Reply by Paul Stoops

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Posted on 3 HP wiring for my dust collector and starting surge

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Paul Stoops

354 posts in 3041 days

#1 posted 02-29-2012 03:57 AM

Altho Grandpa’s approach has merit, I think a couple of factors need to be considered, as well. The cost of copper wire has skyrocketed recently, so changing his wiring from 12ga. to 10ga. involves a serious investment—plus the higher cost receptacle.

More than that, I would wonder about putting a fairly low current draw device (10A) on a high current circuit. The motor would have to draw 30 amps for a long enough time to trip the breaker, so I wonder if the motor insulation would withstand that without sustaining some damage. Personally, I would feel safer simply changing the breaker to a 20 amp unit. However, if you plan to use other tools on the same circuit at the same time, the higher rated circuit could be an advantage, particularly if the tools start at the same time.

Regardless of which way you decide to go, the breaker amperage rating and the wire current carrying capacity must be the same: i.e. 20A breaker w/12 ga. wire, or 30A breaker w/10ga. wire.

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

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