Wiring Up My Shop: How many circuits?

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I think I made the disclaimer about any place where the IBEW has a choke hold on the politians. Chicago is the prototype. #2 is New York City. Most of the country is on the NEC. Florida took the extra step to say the whole state is on the unamended NEC in their unified building code.
>I was planning

You couldn't do that in the NEC either. It specifies that kitchen "small appliance circuits" (serving the countertop) SHALL be 120v 20a GFCI only. Where were you going to find kitchen appliances with NEMA 5-30 plugs? You also can't put a 5-15r or 5-20r on a 30a circuit.

Be sure you get receptacles listed for 10ga terminations. That isn't the 43 cent one. It is the ~$2 one, (commercial/spec grade) but you should be using them anyway in a shop. Your plugs will run cooler and last longer. Don't back stab the devices, Use the screws. Some back wired devices do use screw clamping, they are OK. Just not the spring type.
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Yikes! I live in an unincorporated part of St. Louis county. How do I find out what our electrical codes are?
On Fri, 08 Aug 2003 18:24:11 +0000, Gfretwell wrote:

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Call the County building department on Forsyth and ask for the electrical desk. It's 889 something. If you decide to do it on the up and up, there's a home owners test you can take and do the work under permit yourself.
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I don't have any direct knowledge of their test, but generally the 'home- owners' test is _not_ terribly difficult. It's a basic "do you know what your'e doing", for the kind of wiring found in residential use. Any of the commonly available do-it-yourself books on home electrical wiring will probably cover 90%, at least, of what you need for the test. Browsing the relevant ordinances is also useful. Don't worry about memorizing _all_ the details, that isn't necessary.
If you're not comfortable relying _entirely_ on your own judgement _after_ you pass the test, hire a real electrician for a 'consultation' on "how to do what you want to do", making it clear that you're not asking for a proposal for _them_ to do the work, but that you're *paying* them to tell you how they would 'do it right', so you _can_ then 'do it yourself'. The general form of the discussion is "Here's my plan of attack, what would you do differently, and _why_?" Crux is that _you_ are the "decision maker", and are responsible for anything that happens. They are *not* telling you "what _you_ need to do", just 'how they would do it'. Big difference -- they have potential liability if they tell you "how you need to do it", and you follow their directions and something 'unfortunate' happens. OTOH, when their participation is limited to stating "how _they_ would do it, if they were doing it", they don't incur the potential liability.
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If you are really thinking that way the answer is to install a sub panel in the shop. Then adding circuits later is trivial.
There are more worms in the can with this approach but then you are just running one feeder back to the main panel. Voltage drop is not that much of an issue and breaker count is a lot less in the main if you are running out of slots. Cost is probably a "push" if you are installing more than 4 or 5 circuits.
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I realize this may be getting late on a reply, but I just finished wiring my new shop, relativly large by many standards, but I already wish it was bigger.... Anyway, I currently have 8 120 V circuits supporting 32 duplex outlets. I haven't installed anything for lighting yet but am planning on at least 2 circuits (I am guessing I will have about 3000 watts of lights installed eventually (combination of fluorescent and halogen). I have 2 - 20A 240V, 1 30A 240V, and 2 50A 240V outlets throughout.
What you are asking for isn't too much by any idea.
Lights should be on their own circuit in case you blow a breaker operating a tool. You don't want to be groping around in the dark, waiting for a machine to coast down, or find the switch before resetting the breaker...
--Rick
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