I am picking up a Table Saw and it comes prewired for 110, but have
been told it can be switched over to 220.
Right now I do not have a 220 line in the Garage, but am thinking of
having an electrician come out to put in the line. Is it worth it?
What are the benefits of going 220?
I probably need a line run anyway as I keep tripping the circuit
breaker with a few things running at the same time.
I would run a line for a subpanel box. It greatly simplifies wiring in the
The best part about 220 is that it is needed for many tools. And if you are
like most of us, you will acquire more tools in the future. Particularly if
you ever decide to do some welding.
On Wed, 20 Feb 2008 10:23:42 -0500, "Lee Michaels"
In my garage I have a 20 amp circuit. I cannot run 2 big tools at the
same time. In my basement where I have my woodworking tools I have a
few 20 amp circuits. Vacuum/dust collector is on a different circuit
from the saws or planer.
I second the subpanel in the garage. More circuits of 120 and 240 are
possible at a lower cost.
Yeah the subpanel sounds like a good idea, though I doubt I will need
any more lines and I am thinking there is even more of a cost for that
subpanel. I have been quoted many different prices and it is rather
disconcerting to think about spending even more money on a subpanel
out in the garage.
I just spoke with an electrician and he thinks I can use the existing
conduit to add in another line if it is just 110. The 220 they are
guessing will require a brand new run of conduit. Since my basement is
already finished, it would mean a lot of holes I think to run that
Think about it this way: What's going to happen in the future? If you
spend all this money on running a new line out to the garshop, then find
you could use that extra capacity later, you've got to spend all that
money again. If you run a proper subpanel out there, and find you need a
new line, the subpanel's already out there.
When you're ready for 220V, you can take it off the subpanel and put on
matching plugs. As I understand it, there's several styles of plugs for
220, so you need to make sure they match up.
When you're getting quotes, make sure to ask for a couple variations.
You may find that an upgrade doesn't cost as much as you thought.
Marching to the beat of a different drum is great... unless you're in
Also, if you are trying to save money and don't want to do the actual
wiring, Buy the subpanel and run the wires. Leave room at the ends for the
electricial to make the connections. Install any boxes needed and run tnose
wires as well.
This is commonly done in areas where it is illegal to do do the wiring
itself. So people do everything except the connections. That way a licensed
electrican can sign off ont the job.
I'm not seeing the original post so replying here.
Other than being able to run tools that aren't available in 110
versions, the major benefit is that the current draw and thus IsquareR
losses in the wiring are cut in half. Thus, for example, my band saw
instead of taking a minute and a half to come to speed and popping the
breaker half the time instead comes up to speed in a few seconds.
I agree that a subpanel for the garage is the way to go. If code
allows you to do your own wiring, once the box is in place adding
additional circuits becomes much easier than running them to the main
breaker panel. You can also kill all power in the garage from the
main breaker panel if you need to.
Concur on the subpanel. I had to take two house breakers out of the main
panel and move them to the sub to open up a spot for a 100amp breaker to the
sub. The minor inconvenience of this is that I can't cut power to the whole
shop without killing the lights to swmbo's office (she doesn't like that).
The *major* convenience is that every machine has its own breaker. Another
benefit is that the circuit that has both the ceiling lights and wall
receptacles (which are two different circuits) are still in the main panel.
That way, if ever a situation arises that the 100amp breaker to the sub
trips (I can't imagine why), I'll still have lights on.
I've not tripped a single breaker since going to this arrangement.
Well - it's a no brainer then. If you're tripping breakers with what you
currently have, you need more circuits. Go ahead with the 220 line while
you're at it. Any additional cost will be negligible. Your saw motor will
run cooler and you'll be well positioned for other tools that run better on
220. Be sure to run at least a 60A service (sub-panel) out there.
Sounds like you have your answer. More circuits. Not much advantage to
going to the 240 as far as the saw's concerned, due to the way the majority
of the dual voltage motors are wired. What should be a saving in less
length of wire (parallel windings) is taken away when the 240 connects them
in series. Won't hurt, certainly, and you don't have to run as high gage
wires, due to lower amperage draw.
I'm pretty sure the gozinta equals the gozouta (watts) regardless of
whether it's wired for 120V or 240V. Parallel vs series doesn't affect
that at all. See Kirchoff.
I'm always amused by this particular point. If smaller wires is the
goal then there's no point in wiring for 240V at all. Usually the need
for 240V (other than supplying 240V Only tools) arises from the 120V
wiring being inadequate in the first place. By going to 240V, the
current draw is cut in half, thus reducing the voltage drop (loss).
That solves the inadequacy part, but then turning around and saying,
"and, you can run smaller wires..." utterly negates the benefits,
putting one back to square one.
See parallel resistance vs series resistance. Again, Kirchoff.
Yes, in isolation that statement is correct. You said, however,
"...and you don't have to run as high gage wires..."
Where the amusement comes in is that in most cases someone is
contemplating switching to 240V supply because the tool in question is
having trouble ramping up to speed smartly, is dimming the shop
lights, or some other symptom of undersized feed for the load at hand.
The obvious and correct answer is to switch to 240V, because with only
half the current draw, the I^2*R losses are reduced to the point that
the capacity of the feed is no longer the issue that it was at 120V.
Then someone always follows such a recommendation with the news that
with 240V you can run smaller wire. Smaller wire was the problem in
the first place (at 120V). If you run smaller wire at 240V, you have
essentially put yourself right back into the same circumstance you
Look at it this way: To get the same behaviour at 120 that you get
at 240 with (forex AWG12), you'd need to go to AWG10 on the 120
circuit (and possibly a 30a current interrupting device, to boot).
So, you can use smaller wire with 240 than with 120 _performance being
I do understand your point, however.
You have alot of pretty good suggestions about the subpanel,
etc., but I don't think anyone has yet answered your original
The basic reason for running 220 volt vs 110 volts would be to
decrease the amperage load. For example: If you were running a
tool that draws close to 10 or 12 amps on normal run time, the
amperage would increase on start-up (initial load/torque) and if
the tool was put under a heavy load (like ripping on table saw or
taking the maximum cut on a planer) the amperage would also
increase, relative to the load placed on the tool. If plugged
into a standard 15 amp line, you'd most likely trip the breaker.
But even if not, you'd be pulling enough amps through the
standard 14 guage wire as to risk overheating it. (14 guage wire
is rated for 15 amps and 12 guage wire is rated at 20 amps.) You
must also have the proper receptacle for whatever you are going
to use... 110 volt/15 amp, 110 volt/20 amp, 220 volt, etc.)
Basic electricity (Ohm's Law) dictates that as voltage capacity
increases, the amperage decreases. So, a 15 amp load at 110 volts
would decrease by half at 220 volts... which would be 7.5 amps.
I run mine on 220, but I really can't tell much difference in the
performance of the saw. I have had it wired both ways, and it
doesn't seem to change the power of the saw. (Of course, I would
have to have two identical saws and try them side by side with
the different voltages to really compare.)
Wow I dont know what saw you are runing but I went from a 110 delta
contractors saw to a 220 volt delta unisaw. It is like night and day.
When you turn it on you can feel and hear the difference. Push a board
throught and you will never go back to a 110 saw. I go out of my way
to obtain all 220 tools.
I am comparing the SAME saw on 110 and 220. I don't notice much
difference. I notice alot of difference between different saws,
but I don't notice much difference in the same one. And it is
running on 220.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.