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Saw Power Requirements

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  • Saw Power Requirements

    I am considering either the TS2400LS or TS3650 saw, but then saw some people having potential trouble with electrical power capacity. I found that two 15 amp circuit breakers provide power to different garage plugs of which one one runs a set of 8 48" long flourescent tubes, which will be on when working with the saw in the garage. How do I find out what the wiring gauge is? The circuit breaker box says the neutral wire is aluminum and #14. I have a 240V outlet for the dryer next to the garage. And I have one 50 amp circuit breaker for a hot tub which I am scrapping and not replacing. I don't know the voltage. I know very little about electrical and am wondering if I need to do electrical work before even buying a saw.

    Thanks,

    - Phil

  • #2
    Re: Saw Power Requirements

    Let's so a little thinking. With the purchase of a new table saw more than likely over the next year or two you'll be wanting other woodworking machinery such as a dust collector, planer and a good drill press. With that in mind your electrical demands will go up big time. If the spare 50 Amp breaker (for hot tub) is a two pole breaker which I bet is is, that could be the feed for a sub-panel in your workshop/garage. The installation of such should be left to a good licensed electrician, but try to think of it as an investment so that later on you won't be forced into doing this upgrade. Trying to run the TS3650 or a similar contractor table saw on a 15 Amp 120 Volt circuit is really pushing luck and especially if there are long runs of #14 gauge wire involved. I would nip this issue before it turns into a real problem. If you plan on having a nice shop, then you really need to have heavy electrical service.

    Please have a good electrician or two drop by your place and discuss your future needs. If you have 150 or 200 Amp service in your house now, then adding a 50 Amp 120/240 feeder to a sub-panel in the shop won't be all that much work. Over time it will pay off.

    If you only want a table saw for very light now and then use and to watch your money then the TS2400LS would be my choice as it can be run on a 15 Amp 120 Volt circuit as long as you don't force feed wood into it.
    Last edited by Woussko; 03-16-2008, 12:08 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Saw Power Requirements

      Very good points, Woussko. I second what he said - definitely worth the small upgrade cost now (also potentially adds to resale value down the line).

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Saw Power Requirements

        Let's not say too much, but having 50 Amp 120/240 Volt service in your garage lets you get a nice good powerful unit heater (7500 Watt) that puts out some serious heat. The trick is to only run it when really necessary but it sure is nice not freezing yourself half to death when working in the garage on a cold night or day.

        7500 Watts of electric heat = 25,590 BTU/Hr ... A portable 120 Volt 1500 Watt heater = only 5,118 BTU/Hr of heat.

        While if it was the only device on, you could run a 10,000 Watt unit heater, that's really pushing things hard. I wouldn't do that and I really doubt you would ever need it. If you have many really cold days and nights, you'll want to think about oil or natural gas heating.

        The great part of having good electrical service is that you can run several good size motors or if needed you can start and run a true 3 HP motor such as on a good air compressor or a serious cabinet style table saw or maybe a good planer. For most home shops, it would end up being several smaller motors. Remember a good shop vac needs 10 Amps if not more.

        Please put all lighting on a private circuit so in case you trip a breaker by trying to run too many tools, you don't end up in darkness. With that in mind you might ask the electrician about installing a small emergency light in your shop. Think safety, please .... Get a good size ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher and install it near the walk-in door. Never have doors locked when working. You just may need to get out of there fast sometime.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Saw Power Requirements

          Thanks for your help. True, I will have additional electrical devices, and I am waiting for a new drill press to arrive. There is just ONE plug in the garage, and it is on a 15 amp circuit, and the plug itself has a some sort of circuit breaker in it (a red and black button that you can reset). The 50 amp breaker has two switches, which I guess means "poles" (I know little about electrical, but am learning). The main circuit breaker box is within 3 feet of the nearest garage wall.

          The circuit breaker box seems to indicate 125 amp, not 150 - 200. Is this a problem? Also, the dryer we use is gas, so no need for the 220V outlet for it, which is within 3 feet of a garage wall. Could I tap into this? It is on 2 30 amp breakers, which are linked mechanically with 2 20 amp breakers for the kitchen (does not include range). I don't think it hard to get the 220V to the garage, but not sure what the subpanel will do for me. What kind of work is best for an electrician, beyond a DIY?

          - Phil

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Saw Power Requirements

            Originally posted by Phil3 View Post
            Thanks for your help. True, I will have additional electrical devices, and I am waiting for a new drill press to arrive. There is just ONE plug in the garage, and it is on a 15 amp circuit, and the plug itself has a some sort of circuit breaker in it (a red and black button that you can reset). The 50 amp breaker has two switches, which I guess means "poles" (I know little about electrical, but am learning). The main circuit breaker box is within 3 feet of the nearest garage wall.

            The circuit breaker box seems to indicate 125 amp, not 150 - 200. Is this a problem? Also, the dryer we use is gas, so no need for the 220V outlet for it, which is within 3 feet of a garage wall. Could I tap into this? It is on 2 30 amp breakers, which are linked mechanically with 2 20 amp breakers for the kitchen (does not include range). I don't think it hard to get the 220V to the garage, but not sure what the subpanel will do for me. What kind of work is best for an electrician, beyond a DIY?

            - Phil
            With all that being said, call in a qualified electrician. Yes, potentially the 125 amp feed could be an issue - I have 200 amps with my house, but also that varies based on your region, and your needs.

            It sounds like there's a lot of different tie offs and criss-crossing to your electrical. Having an electrician come in and help you with a set-up like Woussko stated would be hugely beneficial down the line. Don't mess with what you don't know - it's not worth the insurance/inspector hassle for you, and you don't want to risk being the one who potentially does something wrong, overloading your electrical, and potentially causing a house fire or other issues - not pretty if it comes to an insurance investigation at that point.

            Spend the extra couple of dollars, have it done right by a professional, and enjoy the benefits of your nicely outfitted home/garage shop.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Saw Power Requirements

              Please do call in a good licensed electrician at this point. If you use natural gas or oil for heating, then a 125 Amp main breaker should be OK. Most likely the 50 Amp breaker could be changed to a 2 pole 30 Amp breaker and that used to feed a small sub-panel in the garage. There are loads of options and this is where the electrician can discuss them with you. At my place I get by with 100 Amp electric service as all of my heating devices in the house use natural gas including the clothes dryer. If you do use electrical heating devices you may need to do some total load management. This is where if you're running machinery in the garage you make sure you're not also running an electric clothes dryer, the central AC unit or an electric oven in the kitchen. Once you shut down the shop, then you can power up the other devices.

              Without knowing far more about what's in your house and being able to see your electrical setup this is a guessing game. Any electrical upgrades will over time pay off as an investment. What matters is that any work be done properly, safely and by a licensed electrical contractor. Don't play DIY and end up getting hurt or having building damages. Insurance companies flat out refuse to pay claims based on DIY work.

              Note: Because it looks like you'll soon have several machines in your garage please do yourself a big favor and call in a good electrician. You will need more power than you currently have. In time you'll have a nice workshop. You may want to add more lighting over time so it's wise to have it all on it's own circuit. The drill press can share a circuit with another device as long as it doesn't draw much current. Do remember that larger shop vacs or dust collectors have a pretty good current draw.
              Last edited by Woussko; 03-17-2008, 10:15 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Saw Power Requirements

                OK, will call in an electrician. My approach will be to tell them what my electrical demands are (based on anticipated tools), show the garage layout and existing electrical, and let the electrician advise and quote.

                As a side note, our house is heated by natural gas (no electric), the dryer (2 x 30 amp - 220v) is now on gas (no need for the 220v), and the range (2 x 50 amp) was also changed out out from electric to gas. It seems like I have ample reserves to tap into, but will have the electrician tell me what the options are.

                Perhaps a dumb question, but if I intend to run 220v, can I run an extension cord from the dryer plug to the saw until the electrician gets done? Cord would be no longer than 20' from plug to saw motor itself.

                Thanks for your help!

                - Phil

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Saw Power Requirements

                  Phil

                  You can make up a special extension cord for the table saw, but normally they come wired up for 120 Volts and have a power cord. In such a case you can't plug it into the dryer receptacle without first reconnecting the saw for 240 Volts and then installing a different proper plug on the power cord.

                  Something that might very well be doable would be to change the dryer receptacle to a 120 Volt one and change the circuit breaker and wiring in your main breaker panel. That would be less work than running new wire.
                  ================================================== ===================================
                  Here's an idea that may work for you: (This is to ask the electrician) How about installing a (2) single pole 20 Amp breakers in place of the current breaker for the clothes dryer? Then right under or beside the breaker panel install 2 duplex 120 Volt receptacles each on it's own private circuit.

                  Now all that Phil needs to do is get (2) good heavy duty 12-3 extension cords of proper length so you can run them out to the garage. This would be for temporary power. Over time you'll use the extension cords so please think of them as a small investment you'll get good from later on.
                  ================================================== ===================================
                  The above is only until the garage is connected up with good heavy 120/240 Volt service to a sub-panel. Actually a good electrician should be able to complete the job in 2 days once everything is contracted. This is not near the job of bringing new power from the pole to the house. You may get lucky and find some items you already have can be salvaged thus saving $$$ on both time and materials.

                  Be sure the new sub-panel is the same brand and type as in the house so circuit breakers can be interchanged unless the one in the house is some off brand junker in which case it needs to be replaced. I doubt that's the case. Don't let the electrician try to talk you into a huge job. If he does and won't just install the sub-panel, boot him and call in another.

                  With everything being gas fired in your home, the 125 Amp main should be more than enough. Is is your water heater gas? If not, it would be a very wise thing to consider having a good plumber change it. Gas fired water heaters provide far more hot water and they cost less to operate than electric. Now if you do have an electric water heater, it's less than 5 years old and provides all the hot water needed, then maybe wait on changing it out.

                  With everything else being gas, you're electrical demands are pretty low. Central AC units for homes normally only need a 30 Amp 240 Volt line and the normal draw is less than 20 Amps when running. That is unless you have a big house and a monster AC unit or an old timer one that needs to be replaced.
                  Last edited by Woussko; 03-17-2008, 12:38 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Saw Power Requirements

                    Sorry for being so long winded.

                    Things look like a good honest electrician should have little trouble just using either the hot tub breaker or the one that was for the clothes dryer. Connect to it and run a line to the garage and install a sub-panel (no less than 8 breaker spaces, please) and then install circuits and needed receptacles in the garage. You'll want to have some idea of where you want the receptacles in the garage. I would have one 20 Amp. 240 Volt receptacle installed in a handy place for either a good table saw or another machine. Then if you have a bench install several 120 Volt receptacles above it on the wall. To help with having them on 2 circuits you can have some ivory or white and some brown receptacles. The electrician should have good ideas on layout and more.

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