I'm in the process of having a home built (my first) and am thinking
about having a 240 volt line wired in. To do this I have to pay $200
for a change order fee (added BS) plus the cost of wiring it in I
suppose. I was wondering if it is possible to have it wired in later
on, and approximately what it would cost to do so. I appears the power
wires are underground, since I don't see any poles in the area. The
contractor said something to the effect that if it were done later it
wouldn't be covered, or would void the house warranty (electrical
part, I assume). So my question is, does paying the $200 sound
reasonable, or wait and pay later. At the moment, the only tool I have
that can be switched to 240 v is my bandsaw, but I'm planning ahead in
case I get that cabinet saw. Also, my shop will initially be in the
garage, but I plan to build a shop in the back yard someday and will
have to have power run to the building anyway.
If you are really thinking about this, price adding several extra outlets. You
might find there is a significant economy of scale. You will only pay the $200
once and the outlets will be priced based on labor and materials(plus profit.)
The $200 is to cover the paperwork, including filing a modified electrical
permit. These are usually priced, based on the number of switches and outlets.
Builders usually don't like to get caught cheating the building permit folks
out of fees. It makes the inspectors cranky. ;-)
If you call an electrician later you will have a trip charge and the materials,
labor and profit is likely to be higher. It may also affect the warranty on the
All houses have 240v, so certainly it can be done later.
Where is the breaker box with respect to the garage? That will determine
what it will cost to run a circuit there.
What you do now will have no effect on what it costs to run a circuit to the
new workshop later on, so if you won't need 240 until then, it would be a
waste to do anything now.
It's certainly less expensive to have the electrician run that circuit now at
the same time that he's installing everything else (i.e. during electrical
rough-in, *before* the drywall goes up), than it will be to have him do it
later *after* the drywall is up.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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The Niagara Falls hydroelectric plant has been AC since it started in 1896. It
was 25 Hz, but AC.
By the way, the last time I lost commercial power at my house was due to an ice
storm. It was in 1977.
Buffalo, NY - USA
(Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
Ayup. I read a book on Edison last year and cringed (again) when
I reread how he stuck to DC and got skunked by Westinghouse.
Amazing. I've lost it here in "modern" Grants Pass several times
for several hours since moving here 2 years ago. I already had a
kero lamp and bought a propane single-burner stove for the times
I had to warm my coffee by gas. Batteries fueled the radio and
I had a rockin' good time.
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I "stole" the 240v line to the kitchen stove (there's a gas stove) and
put into my shop. I could have taken the 240v from the laundry just
as easily, but decided to leave it because so many folks like an
electric dryer more than having an electric stove.
Are you saying that the house is only being supplied with a single 110V rail
and neutral. Ask the contractor how you are to run cookers, stove tops,
water heaters and washing machines, they all run off 220V. Not being a
native of the US I don't know all your regs, but all the houses I've seen
are supplied with 2 110V rails, anti phase and neutral, its not a true 3
phase supply otherwise you would get 155V p/p.
Or are you saying that it would cost an additional $200 to run it to where
When you eventually complete your shop, some of the medium size DCs are also
dual voltage and pull a hell of a starting current due to the size and mass
of the impeller, also depending where you live you might want a shop AC as
Just food for thought.
Thank you for the correction on the 208V, a mental aberation on my part.
As far as the 110V is concerned the following is an extract from the
Electrical Wiring FAQ Part 1.
"One thing where things might get a bit confusing is the different numbers
people bandy about for the voltage of a circuit. One person might talk about
110V, another 117V or another 120V. These are all, in fact, exactly the same
thing... In North America the utility companies are required to supply a
split-phase 240 volt (+-5%) feed to your house. This works out as two 120V
+- 5% legs. ...... This FAQ has chosen to be consistent with calling them
"110V" and "220V", except when actually saying what the measured voltage
I merely go along with your own convertions.
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