unisaw wiring? 20 or 30 amp circuit?

im wiring my shop and have 2 pieces of equipment i am not sure of. a true 3 hp compressor and a 3 hp unisaw. is a 20 amp circuit enough for each or these or do i need to go to 25 or 30 amp? the compressor says it needs 15.4 amps and the tablesaw says 15.5 amps. thanks all ...
skeez
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NEC limit for permanently attached devices is 80% of breaker rating. Which is 16A for a 20A breaker. So, you're OK on _that_ basis.
Then, there is the issue of 'start up' load, vs 'running' load. Virtually any motor draws more power spinning up, than it does running 'at speed'. However, with the table-saw, the start-up current draw is _probably_ not going to approach the draw of a maximum-load cut. The compressor probably has 'smarts' so that the motor starts up 'unloaded', and then picks up the load.
Me, I'd 'over-engineer' the solution, and see what happens. After all, wire is _cheap_. Pull 10 ga. wire, and use a 20A breaker, initially. Preferably a 'motor rated' (or slo-blow) one, if I can lay hands on it. In the context of _that_ wiring approach, If the 20A breaker trips too frequently, it _is_ safe to replace the 20A breaker with a 25A or 30A one.
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On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 15:29:29 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

i didnt think about the startup draw. thanks. this is going to be permited and inspected also. im thinking 30 amp is the best way to go but i am not sure if i can use a three wire plug or if i have to use a 4 wire plug and change all my equipment over to 4 wire. i know i need 4 wire for such things as dryers and stoves but that seems to be overkill for ww equipment. any ideas?
skeez
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Easy answer---call the permit guy. They are paid to give you free advice on such matters. Then go one size over on whatever they tell you---ie if they say 12ga wire, use 10, if they say 25 amp use 30.
You could look it up in the code yourself if you want, but I would rather go to the dentist. :D

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I wouldn't assume that 30A is the best way to go. Your startup current is unlikely to be so great that you need to go that high. 20A should be fine. What are you using now? Are you tripping breakers? What does the equipment manufacturer recommend? One idiosyncrasy about posting questions like yours here is that you can get a lot of not-so-informed opinions from a lot of very well meaning people. Often, they tend to the recommendation that more is better, and that is simply not always true. There are places to go and get the factual information you need and you would be better served seeking those out. Have you asked an electrician? There are some who post here - it would be worth your while to wait on their input if you don't do any other research.
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-Mike-
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If you are running 10ga why would you ever use less than a 30a breaker on a motor load?
BTW If this was a test question the correct answer would be <min>14 ga wire and a <max>40a breaker. (long story but it is on the inspector's test) hint: you can use 310-16 at the full rating on a motor not 240.4(D), O/C device can be 250% of FLA and round up to next breaker size.
I guess the real answer is "what do the instructions from the manufacturer say?"
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Me? Like I said, I'll 'over-engineer' the physical -- the cost difference is minimal, and it provides additional flexibility for 'later'.
At the same time -- and particularly for 'dedicated' applications -- I tend to match the breaker 'as closely as possible' to the _actual_ load. So that it trips 'as soon as possible' in case of device excursion into "abnormal" territory. Call it 'defense in depth', against Mr. Murphy. <grin>
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"Robert Bonomi"

You're throw'n a dart with the lights out, dude.
Holy cow - what a thread!!
RTFM!!
http://media.ptg-online.com/media/dm/OwnersManuals/20030922132214_En422-04-651-0069-09-19-03.pdf
Top of page 5.
If this isn't your manual, click around and find the right one.
Good thing it doesn't matter much (!!) because either you're throwing breakers, or relying on your motor's thermal protection
- Nate
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And you, Bubba, are a 10 watt bulb in a 100 watt fixture.

It isn't mine. _I_ don't have a unisaw.
What the manual for a UniSaw says is also *irrelevant* to the last question asked -- which was why would I use something smaller than a 30A breaker on 10 ga. wire. Note that that is a _generic_ question, and was answered as such.

*ASSUMING* the motor _has_ thermal protection, that is. While on a UniSaw it likely does, it is -not- guaranteed on all other devices. Heck, some devices don't even _have_ motors. Or internal overload protections.
It is an indisputable fact that if a device --_any_ device -- will operate satisfactorily -- under all rated conditions -- on a circuit with a 20A breaker and 12 ga. wiring, it will also operate _exactly_ as well on a circuit with a 20A breaker and 10 ga. wiring.
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If there is no neutral load (all 240v) you don't need 4 prong plug.
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You're _legal_ with 20A breaker.

If the device is 240V _only_, then 3-wire is code-compliant Hot1, Hot2, and _ground_ (usually through the conduit itself; flex conduit or non-metallic sheathed cable does require a ground *wire*). No neutral. If there's any 120V 'stuff' in the device, (typically lights, timer, etc.) then a neutral wire, in addition to the ground is required.
Recommendation: pull the neutral to the box, *even*if* you don't use it _now_. Again, wire is cheap. and it gives the flexibility "down the road" to run 120V equipment off that box. Or to slap up a double-gang box next to the 240 outlet, with a pair of 120V duplex outlets -- one pair on each side of the 240.
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wrote:

I asked my electrician, who is also a woodworker. We put in a 30 amp circuit for my new Unisaw a couple of years ago. With a twist lock receptacle.
We also put in a master cutoff switch, with a place for a padlock, to lock out everything on the new subpanel. The lights are on the old subpanel, as are the plugs for the freezer, and non-shop tools. I don't want unsupervised use of the shop by my grown sons, until I'm certain they have a little more experience and safety training. They didn't take shop in school...
A master electrician did it right, and I don't worry about it. I have enough to be concerned about.
Patriarch
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I have had no problem running my Unisaw on 240/20.
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I had the same in my shop. Both are wired to 20amp circuits and work fine. I did the work myself but had it inspected and approved by a licensed electrician who said the 20A was correct.

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On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 14:44:09 GMT, skeezics
thank you all for the advice. an electrician told me 20 amp was minimum code and should be fine but not to add any 110 outlets off that. if i were to do that he said go to 25 or 30 amp. both the compressor and the saw have newish motors so i guess 12 wire and 20 amp will be ok. if it proves to be a problem i can change it after the inspection. the shop is unfinnished so changing stuff is no big deal.
skeez
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"skeezics" wrote in message

Whatever you decide on ampacity, run 10 ga wire, then use the c'brkr size of your best informed choice.
The Unisaw will run fine on a 20 amp breaker (mine does), and if for some reason you feel that you need 30 amps later on that circuit, the 10 ga wire will allow the increase without further ado ... you'll be glad you did.
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I have my unisaw on a 30 amp fwiw SH
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