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  • 230 Volts to a sub-panel

    Fisst off, hello to everyone in the forum. My name is Otis Hart, I hail from Layton Utah. I'm 64, retired and disabled, but I'm happy to say I'm in total remission following a year long fight with pancreatic cancer.

    I am wiring my woodworking shop in the basement. All recepticles are wired with 10/2 Romex, lighting (all flourecent) with 12/2. The dust collector is on a dedicated 115v circuit (heavy draw on start-up), and the table saw is on a dedicated 230v, 15 amp circuit.

    I have two concerns.
    1) I have only 2 unused connections in the main service panel, each is 1/2 of a 20 amp double breaker on opposite sides of the panel. Though I doubt I will ever draw more than 30 amps at any given time, I am concerned the 20 amp breakers may trip. Optionally, I could piggyback off the 40 amp breakers going to the kitchen stove (kinda over-kill anyway).
    Whitch way should I go?

    2) My local home center suggested using 10/3 Romex for the 30 foot or so run from the main panel to the sub-panel in the shop. In my head I know it's probably enough, but the sight of that skinny Romex cable just gives me the willies. Is the 10/3 enough or should I opt for an 8/3 cable to supply the panel?

    Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    Otis (otieo)

  • #2
    Re: 230 Volts to a sub-panel

    First off, WELCOME to the forum and I wish you all the best dealing with cancer. Not long ago we lost a regular (a well known plumber) on the forum to cancer.

    The wire gauge depends on the current capacity you need. If you are OK with a 2 pole 30 Amp. (max) breaker to feed your sub-panel then 10-3 with ground is fine. Please don't do any wild stuff. Trying to parallel connect 2 breakers is not going to work out and it's not a safe thing to get into.

    For what this is worth try to balance the load in L1 and L2 so you don't have your main breaker or any feed (to sub panel) breakers tripping and not being able to figure out (without taking measurements) as to why.

    How much of a sub panel would you like to have? If just say 2 single pole and (1) 2 pole breaker will serve your needs and with no breakers over 20 Amps then having a 30 Amp breaker feeding the sub-panel should work. In most cases this just won't do and you really want 50 or 60 Amps to the sub panel.

    If you have doubts or aren't sure, please do yourself a huge favor and enlist the services of a good licensed electrician. Installing a sub-panel really isn't a DIY type project.

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    • #3
      Re: 230 Volts to a sub-panel

      If your wood shop is going to be running through that sub panel, then personally I would say 30 amps is too small. I know in my woodshop, at any given time my table saw (17 amps) can be running, my dust collector (12 amps) will be running and then my compressor will kick in to re-fill some times and that is another (15 amps). And thats taking it easy. My self, I would run 50 or 60 amps to a subpanel to feed a workshop, I have a 100 amp sub panel out to my workshop, but I weld and all kinds of other fun things in there.

      Jeff

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      • #4
        Re: 230 Volts to a sub-panel

        Thanks to both Woussko and piette for their respective responses. I'm thinking now I better call an electrician to wire down to the sub-panel then I can take it from there.

        Thanks again,
        otieo

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