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Thread: what size wire to run for 220V??

  1. #1

    what size wire to run for 220V??

    I am going to get my planer in the next week or so. I am going to get the JET 16". It will be my first of a few 220V tool. I have plenty of space in my panel to install a new breaker. the run from my panel is at most 30'. the specs on that motor are:
    3HP, 1 PH, 220V.

    Would 12/3 wire be beefy enough? Or do you think a 10/3 would be better?

    Thanks,
    Nick
    "there is no such thing as a mistake in woodworking, only opportunities to re-assess the design"

  2. #2
    I assume you mean 12/2 with ground. That should be fine, with a 20 amp breaker, for a 3hp tool.
    Regards,
    Dick

  3. #3
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    Nick,

    Here's what I'd do and why. I'd run 10-2 and use a 20 amp breaker. Why ....I did just that on my shop. All of my 220 circuits I ran 10 gauge. Well....I ended up with an MM-16 b/s.....4.8 hp.....just a matter of putting a 30 amp connector and replacing the 20 amp breaker with a 30 amp breaker and I was off and running. And...I didn't have to uncover the walls to rewire for it.....And....I can use it at any of the 220 circuits in my shop....they are all wired with 10-2.
    Ken

  4. #4
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    Listen to Ken, he speaks wisely.

    The wire gauge is determined by the amp draw, not the voltage. 20 amp 110 or 20 amp 220 take the same wire, which happens to be 12 gauge.

    You can run a 220 circuit on x-2 w/g wire by taping the white black.

    When I added a drum sander I had to do a complete home run with 10 gauge because I had no circuits big enough to handle 30 amps.

    Joe
    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

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  5. #5
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    When I did my shop, I used 10/3 with grnd. for all 220 circuits. Cost was a bit more, but I can install anything with a 5hp motor AND I can pull a 110 line from that setup. Comes in handy if you get, say a Woodmaster Planer with variable-speed 110v feed.

    I installed a Clear-Vue dust collector, and pulled the 110 from this setup to run the wireless remote and a Bindicator that I installed.

    The extra capacity & flexibility will someday be much appreciated.

  6. #6
    Running the wire is the hard part. I ran 10/2 so that if I get bigger stuff all I have to do is swap the breaker and outlet. Not, re-run the wire.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  7. #7

    Thanks!

    Great info!!! I am pretty sure i will go with 10 ga and wire up a few boxes for future.

    a follow up question, i was assuming i needed to run a 3 wire + ground (i.e.10/3) to get 220V. how can you get away with a 2 wire + ground (i.e.10/2)?

    thanks alot
    Nick
    "there is no such thing as a mistake in woodworking, only opportunities to re-assess the design"

  8. #8
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    Nick, 220 does not use the neutral line. Only the 2 hots and the ground. Thus the 10/2 with ground. Some appliances do use a neutral because things like timers on them are run on 110, so that part needs the neutral. They use the 10-3 with ground.
    I also used 10/2 on all my 220 circuits. Wish I had used 8-2 on one of them. I'm afraid my welder, if I ever learn to weld, needs a little more than 30 amp...maybe not. Jim.
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  9. #9
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    I don't understand why you would use a 20 amp breaker with 10 gauge wire. Why wouldn't you just use a 30 amp breaker?

  10. #10
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    Jim, it would depend on what type/size welder you have - my 250 amp ac/dc stick welder occasionally would pop a 50 amp breaker when near max amps, so I changed to a 60. There are several 120 volt wire machines that will run on a 20 amp 120 volt and put out up to about 150 amps. Bigger wire machines run on 240 single phase up to about 250 amps (Miller 251, for example) and would take at least a 30 amp 240 breaker.

    Soooo, depending on your machine you might be OK with what you have... Steve

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NICK BARBOZA View Post
    Great info!!! I am pretty sure i will go with 10 ga and wire up a few boxes for future.

    a follow up question, i was assuming i needed to run a 3 wire + ground (i.e.10/3) to get 220V. how can you get away with a 2 wire + ground (i.e.10/2)?

    thanks alot
    Nick
    Nick... 10/2 has 3 wires......2 hot and a ground. You don't need neutral with 220/240........10/3 would have 4 wires.....you don't need that with 220 .....you ground the machine and you have 2 hot wires.
    Ken

  12. #12
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    Nick

    As stated above you would need a larger wire if you were going to use something like a welder because it draws more current.

    I did my own electrical in the my shop. I ran a separate meter box and feed to the the shop. My service panel is in the north end of my shop in a short section of wall between the garage door and the walk in entry door.

    I screwed the plywood over the section of the wall above and below the service panel using curved washers.

    I left 1 double space breaker section blank in the service panel. If I decide to learn to use and purchase a welder, I'll just unscrew the plywood below the service panel...install the appropriate sized breaker and wire ....run the wire to a outlet box and plug that I'll install on a stud in the wall below the service panel. Cut the hole for the outlet box in the plywood and reinstall it. I'll plug the welder in...raise the insulated garage door.....roll the welder outside and use it. When I'm done, I'll roll it back in....close the door....unplug the welder.....

    That's my take on it.
    Ken

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    Nick,

    Here's what I'd do and why. I'd run 10-2 and use a 20 amp breaker. Why ....I did just that on my shop. All of my 220 circuits I ran 10 gauge. Well....I ended up with an MM-16 b/s.....4.8 hp.....just a matter of putting a 30 amp connector and replacing the 20 amp breaker with a 30 amp breaker and I was off and running. And...I didn't have to uncover the walls to rewire for it.....And....I can use it at any of the 220 circuits in my shop....they are all wired with 10-2.
    I'm curious why do you need 30 amp for 4.8 hp?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Quadarella View Post
    I don't understand why you would use a 20 amp breaker with 10 gauge wire. Why wouldn't you just use a 30 amp breaker?
    One reason might be that with a 30 amp breaker, code requires that all the receptacles also be 30 amp (NEMA 5-30 or 6-30). With a 20 amp breaker you can use either 15 amp (if duplex or more than one on the circuit) or 20 amp receptacles.

    Of course, if at some point in the future you want to use the 30 amp capability of the 10ga wire, then all the receptacles on the circuit would need to be replaced with 30 amp receptacles along with all the plugs on devices that use that circuit.

    If you're going to need a special purpose 30 amp circuit, IMO, you're better off to just run that circuit and leave the general utility circuits at 12ga 20amp.
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS
    USA

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by D-Alan Grogg View Post
    I'm curious why do you need 30 amp for 4.8 hp?
    It would depend on the FLA of the motor, but assuming an overall efficiency of 80%, you're right on the ragged edge of maxing out a 20 amp circuit at 220 volts. Might not be a problem running it on 20a except you might get nuisance trips with the saw running at maximum load.
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS
    USA

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