Hooking up the dust collector

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Blog entry by ocwoodworker posted 04-06-2010 11:57 PM 1151 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok. So I went and upgraded my garage to have it’s own service. And wanting to switch over the DC to 220, I popped off the switch box and rewired the three wire to make it 220. My question is – “How come I have to run these big flipp’n 10 gauge wire that cost near a dollar/foot but when you get into the guts of the box it’s a flimmsy size that resembles speaker wire? Huh?

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

9 comments so far

View jm82435's profile


1286 posts in 4982 days

#1 posted 04-07-2010 12:28 AM

That is a good question – @ 220v you can use a much smaller wire. How long was the run?

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View torquemada's profile


10 posts in 4244 days

#2 posted 04-07-2010 01:34 AM

Amps. The wire will burn if you do not size it correctly.

View bigfish_95008's profile


250 posts in 4343 days

#3 posted 04-07-2010 02:28 AM

It probably has more to do with length and insulation type.

-- bigfish "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." Vincent Van Gogh

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4548 days

#4 posted 04-07-2010 02:34 AM

Don’t skimp on the electrical wiring or you might burn down your shop. A neighbor, who is a master electrician, highly recommended a #6 wire…especially if I look forward to what tools I might add to the shop in the future. I ran a #6 wire to my shop in the back yard and it is about 175 ft from my house. It wasn’t cheap but I ain’t cheap either when it comes to shop safety. Glad I did because I now have 5 circuits that are 220.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 4348 days

#5 posted 04-07-2010 03:40 AM

As already noted, much of it has to do with the length of the wire needed. The internal wiring is up close and personal while what you are wiring that to is going to be a distance away. I did some searching online and 12 gauge is about the thinnest allowed while at least 10 gauge is strongly recommended for a 220v circuit. When it comes to wiring, I tend to avoid nickel and diming the process. Any time I think about cutting those corners, I think about the risk to my kids or the great fun in trying to replace everything I own.

Good luck and wire wisely :)


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View ocwoodworker's profile


209 posts in 4244 days

#6 posted 04-07-2010 04:09 AM

Thanx for the input everyone. I did use 10 gauge wire for the run from panel to receptacle. I was just wondering why the wiring in the box is so small compared to the run from the receptacle to the panel. Dave, I think you are correct. Wire is sized according to length and amps. The reason why the wires in the box can handle the amps is because it is a short run from the connectors to the motor.

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

View birdguy's profile


73 posts in 4147 days

#7 posted 06-10-2010 10:05 PM

I am a electrican the problem is heat wich leads to fires. To many electrons flowing on two small of wire causes to muuch heat and the wire melts but in the motor verry short wire is ok not enought heat build up u do lose some juice do to voltage drop too so the longer the distance the bigger the wire in my shope nothing is smaller thain 12gauge wire except for the lights my shop is to small. Anyway. 12×14

View a1Jim's profile


118252 posts in 4817 days

#8 posted 06-10-2010 10:10 PM

I think I would upgade whats in your box if it’s small wire . Like Birdguy nothing smaller than 12 ga in myshop.


View birdguy's profile


73 posts in 4147 days

#9 posted 06-11-2010 12:11 AM

Not shure of the distance but 8 gage is like 50 amps 10 gage good up to 30amps. 12gauge good for 20amps 14 good for 15 amps again on some of the bigger wires u have option weather aluminum or copper wire same size wire copper carrys more amps so

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