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Old 02-20-2012, 01:00 AM   #1
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Running wires in a shop


Hello all,

I did my very best by researching as much as I could reading other posts, looking at library books, (my favorite, Wiring Simplified 43rd edition), etc. but it was difficult to find information regarding wiring a shop.

I have a new 36 x 48 detached shop which I've ran underground service (2/0 H H N G) to a 200a sub panel inside. At this stage in the build, there's a concrete floor with radiant floor heating (not hooked up yet) and the ceiling covered with OSB which will have insulation blown in after the wiring is completed. The walls are bare at the moment but will have batt insulation and OSB. Outlets & switches seen in the first picture are temporary.





I have bought plenty of 2x4 "drop ceiling" fluorescent lights (contains 3 T8 bulbs each) which I plan to install directly on the ceiling after it's painted. The ceiling lights can be seen in the background in the second picture. (stacked)

The 200a panel is positioned for flush mount between the shop door and the man door. I plan to run a good number of circuits, both 120 & 240 with nothing less than 20a / 12g wiring up to the ceiling and down the middle on top of the rafters (using 1 x 4 boards or wider), branching out to various outlets. Keeping future flexibility in mind, the wiring will drop down from the ceiling above the outlet locations using external fixtures & conduits as opposed to coming out from behind the wall (flush).

My questions,

What's the best way to run circuits? All Romex, all individual wiring, or a combination of both? If running all Romex, do I need to use LB connections, elbows, or simple junction boxes?

Regarding the false-ceiling lights that I plant to mount directly on the ceiling, is it acceptable to use plastic push-in button connectors (pictured below) on the top of the fixture, through a larger hole in the ceiling?



I've got my wiring plan pretty much squared away, being careful to distribute the circuits evenly while leaving two spare slots available for future use. The 3 heater cabinet outlet is for a heater cabinet which requires a total of 4500 watts. It contains 3 individual heating elements for curing epoxy.
  1. Hot water heater
  2. Hot water heater
  3. Door opener / attic lighting / air filter / drop light
  4. Shop lights 1 (14a total)
  5. Shop lights 2 (14a total)
  6. Shop lights 3 (14a total)
  7. Air compressor
  8. Air compressor
  9. Dust collector
  10. Table saw / welder
  11. Table saw / welder
  12. Heater cabinet
  13. Heater cabinet
  14. Heater cabinet
  15. Office / Utility (GFCI) outlets
  16. Outlets - West
  17. Outlets - South
  18. Outlets - East / North & outside GFCI

I should add, I literally forgot to add 8 ft 1/2" copper ground rods. I plan to drive two in the ground at least 6 feet apart immediately outside the shop on the other side of the panel and connect them with 4g unshielded copper. It's all dirt but will be covered with concrete this summer.

If I'm installing ground rods, is the netural and grounding bus bar required to be bonded or not?

If I'm missing anything or have any suggestions, please let me know!

Thanks,
Sean

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Old 02-20-2012, 02:57 AM   #2
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Running wires in a shop


Personally, I would run conduit to not only protect the wiring, but to make things easier and dressed up, appearances wise.

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Old 02-20-2012, 05:27 AM   #3
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Running wires in a shop


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If I'm installing ground rods, is the netural and grounding bus bar required to be bonded or not?
Nice project ya got going there. Ground rods don't have anything to do with your question, they will be tied to your ground bus. Since I believe this is a subpanel your neutral bus should not be bonded to the ground bus or panel, just floating on its own.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:39 AM   #4
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Nice project ya got going there. Ground rods don't have anything to do with your question, they will be tied to your ground bus. Since I believe this is a subpanel your neutral bus should not be bonded to the ground bus or panel, just floating on its own.
But of course, make sure it's bonded back at the main! Neutral and ground MUST be bonded, but ONLY at the main panel.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:48 AM   #5
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Running wires in a shop


Very nice shop. I would run all in conduit forsafety and using the ground rods I think is code. I would make sure those light fixtures have the protection tubes over the bulbs and or some sort of grate over them to protect them from and accidental flying wood. Accidental flying wood or metal breaking a bulb can make for a really bad day when everything comes crashing down.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:00 PM   #6
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Running wires in a shop


zappa,

That's the thing, I know that if you have a sub panel, you simply don't bond the neutral & ground. I was told that if the sub panel is well away from the house, different grounding rules applies and requires grounding rods. Any insight?

mpoulton,

The main's bonded.

rrolleston,

I'm leaning towards that direction. The light fixtures are the same found in false ceilings in offices with diffused panels that drop down to access the bulbs. Despite the diffused panels, I like your suggestion about having some protection from flying object despite being 12 feet up. I may fabricate some stronger expanded metal over them just for the wood / metal working area.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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Running wires in a shop


If the currrent cover can resist shattering then it may be fine. Maybe some 1/4" pexi that stuff is really flexible.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:47 PM   #8
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plexiglass cover?

Why didn't I think of that? Thank you!

Now I gotta hope I get some answers to my other questions...
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:51 PM   #9
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Running wires in a shop


I also vote for conduit....then you can use THHN/HTWN wire....I find it a lot easier to use than Romex.

One of the things you have to remember is that Romex has to be protected...and supported when run between studs...you have a lot of space there....you would be spending a lot of time nailing the Romex.

Additionally....if you use conduit...it will be easy to add a ckt or two later on. Which means...upsize the conduit.....if you think you only need 3/4"....go 1"....final drops excluded....1/2" is plenty for those.

One last thing....if your using metal conduit...make sure you debur the inside of it...
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:01 PM   #10
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Running wires in a shop


True... That wouldn't be fun stapling all the Romex cables everywhere. There seems to be a consent with conduit. I've decided to go with the plastic Schd 40 and make sure I bump it up one size to accommodate expansion.

Thank you!
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:14 PM   #11
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Running wires in a shop


I'm interested in hearing the ideas in this thread as I need to do the same to my pole barn in the future.

You are still asking about the ground rods? I don't know what else to say about them.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:35 PM   #12
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Running wires in a shop


Ground rods.......

Well....when I did my garage, they required 2 more for the garage (detached). I ran a ground wire from my main panel at the house....that went to the ground in my sub-panel in the garage....I then sank 2 ground rods by the garage (at least 6' apart)...and connected that ground to my sub-panel....

NOTE: You do NOT connect the neutral in the sub-panel to the ground buss.....to only connection from neut to ground is in your main panel.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:11 AM   #13
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Running wires in a shop


For that type of building you have there the best methold to deal with it is run the whole thing in conduit it quicker and less hassle plus you can add more circuits in future as need to.

Second thing you say the 2X4 drop in luminaire they may be ok but normally I used the 4 lamp ( 32W-T8 types ) 8 foot strip luminarie with reflector on it.

Before you do anything with conduit I will suggest that you should run a 2X4 or 2X4 hortzonal board above the sevice door frame so it will actually enforece it and make it stronger espcally on windy days you will see why.

Once you put a enforeced brace in there then go ahead do the conduit run.

and also leave a spare conduit up so in case something you will need to add it along the way.

My shop in Wisconsin is little bigger than your ( 40 X 60 with 18 foot ceiling ) but have much larger panel in there 400 amp three phase 480Y277 volts ( the only way I can get that voltage is have that part of my property classifed as commercal so I can snag that higher voltage but yeah have two transfomers there. )

All the circuits I run are in the conduit as well., inside of the wall I used the standard EMT while exposed conduit will be either EMT or Ridge conduits depending on what I set up.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:09 AM   #14
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Before you do anything with conduit I will suggest that you should run a 2X4 or 2X4 hortzonal board above the sevice door frame so it will actually enforece it and make it stronger espcally on windy days you will see why.

All the circuits I run are in the conduit as well., inside of the wall I used the standard EMT while exposed conduit will be either EMT or Ridge conduits depending on what I set up.

Merci,
Marc
Marc, a couple of questions please.

1) Do you mean the people door or service panel?
2) What is ridge conduit?
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:59 PM   #15
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Running wires in a shop


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Marc, a couple of questions please.

1) Do you mean the people door or service panel?
2) What is ridge conduit?
1). I think he means the people door.
2). He meant rigid conduit. It is thick walled and threaded together. It is not an option for most people. It requires threading all cuts

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