HF dust collector on 15A circuit

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Scott C. posted 03-22-2013 05:20 PM 6805 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Scott C.'s profile

Scott C.

160 posts in 2560 days

03-22-2013 05:20 PM

Is there any danger to running a harbor freight dust collector on a dedicated 15A circuit besides just tripping the circuit? Could this be a fire hazard in anyway? I have a bunch of 14awg wire and 15A receptacles already and would like to avoid buying 12awg cable if I can. So far it’s running fine on one of my shop s spare 15A circuits.

Also, I see people hooking these things up to those remote controlled outdoor light outlets, most of which seem to be rated to about 13-15a. Any risk with using those?


-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

28 replies so far

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 2464 days

#1 posted 03-22-2013 06:11 PM

The breaker protects the wiring in your shop, not the machine. If you measure the current being drawn by the motor in your collector, you will likely find it doesn’t draw anything near what the spec sheet says it draws (and therefore doesn’t produce anywhere near 2HP, even rounded up). Mine draws a little over 10 amps, and when it’s working it’s hardest, only draws a fraction over 12 amps. That’s why those 13 amp remotes work for some people, at least for a while. Sometimes inductive loads spike, and draw lots more current, however briefly, and that spike can destroy components in the remote at the receiver end. Those spikes may not destroy immediately, they may only wound and cause death down the road. It may take years, or actually never happen, depending on how dramatically your motor spikes or the tolerances in your particular receiver. The cost risk for the remote is small simply because the remotes are so cheap, just don’t expect them to last forever. The good news is that if your system starts drawing too much current, it will probably crater your remote before your breaker trips or your motor burns up.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3740 days

#2 posted 03-22-2013 06:15 PM

I couldn’t get mine to run on a 15 amp circuit…but then again there were several other things on it like the freezer and shop lights. The breaker tripped before the motor would come up to speed which I am sure it was because of the surge required to get it up and running.

I use a dedicated 20amp circuit with no problems.

Note: My cheap remote is working just fine and I don’t care what the people say. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 2971 days

#3 posted 03-22-2013 06:20 PM

What the motor rated at? I believe mine runs on a 15A dedicated circuit and I have no problems, but it is also a 1 HP motor, I think.

Come to think of it, maybe the electrician has then on 20A… I know my saw is on 220V… I am going to check whe I get home…

View Scott C.'s profile

Scott C.

160 posts in 2560 days

#4 posted 03-22-2013 06:22 PM

It’s the version rated at 2HP (most say a very generous 2hp rating).

-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

View hotbyte's profile


1000 posts in 3485 days

#5 posted 03-22-2013 06:48 PM

I’ve been running mine on a 15amp circuit along with a couple of florescent lights. It has not tripped breaker during that time. I’m doing some shop renovation and hope to put it on separate 20amp circuit eventually.

View toolie's profile


2168 posts in 3138 days

#6 posted 03-22-2013 06:49 PM

if it’s this unit:

a dedicated 15A line might support the unit, but the specs in the manual note it’s 20A peak draw(almost always during the initial start up surge). for trouble free operation, i’d suggest a 20A dedicated line.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View Scott C.'s profile

Scott C.

160 posts in 2560 days

#7 posted 03-22-2013 06:57 PM

Let me rephrase the question: If I run a dedicated 15A line for this unit, will anything catch on fire or break?

Running the wire from my panel to where the outlet would be is easy, so I’m thinking I might just run a 15A line for now, see if I have any problems with it tripping, and replace it with a 20A line if needed.

-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

View brtech's profile


1066 posts in 3432 days

#8 posted 03-22-2013 07:25 PM

Nothing will catch fire and break. The problem you may have is the breaker tripping when you turn it on.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7734 posts in 3310 days

#9 posted 03-22-2013 07:26 PM

Weather it will catch on fire depends on the wire. If you run 12 gauge wire, you’ll be fine. A 15 amp circuit should be fine too, but if you’re running 12 gauge wire, and the breaker doesn’t have any smaller gauge wire hooked to it, why not use a 20 amp breaker?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View brtech's profile


1066 posts in 3432 days

#10 posted 03-22-2013 07:29 PM

Don’t think that is right Stumpy. If he uses the proper gauge wire for the circuit, and it pulls less than 15 A, no problem. If he pulls more than 15 A, the breaker pops, and it will pop way before the wire heats up. So no fire if the wire is proper gauge for the breaker installed.

I certainly agree that running 12 ga is a good idea.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3740 days

#11 posted 03-22-2013 07:35 PM

If running a dedicate line will be easy, then do it right the first time. Use 12ga wire instead of 14 and use a 20 amp breaker. You should be good to go.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3668 days

#12 posted 03-22-2013 07:42 PM

If the DC motor pulls more than 15 amps, then the breaker will pop. This prevents a fire (from a hot wire)...but makes running a DC rather difficult. Whether it pops the breaker is the question? If the wiring to the breaker is 12 gauge, then just make sure you have a 20 amp breaker. If the wiring is 14 gauge, then you risk fire by using a 20 amp breaker. This is why the breaker was probably 15 amp to begin with.

-- jay,

View Scott C.'s profile

Scott C.

160 posts in 2560 days

#13 posted 03-22-2013 08:48 PM

Basically i already own a bunch of 15A receptacles and 14ga wire, so I’d rather use that then go spend $30 bucks on new receptacles and wire. I thknk I’m going to stick with 15A for now and put the money towards a new filter.

Thanks for the replies everyone!

-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

View verdesardog's profile


171 posts in 3121 days

#14 posted 03-22-2013 08:53 PM

#14 wire, 15amp breaker = no problems unless the breaker constantly trips on start up.

-- .. heyoka ..

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3827 days

#15 posted 03-22-2013 08:58 PM

Assuming your 2 hp will run on a 15 amp fuse, that fuse on your 14 gauge wire will be fine. If you have to upgrade to a 20 amp fuse, don’t do it with 14 gauge wire.

My 2hp HF collector draws somewhere between 15 and 20 amps – a 15 amp fuse won’t cut it but a 20 amp will.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

showing 1 through 15 of 28 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics