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redolflame 05-04-2004 11:46 PM

Wiring for a new shop?
Does anyone know where i can find information on wiring my new shop for 220v (+/- ) ???

I just purchased a new Welder and a Huge Air Compressor and they both need 220v.

Any links where i can learn this stuff? I'm ready to get shocked... :thumbup:

Kevin45 05-05-2004 08:06 AM

Does your shop have electricity already and if so, does it have a panel box in it? If it does then chances are it already has 220. If not then you will need to come from the house box with new electric to get 220 out there. Code varies in different places. I would really check with a local electric expert to see what you really need. An electrical supply house would be helpful and will hook you up with all you need to run the proper wiring. If you have never messed with electricity before then I would get someone knowledgeable to do it. Electricity bites hard and the fire can be even worse.


redolflame 05-05-2004 10:18 AM

Yeah there's Electric there already. There's a huge plug in next to the Fuse box that looks like it would be 220v but the plug is something i've never seen before? I'm thinking it might have been to an Electric Heater?

The Welder and the Air Compressor both have two different types of plugs as well... I guess i need to check with an Electric supply co. then? Would Lowes not cut it? just curious...

Thanks for your help Kevin!:thumbup:

TurboS10 05-05-2004 10:38 AM

I agree with Kevin on finding someone knowledgable to help you. You really dont want to learn electricity while wiring your shop IMO. 220 is just two 110 circuits and a nuetral(typically grounded at the panel). You really need to have a good understanding of standard procedures and electrical codes to do wiring. I have a pretty good understanding of electrical wiring, but I still got my father in law who is an electrican to help me. It showed me that there were alot of things I did not know.


adtkart 05-05-2004 07:49 PM

Having electrical work done by a licensed electrician is expensive. A fire from improper wiring is more expensive. You might be able to find someone that does it on the side and save some money. You may even be able to learn something from them.

rally4x4racer 05-08-2004 11:42 PM

you obviously know not to do any dumb stuff, but dont listen to the people that are so concerned about your safety that they tell you call a pro. I had the same prob and everyone I called was like " if you dont have any experience..." I hung up and hard-wired my crap in. all im saying is - its just another trade. be cautious, do some homework, drive on.

adtkart 05-09-2004 07:16 AM

Can you do the wiring yourself? Of course you can! Get you some books on electrical, read them from front to back a couple of times. Go to the local supply store and buy the materials that they tell you you need. Then follow the instructions to the letter.

Make sure that you follow the electrical code for your area. There are different requirements depending on where you are. You also may need a permit and inspection when done.

Also check your homeowners insurance. Some policies will have something in there to allow them to deny a claim if the work is done improperly, by someone not qualified, if there is a fire later.

My garage was wired by a NASA engineer. Not generally they type of person that is considered ignorant by any means. I decided it was time to change the fuse box for a breaker box and upgrade the service(65 amp). When I got started, it really shook me up, what he had done. It is amazing that the place hadn't burned down.

I also had the fuse box changed in the house several years ago by a licensed electrician. I could have done it meself, as I have done several before, but didn't have the time. When the inspector came out, he rejected it for several problems. He couldnt' believe that is was done by a "professional".

Check out any professional that you hire, or make certain that you know what you are doing.

HotRodMan 05-09-2004 07:49 AM

Just an idea for you. When I built my garage I got a book that outlined ever step of the wiring process. Based on that information I drew up a plan to wire the garage and took it to a former electrician of 10 years experience that worked at a major building supply. He said the plan I had was great and would pass any local inspection. After installing all of the electrical, I had the city inspectors come out to look at it before I finished putting the interior walls up, and they passed it. I knew I was going to use a welder and a large compressor so I used wire that was a little larger than the code called for. Follow this procedure and you can expect to save $1500 to $2000 on a total wiring job with no problems.

Gardenfan 05-09-2004 03:41 PM

You can get a book called 'electrical code simplified'. It is what we learn from when we first start, even though it is useless after 1st year apprenticeship. It is very easy to follow.

The big thing is, that you NEED to make sure that your grounding/bonding is good. There are a few regulations on how to do this properly, when discussing sub panels and the like.

The best thing you can do, is find a car buddy in your area, who is also an electrician, and get him to help you do it on the side. Or at least get him to interpret some of the things for you. This is generally rather cheap, and you can learn a bit from it. If you have any specific Q's, feel free to PM me, though if you live in the states, some of your codes could be different from the ones I am familiar with.

mikeweyman 05-31-2004 03:50 PM

around here you need a permit to do electrical to your home (not sure about garages)
the safest cheapest way is to get an electriician to "lay out" the wiring. you can put the panel up. run the cable to the house , drill the holes,run the wires and install the boxes .then the electrician can make the hookups,you can install the outlets and your done.
check the wire run to the house, if it is a #8 wire(written on it")or a smaller # you will have no problems.

hotrod_death_toll 06-04-2004 02:46 PM

It's not my day job but I'm a certified electrician. You definitely need to know what you're doing because of the risk out weights the reward, fire. If this garage is attached to the house or on the house wiring but detached you must make sure you have enough room in the house panel. I'd go with a sub panel in the garage. With a welder and compressor running at the same time I would recommend at least pulling 50 amps to the garage but if you run only one at a time you could go with 30 amps or so depending on the size of the welder and compressor. Get as much info as you can before starting and even before calling someone if the job is too big for you. This way you'll know a little something to keep an eye on them. Be safe and good luck!!

billg_69gmc 06-05-2004 10:54 PM

planning for wiring too
Those who mentioned reading up on things cannot be emphasized enough. Not only is it important to know you are meeting code, I like to think of it along two paths... What your home/garage supply box limits are and what your equipment use will be and generally upping the anty so that both code and needs will be met.

Keep in mind with welders that not only is it imperative that it be wired correct, but that grounding is a MAJOR issue. After reading thru my books on a new LE Tig 180, it had warning after warning about proper grounding and what could happen if you took a short cut.

After reading that I decided not to use my dryer outlet (which the guy who sold the welder said was A-O-K). I do not know how well the builder gounded my dryer circuit and for the cost running a new circuit I can be rest assured that I wont kill anyones tv reception with a faulty ground. Also note that persons with pace makers do not need to be around when you TIG.

BTW, great info from everyone. I always come back to the Hotrodders BB whenever I'm entering new territory... now if only I can get my welder wired in so I can learn to TIG!


julmer 08-16-2004 11:39 PM

Electrician is a trade, true. But it is a trade that requires a multi-year appenticeship. There is just an aweful lot of stuff to know. Running 120 circuits can be troublesome enough but 240 for compressors and welders is higher voltage, hi amp stuff that can cause some pretty spectacular stuff if it is done wrong. I saw someone mention 2 hots and a neutral in another post. That is a code error, it should be 2 hots and a ground. There is a difference where you install the ground if it is a subpanel or a main panel. The book answer is "Always call an electrician" but I know that ain't going to happen. I do strongly suggest you get qualified help when you start running 240 volt circuits. BTW, I have 5 240 volt outlets in my garage.

johnnymopar 08-17-2004 03:44 PM

contrary to what a couple of others have said, if you're not comfortable doing electrical work then don't touch it!

i work for an electrical wholesaler and you wouldn't believe some of the stuff that people come in and ask for and don't know what they're doing. you don't want to take the chance of burning down your house or shop. If something happened and you told your insurance co. that you wired it yourself they probably wouldn't cover it.

don't take any chances.


Kevin45 08-18-2004 03:30 AM


you obviously know not to do any dumb stuff, but dont listen to the people that are so concerned about your safety that they tell you call a pro. I had the same prob and everyone I called was like " if you dont have any experience..." I hung up and hard-wired my crap in. all im saying is - its just another trade. be cautious, do some homework, drive on.
Maybe not all is on your mentallity level. Some people can't feel electricity, others it will knock clear across the room. I have seen some real cobbled up stuff in my life that was only moments from causing a fire. I do all of my work and have it inspected. If a person is not comfortable then they should call a "Pro". By that I mean someone that knows what they are doing. There are many electricians out there that will take a job on the side for a few bucks after hours.

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