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Old 04-28-2012, 12:52 PM   #1
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


I want to set up a hobby woodworking shop in my garage. I was going to run from the panel maybe four or five 12/2's to accommodate lighting, power tools, dust collection, etc. or should I put a subpanel 60 to 100 amp? The main panel is on an outside wall on one side of the house and the garage is on the opposite side of the house. The distance from the panel to the entry into the garage is about 50 ft. I would be pulling wire- a straight run- through a ceiling chase that runs the length of the house. No basement.

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Old 04-28-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


If it is easy to run the wires, then "half a dozen of one, six of another." (Either way.)

But if difficult to run wires all that way and you might want to add more circuits later at that end of the house, then it would be handy to have a subpanel there.

One thing which is on the way is electric vehicles. Something to consider.

Also less voltage drop with the larger conductors to a subpanel.

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Old 04-28-2012, 02:10 PM   #3
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


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... or should I put a subpanel 60 to 100 amp?
Yes.
no significant difference in effort or expense yields far more options.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:48 PM   #4
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


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Yes.
no significant difference in effort or expense yields far more options.
Depending on what wire gauge I have to use it might be a significant difference in effort although I would like to have more options later. I am still trying to figure out what gauge would be required for a 60 or 100 amp subpanel at a distance end to end of probably 60-65 ft. Could be 4 or 6 which are not so easy to pull. Does it come jacketed or do I have to pull individual wires? Any ideas of how I figure what wire gauge?
Individual 12/2's would be simpler to pull probably 2 at a time.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


Put a sub panel in. That way you won't fill your main panel.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


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Put a sub panel in. That way you won't fill your main panel.
I have 8 slots open. I believe I could use double breakers to allow 16 more circuits so I don't think I am going to get close to filling the panel. Still A subpanel is probably the way to go. Anybody have info on wire gauges for 60, 80, 100 amp subpanel?
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:55 PM   #7
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


60 amp you can use 6/3 w/ground
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:58 PM   #8
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


What do I use if I want to do a 100 amp panel?
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:06 PM   #9
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


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I have 8 slots open. I believe I could use double breakers to allow 16 more circuits so I don't think I am going to get close to filling the panel. Still A subpanel is probably the way to go. Anybody have info on wire gauges for 60, 80, 100 amp subpanel?
Does you panel allow the use of double breakers?
A 60 amp sub would be fine unless you can justify a 100 amp sub.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:23 PM   #10
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


There are a number of double breakers now so I assume I can add more.

I anticipate having a number of standard woodworking power tools, band saw, drill press, thickness sander, belt sander, router table, table saw, dust collection, overhead lighting, etc. I don't know if I need 100 amps now but it probably would allow for expansion later.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:27 PM   #11
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


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There are a number of double breakers now so I assume I can add more.

I anticipate having a number of standard woodworking power tools, band saw, drill press, thickness sander, belt sander, router table, table saw, dust collection, overhead lighting, etc. I don't know if I need 100 amps now but it probably would allow for expansion later.
There is a limit as to how many circuits a panel can support.
Keep in mind when planning your shop electrical that you can only run one power tool yourself at one time. With the exception of the dust collector, will you have two power tools running at the same time?
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:35 PM   #12
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


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There is a limit as to how many circuits a panel can support.
Keep in mind when planning your shop electrical that you can only run one power tool yourself at one time. With the exception of the dust collector, will you have two power tools running at the same time?
At times yes. A wood bender which runs on a timer for around 10 minutes and then I could use another tool in addition to dust collector.

The main service is 200 amps. I am not sure how you determine the limit of circuits

Last edited by elmaur; 04-28-2012 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:43 PM   #13
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


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At times yes. A wood bender which runs on a timer for around 10 minutes and then I could use another tool in addition to dust collector.

The main service is 200 amps. I am not sure how you determine the limit of circuits
OK, add up your dust collector, the wood bender, the largest power tool you have and throw in the air compressor just in case it leaks a little and kicks in.
Do you need 240 volts for anything?

Last edited by a7ecorsair; 04-28-2012 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:50 PM   #14
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


I do not own the tools yet so I am not sure what the current draw is. I am told if I can run any of these tools on 220V the current draw is cut in half. I suppose that is what I would do.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #15
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Subpanel vs. individual runs


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I do not own the tools yet so I am not sure what the current draw is. I am told if I can run any of these tools on 220V the current draw is cut in half. I suppose that is what I would do.
This is true when kept in perspective but power is power and that is what is looked at for sizing. A 2 HP motor uses the same power (watts) whether wired for 120 or 240 volts but you get by with smaller wire in the branch circuit when running at 240 volts.

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