I was out working in my shop (it's a garage, if you ask SWMBO, bu
hasn't had a car parked in it in two years) and noticed that a numbe
of my power tools had really tattered cords, and some were missin
grounding prongs on the plug. I'll even confess that six or seve
years ago I had extended the length of the cord on by table saw b
patching a piece into it with wire nuts and electrical tape. Let'
just saw that the gleam of visible copper with 220 volts runnin
through it motivated me to action.
Anyway, a quick trip to the local Home Depot and $30 later I had a ne
20' cord on my table saw. For miscellaneous tools like a router, ji
saw and skil saw, I used some orange extension cords I had bought o
clearance a couple years ago. I purposefully left the new cords on m
power tools on the long side, so I won't have to mess with usin
extension cords with them in the shop
Good caution. I've done the same thing with many of my small tools.
One other thought is that you can high quality extension cord type
wire in bulk. You want the stranded stuff with a *rubber* insulation,
rather than plastic. When I lived in Idaho the Orange Borg had the
stuff with bright yellow insulation, but all I can get here is black.
The rubber stuff is very flexible and stays so even in the cold. I put
a 20' #10 cord on my TS, which allows me to have it in the middle of
the shop and plug in at the wall.
I've got to check with the local electrical supply house. I really
like the yellow because you are much less likely to walk or drive on
it, so it lasts longer. Besides, that fat yellow cord on my cheap TS
just looks cool.
Naughty practice in the UK to use yellow - that's reserved for the
110V centre-earth systems we use on construction sites. Our 240V
stuff should be blue (standard 230V colour) or high-vis orange.
It's worth buying "Arctic" cable, if you get the choice. This stays
flexible at low temperatures, which is worth it in this weather. Most
of mine are black though, in heavy-duty rubber for wear resistance. I
wouldn't them being a bit more visible.
On Tuesday 25 Jan 2005 3:51 am, Andy Dingley scribbled:
I use yellow for my 220V extensions to distinguish them from the others.
But I don't think there are any rules on that one here. BTW, I didn't
know you used 110V in the UK. Is is like our North American 110V (one
wire is neutral at the same potential as ground/earth)?
That stuff is just as useless as the rest at -40C (-40F Keith). It's
called "polar cord" at Crappy Tire. "Arctic" and "polar" are misnomers
as I can't even use it in the subarctic. The jacket breaks very easily
so they have to be stored in big wide loops. But then, at that
temperature, automobile tires keep their flat spot for a while and make
you think you've got flat tires until they warm up and become round
In case you're wondering, we do use extensions outside, especially at
that temperature, to plug in our vehicles. Two block heaters, two
battery warmers and on oil-pan heater on my C2500 truck. At less than
2000 Watts, it's a lot cheaper than heating a garage, but then,
vehicles don't belong in the shop.
Who is facing repairing a number of extension cords after the cold snap
No, it's earthed at a centre tap.
It's used on "construction" sites. The idea is that 50V is "safe" and
with this system you're never more than 50V above earth potential.
It's produced by either local generators, or by portable transformers.
Increasing rules are making it difficult to use 230V "workshop" tools
on a "site". I can see this when the "site" is a muddy field, but it's
a bit silly when you're kitchen-fitting and there's already a 240V
toaster sitting on the worktop.
The plugs and sockets are round, yellow with plastic sheaths. The
corresponding 230V version is blue, but not often seen.
I did a fair bit of research on this, as unfinished basements are required
to have GFCI protection on outlets. 240V outlets are exempt from needing
GFCI. About the only way to do GFCI for 240V is through a GCFI circuit
breaker. The circuit breakers are quite expensive at about $145 each for
I put in a new 60 amp service to my shop (aka detached garage) and a
subpanel a few years ago. SWMBO, <gloat on> who is an electrical
engineer <gloat off>, suggested that I put a 60 amp double pole GFI
breaker in the main panel to protect the whole garage.
These things are pretty pricey and not so easy to find, but after lots
and lots (and lots) more suggestions from SWMBO, I set eBay to search
for one. After about six months a brand new 60 amp GFI breaker for my
panel for turned up for $20.
It's tripped twice now. Once with a used 240 volt construction heater
that carbonized some animal matter remnants inside it, leading to
current leakage to the case, and after a leak in the roof dribbled
about three drops onto the table saw plug.
I'm sure neither one of these instances would have caused an
electrocution, but they were electrical problems I didn't know I had.
If there ever is a serious problem, it's nice to know I'll get some
: @yahoo.com says...
:> Brian Elfert wrote::> > I did a fair bit of research on this, as unfinished basements are:> required:> > to have GFCI protection on outlets. 240V outlets are exempt from:> needing:> > GFCI. About the only way to do GFCI for 240V is through a GCFI:> circuit:> > breaker. The circuit breakers are quite expensive at about $145 each:> for:> > 20 amp.:> :> I put in a new 60 amp service to my shop (aka detached garage) and a:> subpanel a few years ago. SWMBO, <gloat on> who is an electrical:> engineer <gloat off>, suggested that I put a 60 amp double pole GFI:> breaker in the main panel to protect the whole garage.:>
: If you use a single GFI braker for the whole garage, it is a good idea to have
: your lights on a different circuit. That way you won't be in the dark when the
: thing trips.
Then it wouldn't be the whole garage, now would it???
That's the downside. In my case there's a yard light that shines in
the windows if lighting was lost at night, which allowed me to
rationalize the whole garage on a GFI circuit now that I remember it.
And I mostly work in there during daylight on weekends.
Of course, this is also a good incentive to keep tripping hazards off
the floor. ;-)
FWIW, using extension cords isn't really the way to avoid
electrocution... sounds like it was a step up for you, but they
usually end up laying across the floor and can get cut or otherwise
beat up pretty easily. For about $20, you can get 250 feet of (14
ga.- it's a little more for 10) two-wire romex with a ground wire, and
the various other outlets, boxes, and miscellaneous electrical items
are fairly inexpensive as well. All in all, you can install proper
outlets for all your tools for far less than the price of a couple of
good extension cords- and it's less hassle in the long run.
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
We're building a new house right now, and the third bay of the garag
is going to be walled off and serve as my dedicated shop. It's goin
to have quite a few outlets in it, and lots of lighting
On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 19:43:20 +0000, makesawdust wrote:
Unless it's a really big third bay, you might want to consider leaving out
the wall and putting the major tools on mobile bases. My 11' x 24' third
bay is just big enough to park the herd when not rolled out into the other
two bays so I have room to use them.
To escape criticism--do nothing, say nothing, be nothing." (Elbert Hubbard)
On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 19:43:20 +0000, the inscrutable makesawdust
Make it a 4-car garage so you can have a 2-car shop.
I do and it's still not quite big enough.
Please return Stewardess to her original upright position.
http://www.diversify.com Tagline-based T-shirts!
Personally, I hate overhead outlets. The cords are always in my way.
As to the 3 bay garage, I'll second the idea of leaving the wall out
and having tools on mobile bases. I'm doing essentially that in a 2
car garage. I have the TS in the "shop" half, just over the center
line. That way I can maneuver big pieces around it very easily.
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