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So I have a question for those of you Lumberjocks who love POWER tools!!!

I had my building built and wired it myself this spring for woodworking. I had contemplated installing a 220 run and using it for my table saw. The saw is the Ridgid TS3650 and it, of course, is capable of running at 110 (15 amp 60Hz) or at 220 (again 15 amp and 60Hz, although due to ohms law, and the doubling of voltage we should expect 1/2 the amperage for the same amount of energy, but the book states it is 15 amp). But I elected, instead, to just run a high current 110 line.

Now, to eliminate any outside concerns I will state that I do know what I am doing with regards to electrical. I ran a 100 amp, 12 position panel and have it safely and properly protected at the house with a GFI breaker set. I have a 8/4 from the house to the shop, an 8 foot galvanized grounding rod, and 6Ga solid copper ground at the shop. At this point I have the saw on a dedicated 110 line, with 10/3, so converting it to 220 is a matter of just pulling my neutral from the neutral bar and installing it on the double pole breaker I have already because I was going to use for the 220 run to the saw, and replacing the high current 110 socket with the 220 3 prong unit I also already have.

So here is my question. Would you opt to run it at 110, or 220? Aside from the current savings, is there any real benefit? If I do decide to switch this to a 220 line I basically lose the ability to have the extra dedicated line for high powered devices I may acquire in the future. Clearly, I lose another outlet for just in case, but to be honest, I have plenty on that section of the wall. If you look at the following image, you will see 2 outlets at bench level, and the outlet sitting low in between the 2, and the wall studs are 16 inch centers, not 24 inch centers. The low outlet is the dedicated line, and the other 2 are on a simple 3 outlet, 15 amp circuit.

 

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This is always a tough call with a lot of varying opinions, and varying results depending on your particular saw and circuit. There's typically little downside to switching to 220v, and sometimes a benefit, so I usually say go for it. However, in this case you've stated some downsides of losing an extra line.

For the cost of a new plug, I think I'd try it. If you notice an improvement, you won't miss the extra line very much, plus you can always switch back in < 10 minutes if need be. There's a pretty fair shot that you'll have less voltage loss with the 220v line, which would result in faster startup and faster recovery times from bogging, which in essence means less motor strain in thicker materials, thus longer motor life. If there's zero difference, you've invested in a 220v plug, which I suppose you could always return…the majority are < $20.
 

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I converted my TS3650 to 220 after using it for a couple of years on 110. I would not convert it back unless I was somewhere I couldn't get the 220. It just seems to run better and has never bogged down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Scott, I already have the outlet and plug, so it is pretty much a no cost deal right now. I am planning on just using my short extension cord that I currently use for the saw, and just pulling the end off of it, and installing the 220 end on it, and just plugging my current 3 prong plug into the female end of it, and taping the 2 cords together so they cannot be separated. While I don't need to change the outlet, it is just safer that way, so no one accidentally plugs a 110 device into the 220 socket ;-)

Howie, glad to hear someone who was exactly in my shoes, same tool, same everything.

David, I suspect the difference in energy costs to be there, as I will be using less, nearly 1/2 of the current. But TBH I don't use it enough to notice much of a change in costs I am sure. But that makes me think about running a second line for a dust collector I plan on getting in the future. I know I will soon outgrow my shop vac/cyclone system ;-)
 

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I run every thing I have on 110 because I don't have 220 yet . Thinking about switching over but can't afford it right now.How about those TS3650 I have 1 and love it 110 or 220…....................Schloemoe
 

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220.

The more powerfull tools comes in 220 only.
Unless you run dedicated 110v circuit, run a couple of tools and you will be overloading.
imagine having a 2hp dust collector and 3 1/4hp router at the same time on a 110v circuit.

Put a subpanel in the new shop. I believe you can split 220 into 2 110 circuits.
 

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Lanwater, as stated in the initial post the building has it's own 100 amp panel, and the saw has a dedicated 110. I have 4 breakers running 8 outlets, all 15 amp circuits except for the dedicated circuit for the saw which is currently a 110V 20 amp circuit with a high capacity tamper proof outlet. I wired that dedicated saw circuit with a larger gauge wire then required, as I was considering putting in a 220 to it, and I knew it would be the biggest draw in the shop… so the rest of the shop is 12/2 and it is 10/3. Of note, that is overkill as the saw is rated at a max load current of 15 amps, but I would rather provide more capacity then necessary. The overhead lights are on their own dedicated circuit as well, and each bench light (I have 2 benches, one on each end of the shop) is a pair of 4 foot tubes and they are plugged into a wall outlet (each on a separate circuit). So I can easily have my compressor running, saw running, and big router going all at the same time with no light dimming, and no issues… yes, I have had all 3 running at the same time.

In a way you are right, you can split a 220 into 2 110 circuits, but that is rather redundant, as at a breaker panel we tie 2 110v circuits together to create a 220 ;-). In a single phase system each of 2 power buses are fed 110V @ 60Hz from the source (whether the power line or in my case, from a GFI protected feed from my house panel), then you have a neutral bar and your ground bar. Every other breaker is on a different power bus bar, which is why 2 post breakers provide 220V of power, as the 2 posts bridge the 2 buss bars (110 + 110 = 220).
 

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My understanding is that by running 240, it lower the amperage draw. then you can raise the ampereage back up to the limit for the underlying wires (usually around 15 amps) and get twice the power. When they give you options, I don't think it has anything to do with one working better than the other. I think it just provides flexibility. if you have 240, you plug into that. if you have 120, you plug into that.
 

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What I would do being a electrican is put a sub pannel in the shed feed it 220 like it needs
Then you can do whatever 110 or 220 just run from the sub pannel to whatever but always leave a way to get back into the pannel for some unknown reason
 

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Sorry I didn't realise ijstalled a sub pannel
8/4 ccarrys less thai 100amp but would work fine for most hobbiest unless of corse ur gona do some welding
Use 220 whenever possable
I'm my shope I. Have a seprate circut to each wass 2 outlets on each wall and one for the lights and a ten wire 220 v one and nothing smaller thain 12 wire except for the 14 wire for the lights wich have there own circuit also
 

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One or two notes. 1. I am not an electrician but received this advice from one. Kinda like staying at Holiday Inn Express last night. If the shop is used for any fuel or vapor producing products, ie oil based finish, lacquer, varnish, all the plugs are supposed to be at four feet or higher. This keeps the plugs and arc sparks above the vapor level if there is a buildup.
Just because you jump to 220 does not mean you have to jump to 10gauge wire. I like your reasons for running it and I do the same thing on occasion. Whatever the local code for gauge vs amp is it applies to both 110 and 220. Remember, the voltage doubles but the amps drop in half.
Looks like your being careful and checking the details. Can't be too careful when running the electricity.
Hope this helps, BTKS
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hokie- I am just trying to get a feel if i will gain anything. I know the reduction in current load, which in turn lowers thermal expansion and internal resistance in the motor (as heat and impedance walk hand in hand). This is very important in high load situations, such as working with very heavy, dense woods. Less heat means less resistance, less resistance means more stable power on tap. I am just trying to see if my actual real world gains make it worth it for me to lose the additional outlet.

Birdguy, as was mentioned the shop has it's own panel, and it is properly wired (110 on each power bus, neutral to neutral off the feed, and a ground to a 8 foot galvanized rod right outside the shop). In the post 2 above yours I loosely explain the way the shop is wired.
 

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i guess that's what I was trying to say. I don't think you will get a difference. the power being drawn should be pretty much the same because i think the whole heat/resistance thing is negligible if the underlying wiriing is sufficient to handle the loads. I'd just keep in mind future plans and make your decision based on that; in other words making sure you've got enough of each type of outlet.
 

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Birdguy, sorry I guess you added a reply as i typed mine… I know 6/3 would have been more ideal, but I couldn't find any underground cable locally in a long enough run. I figured as short as the run is (about 20 feet), and the fact that I would rarely even see even a 30 amp load in the building, it would be safe.

I am also aware that the 10ga is overkill, but better safe then sorry. I wanted to ensure a high enough capacity on that circuit, as it is dedicated to my highest current device. It wasn't really that I did it so I could convert it to 220 as much as attempting to foresee heavy loads on that circuit.

However, being that I have an electrician in here… My feeling is it would be safe for me to run a second 220 off this feed… just piggybacking the outlet. Since I do have the cable in place for it, and a 30 amp double pole breaker, would you say it is safe to piggyback them? I figure that since the actual load is cut in half because the voltage is doubled, it should be safe to do. This is also considering that the 2 devices not run at the same time, as well… like a jointer and my saw.

I am going to run 1 more 220 (for a possible dust collector or maybe a higher powered compressor), but perhaps running 2 off that other feed may be a good idea.

BTKS- Aside from the single low slung outlet for the saw, all of my outlets are at about 3.5-4 feet off the floor… I don't recall exactly how high, but it is uniform. I didn't do this for vapor flash though, I did it for comfort reasons. I have bad knees, so stooping a lot can get to be painful. A good friend of mine suggested it. But I am sure glad to know it was a wise choice from not only a comfort standpoint, but also a safety standpoint as well.

For what it's worth, in reading these posts and thinking it through, I do believe I will step up and run the 220 feed to the saw.
 

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sandt38,
I just ran a multiple plug 220 circuit for several tools. Assuming, I can only run one tool at a time. I used 10ga wire on a 15 amp just in case I needed to upgrade the breaker for a specific tool, up to 30amp. Looks like we think alike.
You are quite right in the fact tall plugs are comfortable plugs. This also puts the plugs above counter top height.
Good luck with the project, BTKS
 

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In my opinion, the best reason for running a dual-voltage tool at 220 is that you have a larger margin of current-draw reserve. When the tool starts up, it's less likely to trip the breaker. This is a good thing, especially if the tool doesn't have a magnetic switch.
 

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The reason a motor starts up faster and works more efficiently when wired for 220Vac is this.

Let make the analogy of wires with water pipes. Lets assume that we have a 1/2" sized pipe, this is comparable with a #12 AWG wire, also lets assume that we have a pressure in the line of 110 PSI this would be the equivalent of the 110Vac, the maximum current we can carry is given by the volume we can safely circulate thru the pipe witout bursting it, it is expressed in gal/min this would be analogous to the maximum current the 12AWG wire can carry and it is expressed in Amps.

If we want to increase the load capacity we can do 2 things:
Iincrease the wire/pipe size (#10 AWG - 3/4" size pipe)
Increase the Voltage/Pressure in our circuit (220Vac - 220PSI in our example)

There are other items to consider when sizing a cable run. The most important ones is the distance we are going to run and the wheater the wires are going to be run in an enclosed space.

The distance or lenght of the run is important because the wire has a resistance value, analogous to the friction inside the water pipe, so after so many feet your voltage on the end of the wire entering your motor is no longer 110V or 220 there is a certain loss. The kicker is that the closer you are at the rated current limit for your gauge the worse this voltage drop gets. In order to correct this you can do either of 2 things, increase the size of wire/pipe or increase the Voltage/Pressure in the circuit.

When you double the voltage your current is halved, the voltage loss is also halved, the motor draws the highest current when it is starting up, you will find all motor state this value in the label as "Startup Current"
It is self evident that if our voltage drop is halved by the doubling of the voltage our motor will not suffer as much when it is at it's worse, starting up.
If you selected a big enough wire in your internal wiring including the wires feeding the circuit panel, there won't be any improvement, but if your wires feeding the panel are not big enough (A very common problem) then running the equipment at 220 will extend the life of the motors for sure.

Sorry for the long and perhaps tedious post…...
 
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