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Extending 220 for tools with two different plug types

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Forum topic by bjhess posted 05-08-2021 09:59 AM 857 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bjhess

10 posts in 46 days


05-08-2021 09:59 AM

I’m setting up my new back-of-garage shop and could use some advice from experienced hobby woodworkers.

My 220 wall receptacle is 10-15’ as the crow flies from the area in my shop with the 220 tools (SawStop PCS 3HP 1PH 220v table saw and Harvey Ambassador C14 3HP 1PH 230v bandsaw). However, to keep the cord out of the way I will need to run a 25’ extension.

I was happy to find a possible solution where I could keep both tools plugged in to the same extension. I thought this should work since I’d never be running the tools at the same time. I am mildly concerned about the 14 gauge wire on that extension cord.

Unfortunately the Harvey has a 6-20P plug, the SawStop has a 6-15P plug, and I haven’t found any extension that have multiple receptacles that can take both of those plug types. I’ve only found the 6-15R version linked above.

What would you do? Get a single-receptacle extension that is 6-15R & 6-20R and just resign myself to unplugging/plugging as I saw tools? Get an adapter for the Harvey? Can I change out the plug on the Harvey so it is also 6-15P? (I have no familiarity with electrical, so I don’t know what is possible. I’m willing to learn if there is some straightforward instruction available out there.)

Thanks for any help or ideas you can provide! I know there are lots of “220 extension” posts on the site, but I wasn’t able to find quite this discussion via search.

-- Barry


21 replies so far

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tvrgeek

1941 posts in 2768 days


#1 posted 05-08-2021 10:28 AM

14 gauge !!!! NO NO NO. 12 minimum and I would find some 10 gauge cordage personally.

You can put a 6-20 plug on the SS provided it is a 20 A breaker. It should have had one in the first place. I do not know how these companies are passing UL and CAS certification with plugs that fit under-amperage circuits. Shame on Saw Stop. Shame on DeWalt. ( 735 has a 15A plug)

What you really should do is have a licensed electrician provide dedicated circuits for each tool, correct outlets and whips. I am not sure, but I think code requires that. Even though you might not power both up, it is possible and code protects for the possible.

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Fred Hargis

7024 posts in 3612 days


#2 posted 05-08-2021 10:48 AM

You can make your own extension putting a handy box on the end with one of these duplexes and then you can use the plugs you have. It would be pretty much what you linked, only capable of the 15 and 20 amp plugs. Be sure to use #12 wire, it’s fairly common to have #14 wire in the 15 amp stuff. All this assumes the wall outlet is 20 amp. Another option would be to put the 240V duplex in the wall and run 2 extensions…but that would be a less good option (IMHO).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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ibewjon

2480 posts in 3912 days


#3 posted 05-08-2021 10:52 AM

Thousands of dollars of tools and a cheap cord? Why does anyone want to risk these motors with undersized wire? As stated above, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL, do it correctly the first time. This is not the time to play Scrooge. That adapter to plug a 20 amp load into a 15 amp receptacle should not be on the market. It is probably not UL listed. Is it really that hard to unplug a tool? And a ‘handy box’ should not be used on a cord. The knockouts can get pushed in, causing a short. If making a cord with a box on the end, use a cast aluminum outdoor type box.

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Redoak49

5274 posts in 3107 days


#4 posted 05-08-2021 10:59 AM

Please do it correctly. You do not want to risk a fire or damage to the tools.

You can get a 10 gauge one on Amazon for about $40.

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controlfreak

2239 posts in 720 days


#5 posted 05-08-2021 11:20 AM

For a high amperage motor you can’t just look at the gauge of cord on the tool and think “I will go with that”. It is a function of inrush current, running current and distance that will determine the proper gauge needed. You can probably find a chart somewhere but the easy way is to just go with 10 AWG. If doing it the right way is a bridge too far the next best thing IMO would be to make two cords with the correct outlet type on each end and unplugging / plugging in desired tool at the wall. This will accomplish two things, ensure that both tools can’t run at the same and be such a pain in the butt that you will go ahead and get it done the right way. I will also bet you end up with between $100 and $200 in making or buying that extension cord setup so factor that in to what the total cost to do it right. Good luck.

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Knockonit

853 posts in 1321 days


#6 posted 05-08-2021 11:59 AM

options are add additional wall box with different outlet or make up a adapter on end of one cord, as a lot of factory cords have the plug molded to actual cord, and i hated cutting the molded plug off to add the correct plug, i have welders, and all the shop tools that are 220v, and have a couple short adapters, might take a look at the RV cords,m most are 30-50 am, and can be utilized and some come with different adapters for plug ins.

in new shop i just added the two different outlets i needed, incase i moved tool layout, cost a couple extra bucks to do that, but easier in the long run rather than have ext cords all over
good luck, seems like things are never as long as they need to be
Rj in az

-- Living the dream

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CaptainKlutz

4548 posts in 2613 days


#7 posted 05-08-2021 12:00 PM

+1 Both tools need a 20A circuit minimum, using 12AWg wire.

For me solution is easy. DIY an extension cord using:
- Leviton 5822-W receptacle or Hubbell 5462 receptacle with Duplex outlet supporting 6-15p and 6-20p
- Duplex metal conduit box
- Duplex outlet box cover
- Strain Relief Cord Connector (or cord grip) sized for OD of cord used (don’t forget a lock nut)
- 25 ft of 12-3 SOOW cord
- 6-20p plug or what ever matches wall outlet
(Suggest right angle plug to reduce tendency of cord to pull out from wall)

Instructions for wiring outlet is included with 5822 receptacle. Match the wire colors on plug same as outlet.

If you are not comfortable with wiring an outlet to make extension cord, hire an electrician.
With parts in hand, it is a inexpensive 10-15 minute job.

Be safe, not sorry.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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Fred Hargis

7024 posts in 3612 days


#8 posted 05-08-2021 12:33 PM


And a handy box should not be used on a cord. The knockouts can get pushed in, causing a short. If making a cord with a box on the end, use a cast aluminum outdoor type box.

- ibewjon

I’ll defer to your experience/knowledge on the the box, but making his own like I described, or as CK described above is a good way to solve his problem.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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bjhess

10 posts in 46 days


#9 posted 05-08-2021 01:38 PM

Firstly, thank you so much for the responses so far! I especially appreciate all of the links and walkthroughs! I also want to add that my intention isn’t to cheap out. It is truly that I know nothing about electrical, so the best I can do at the moment is match numbers and specs listed on cords to pick them out. Clearly I have a lot to learn!

I will add a little more information:
  • The table saw and bandsaw are not residing along a wall
  • They are at a distance described in my initial post
  • There is a closer wall (8’ cord run) that currently does not have 220
  • The current 220 receptacle on the wall looks like this
  • The 220 circuit is 20 amp

I have a homeowner’s understanding of circuits. So in my mind I can plug both tools in and if I accidentally kicked one on while the other was running, I would trip a breaker and that’s about it. It sounds to me like that’s not actually the worst outcome, but rather it is causing a fire or damaging these tools?

As one ignorant of electric, it’s natural for me to look off-the-shelf first because I’m uncomfortable rolling my own. Off-the-shelf sounds safer to me than rolling my own. As advised, an electrician will be safer than both of those choices. :)

It sounds like my safe options are as follows in order of ease to get up-and-running quickly:
  1. Get an appropriate, 12 gauge minimum extension cord like this or this—plug in each tool as using
  2. Build my own 10 gauge extension—plug in each tool as using
  3. Build my own 10 gauge extension with an outdoor rated handy box so both tools can be plugged in at once—pray I don’t burn my house down
  4. Hire an electrician to drop another 220 line to the near wall (8’ distance) and the extensions necessary to connect each tool to separate circuits

(If I go with that last one, I’ll also add “regret that I didn’t do this in the first place so that I could have dropped a third line and chosen a 220-based dust collector rather than the Laguna P|Flux 1, though I’m sure I’ll be happy with the Laguna over my current shop vac cyclone.”)

The best path for me is probably starting with #1 to get up and running and schedule #4. Happy to hear more thoughts as you have them.

THANK YOU!

-- Barry

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Fred Hargis

7024 posts in 3612 days


#10 posted 05-08-2021 02:20 PM

You are in luck, what you have is a 20 amp circuit, so any of the extension choices will work just fine. 10 guage is overkill for what you need, but that’s your choice. Be aware, #10 cable is a lot less easy to deal with (weight, stiffness, cost) than #12.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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darthford

738 posts in 3043 days


#11 posted 05-09-2021 07:28 PM

Dealing with a similar 220v dilemma now in my 3 car garage/shop. Just getting back into woodworking recently and thought okay do I run conduit and install boxes for 220 this time or just use flex cords like I did some years ago. I already have the 220 outlets at the back of the 3rd bay next to the 200amp panel.

Fast forward to yesterday, I stuck with flex cords. It’s a multi-use garage, tractor, yard, vehicle stuff sometimes so I don’t have permanent locations for the machines.

Realized I’m also going to have a cord on every machine no matter what so it might as well be a dedicated 25 footer for each machine able to reach the existing outlets. I roll the cords up after use and hang on the machine when the machine is against a wall not in use.

PS: I have two 220v 30amp twist lock outlets and a 220v 20amp.

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bigJohninvegas

1043 posts in 2581 days


#12 posted 05-09-2021 11:05 PM


Thousands of dollars of tools and a cheap cord? Why does anyone want to risk these motors with undersized wire? As stated above, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL, do it correctly the first time. This is not the time to play Scrooge. That adapter to plug a 20 amp load into a 15 amp receptacle should not be on the market. It is probably not UL listed. Is it really that hard to unplug a tool? And a handy box should not be used on a cord. The knockouts can get pushed in, causing a short. If making a cord with a box on the end, use a cast aluminum outdoor type box.

- ibewjon

So you ask what would we do.
First off, While I doubt he knows it, lol. I have followed ibewjon’s advise here for some time. And he has never steered me wrong. Typically its questions like this that others ask, and I learn from too. Thanks Jon, Your advise has always matched Aaron. My resident electrician gooroo.
Second, I have a resident electrician that I work with that keeps me in the right direction too.

So I don’t keep my tools plugged in all the time anyway. And I use the above mentioned Professional help all the time.
If 25’ away is where your tools are going to stay, I would see if moving your existing , or adding a second circuit closer is an option for you. That really would be the best approach.
And I would upgrade the plug on the Saw Stop to match the 20amp circuit you have.
I am not a fan of extension cords. But I too have only one 240v circuit that three tools share.
And my cords have all been upgraded to 12’.
So with my shop set as it is now, and seems to finally be permanent for most tools. My table saw could be a shorter run. And now its plug stays right next to the receptacle. My lathe, and Bandsaw stay mobile. and there cords must be rolled up when the tool is not in use. Again, I am only at 12’ max.

If you can’t move or add a circuit. I assume you are looking to go overhead with an extension?
I would run a single 20amp plug. And like mentioned above, if you are going to use a box, make it an outdoor weather tight box. With just a single drop down plug though. I think I would be more likely to just use a twist lock plugs. That does mean changing the plug on the band saw too, not just the table saw. However, a plug is only like $10 I would have to ask a my guy about wire gauge. Would 12g be enough for a 25’ run.
Putting in a dual outlet always has the risk of both tools being turned on at the same time. and I have always been told with 220v. One tool, one circuit. There is a reason why they don’t sell the extension cord. Not legal, and a legal liability when your home burns down.
Good luck, and curious to see what you end up with.

-- John

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CaptainKlutz

4548 posts in 2613 days


#13 posted 05-10-2021 02:09 AM

... Putting in a dual outlet always has the risk of both tools being turned on at the same time. and I have always been told with 220v. One tool, one circuit. – bigJohninvegas
Must debunk a wives tale: only one device on 220/230/240 volt circuit.

NEC electrical codes allows multiple receptacles on 230v circuits.
There are restrictions. Biggest one is: Ganging outlets requires a feed circuit of 20A or less.
Hence, can string 230v outlets just like 115v circuits in your home.

And before you claim it is not safe:
Much of the rest of world uses 200-250v voltage for everything, and it is easy to find certified power strips with up to 8 outlets.
To be fair: The non-US plug outlet strips are typically limited to 10A per receptacle and 15A total per strip. Designed specifically to prevent use on most large KW motorized devices (like large WW tools).

Moving forward;
Circuits larger than 20A are required to be properly rated for combined load. Since majority of high current circuits are for motors, NEC section 430 prevails. If ganging heating circuits or welders, the circuit must be rated for combined use of all loads simultaneously. In layman’s terms, the main breaker is sized to protect the wire capable of carrying load with all devices turned on at same time.

Don’t get me wrong.
One tool, one circuit’ is an OK rule of thumb to help layman be safe.
IMHO – was created due code complexities involved with load calculations on general use receptacles, and NOT code restrictions. There is nothing unsafe about running multiple 230v receptacles on single circuit when done properly.

If you really want to debate wiring code for WW tools:

1) Read up on differences between FLC and FLA of your motorized devices.
Neither of the OP mention tools should be plugged into a 20A circuit in first place! They should be plugged into 25A-30A protected circuit per NEC 430?
But most of us hobbyists still use smaller circuits and think it is OK?

2) Plugs/Receptacles for motor driven devices can be considered safety disconnect devices. They must be rated for HP used, or they can not be used as disconnect.
Oops, NEMA 6-20 is not rated for 3HP.
God forbid you trip over a cord, or accidentally unplug a 3HP tool with motor running. The inductive energy spike will mostly likely destroy the contacts or melt the plastic holding the contact in your 6-20 receptacles. After couple of active unplugging cycles, the receptacle will need to replaced, as plug won’t stay connected anymore, and is fire hazard.
But as long as you don’t unplug power to a device while running, the 6-20 will last decades.
When given a choice I prefer to use locking L6-20 connections on my 20A devices. #IAMAKLUTZ and bump into stuff way to often to trust a non-locking plug.

HP rated plugs/receptacles make things much more expensive. The smallest 3HP rated NEMA connector is L14-30, and only a few mfg (like Hubbell) HP certify their parts , so don’t expect to buy cheapest one on Amadud. Using a L14-30 actually makes sense, since NEC 430 requires a 30A circuit for 3HP motor? :-)
Above 3HP, have to use Pin/Socket type devices to have HP rated disconnect plugs. Last I checked a 5HP 1PH motor plug/receptacle disconnect was ~$300-400 per set.

Why do mfg use under rated plugs on tools?
There are different codes everywhere on large devices. It is too expensive to UL/CSA certify every aspect of tool. As long manual says, don’t unplug while operating they can certify a tool with a lessor plug.
Used to design electrical machinery, hence BTDTGTTS.

When in doubt, hire a professional. Electrical code is complicated.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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Fred Hargis

7024 posts in 3612 days


#14 posted 05-10-2021 11:55 AM


There is a reason why they don t sell the extension cord. Not legal, and a legal liability when your home burns down.
Good luck, and curious to see what you end up with.

- bigJohninvegas

Captain Klutz already addressed everything, but I thought I'd show you this. I agree ibewjon has valued input, and safety is always paramount….but let’s make sure we understand what’s being said.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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tvrgeek

1941 posts in 2768 days


#15 posted 05-10-2021 12:47 PM

Small detail. Outlets come in about 5 reliability ratings. The big box store usually have the three lower ones. They call them different things, contractor, commercial , industrial or something like that. Then Hospital, data center and so on. ( or sometimes good, better, and best ripping off Sears back when they had any decent products at all. Now they should label don’t, crap, and merely garbage)

Many differences, most being the strength of the contacts which leads to durability. The 79 cent outlets are junk. Won’t have them in my house. $1.79 are marginally better. Buy the $5 ones. In my shop, I actually use mostly hospital grade, not for the verified low leakage, but the contacts are even firmer. The top quality have much better terminations that can actually safely take two wires under the connector. Never use those push in things. I think most 220 outlets are at least the middle grade.

Twist locks never hurt.

Pay attention to IBEWJON. Take a hint from his forum name. “International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers”
Electricians have to get trained. Pass tests for masters license. deal with the inspectors. I am but a mere engineering type so I know the physics, but I don’t know all the details in the code driven by very creative morons who have burned down or electrocuted someone.

Just to add, 20A tools should not come with 15A plugs!

I wonder, would it be code to have two 20A outlets on one 20A 12 ga branch, but a transfer switch so only one outlet could be hot?

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