I am in the happy position of planning an electrical upgrade to my
shop. (And boy, does it need it!)
For the first time I will have 220v available.
My lathe, jointer and table saw motors can be easily rewired to 220v
from 110v. Is there any advantage to me to do so?
This question has been asked for many years.
The "power" is the same in both cases. The formula is P(ower) = E(voltage)
times I(current) .So, 220 * 5 is the same as 110 * 10.
OK, now comes the part that makes the difference. It is resistive loss in
the wire. The more current you "draw" through a piece the higher the loss
(heat) there is in the wire.
So, using 220 (@ 5amps) will have less voltage loss to the tool. Therefore
better efficiency, and the tool tends to start better (like a table saw).
With that stated, I would use 220 for power tools if you can.
BTW if the run (power line) is short, there might not be a big difference.
Just my $0.02
If you are going to install a new electrical service to your shop, you
might as well put 220 in whether you use it right now or not. The
panels that you buy usually are designed for the 2 legs of a 220
entrance. This way you can get more individual circuits, too.
I'd say that if you have any motors that are over about 1 1/2 HP,
that 220 would be the way to go.
Do you have an air compressor? Is your shop heated?
A cold air compressor starts hard; better on 220.
If you heat your shop occasionally, and are considering spot heating,
Enco has a nice little 13,000 BTU heater that utilizes 220.
Think about the future, too. Might you be getting bigger equipment
----Of course, you'll be using 12 ga. wire for all the 110 volt
stuff, anyway, won't you?
If you are new to the wiring game, there's a neat little book out
there callled "Wiring Simplified". Google that and you'll find many
sources. Well worth having.
Old Guy wrote:
My Nova lathe claims 2 different HP ratings, 110 and 220.. never tried it, since
it requires a surge protector and a good one for 220v is almost as expensive as
buying a lathe!
OTOH, besides the stated advantages like starting, amp draw, etc., the main
thing that converting my TS and BS to 220v did was lighten the load on the 110v
Please remove splinters before emailing
Yes, put in some placed 220 circuits and strategically placed outlets. It is
easier and cheaper to do now while the other electrical work is going on.
Larger motors that can run on 220 generally do better that way. The biggest
reason is that you loose less power through resistive losses, both in the
delivery to the tool and sometimes in the motor itself.
Think about what tools you may have in the future. A good size dust
collector or air compressor can often use 220 nicely. Also larger table saw,
shapers, etc - stuff with motors over 1 HP.
I wired my table saw for 220 and runs smoother and has a quicker start up,
but I have no scientific evidence tp back it up, just personal observation.
It may depend on the design of the particular tool/motor.
I guess "properly" is the key. I rent and had no say in the wiring initially.
I tapped into the lighting circuit because it was available where I wanted my
saw. I now have dedicated 110 and 220 circuits but that didn't happen for a
while. My table saw, RAS, and dust collector are still on 110 (though dedicated
circuit). My bandsaw and jointer are on 220.
Some basic design parameters for home shop electrical service.
Incoming main panel:
2P-60A main with provisions for 24, 1P branch C'Bkr.
Stationary machine tools:
240V, 2P-30A CB with 10 AWG for all stationary machines (Not required
for all machines but standardization reduces cost)
120V, 1P-20A with 12 AWG for all receptacle circuits as well as
separate lighting circuits.
Old Guy (older than me?)
Be sure to get a panel with lots of spaces. Even if it is rated 100 or
125 amps or more its rating will be what the circuit breaker is that
feeds it. In my case I have a 125 amp panel that is fed from the main
panel with a 2 pole 60 amp breaker. A code provision allows or is
applicable to this arrangement.
Pick a plug and receptacle type and stick with it. In my case I use 20
amp plugs and receptacles for my 220. Since all my cords hang down
from the receptacles I use the angle type of plug. I bought a bunch on
Ebay and have a good supply.
Do not ground the neutral in the subpanel. If possible drive in a 10'
ground rod near the panel and of course connect it and the ground from
the main panel to the ground buss in the subpanel. You shold also have
a separate neutral buss, ungrounded in the subpanel.
Take care and enjoy
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