Determine Electricity Supply Needed for Your Workshop

Woman in a workshop
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-500
What You'll Need
Product manuals
Computer with internet (optional)
What You'll Need
Product manuals
Computer with internet (optional)

Determining the electricity supply needed for your workshop is necessary to avoid overloading your electrical system. Aside from the safety in pre-determining your electrical supply your workshop needs, it is also necessary when you plan to buy a generator as your back-up power supply or when you are upgrading the electrical system of your workshop. Knowing how much electricity you need in your workshop is simple arithmetic with the following tools and instructions.

Step 1 - Determine the Amps of Voltage

Determine the amps and voltage of each of your workshop’s electrical tools. Most tools have a metallic plate or a sticker containing the product electrical requirements and consumption rate. There are many ways to know the amps and voltage if your electrical tool does not have an information plate or sticker. You can either check the product manual that comes along with each of the electrical tools during purchase or you can check the manufacturer’s website and look for the pertinent information. You can also email their customer support.

Step 2 - Determine the Wattage

Determine the wattage of each of your electrical tools. Again, check the name product plate/sticker or look for it at the manufacturer’s website. You can also manually come up with the wattage by multiplying the amps with the volts. For example, a two-amp power saw running in 120 volts has a wattage of 240.

Step 3 - Sum up the Wattage

board on a table saw

Add the wattage of all of your power tools to come up with how much electricity you need to safely run your workshop. Multiply the sum with 1.25 to compensate for overloading problems.

One fast and simple tip is to determine the power consumption of the two most power-consuming electrical tools you have. Let us say a table saw consumes 1000 watts while your heater consumes 1100 watts, then you will need at least 2100 watts to safely run the two electrical tools simultaneously. Add these with your lighting energy consumption and you have the minimum wattage requirement for your workshop.

You can safely run your power tools in your circuit if it has a circuit breaker that is 20 percent greater than that of the energy consumption of the power tools. For example, if your miter saw needs 40 amps to run then your circuit breaker should be at least 48 amps.

The different Kinds of Power Tools

man doing calculations on a work bench

You may have more tools than you thought. Remember you won’t be using all of them at the same time, but you’ll want to review the power consumption of each for your calculations. The most common power tools include grinding machine, diamond tools, jigsaw, lather, miter saw, pneumatic torque wrench, air compressor, belt sander, tile saw, cold saw, disc sander, heat gun needle scaler, power actuated tools, power wrench, nail gun, impact wrench, drill, floor sander, jointer, biscuit joiner, band saw, concrete saw, wood router, table saw, radial arm saw, crusher, and trimmer.

To save on energy, turn off the power tools you are not using such as the soldering iron and the heater. Remember that electrical devices that produce heat consume a lot of energy.