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Old 02-23-2010, 03:04 PM   #1
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Wiring Garage for 220


I am planning to wire my garage for 240 and 120. Having talked to the city inspector today, when he was out signing off on some ceiling fans and lights, I told him what I had generally in mind and he said I might need a new service as I may only have 100 amp and needed a 200 amp panel. I believe I already have a 200 amp service panel. See the picture.

Molded into the plastic handle of the master switch is "single handle 200". I believe that indicates it is a 200 amp panel. I called the poco, SCE, and they could only tell me that I have 240 Volt service.

The panel has 8 open breaker slots. Can you tell its amp rating and if it is 200? Thanks.
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Wiring Garage for 220-pict0187.jpg   Wiring Garage for 220-pict0186.jpg  


Last edited by Klawman; 02-23-2010 at 03:21 PM. Reason: include pictures
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:12 PM   #2
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Wiring Garage for 220


No picture...

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Old 02-23-2010, 03:24 PM   #3
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Wiring Garage for 220


Itsdanf: Sorry. It was too large to upload. I just uploaded good photos to the original post. TIA.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:35 PM   #4
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Wiring Garage for 220


looks to me like 200 A
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:53 PM   #5
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Wiring Garage for 220


"signing off on some ceiling fans and lights"
Need more education here: In CA, you have to have an inspector "sign off" on ceiling fan and light installation?
I'm just wondering. David
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:02 PM   #6
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Wiring Garage for 220


junkcollector: Cool. I was pretty sure, but cool!

thurman: Yep. You need a permit to scratch your nose. Most people don't get one, but I am looking ahead at what happens when we sell the house.It's not just electrical. For instance, you need a permit to replace a gas water heater. Also, I believe, to r&r a garbage disposal even if you simply plug into the existing plug and use the same plumbing. (Me bad. I just replaced one for the second time in 18 years in this house and that I am not pulling a permit on.)
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:35 PM   #7
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Wiring Garage for 220


Yes the code requires permits for that sort of thing. Not to sidetrack, but that's simply because a lot of DIYers and equally as many PROFESSIONALS cannot and do not do it correctly. I see it on a daily basis. I pull light fixtures on every final inspection I do, and half the time they're not grounded, don't have boxes, etc.

Looks like you have a 200 amp main, so one can fairly safely assume you have a 200 amp meter.

That being said, I'm not understanding why the inspector would say you need to have a 200 amp service just because you want to install 220v in your garage. You have an A phase and a B phase, so you can run 220v...Amperage of the service has nothing to do with it.

As far as needing a new panel...There's a heck of a lot of expansion room on the one in the picture.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:04 AM   #8
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Wiring Garage for 220


thekctermite: To be fair to the inspector, he wasn't there to look at the service box (unless for some reason he needed to inspect the fan and lights).

Why I would need more service than I have, I don't get. It is my understanding that running the same equipment on 240 draws the same amps as it would if wired for 120. Perhaps he was suggesting that a 100 amp service would be a bit marginal. I agree, but I also think it would be marginal even if I didn't add the dedicated lines to the garage.

Yes, 8 open breaker slots is plenty. A neighbor with the same model (and an AA in electrical engineering who has sold for GE, GreenTree, and Simpull) and I were talking in his garage today. He said it is a 200 A panel.

He wired his garage already for 240. He went with a subpanel, but I am not convinced that is the way to go. He likes to be able to shut down that subpanel without having to go outside to the main. This is also a guy that just bought a road bicycle for $2,700 to augment his hybrid bike. I paid $135 for mine.

Now that it seems that I won't have to swap out the main panel, nor use a subpanel, I am wondering if I can run one #10 cable off of a double pole breaker, say a 20A, which well protects the circuit. This is where I don't have things quite clear.

My understanding is that a 240 circuit is basically a white neutral, two hots 9a black and a red) and a ground (green or bare). (Does this even come in 10 AWG?) Can I run one 240 cable and use it to wire up both 120 and 240 Volt receptacles by only wiring one hot to the 120 receptacle? Both the red and black connect to each 240 and either the red or the black to each 120. I would probably alternate the red and black on the 120 outlets.

Is it best to run a separate circuit for 240 and 120, even if code permits mixed? Code may not even allow this. At the moment, I am planning to run it through 1/2" conduit attached to the inside of the sheet rock.

Last edited by Klawman; 02-24-2010 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:00 AM   #9
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Wiring Garage for 220


Attached or detached garage ?
For detached if you need 240 & 120v better to run a sub
Distance to the sub panel location ?
What will you be running in the garage ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klawman View Post
My understanding is that a 240 circuit is basically a white neutral, two hots 9a black and a red) and a ground (green or bare). (Does this even come in 10 AWG?) Can I run one 240 cable and use it to wire up both 120 and 240 Volt receptacles by only wiring one hot to the 120 receptacle? Both the red and black connect to each 240 and either the red or the black to each 120. I would probably alternate the red and black on the 120 outlets.
20a 240v is 2 hots @ 20a...not 2 hots @ 10a
White neutral & green insulated ground
Not sure what the red & black 9a is about ?
Running equipment on 240v draws 1/2 the amps as 120v

If a person has marginal power @100a service per a whole house power calc then you may be required to upgrade to 200a
Code requires the service to be big enough to feed anticipated load
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:28 AM   #10
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Wiring Garage for 220


I would run a subpanel into the garage.
you stated that you are getting into woodworking.
Before you know it, you will have several peices of equipment that take have different power requiements.
One of those may be a dust collector that will be running with other tools on.
Just the way I would do it.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:51 AM   #11
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Wiring Garage for 220


Quote:
Attached or detached garage ?
Attached
Quote:
For detached if you need 240 & 120v better to run a sub
From your, jbfan's, and my neighbor's input, I am convinced.
Quote:
Distance to the sub panel location ?
Within 5' of the main facing the outside of the garage perimeter wall. This will be on the inside almost opposite the main.
Quote:
What will you be running in the garage ?
A 12" miter saw, table saw, shop vac, router, bisquit jointer, handheld power tools (drill, jigsaw, skill saw,) As jbfan suggests, I may get a smaller dust collector. Perhaps a drill press and a bandsaw. Possibly, but not likely, a planer and joiner. Then there is the possibility of a small space heater. (It doesn't get that cold in So Cal)

[quote]20a 240v is 2 hots @ 20a...not 2 hots @ 10a
White neutral & green insulated ground
Not sure what the red & black 9a is about ?/[quote]
The 9a was a typo that should have read "a".
Quote:
Running equipment on 240v draws 1/2 the amps as 120v
It may not appear that I knew that from what I said, but I knew that. Hence actual power consumption is the same (watts) but amps each wire is half. I mentioned using 10 gauge for additional wire safety.

Quote:
If a person has marginal power @100a service per a whole house power calc then you may be required to upgrade to 200a
Code requires the service to be big enough to feed anticipated load
Agreed, but it looks as though I already have a 200a service. If all the anticipated stuff I am talking about running was in use at the same time, that would be a lot, but the most that would ever be on at the same time would be the table saw, a dust collector and lights. Perhaps the rest of the house should be factored in. Basically, it is a 2400 sq foot stucco 2 story with central AC. The oven has a dedicated 40a, a 50a for the AC, water heater is gas. I never thought of it, but since those two circuits have double pole breakers, I imagine they are 240V.

Thanks Scuba.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:10 AM   #12
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Wiring Garage for 220


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
I would run a subpanel into the garage.
you stated that you are getting into woodworking.
Before you know it, you will have several peices of equipment that take have different power requiements.
One of those may be a dust collector that will be running with other tools on.
Just the way I would do it.
See my reply to Scuba_Dave. I am pretty well convinced that the sub panel is the way to go. It will also save a lot of work, if I later find the need for all the unanticipated equipment. Not having to mess wiring into the master panel. Also, as I plan to use exposed 1/2" conduit with few turns, I should be able to pull how many circuits, 2 or 3?. I believe there is a rule about heat generated per circuit in conduit, which may be a factor.

Realistically, I am thinking the max amps (disregarding lights which should have a minimal draw) pulled in the garage at any one time would be 20A. I am thinking 10 AWG to allow for up to 30A draw on any wire for equipment creep. I was going to install a 20A breaker for additional safety. If I get to the point that it is opening, I still have the #10 wired and can go with a 30A breaker if I am convinced the line has no problems other than drawing more than the 20A. If I really need the capacity is where I will be glad for the subpanel.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:28 AM   #13
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Wiring Garage for 220


I would not put less than a 40 amp sub in, maybe even a 60 amp sub.
The extra cost is minimal, but just knowing you would not have to upgrade again is worth it.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
I would not put less than a 40 amp sub in, maybe even a 60 amp sub.
The extra cost is minimal, but just knowing you would not have to upgrade again is worth it.
I think I will go with a 60, but until you mentioned it I hadn't even considered the size of what I would call the feeder line running from the master to the sub.

One thing that may help is that my neighbor wants to come over and try his new toy out on my house. A Greenlee line tracer. (He used to be a rep for Greenlee.) I mapped the entire house out once using the pita method. Breaker off, check what is dead, breaker on. It helped when I could get the wife to flip the breakers while I called her on the cell phone. Still, I can only guess how they ran much of the nm.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:18 AM   #15
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Wiring Garage for 220


My 60a sub I bought a 100a panel & fed it with 60a
There is a section in the code that requires a Min 60a disconnect
There has been debate about if a 100a sub with a 100a main breaker & being fed with 40a meets code
One local Inspector (not here) required a 60a min disconnect in the main panel

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