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15 Amp CB Question

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  • 15 Amp CB Question

    Hello,
    I'm a woodworker and my garage is my shop. All outlets in my garage are GFI protected (new house, not even 2 year old). Whenever I turn my bandsaw on (11 amps), I'm tripping the 15-amp circuitbreaker designated to my garage. My question is, can I replace this 15 amp circuit breaker with a 20 amp one to prevent the tripping? All my woodworking tools are wired 110V and only the bandsaw exhibit this circuit breaker tripping incident. Thanks. Godspeed.

  • #2
    Re: 15 Amp CB Question

    You would need to be sure the wiring going to that circuit is #12 or #10 and not #14 as #15 is rated at 15 Amps maximum. If you do have #12 all the way on that circuit then you could change to a 20 Amp breaker. Try shutting off that breaker and find out just what is on the circuit. If there are lights besides the receptacles you really need to think about having a good electrician run a heavy line to the garage and installing a small sub-panel (little breaker box) inside the garage. Then be sure all lighting is on a circuit without receptacles on it. It would be wise to have a few circuits with just one receptacle so you can run machinery without tripping breakers.

    For now try to have everything on that circuit off and then see if you can start and run your bandsaw.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 15 Amp CB Question

      As mentioned, you will need to verify the wiring is at least 12 awg. I would suspect if they went with a 15A breaker is because the wiring is 14awg, in which case you should NOT change the breaker to 20A. Verify if you have anything else on that circuit. Perhaps turning off or disconnecting anything else that is running on it while you use the saw is all you need to do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 15 Amp CB Question

        Originally posted by John Revilla View Post
        Hello,
        I'm a woodworker and my garage is my shop. All outlets in my garage are GFI protected (new house, not even 2 year old). Whenever I turn my bandsaw on (11 amps), I'm tripping the 15-amp circuitbreaker designated to my garage. My question is, can I replace this 15 amp circuit breaker with a 20 amp one to prevent the tripping? All my woodworking tools are wired 110V and only the bandsaw exhibit this circuit breaker tripping incident. Thanks. Godspeed.
        It might be a weak breaker too but my bet is that your 11amp bandsaw is drawing about half again as much on startup.Geez I dinged a lot of cheap houses when I twisted wires but never put #14 or a 15 amp breaker in a garage.Its been awhile tho since I did a house for other then a friend or myself.
        Sam

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 15 Amp CB Question

          Now that you've tripped the breaker a few times the problem will only get worse. I'd try replacing the breaker before looking at the other solutions.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 15 Amp CB Question

            Why would tripping the breaker make the problem worse?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 15 Amp CB Question

              Each time you trip a breaker it weakens it. Eventually they just nuisance trip

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 15 Amp CB Question

                9 times out of ten, if it's a 15A breaker, it's 14AWG cable.
                I agree with the others about replacing the old breaker...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 15 Amp CB Question

                  The issue could actually be with the GFI portion of the breaker. Many times GFI breakers trip with certain machines and are fine with others. You likely have a regular 15 A breaker in your panel, trip the main and swap a regular 15A in for the GFI and test the saw. Don't play with the pressure washer or vac outside in damp locations as you will not have the GFI protection while doing the test. If it does not trip they may be an issue with your saw (slight leakage current in the motor) that causes the GFI breaker to trip.
                  If you use the garage for a vehicle all your plugs should be GFI protected as the vehicle can introduce water to the garage after rain or snow. If it is only a wood shop you could replace the GFI breaker with a normal one (make sure that it does not service the outside receptacles as well) and put a GFI receptacle near the garage door to allow for protection when using electrical devices outside.
                  Either way the best solution as mentioned is a pony panel in the garage that can expand as your woodworking tool collection grows.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 15 Amp CB Question

                    Thanks for all the advice. Yes, my garage is my woodshop. I think the best solution (I deduced) is to install new sub-panel, new wires (#12) and new receptacles. I only need 2 duplex receptacles. All my woodworking tools are on wheels. How much (estimate) will the job stated above cost? I live in Southern California. Thanks again and Godspeed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 15 Amp CB Question

                      If you're going to have a sub panel installed the labor and other materials will be enough that you may as well think about later on say the year 2010 when your shop grows. If your main panel can handle it, I would recommend going with 6-3 with ground, a 2 pole 50 or 60 (check codes and wire type) Amp breaker and a sub panel with 12 or more breaker spaces. In time you'll be thankful you spent the extra money. Anymore it seems that we just can't have enough power. Our needs grow fast.

                      You'll want one circuit for lights only in the garage. Another for any outside receptacles and a minimum of 2 circuits 20 Amp 120 Volt for receptacles in the garage. That takes 4 spaces. Then more than likely you'll want a 20 or 30 Amp 240 Volt circuit for a table saw or other machine with a large motor. Watch out if you get a table saw, air compressor and a dust collector.

                      If you have a 2 or 3 car size garage, it might not be a bad idea to go a bit overboard and have 100 Amp service run to the garage and a 20 or 24 space load center installed. It's the labor and work that add up to $$$ more than materials. No matter what you want a good licensed electrician to do most of the work. This is not something for a DIYer to get into.

                      I recommend using GFCI receptacles over breakers. That way if a GFCI trips it only effects the receptacle. If local code demands GFCI protection for your 240 Volt circuit for the table saw, you can get 2 pole GFCI breakers. They aren't cheap but then neither is your well being.

                      Be sure to remind the electrician to check and most likely improve grounding.
                      Last edited by Woussko; 09-28-2007, 05:45 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 15 Amp CB Question

                        Thanks Woussko. I will consult a licensed electrician regarding this recommendation of yours. Godspeed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 15 Amp CB Question

                          Man I wish we had more electrical contractors,even though bitter plumbers rarely see eye to eye with gods gift electricians

                          I rented a home with an electrical contractor for three years.We would also network on some projects.

                          If a homeowner would ask me how much the easiest answer my friend told me to give them because I did not know the amount of time it would take is a small shop contractor needs to make a $100.00 an hour so he will look at the job,figure his appx. time and add material.

                          There is now way to answer your question as it stands.

                          Is you garage detached.
                          How far is garage from house(trenching)
                          Is your house two story.
                          Is your house on a raised foundation.
                          Which side of the house is your garage/panel on

                          Just as in any trade it is pretty much a losing bet for someone to gamble on quoting a project sight unseen.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 15 Amp CB Question

                            Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                            Man I wish we had more electrical contractors,even though bitter plumbers rarely see eye to eye with gods gift electricians

                            I rented a home with an electrical contractor for three years.We would also network on some projects.

                            If a homeowner would ask me how much the easiest answer my friend told me to give them because I did not know the amount of time it would take is a small shop contractor needs to make a $100.00 an hour so he will look at the job,figure his appx. time and add material.

                            There is now way to answer your question as it stands.

                            Is you garage detached.
                            How far is garage from house(trenching)
                            Is your house two story.
                            Is your house on a raised foundation.
                            Which side of the house is your garage/panel on

                            Just as in any trade it is pretty much a losing bet for someone to gamble on quoting a project sight unseen.
                            I fully agree with Drtyhands on this one.

                            I went off the deep end suggesting the 100 Amp service and super sub-panel but anymore it seems we can never have enough electric service or breaker spaces. When I think of what people lived with back say 50 years ago for an average 2 story 3 or 4 bedroom house and what I see in new houses makes me wonder if the demands will level off sometime.

                            Not too far from me there is a new 5 bedroom 4 bath house with natural gas for all the heating devices but they installed 600 Amp 120/240 Volt service and (3) 40 space breaker panels. On the outside wall is the huge 600 Amp fused safety switch. What in the world are they planning for?

                            Please call in a few (more than one mind is good) electricians and discuss your current needs and also try to think of what they may be in say 5 or 10 years from now. I hate hearing about people upgrading only to have to do it again soon.

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