How to avoid electricution in your shop!

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I was out working in my shop (it's a garage, if you ask SWMBO, bu
hasn't had a car parked in it in two years) and noticed that a numbe of my power tools had really tattered cords, and some were missin grounding prongs on the plug. I'll even confess that six or seve years ago I had extended the length of the cord on by table saw b patching a piece into it with wire nuts and electrical tape. Let' just saw that the gleam of visible copper with 220 volts runnin through it motivated me to action.
Anyway, a quick trip to the local Home Depot and $30 later I had a ne 20' cord on my table saw. For miscellaneous tools like a router, ji saw and skil saw, I used some orange extension cords I had bought o clearance a couple years ago. I purposefully left the new cords on m power tools on the long side, so I won't have to mess with usin extension cords with them in the shop
-- makesawdust
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I love running current through a group of friends in my shop....Tom Work at your leisure!
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 19:21:49 +0000, makesawdust

Good caution. I've done the same thing with many of my small tools. One other thought is that you can high quality extension cord type wire in bulk. You want the stranded stuff with a *rubber* insulation, rather than plastic. When I lived in Idaho the Orange Borg had the stuff with bright yellow insulation, but all I can get here is black. The rubber stuff is very flexible and stays so even in the cold. I put a 20' #10 cord on my TS, which allows me to have it in the middle of the shop and plug in at the wall.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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I think the orange borg discontinued the yellow jacketed stuff. A year or two ago the local orange borg had the stuff on clearance and I bought a fair amount.
Brian Elfert
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I've got to check with the local electrical supply house. I really like the yellow because you are much less likely to walk or drive on it, so it lasts longer. Besides, that fat yellow cord on my cheap TS just looks cool.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 09:01:11 -0800, Tim Douglass

Naughty practice in the UK to use yellow - that's reserved for the 110V centre-earth systems we use on construction sites. Our 240V stuff should be blue (standard 230V colour) or high-vis orange.
It's worth buying "Arctic" cable, if you get the choice. This stays flexible at low temperatures, which is worth it in this weather. Most of mine are black though, in heavy-duty rubber for wear resistance. I wouldn't them being a bit more visible.
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On Tuesday 25 Jan 2005 3:51 am, Andy Dingley scribbled:

I use yellow for my 220V extensions to distinguish them from the others. But I don't think there are any rules on that one here. BTW, I didn't know you used 110V in the UK. Is is like our North American 110V (one wire is neutral at the same potential as ground/earth)?

That stuff is just as useless as the rest at -40C (-40F Keith). It's called "polar cord" at Crappy Tire. "Arctic" and "polar" are misnomers as I can't even use it in the subarctic. The jacket breaks very easily so they have to be stored in big wide loops. But then, at that temperature, automobile tires keep their flat spot for a while and make you think you've got flat tires until they warm up and become round again.
In case you're wondering, we do use extensions outside, especially at that temperature, to plug in our vehicles. Two block heaters, two battery warmers and on oil-pan heater on my C2500 truck. At less than 2000 Watts, it's a lot cheaper than heating a garage, but then, vehicles don't belong in the shop.
--
Luigi
Who is facing repairing a number of extension cords after the cold snap
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wrote:

No, it's earthed at a centre tap.
It's used on "construction" sites. The idea is that 50V is "safe" and with this system you're never more than 50V above earth potential. It's produced by either local generators, or by portable transformers. Increasing rules are making it difficult to use 230V "workshop" tools on a "site". I can see this when the "site" is a muddy field, but it's a bit silly when you're kitchen-fitting and there's already a 240V toaster sitting on the worktop.
The plugs and sockets are round, yellow with plastic sheaths. The corresponding 230V version is blue, but not often seen.
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Well, outlets in garages have to be GFCI, so you would have been okay. Right?
I wonder about 240v though.
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I did a fair bit of research on this, as unfinished basements are required to have GFCI protection on outlets. 240V outlets are exempt from needing GFCI. About the only way to do GFCI for 240V is through a GCFI circuit breaker. The circuit breakers are quite expensive at about $145 each for 20 amp.
Brian Elfert
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Brian Elfert wrote:

I put in a new 60 amp service to my shop (aka detached garage) and a subpanel a few years ago. SWMBO, <gloat on> who is an electrical engineer <gloat off>, suggested that I put a 60 amp double pole GFI breaker in the main panel to protect the whole garage.
These things are pretty pricey and not so easy to find, but after lots and lots (and lots) more suggestions from SWMBO, I set eBay to search for one. After about six months a brand new 60 amp GFI breaker for my panel for turned up for $20.
It's tripped twice now. Once with a used 240 volt construction heater that carbonized some animal matter remnants inside it, leading to current leakage to the case, and after a leak in the roof dribbled about three drops onto the table saw plug.
I'm sure neither one of these instances would have caused an electrocution, but they were electrical problems I didn't know I had. If there ever is a serious problem, it's nice to know I'll get some warning.
Tim
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@yahoo.com says...

If you use a single GFI braker for the whole garage, it is a good idea to have your lights on a different circuit. That way you won't be in the dark when the thing trips.
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: @yahoo.com says... :> Brian Elfert wrote: :> > I did a fair bit of research on this, as unfinished basements are :> required :> > to have GFCI protection on outlets. 240V outlets are exempt from :> needing :> > GFCI. About the only way to do GFCI for 240V is through a GCFI :> circuit :> > breaker. The circuit breakers are quite expensive at about $145 each :> for :> > 20 amp. :> :> I put in a new 60 amp service to my shop (aka detached garage) and a :> subpanel a few years ago. SWMBO, <gloat on> who is an electrical :> engineer <gloat off>, suggested that I put a 60 amp double pole GFI :> breaker in the main panel to protect the whole garage. :> : If you use a single GFI braker for the whole garage, it is a good idea to have : your lights on a different circuit. That way you won't be in the dark when the : thing trips.
Then it wouldn't be the whole garage, now would it???
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George Pontis wrote:

That's the downside. In my case there's a yard light that shines in the windows if lighting was lost at night, which allowed me to rationalize the whole garage on a GFI circuit now that I remember it. And I mostly work in there during daylight on weekends.
Of course, this is also a good incentive to keep tripping hazards off the floor. ;-)
Tim
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 19:21:49 +0000, makesawdust

FWIW, using extension cords isn't really the way to avoid electrocution... sounds like it was a step up for you, but they usually end up laying across the floor and can get cut or otherwise beat up pretty easily. For about $20, you can get 250 feet of (14 ga.- it's a little more for 10) two-wire romex with a ground wire, and the various other outlets, boxes, and miscellaneous electrical items are fairly inexpensive as well. All in all, you can install proper outlets for all your tools for far less than the price of a couple of good extension cords- and it's less hassle in the long run. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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Prometheus Wrote:

We're building a new house right now, and the third bay of the garag is going to be walled off and serve as my dedicated shop. It's goin to have quite a few outlets in it, and lots of lighting
-- makesawdust
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On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 19:43:20 +0000, makesawdust wrote:

Unless it's a really big third bay, you might want to consider leaving out the wall and putting the major tools on mobile bases. My 11' x 24' third bay is just big enough to park the herd when not rolled out into the other two bays so I have room to use them.
-Doug
--

To escape criticism--do nothing, say nothing, be nothing." (Elbert Hubbard)


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On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 19:43:20 +0000, the inscrutable makesawdust

Make it a 4-car garage so you can have a 2-car shop. I do and it's still not quite big enough.
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makesawdust wrote: ...

In addition to other comments, I'd recommend serious consideration for some overhead outlets as well as wall...
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On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 08:39:28 -0600, Duane Bozarth

Personally, I hate overhead outlets. The cords are always in my way.
As to the 3 bay garage, I'll second the idea of leaving the wall out and having tools on mobile bases. I'm doing essentially that in a 2 car garage. I have the TS in the "shop" half, just over the center line. That way I can maneuver big pieces around it very easily.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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