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Power layout

by PainterSells
posted 01-28-2017 03:32 PM

17 replies so far

View dbw's profile


438 posts in 2483 days

#1 posted 01-28-2017 04:07 PM

I would add at least 1 220V receptacle. In my case I have one and even though I haven’t used it yet…

-- Measure twice, cut once. If it still doesn't fit get a big hammer.

View Lazyman's profile


5794 posts in 2234 days

#2 posted 01-28-2017 04:11 PM

You’ll probably want at least one at some point. Most motors over 2 HP will require 220v. I’d add 2 so that you can have both a 220v band or table saw and a 220v dust collector running at the same time someday.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1767 days

#3 posted 01-28-2017 05:07 PM


Having the ability to add 220 volt circuits in the garage is a good idea in the event you elect to introduce electric heat or motors with a power rating greater than 2- 3 hp., but I am not sure that adding a 220 volt circuit now is very beneficial unless you have 220v machinery. As 220v machinery enters the garage and after its placement is determined, the 220v circuit, sized for the equipment could then be installed and terminated at the proper location. This approach can save some time and money.

On the other hand, it may be worthwhile to run a few dedicated 110v circuits using 12 gauge wire, perhaps one on each of the walls and maybe one in the ceiling near the center of the garage. Doing so would allow the dedicated circuit to be upgraded to 220v for smaller motors by changing out the receptacle and circuit breaker. If you run 10 gauge wire, you could likewise convert the dedicated 110v circuit to 220v and handle a motor rated up to 5hp.

I am unaware of handheld power tools sold in the USA that requires 220v. But if you happen to have one, then obviously 220v circuit would need to be added now.

View EugdOT's profile


316 posts in 1402 days

#4 posted 01-28-2017 05:08 PM

Would add 2 because it’s better have and not need n need at the time and not have and hesitate on adding a stronger tool

View JackDuren's profile


1323 posts in 1806 days

#5 posted 01-28-2017 05:42 PM

Not sure of power setup but if you don”t have an electrical box in the garage I would suggest one.

View jmos's profile


917 posts in 3216 days

#6 posted 01-28-2017 09:29 PM

When I first laid out my shop I had all 110V tools. Then I upgraded my dust collector, needed 220v. Then my table saw, needed 220v. Then my jointer, needed 220v. However, if I had tried to guess in advance, I doubt I would have put the 220v receptacles in the right places. I’m in a basement and running a new circuit isn’t a big deal, so I’m happy I ran them as needed.

Are you wiring and planning on sheet rocking the walls, and you don’t want to open them later? If you can run them later without too much trouble, I’d wait until I needed it and then run a dedicated circuit exactly where I wanted it. If you have to do it now, I would play it safe and run a couple, because you’ll probably want them later.

+1 to having a panel (main or sub) in the shop’ it makes things a lot easier.

-- John

View Firewood's profile


1297 posts in 2481 days

#7 posted 01-28-2017 09:38 PM

I would add a 240v circuit. So much easier while you are running other power anyway.

As for 120v – I put in double gang boxes and installed (2) duplex recepticles in each box. Each duplex recepticle is on a separate breaker.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View Keith Kelly's profile

Keith Kelly

336 posts in 2510 days

#8 posted 01-30-2017 03:03 AM

I am in a 2 car garage too.

+1 for sub panel in garage so you can add things easily later.

Also, +1 and a safety note on Firewood’s advice:

When putting 2 circuits in a box, put them on a 2-pole breaker. That way, when you do maintenance down the road, you have to turn off BOTH circuits (and avoid accidentally leaving one on while you’re working in that box)

(I realize you only asked about 220v circuits, but this rabbit trail connects too nicely with the clarification above)

On a similar note, google “multi wire branch circuit” or “shared neutral” or “common neutral.” They are only problematic when set up wrong, so before you do this, do plenty of research. Some tips: Both breaker handles need to be connected (as in the paragraph above), and each breaker needs to be on a separate phase.

Here’s a link with some info:

I’m using a shared neutral approach behind my miter saw area. In case it inspires you, the setup below is:
  • that’s the subpanel on the right
  • 2 MWBC’s in the upper conduit behind the saw. Circuit A is to the left, B is to the right.
  • 2 more MWBC’s in the lower conduit. Circuit C on the left, D on the right.
  • 1 more non-MWBC on a switch going up to the shop vac.

The reason for this layout is that I can easily plug in 2 powerful, portable things anywhere along that wall without tripping any breakers or myself over a cord. (usually ends up being the router table or drum sander paired with a dedicated vacuum) And, copper is much cheaper now than it was 2 years ago.


So, on the 220v circuit question… Yeah, I’d recommend 1 or 2 220v circuits. Those tools seem to be cheaper on Craigslist.

-- Keith | Subscribe:

View bigblockyeti's profile


6719 posts in 2567 days

#9 posted 01-30-2017 03:44 AM

I would ad at least two 20A 240V circuits and while the electrician is there anyway, add a 50A 240V circuit, great for a welder, a monster air compressor or any other super power hungry machine you might fancy one day. We’ll all be driving electric cars in the next 30 years so you’re ahead of the curve on getting wired up for a car charger too!

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Ripper70's profile


1378 posts in 1755 days

#10 posted 01-30-2017 03:45 AM

Don’t even think about it. If you’re having the work done, do it now and add at least one 220v or, even better yet, include the sub-panel so you can more easily add to it later. You’ll be glad you did.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View HorizontalMike's profile


7893 posts in 3761 days

#11 posted 01-30-2017 12:56 PM

Converting a 2-car garage to a shop for wood projects. Mainly adding outlets for 110v. Considering if I should add a 220v outlet.
- PainterSells

Personally, if you are serious about new wiring, I would suggest:

  • A 4-gang 120v outlet every 6ft along walls (I did every 15ft and had to go back and add more)
  • A 240v outlet on at least two walls, and/or one overhead.
  • And yes, add a sub-panel as well.

I know, it sounds like a lot right now, but it sure beats having to come back and add later (like I did).

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3914 days

#12 posted 01-30-2017 01:17 PM

If you can add two 220 outlets. One for DC and another to share among tools. If you will only have 3hp tools 220v, you can probably do 20A, but if you want to play it safe run a 30A and you will be able to do a 5hp (potentially depending on tool) 30A requires a little more up front in 10Awg wire but might save you in the long run.

my 5hp ss has its own 30a because of other requirements.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View TungOil's profile


1382 posts in 1342 days

#13 posted 01-30-2017 02:21 PM

Running a sub panel would be smart. My electrician tried to talk me into doing this with my latest basement shop build but I declined (the breaker panel is only 45 feet away was my thinking…..). Now I wish I had done it.

I Also agree that running lots of 120V receptacles in 4 gang boxes is the way to go. I personally like mine to be mounted about 48” off the floor. this allow me to run my dust collection piping low along the wall and not interfere and it has the secondary benefit of keeping the power chords off the floor which makes it a bit easier when its time to clean up.

Personally I’m very picky about the location of the receptacle drops from the ceiling, especially around the TS, so I’d wait on the final location of those until you have the equipment in place exactly where you want it. Since you are in a garage I’m assuming you have a fully drywalled space so you want to be really certain of your receptacle placement before you start cutting through that double layer of sheetrock. Since I’m in a basement and still have open ceilings, I have my electrician leave a little extra wire so I can move the boxes if needed. Sometime 6” makes a big difference!

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View sawdustdad's profile


379 posts in 1732 days

#14 posted 01-30-2017 02:39 PM

I have seven (7) 220V circuits (6-30A, 1-20A) in my current shop—larger than yours (28×46) but some food for thought in future: compressor, dust collector, planer, TS, shaper, welder, and jointer. You can share circuits, for tools that don’t run simultaneously if you want—many of the tools. But the compressor and dust collector deserve dedicated circuits.

My previous shop, 24×24, similar size to yours, I had three 220V circuits but I didn’t have my 220v compressor in that building.

Many of my outlets are in the ceiling now. My old shop, I had the 220V for the TS run in conduit under the floor. That worked well, but my TS position was known at the time. Lots of outlets around the room, above counter height—I use 50 inches off the floor.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2795 days

#15 posted 01-31-2017 01:56 AM

Converting a 2-car garage to a shop for wood projects. Mainly adding outlets for 110v. Considering if I should add a 220v outlet.
- PainterSells

Personally, if you are serious about new wiring, I would suggest:

  • A 4-gang 120v outlet every 6ft along walls (I did every 15ft and had to go back and add more)
  • A 240v outlet on at least two walls, and/or one overhead.
  • And yes, add a sub-panel as well.

I know, it sounds like a lot right now, but it sure beats having to come back and add later (like I did).

- HorizontalMike

Spot on mike. My shop is 26×28. After watching my shop grow (in 7 years), on my next one there will be way more 240v single and 3phz receipts (powered by my converter) in every wall. I currently have three on the east wall, 2 on the south, and 2 on the west. on the north wall with the overhead door there are 2 as well, one of them has my 10hp rotary phase converter. BY having 240v in the shop it opens up the possibilities of being able to buy the older machines. The phase converter was built/bought for my 20” planner, but sized to allow for pretty much anything I can see on the foreseeable future. I know OMG a 20” 3phz planer, but hey I have less than $900 invested including the phase converter, and now I have 3phz to power anything. Also I am a fan of having the outlets at least 50” from the floor to the bottom of the box. it allows clearance if you need to lean sheet goods against the wall. It’s easier to have it and not need it than to fish it later.

View Holbs's profile


2366 posts in 2876 days

#16 posted 01-31-2017 02:55 AM

When I remodeled my 2 car garage into a dedicated shop, I went from a single 15amp GFCI outlet and a single bulb to a 10×110v and 3×220v, 2 zone lighting, and a single 20amp circuit dead center in my ceiling for my most used electrical outlet in the shop with the use of my 25’ 12amp electrical reel.
When I began my journey into wood working, all I had were 110v machines for my bosch 4100 saw, 13” Rigid lunchbox planer, Rockwell 6” jointer, and Rigid shop vac. 3 years later, I am very happy I ran some 220v circuits as I know have a 220v Unisaw, 220v Powermatic 66, 220v 15” Jet planer, 220v 8” GeeTec jointer, and 220v 3HP Grizzly DC.
This should give folks an idea of how time changes your needs from 110v to 220v.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View HorizontalMike's profile


7893 posts in 3761 days

#17 posted 02-01-2017 01:40 AM

Yep Holbs, get rid of all those nasty four wheeled cages! Much better! Two wheels OK, but four NOT!... ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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