Wood Shop Electrical Service

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Old 07-14-08, 10:05 AM
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Wood Shop Electrical Service

I would like to run 60 or 100 amp underground electrical service to a wood shop that is about 150 from our home and have a couple questions I was hoping to get some help with.

1. On the house side of the connection can I just pop a new 220v 60 or 100amp breaker in our existing breaker panel. Its has a 150 amp main. If not, do I need to involve our power company to tie in at the meter or can an electrician do this?

If I can tie into the panel, I would do the work myself.

2. What gauge wire do I need to use. It sounds like a 4 conductor #2 Aluminum would be enough for 60 amp but cannot seem to get a clear answer as to whether or not its sufficent for a 100 amp service.

3. From my calculations it looks like a 60 amp service will be enough power but uncertaintly is pushing me towards the 100 amp service. The building is a little over 1000 sq ft with natural gas heat, a window air conditioner, typical home wood shop power tools, the largest using 220v 5hp motor, a cyclone for dust collection, and primarily flourescent lighting. Most tool use will be one at a time except for dust collection. Any thoughts on service sizing?
 
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Old 07-14-08, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by gaviaimmer View Post
On the house side of the connection can I just pop a new 220v 60 or 100amp breaker in our existing breaker panel. Its has a 150 amp main.
Most of the time it is okay to just add a breaker to your existing main panel. It is a good idea to do a demand load calculation to make sure that your service has enough capacity to handle the expected loads in the new shop. Of course you also need to make sure that your panel has the physical space to hold another breaker.

If not, do I need to involve our power company to tie in at the meter or can an electrician do this?
In most areas of the US, a homeowner can do the electrical work in the main panel as long as he gets a building permit and inspection. If you mean that you need to do something at the actual meter, that needs to be done by an electrician.

It sounds like a 4 conductor #2 Aluminum would be enough for 60 amp but cannot seem to get a clear answer as to whether or not its sufficent for a 100 amp service.
#2 aluminum is good for up to 90A. Many places follow an interpretation of the code that allows up to 100A for #2 aluminum.

From my calculations it looks like a 60 amp service will be enough power but uncertaintly is pushing me towards the 100 amp service.
I think 60A is enough based on your description. If you wanted to add a welder in the future, I would recommend the bump up to 100A.
 
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