Wiring up an "island" in my workshop

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Old 11-06-15, 01:04 PM
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Wiring up an "island" in my workshop

Hello - first post here....

I have built an island workbench in my workshop. The island sits in the middle of a two car garage. The floor is concrete slab and the ceilings are 10 feet high.

My question is about getting electricity to those outlets.

I want the island to be movable - in case we want to park a car in the garage. :-) If we need to move it, I would like to disconnect the power easily, then move the island away.

I plan to wire in two electrical outlets inside the workbench/island.
I thought about adding a third "outlet" to the wiring setup which would in essence be the input for the power. I would then build a 12 gauge male-to-male cord which I can then plug one end into an existing outlet and the other into the third "outlet" I just described. This male-to-male cord would then act as a bridge and allow power to flow to the outlets inside the island.

I am thinking this is similar to the way an RV can hookup to electrical in an RV park.

Thoughts? Is this safe? Is it "legal?"
 
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Old 11-06-15, 01:10 PM
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Not safe, not legal, in fact very dangerous, but there is a better way.

You can wire an inlet on the mobile workbench to accept the female end of a standard extension cord. It's a much safer option because there is no chance of exposed energized metal.



Make sure that all outlets in the garage are GFCI protected.

Have you considered dropping a pendant box from the ceiling with a couple receptacles? You could even put it on a retractable reel.
 
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Old 11-06-15, 01:16 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply.

Editing post. I didn't see the photo when I replied earlier.
 
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Old 11-06-15, 01:21 PM
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What is the difference between my original post and your answer?

Is it simply the "gender" of the connectors? Perhaps it is to avoid the possibility that someone may plug in the male-to-male connect in a way it was not intended?
 
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Old 11-06-15, 01:31 PM
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Would this work:
Shop Cooper Wiring Devices 15-Amp 125-Volt Silver 3-Wire Grounding at Lowes.com

I have a Lowes nearby and could buy it on the way home.
 
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Old 11-06-15, 01:34 PM
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It is that you can't design a system that has exposed energized metal, which is the male-male extension cord. It could be accidentally plugged in, you or the dog or the kids could trip on the cord and pull it out (energized wire flying around). Too much of a shock or fire hazard.

I suppose another option would be to hard wire the female side of #12 extension cord directly into the mobile island, so it has a 20' tail which can be plugged in to a wall receptacle. If you put a strain relief fitting on the box where the cord enters it would be quite secure.
 
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Old 11-06-15, 01:36 PM
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The Lowe's inlet seems ok to me. The difference is that it is 15A and you originally mentioned 20A, but not a huge difference in practice with standard hand tools.
 
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Old 11-06-15, 01:48 PM
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Another option (which I use) is using drop downs. 12-2 SOJ cable wired into a junction box in the ceiling and a female plug on the end, just above head height. They are flexible so if anything hits them, the just sway.
 
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Old 11-06-15, 02:21 PM
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Thank you! Answer found

Thanks to both of you for the answers.

I will plan to purchase the inlet and install it this weekend.

I will also add a GFCI circuit to this new run.

I'll use a #12 extension cord to connect the island with the rest of the house.

Thank you for the safety tips. I had not thought about the "live" metal connectors being exposed. You have saved me from myself. :-)
 
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