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woodshop electrical outlets in floor?

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  • woodshop electrical outlets in floor?

    I am in the final stages of getting plans drawn for my detached garage type woodshop. I have several large saws, a planer, a drill press, etc. as well as several hand power tools that I will use on a workbench. I don't want to have power cords on the floor. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    I guess it depends where your shop is but for most of us its either in the garage or basement. I would not be too keen on outlets in the floor of either location. The basement could flood and if you have the garage door open while you are having a beverage helping a neighbour change his breaks and it starts to rain (just happened to me). I have a couple of SOJW lines in the ceiling on strain reliefs that I can pull down and plug into my machines when necessary. All my machines are mobile so I dont need one at every machine. If your machines are in fixed locations you may consider dropping conduit down from the ceiling for your plugs


    • #3
      Just make sure you have plenty of receptacles around your shop, high-enough to clear a stationary or mobil workbench. I still have to finish the interior of my shop but at every location where I decided to put a receptical, I put two but the two are on separate circuits. I staggerd two circuits so that I can have two high-amp tools plugged in nearby and not overload any single circuit. I also installed two 220V circuits, one at each end of the shop and on opposite walls. This will allow you to plug your tools in right where you need them.

      I agree that you should not put any in the floor. This is asking for a fire/explosion. You may spill flamambles into one one day or heavier-than air flammable fumes could collect at the floor and a spark plugging something in (or unplugging) could get you attention the hard way. Also collect dust too easy. By the way, even wall receptacles should be kept vacuumed on a regulur basis. Shops have burned down because of sawdust collecting in the receptacles. A good safety measure would be to install covers like you use on outdoor plugs that flip over to cover the receptacle when not in use.

      If you need receptacles out in the center of your shop, you could install one or two additional receptacles in the ceiling and use those retractable reel cords suspended from the ceiling.

      [ 05-17-2005, 09:05 AM: Message edited by: George ]


      • #4
        Originally posted by George:
        If you need receptacles out in the center of your shop, you could install one or two additional receptacles in the ceiling and use those retractable reel cords suspended from the ceiling.
        Give that man a ceegar! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
        "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06


        • #5
          So far I haven't seen much in the mention of code compliance, so perhaps it is a given. I'm always concerned when running new circuits or upgrading old, that I do it the "best way" which keeps one from doing something dangerous or causes a problem with insurance, inspections, etc.

          If your shop has a concrete floor and is at ground level, it is best to ensure GFI breakers in the panel or at the receptacle. In my own practice, I make sure that the receptacles are proper for the amperage rating and therefore easily recognizeable. Lighting circuits are separated from power tool circuits, and 220 circuits are used for high amp tools like the big saw or compressor.

          With regard to center of the shop work areas, like assembly tables, I'd go with overhead receptacles, even using retractables if the ceiling is high enough. Floor receptacles just seem to be a problem with dirt, dust, etc., in my experience anyway. They also provide another "trip" concern, with when something is plugged in.

          If you have children, I'd also recommend a main junction box that can be locked. Great to have them working with you when you can supervise thier safety, but curiosity on their own can be a tragic experience.



          • #6
            In my new shop, which I'm still working on, I have a dedicated 20 amp circuit to a single set of two plugs, using 12/2 wire, just for running a few of the higher amp tools, such as my table saw, chop saw, router, etc. I'm installing a retractable extension cord in the ceiling over the plugs, then a hook in the ceiling over each tool or work area. If needed, I'll add another hook or two in the ceiling to counter any of the cord drooping. That way, I should be able to get away with the one cord, which can easily be moved from one hook to the other. To counter unnecessary resistance in the extension cord wires, I'll be cutting off the excess cord, once I know how much length I need. I don't know if this would work in you situation, as my shop is rather small, and the ceiling is standard height.
            Nolo illigitamati carborundum


            • #7
              I have a power strip that has 5 or 6 outlets that I have screwed to the front of my workbench. What I will be doing next spring (hopefully) is upgrading the electric in my house. As it stands I have 70 Amp service and only 15 going to my garage. I spend some time running back and forth to reset the breaker. Anyway, my plan is to run some boxes on the ceiling and use the compression type sockets for running BX cable. I am going to buy a bunch of electric cord by the foot and a bunch of electrical ends. Plan on dropping them down from the ceiling and using them for some of the tools it will be out of the way for.