26-06, 12:16 PM
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John - You can install a 60 amp sub panel for probably less than $200. Depending on how your house SEP is set up, you might consider going larger. Trying to get more out of your 15 amp garage circuit won't work for what you want to do. Installing a 20 amp breaker is not the answer and it may be dangerous.

As a minimum you probably need a 20 amp circuit dedicated to your shop tools. Better would be two additional 20 amp circuits, wired using 12 ga wire and protected by GFIs. You can use GFI breakers, or wire the outlets with all served from one GFI. Or you could install individual GFI outlets The latter might cost $10 per outlet extra. Sketch how you want your shop to be layed out and add enough 20 amp outlets to serve all your tools.

I'm not a fan of surface wiring, but in a garage you could probably use ENT. That might add to the expense but is probably a good choice for a shop environment. Whatever you decide on, don't wire with exposed Romex. One of the board electricians might have a better suggestion.

It sounds like you are setting up a a well equipped shop. Don't shortchange yourself with inadequate power.
 
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Old 05-26-06, 12:17 PM
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If the panel is in the garage then a new circuit is the way to go.

Before considering a sub panel, make certain that you need one. You may be able to install tandem breakers and get away without a sub panel.

However, if you plan on greatly increasing your needs over time, then either replacing the main panel or adding a sub panel would be a better way to go.

To run cable on the "outside of the sheetrock" would require protection of the cable. This means conduit of some type. Is the ceiling finished? You would be better off running cables in the walls up to the ceiling and then across the ceiling, where protection is probably not required.
 
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