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Old 01-06-2011, 12:00 PM   #1
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Wiring Help, Changing a Dryer and/or Stove circuit to something else


I got a new welder for Christmas. In the manual it states that it needs a minimum 20 amp dedicated line. Since I will be using this in my garage most of the time I went to my fuse box to see what circuits I had available in the garage and their ratings. Unfortunately, all the circuits were 15 amp and all were shared and I could see no way to unshare them. So I thought I was going to have to get and electrician out to my house to run a line to the garage and pay a bunch of money, just so I can use my welder. So I'm staring at the box and then it hit me. I have a gas dryer and a gas stove, so neither of those circuits are being used and they are both big circuits, Dryer being 30 amp and Stove 50 amp. The easiest circuit for me to tap into would be the dryer, since the garage shares a wall with the laundry room. So what would I need to do, convert the line that runs to my dryer, into a plug for my welder?

My other thought/question was, could I change the dryer circuit over to a 50 amp circuit, put a small fuse box in my garage that I could use to run all my tools off? This idea may be a little more extreme than just changing the dryer circuit over, but it would actually work better in the long run for me since I'm constantly working out there and if I get my table saw going, have my dust collector on and then maybe the air compressor kicks on, I blow fuses like crazy.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-06-2011, 12:54 PM   #2
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Wiring Help, Changing a Dryer and/or Stove circuit to something else


Changing the dryer circuit over to a 50a would mean running new wire
You could run a small 30a 240 sub panel out in the garage
Is the dryer wire 10-3 ?

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Old 01-06-2011, 01:04 PM   #3
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Wiring Help, Changing a Dryer and/or Stove circuit to something else


There's nothing special about a dryer or stove circuit, they're simply circuits assigned to a stove or dryer, so sure you can repurpose if you want to, however you'll have to be code compliant. Your idea of adding a subpanel in the garage sounds the best, and isn't too hard. You can change the 30A dryer circuit to 50A ONLY if the wire run is suitable for 50A, and I don't see why it would be. If you need a 30A run you'll run 10Ga, if you need 50 you'll run 6Ga, I don't see why you'd run 6Ga if you didn't need it, but hey, you might get lucky! Either way you can hook up a subpanel in the garage and then wire off of that. Do some searches and read up on sub panels and then ask more questions, but their straight forward. Oh, and welcome to the site!
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:07 PM   #4
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Wiring Help, Changing a Dryer and/or Stove circuit to something else


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Changing the dryer circuit over to a 50a would mean running new wire
You could run a small 30a 240 sub panel out in the garage
Is the dryer wire 10-3 ?
Yeah, I should have opened the panel and looked at the wire before I posted, which is what I did after I posted, and there is no way I could switch over to 50 amp without running a new line.

And yes, the dryer wire is 10-3.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:29 PM   #5
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Wiring Help, Changing a Dryer and/or Stove circuit to something else


Is the dryer cable 10-3 with ground for a total of 4 conductors or 3?

You need 4 conductors in order to add the subpanel.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:38 PM   #6
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Wiring Help, Changing a Dryer and/or Stove circuit to something else


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Is the dryer cable 10-3 with ground for a total of 4 conductors or 3?

You need 4 conductors in order to add the subpanel.
That I'm not sure, I'll have to check it out.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:42 PM   #7
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Wiring Help, Changing a Dryer and/or Stove circuit to something else


The first question that popped into my head was the Welder.. what kind of welder is it?? Arc, Mig ?? Does it need 240VAC or not..

I have a wirefeed that has a 20amp/120VAC plug on it, but it runs fine off of a 15 amp shared circuit.

does your welder require 240VAC?? if so, then your thought about installing a pony panel in the garage is a good one (sounded like your garage is attached to the house, so maybe you can pop a hole to make running a new line (of proper guage wire) from your main panel out to the desired location of the pony panel. then you can redistribute smaller circuits for specific purposes like a workbench, compressor, etc...

here we can get a loaded 100A Federal Pioneer panel for about $150.00. (your double 50 in the main panel would limit the overall draw).

hope this is helpful.

rod
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:56 PM   #8
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Wiring Help, Changing a Dryer and/or Stove circuit to something else


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You need 4 conductors in order to add the subpanel.
You could add a 120V subpanel w/3-wire, no? Or is that not allowed? (3-wire meaning Hot, Neutral and Ground).
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:59 PM   #9
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Wiring Help, Changing a Dryer and/or Stove circuit to something else


I guess you could add a 120 only panel if the conductors were properly identified. I would question whether SE type cable would satisfy since both legs are identified as hots. Also half the buss will be dead.
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Last edited by Jim Port; 01-06-2011 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:58 PM   #10
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Wiring Help, Changing a Dryer and/or Stove circuit to something else


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The first question that popped into my head was the Welder.. what kind of welder is it?? Arc, Mig ?? Does it need 240VAC or not..

I have a wirefeed that has a 20amp/120VAC plug on it, but it runs fine off of a 15 amp shared circuit.

does your welder require 240VAC?? if so, then your thought about installing a pony panel in the garage is a good one (sounded like your garage is attached to the house, so maybe you can pop a hole to make running a new line (of proper guage wire) from your main panel out to the desired location of the pony panel. then you can redistribute smaller circuits for specific purposes like a workbench, compressor, etc...

here we can get a loaded 100A Federal Pioneer panel for about $150.00. (your double 50 in the main panel would limit the overall draw).

hope this is helpful.

rod
Its 20amp 120vac wirefeed. Unfortunately the main panel is on the opposite side of the house from my garage, otherwise I'd already have a panel for all my power tools in the garage.

Last edited by shunut; 01-08-2011 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:06 PM   #11
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Wiring Help, Changing a Dryer and/or Stove circuit to something else


If its that much of a problem to run a new wire I'd install a small 100a panel & feed it with the 30a from the dryer
Make sure the lugs on the 100a panel will accept #10 wire
I'd also use a main breaker panel so that you can shut everything off if needed while in the garage

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