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  • #16
    No offense taken. I agree I don't have the knowledge when it comes to electicity and will be calling in a buddy who does.

    Thanks to everyone for the advice and support. I'm afraid my "honey do" list was too long and I didn't get to the electrical work so I'm hopeful that I can get it done over the next couple of weeks.



    • #17
      I am not a sparky by trade, but I think I would keep the lights on a seperate circuit for safety reasons, here's why;

      If you should ever trip a breaker -AND- your lighting is on the same circuit, you might be left in the dark with a saw blade spinning down and you may not be able to see it or where your fingers/hands/etc are in relation to the blade.

      I like the idea of running 240 to a sub-panel in the shop area because you can walk away from the shop when you are done and flip one breaker and know that everything is OFF, makes it just that much safer if you have kids around.

      I am also a Ham radio operator, and I have my Ham Shack fed through a sub-panel that allows me to shut everything down from one disconnect switch. I can lock this out if I really need to be sure no one messes with anything and might get hurt.

      Also, since you will be setting up shop in a basement area where the ceiling is usually lower, consider getting some of those clear plastic tubes that you slip over the lamps to help protect them from getting broken. you can find them in HD in the lighting section. You are more likely to need hearing protection more often in this closer enviroment too.

      If it ain't safe, it ain't right.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Paizan:
        Yeah, if you plan to have a building inspector in your basement, don't run Romex. If not, it will be fine. It's no different than running an extension cord. I remember my basement in NY. It didn't have any conduit. As long as you attach it to the stud, it will be adaquately protected. If it was running on the face of drywall, I wouldn't suggest it.

        It also depends on how much time and money you wish to invest. Conduit is better than Romex. But I would just run Romex, if it was me. What is existing now?
        Running Romex on the outside face of anything exposed to potential damage is against code. Running an extension cord through studs or stapling it to studs is also against code. Generally, anything that you can bang into with an object that is against a wall must be protected either by conduit, or by a finished wall.

        Do the job right and use the prewired flex if you have to, but don't screw up the job before it's done.


        • #19
          Mike. I appreciate your concern for safety. And I am known as a perfectionist in my household. But running romex on studs in an unfinished basement is neither dangerous, or wrong.

          Not to brag, but I am running a 2 million dollar job right now installing PLC's for a Water Pollution Contol Facility. I only say this as a reference to my knowledge. To staple Romex to a stud is not really subjecting it to damage. The stud will protect it enough. If, for some reason, you do actually hit the Romex hard enought to damage it, it will just trip a breaker. Unless you hit it with a hammer and are grounded while you sever the Romex, you'll be fine. I mean, how many people you know got fried by an extention cord?

          As a contractor, I could scare people silly over Electricity, but the truth is, it's actually quite safe these days. GFCI breakers are very safe for all applications. The problem is they trip often. If it was me, and I was running this in my unfinished basement, and I didn't need to pull a permit and have an inspector over, I would run Romex and never worry. I don't worry about the cord to my Refrigerator either. Just run the Romex toward the back corner of the stud (unless you just have studs and no walls at all) and you'll be fine. Run most of it on the ceiling, toward the back of the studs and it will be safe.

          My house in NY never had pipe in it at all. We changed over to the new system of circuit breakers in the late 80's. I don't remember if it was Romex, but I know it wasn't pipe. I was young then. I had one sided walls. Studs with some panelling on one side to seperate the room. If you have concrete walls that have no recceses, then I would recommend conduit just down the wall, but Romex in the ceiling. It would be alot better if I could see your basement.

          But like I said, If you want to spend the extra money and time, use pipe. Using prewired flex (or MC) cable is worse in my opinion than Romex. The metal flex seperates and when you cut it, it leaves a jagged sharp metal edge that has to have a bushing inserted. It is better suited for being cut, but not crushed. When you crush MC it smashes all the metal and vibrations could possibly wear thru the wire over time. They use it alot out here in commercial applications, but I don't like it much. It is stronger and tougher but also costs more and isn't really that much less prone to damage, in my opinion.

          The best thing to do is get an electrician to do the work. But that can cost you. If you're askin this guys opinion, run Romex.


          • #20
            it is only safe to staple romex to studs if it is at least 1 1/4" back from the face and not exposed. if you were doing the job and I saw exposed romex or face stapled romex going up on my building, you'd be outta there faster than your car could take you.

            I admit that lumber may not damage the romex, but there are many other things that you could be holding that will. and I'd hate to be around when you get the jolt of a lifetime.

            I've been hit with both 120 and 277v. neither is pleasant to get hit with, but if I was installing something from scratch, i'd install according to code.

            BTW, what kind of 2 million dollar commercial job lets you run romex that is not protected from damage?

            <edit> looked up in NEC for exact wording...

            "The cable shall be protected from physical damage where necessary by conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 pvc rigid nonmetallic conduit, pipe, guard straps, listed surface metal, or nonmetallic raceway or other means. Where passing through a floor, the cable shall be enclosed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, schedule 80 PVC rigid nonmetallic conduit, lested surface metal or nonmetallic raceway, or other pipe extending at least 6 in above the floor."


            "In unfinished basements, where the cable is run at angles with joists in unfinished basements, it shall be permissable to secure cables not smaller than two 6AWG or three 8AWG conductors directly to the lower edges of the joists. Smaller cables shall be run either through bored holes in joists or on running boards."

            [ 01-07-2004, 09:21 AM: Message edited by: Mike3206 ]


            • #21
              You may also want to check the code in your part of the country. Up here your trick of feeding the 110 plug off the 220 plug would not fly.
              Keep this simple, buy a spool of 12/2 and keep the 220 and 110 circuits separate. Also dont forget that you will need to rewire the motors on you BS and Jointer for them to run on 220V (usually instruction are in the manual), you will also have to change the plug end from 110 V &#0124;&#0124; to 220V - -. One last point when wiring the 110V plugs make sure that the Black wire ( hot ) goes to the brass coloured connector and the white ( neutral ) goes to the silver coloured connector.


              • #22
                I appreciate you quoting the code to me Mike. Thanks. Like I said. If you're going to build to code, don't staple Romex to the stud. If you want to run power to your tools, do what you want.

                BTW. I know the code. I also know that if I was building a commercial property with inspections, I couldn’t run Romex. I also know that running the way I said to run is fine. Argue about it all you want. I know electricity. I know how it works. I know that the CGS unit of electrical charge is the electrostatic unit (esu), which is defined as the quantity of electricity that when concentrated at a point in a vacuum will repel a like charge 1 centimeter away with a force of 1 dyne. The esu equals the aggregate charge carried by 2,082,000,000 electrons or protons. On top of that I know that the unit of electric charge, also named after Coulomb, is equal to the combined charges of 6.24 × 1018 protons (or electrons).

                1 Other thing I know. Is that in my basement, in my workshop, all that mumbo jumbo means nothing, and only someone who doesn't understand electricity would doubt my advise.

                I am betting my member stars go down after this, but as I've said, if you want to spend the money to do it perfect, then spend it. If you want to power tools up with limited room in your panel, do what I said. It's not dangerous. It's not wrong. It's not going to burn your house down, and it's not to code or going to pass a building inspection. It's also not what I would do for a customer, but it's also a lot less to do than what I would charge a customer. If I am going to insure and warrantee this project, consider giving me about $700. If you do what I said, you're in for under $100. What do you want to spend?

                I know electricity. I don't need someone reading me a codebook. I know it. Thanks though. If you have some knowledge of electricity, than speak it. If all you know how to do is quote a codebook. Then quote it. Sorry if this comes off as rude, but I feel it's rude to give false advise about something you know nothing about, which it is obvious is the case about Mikes knowledge of electricity.

                You know what? I could come to your house and scare you into giving me 2 grand due to code book quoting and middle of the night fire stories. I could tell you that the heat from the amperes through the wire to your saw is going to light your wood on fire an search out your chidren to shock them like the bogie man, molest your wife, and give your computer a virus. The truth is far different though.

                Oh yeah Mike, you know the difference between conductors larger than 3 #8'S and conductors smaller? If not, the larger ones carry more amps due to more circular mils of electron availabilty. In other words, they are more dangerous. Yet the wisdom of the NEC allows you to run those in unfinished basements.


                Why you suppose the genius's at the NEC let you run more dangerous wires exposed on the LOWER EDGE of the joist than less dangerous, smaller wires? Becuase it's safe. A #12 Romex has more conductor insulation than a #6 AWG THHN cable. But anyone who knew anthing would know that. Right?

                Actually Mike. After I re-read your Code quote again. You have posted that what I said IS actually to code. Smaller than 3 #8 AWG wire can be run in unfinished basements as long as you drill holes thru your joists. Thanks for prooving me right. We don't have basements here in Vegas. And I don't work on houses. So I guess I learned something new today.

                Anyhow. I've said enough for today. Keep educating me Mike. I'll post some replies.

                [ 01-09-2004, 12:58 AM: Message edited by: Paizan ]


                • #23
                  Actually, I was only quoting the book to prove my point. You can use bare wires if you want along a board and not get electrocuted, but is it right or safe?? Most codes are there for a reason, and these codes happen to be good ones. When I first read the posts you made, it appeared as though you advocated stapling to the front of studs. If you advocated stapling on the side, far enough back that no damage would occur, then I apologize.

                  Still, I find it hard to believe that you could ever get insurance considering you don't do things to code. I really feel sorry for homeowners who have had you install things not to code because they saved money, only to have to spend more money to do it right before they sold their house.

                  And don't even start on the joules, Coulombs, Number of electrons that flow through a cross section or any of that. It is all basic stuff they teach you in Electricity 101 in a college course. (still not sure if the class was actually worth the few hundred I spent on it?) I do have basic knowledge of electricity, and again, was quoting from a book that most communities use as law to prove the point. So, does knowing all that info make you smarter if what you do is against the law? People turn to this forum and to others for advice. the least you could do is not give advise that will cost them money later and give them trouble.


                  • #24
                    I hear ya Paizan. I've got "exposed" running here and there in my shops. Nope - didn't pull permit. If so it was 50-50 if they'd let me pass. One of the inspectors here is buddy who helped me wire this up at that. I helped him before wire his shop and cabin.
                    Somewhere there is a "logic and common sense thing" that comes into play. Sometimes codes are incredibly thorough and sometimes off base in real world. Everyone would love things done perfect and conforming and above all reproach. Then the above kicks in and cost kicks in and.....well, like it or not, we know what I'm saying too.
                    Bet if one checks in my area you will not find more than 25% of houses that are totally w/i code, be it electrical, plumbing, structural. Likely less at that. Yet they sell 'em when they want to move and they get inspected by inspectors and they don't have to modify a thing in 99% of cases. Interesting at that
                    Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


                    • #25
                      Cranky. Exactly. 99% of the time a house has some code violations and still passes inspection.

                      But beyond all that Mike, I find it interesting that you quote a code that supports what I said is allowed and then tell me that I am telling homeowners to do something illegal.

                      Read your code book again.

                      If you run Romex in an unfinished basement, per NEC code, you drill holes in the joists to run at an angle to joists, and can run along the stud. Maybe, if you want to protect it more, you can run a 1/2" conduit from the ceiling down to the receptacle amounting to a need of 6 feet of conduit per drop.

                      So, if for some reason, some electrical drop out turned inspector decides to give a homeowner a hard time for running like I said, you could just rip out the Romex in 5 minutes, or put some 1/2" pipe down the wall at a cost of $2/drop.

                      I wouldn't do it. I would do it like I said.

                      And Mike. I do jobs at homeowners house to code. Actually, I don't do houses. I do plants. Explosive areas. Programable Logic controllers to turn sewage into lake water. 4160v 3 phase 3500hp Synchronous motors that use across the line starts that draw enough kilowatt hours in one startup to power my house for 2 years. I get insurance because I follow code. In my basement (Garage) I do things right, but not as well as at the plant. Romex on the studs is just fine. Drill some holes when you are going to cross over joists. Then pull the wire through those holes.

                      Oh yeah.
                      Posted by Mike
                      Actually, I was only quoting the book to prove my point. You can use bare wires if you want along a board and not get electrocuted, but is it right or safe??
                      Actually you can't use bare wires for any current carrying conductors. You can use it as a grounding conductor. But nothing else.

                      [ 01-09-2004, 11:27 PM: Message edited by: Paizan ]


                      • #26
                        Like i said, I had thought that you were advocating stapling to the front edge of a stud. If stapling to the side, far enough back, there is no problem. also, you said nothing about drilling holes in previous posts before I wrote the quotes from the book.

                        im my house, I have romex heading through holes in joists to the wall, then running down a board. Before I was even allowed to get the loan for it, I needed to have it fixed. It was easy for me since i only needed to buy and install a few pieces of conduit like you said, but still more of a hassle than it would have been had the previous owner done things correctly the first time.

                        And what you quoted...That was sarcasm. Electrical wires can be run bare and not get you electricuted, but it is not right, or legal to do.


                        • #27
                          Hope you guys don't mind my butting in with a couple of questions about electricity and wiring.

                          When I get my radial saw moved to its permanent location, it will be right in front of the breaker panel in my garage, thus very easy to run 240V outlet for it. The saw is currently (pun not intended) wired for 120V, but I've read and heard that there are advantages to operating it on 240V.

                          First question is: Is it true that it is "better" to operate a 1.5 hp radial arm saw on 240V?

                          Second question: The Owner's Manual says "Make sure receptacle is connected to a 240V A.C. power supply through a 240V branch circuit having at least a 15 amp time delay fuse or circuit breaker."

                          Must I use a time-delay breaker? The saw draws 6.5 amps at 240V. Could I use a 20 amp regular breaker?

                          FWIW, I do know that it is foolish to put a breaker with too high a rating on a circuit, because then it won't trip when you need it to. But am wondering if 20A is too high. And, also, I'm a bit amazed at the wording in the manual ". . . at least a 15 amp . . ."


                          • #28
                            First, I'm not sure what you mean by "right in front" but you need to make sure you can access the breakers in case of emergency.

                            Second, they most likely say time delay because the motor draws many more amps when first starting. A normal breaker is just fine.

                            there are advantages to running 240v vs 120v. a 240v setup can start faster because there is less initial drain on each leg as the unit starts up. It also helps the motor last longer because of less voltage drop. 240 alo lets you use smaller wire size than you would need with 120. the drawback of a 240 circuit is that you need room for a double breaker in the panel.


                            • #29
                              Thanks for the help.

                              "Right in front of" means that the back of the saw table will be about 22" from the wall. There will be plenty of room to get around the side of the saw and to the breaker panel. It will be an improvement over the access I have to the breaker panel now.

                              I will welcome better access to the panel because every spring I have to reset the main breaker a few times. This is when we have "windows open" weather (i.e. central A/C is off) and happens when the load on the system is well below the max rating for the main breaker. Guy at Lowe's says that it is because the main breaker, and indeed the whole panel, is about 34 to 35 years old and is just ageing. Somehow it does not like it when temperatures begin to warm up in the spring. He said that it would be okay to leave it until it bothers me enough to spend the $55 or so that a new Square-D main breaker will cost. What do you think?


                              • #30
                                If you have breakers, particularly the main breaker, that is tripping out on account of environmental conditions (as opposed to overcurrent conditions), I would definitely replace it.

                                Breakers are of two varieties: magnetic and thermal. Both have finite useful lives, both in terms of time and in terms of cycles; they are not intended to be used as switches. I would consider a breaker acting as you have described to be unreliable to do its intended function, and if that happens, you could have serious problems. In the scheme of things, breakers are not very expensive.