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Old 04-07-2010, 12:31 PM   #1
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Planning circuit layout for barn


I'm planning the outlet locations for barn, which includes:

Both 120V and 240V outlets at regular intervals, each being 20A.

I plan to plug machines into some of these outlets and I've collected the power requirements for each. Of course, equipment will change over time, but this is what I have at the moment, combined with expected future needs.

120V
----
10A Drill press
15A Router
4A Band saw
6A Mortiser
14A Well pump
2A Sump pump
20A Lighting

240V
----
15A Air compressor
15A Table saw
12A Dust collector
15A Joiner
15A Planer

Obviously, not everything will be used at the same time.

I'm thinking of running, say, 5 circuits on each side of the barn for 120V. I could do this with metal conduit in a straight line on a beam, running directly "through" the receptacle boxes. The conduit would lose a pair of wires at each receptacle, making it less populated as it continues on.

For the 240V, I could do the same thing, only fewer circuits - maybe 6. I could get conduit big enough to fit everything and make one big "U" pass, or I could split out the 120V and 240V runs. A single 1.25" conduit holds (46) #12 conductors, which works (the above comes to 35).

This feels extreme to me, having everything on a separate circuit. I'm not sure how else to do it, though. Some equipment can easily be run on the same circuit, others can't. If I wanted to move equipment around (or place it) and I had multiple receptacles on a single circuit, I'd need to know that when plugging in.

With the above locations, plus lighting, a couple more on the center post, the loft and the stairs, my 20 circuit panel is full/insufficient.

Maybe if I do most dedicated, but combine a number of them into a common circuit? Maybe I could do the right side bottom half on one circuit, each top dedicated, and do the same on the left? Is that crazy talk?

Oh, and the more circuits I have, the more GFCIs I'll need. I haven't priced those yet, but it worries me, since I'll want heavy duty units for out there, not the flimsy junk from the box store.

Scuba Dave, I know you're in my area. Maybe you should just come up for a weekly consult!

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Old 04-07-2010, 12:56 PM   #2
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Planning circuit layout for barn


Basically you try to determine what will/might be on at the same time
Then arrange so the items on at same time are on different circuits

I can imagine possibly the compressor, dust collector & one other item could be on at the same time
So maybe 3 240v circuits needed, 4th as a spare

As you progress with the 120v circuits & # of wires drop you could reduce the conduit size

Wife won't let me loose until I get the house close to done
Siding is going pretty good this Spring

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Old 04-07-2010, 01:17 PM   #3
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Planning circuit layout for barn


Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeaulieu View Post
I'm planning the outlet locations for barn, which includes:

Both 120V and 240V outlets at regular intervals, each being 20A.

I plan to plug machines into some of these outlets and I've collected the power requirements for each. Of course, equipment will change over time, but this is what I have at the moment, combined with expected future needs.

120V
----
10A Drill press
15A Router
4A Band saw
6A Mortiser
14A Well pump
2A Sump pump
20A Lighting

240V
----
15A Air compressor
15A Table saw
12A Dust collector
15A Joiner
15A Planer

Obviously, not everything will be used at the same time.

I'm thinking of running, say, 5 circuits on each side of the barn for 120V. I could do this with metal conduit in a straight line on a beam, running directly "through" the receptacle boxes. The conduit would lose a pair of wires at each receptacle, making it less populated as it continues on.

For the 240V, I could do the same thing, only fewer circuits - maybe 6. I could get conduit big enough to fit everything and make one big "U" pass, or I could split out the 120V and 240V runs. A single 1.25" conduit holds (46) #12 conductors, which works (the above comes to 35).

This feels extreme to me, having everything on a separate circuit. I'm not sure how else to do it, though. Some equipment can easily be run on the same circuit, others can't. If I wanted to move equipment around (or place it) and I had multiple receptacles on a single circuit, I'd need to know that when plugging in.

With the above locations, plus lighting, a couple more on the center post, the loft and the stairs, my 20 circuit panel is full/insufficient.

Maybe if I do most dedicated, but combine a number of them into a common circuit? Maybe I could do the right side bottom half on one circuit, each top dedicated, and do the same on the left? Is that crazy talk?

Oh, and the more circuits I have, the more GFCIs I'll need. I haven't priced those yet, but it worries me, since I'll want heavy duty units for out there, not the flimsy junk from the box store.

Scuba Dave, I know you're in my area. Maybe you should just come up for a weekly consult!
I'm wondering why you want the gfci's. If you have a panel in the barn and it's a sealed building you shouldn't need any gfci's.
From what i see here's how i would do it....this is personal opinion only and by no means a "must way".
take one 15A circuit and use it for your "utility" plugs...all those not running equipment.
The 20A lighting load on it's own (i'm assuming that in the U.S 20A lighting circuits are ok).
as for the equipment using conuit and running down each side of the barn sounds like a good idea. Most of the 240V equipment should all have the same plug type(two flat prongs) so they should be interchangable on the plugs. I'd take two circuits 240V down each side. each circuit supplies 2 plugs. this will give you 4 plugs on each side and take up 8 breaker locations

The 120v equipment
One 20A circuit for the well and sump pumps
take two 120v circuits down each side. Using them for 4 or 5 plugs. Again this will give you the freedom to move equipment around to where you need it.

Remember that at the beginning of each run you will have to use a larger box with a plaster ring to accomodate the pipe size and box fill requirments than you will as you near the end. I would suggest using the same pipe run for both voltages that way if you want to rewire and put a 120v plug where a 240V plug is and vica versa it will be much easier and give you more flexibilty with moving things around. you'll end up with roughly 12 wires in each run plus ground depending on the amount of neutrals needed for 240V equipment(if any) and at the end of it all you should only have used up 14 breaker spots.
The reason i figure that each machine doesn't need it's own circuit is in reality how often are you going to have more than one or two of them on at a time?
If you run a larger conuit size than needed this will also allow you to add wires in and install more devices in the future with very little work.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:32 PM   #4
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Planning circuit layout for barn


We are required to use GFCI receptacles pretty much everywhere now, including a barn or workshop.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:34 PM   #5
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Planning circuit layout for barn


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We are required to use GFCI receptacles pretty much everywhere now, including a barn or workshop.
Hmmm well there's no such thing as too many safety precautions....expensive though.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:09 PM   #6
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Planning circuit layout for barn


You will only need one GFCI at the beginning of each 120V circuit. Read the manufacturers directions in order to hook it up to be a "Feed through", it will protect all the other "regular outlets" behind it and save you some dough. As for the 220/240V i have never had an application in which they were needed but i would bet it will end up being a GFCI breaker not outlet.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:15 PM   #7
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Planning circuit layout for barn


Thank you. I did read that I should put a single GFCI on each circuit, but as I was planning each outlet as a separate circuit each would need one. I'm still working through this, trying to come up with a layout that makes me happy. I always wanted a barn. Now that I have one, I still don't have enough room!
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:10 AM   #8
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Planning circuit layout for barn


Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeaulieu View Post
I'm planning the outlet locations for barn, which includes:

240V
----
15A Air compressor
15A Table saw
12A Dust collector
15A Joiner
15A Planer
tbeaulieu, Are you sure these amperages are correct for the 240 volt machines? Some seem high to me. My 3 hp table saw is nameplated 13 A and 1 dust collector 6.2 A @ 240 volts. They are inline for my jointer and portable planer, but at 120v.

Do you plan on hard piping your dc duct work? If so, I'd put that on a dedicated line. If mobile, do as andrew79 suggested, it will be on with multiple tools and you can draw power from two breakers.
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Last edited by 47_47; 04-08-2010 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:38 AM   #9
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Planning circuit layout for barn


I pulled table saw and dust collector numbers directly off them. The others I got from searches for typical draws, because I don't own them yet. I might have messed up on the j/p.

I don't know where everything's going to end up just yet. It's hard to guess tool locations without trying things first. It's even harder to try things without power.

I think I'm going to start with evenly spaced outlets, some on the same circuit. I'll pay attention to shared circuits when plugging the tools in.

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