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Help, Running 220 to Garage From Sub-box Possible?

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Help, Running 220 to Garage From Sub-box Possible?

Postby FST2011 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:27 pm

Hello everyone,

First want to say I'm complete novice but Im not all thumbs. I tried searching google for the info but nothing turned up. I also want to say this forum has allot of GREAT info and cant wait to start making some of my projects. Can someone please take the time and try to explain in simple terms. Some back story, cause after hopefully getting this figured out I will post new question about possible help in design of track system for my son. But thats down the road a bit.

My son has down syndrome and few years back hurt himself and now cant walk. We looked into getting a medical grade track system but costs $40k and it costs allot to get other things for around the house to make things easier for him. So I figured I would try and make some of the things that are not too dangerous if they fail...example if I weld a small ramp and it breaks its not going to harm him.

So I was given some shop tools for either cheap or free only problem is they run on 220. The garage only setup to run basic 110. I was going to run a line from basement to garage but noticed I had a 'sub-box' think its called that outside near garage. I'm hoping this might work cause it seems it would save me allot of money.

The sub-box was used few years ago for a hot tub. We dont have it anymore but box is still there. When in basement, it looks like it runs to main box.

My question, can I use this sub-box to power everything in garage that needs 220? Would I change everything in sub box or leave it alone? Would I need to change anything on the 'main box' in the basement? As for the sub-box, do I 'need' to run the wire from the sub box underground to garage or can I just pipe it and drill hole into garage?

As for how many things will need the 220...I have 60gal Compressor, everlast 210EXT welder, Lotos Plasma cutter and thats really it. its not a fab shop...only me doing the work so will not be using all machines running at same time. I can see myself going from one to another but never 2 at same time. Not sure if this info helps but trying to give as much info you might need to help.


Truly thanks for sharing your advice.
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FST2011
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Re: Help, Running 220 to Garage From Sub-box Possible?

Postby Mike » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:59 am

Welcome to the forum.
Did you call a local Elect company to look at it.
M J Mauer Andover, Ohio

Linoln A/C 225
Everlast PA 200
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Re: Help, Running 220 to Garage From Sub-box Possible?

Postby cj737 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:09 am

I'll give you some "basic" information, but you really need to have a Certified Electrician come out and counsel you. And probably do the work.

220v is available by running service from both sides of the service. If you look at an electric panel below the face shield, you will see 2 service lines running down. Your standard 120v service is run through a single "leg", and more often than not, you only use a single wide breaker (fuse). Look for instance at your Main service panel for the house. See the breaker for your stove/oven or Dryer? It uses a 2-wide breaker, and, it has service legs from both sides. Thats 240v/220v.

So your question about "will my sub panel" feed my garage is Yes, and No. Its not whether 220v is available, its whether there is sufficient available Amperage available. All the shop tools you described probably use 30-60 Amp breakers. If your sub panel is rated for 50-100 amps only, then legging to the garage will consume more amps than the sub panel and Main panel may have available. Make any sense?

Plus, to run power underground from panel-to-panel, you need either UL rated lines or conduit buried. Find a buddy who is a certified electrician to come help or do in trade so that you're COMPLETELY safe. Your boy needs his Dad more than you need a visit to the ER ;)
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Re: Help, Running 220 to Garage From Sub-box Possible?

Postby aland » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:55 pm

cj737 wrote:So your question about "will my sub panel" feed my garage is Yes, and No. Its not whether 220v is available, its whether there is sufficient available Amperage available. All the shop tools you described probably use 30-60 Amp breakers. If your sub panel is rated for 50-100 amps only, then legging to the garage will consume more amps than the sub panel and Main panel may have available. Make any sense?


Yes, makes sense to me. I wanted to add that most older homes, like mine, only have 125 amps total for the entire home. Short of running another line from the street, I need to limit myself to that.

This is important as most homes of this vintage also only have 20 amps circuits for most 110v circuits, and if you're lucky to have a dryer electrical circuit, you might get lucky with 30 amps of 220v. This is not to say you couldn't run a 50 amp circuit in your garage, but if you have a fair amount of use you will pop the breaker on the main line. You need two of the same amp 120v circuits to form a single 220v. So 2 x 30 amp circuits will provide power for a single 30 amp 220v circuit (2 hot legs).

I had one of said 30 amp dryer circuits, and it is what I run a 7.5HP Rotary Phase Converter on.

I was slightly limited on welders, and many need bigger circuits. The standard welding plug/circuit is 50 amps. You will almost never find a 50 amp welding plug in one of the older homes, but some people have done it. You will need 2 x 50 amp 110v circuits to form a single 50 amp 220v circuit. Can you see how this will be limited with a home that only has 125amps off the main?

Lastly, not to complicate things, but there are formulas for calculating how many amps are too much for a home circuit based on the main line amps. I don't know what they are and you would need to ask an electrician. I think it's something like 30% more than the main line, but don't quote me on that...it is arbitrary since you will most likely not use more amps but could always happen if you have the entire house lit up and powering electricity that exceeds the main line. Probably a rare occasion, but something to think about.

Oh, and welcome to the forum, thanks for not saying, "hey...NOOB here", I hate that. At least you call yourself a novice, not a NOOB... :roll: DISCLAIMER: I don't know too much about welding either, or electrical either. Do yourself a favor and do as cj suggested, get an electrician out to just give you an estimate on what needs to be done. ;)

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Re: Help, Running 220 to Garage From Sub-box Possible?

Postby cj737 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:19 pm

aland wrote: The standard welding plug/circuit is 50 amps.

That is not necessarily true. Many modern inverter based welding machines run off a 30 amp 240/220v circuit. I run my Dynasty TIG box all day amp for instance and have never popped a fuse. But most older transformer based welders do use much higher amperage, and some of the machines he listed in his post probably do as well.

When your electrician comes out, you might get him to plan the service needs accurately, then contact the Electric Co about running a whole new service to your home. I did this recently (new 200 amp to my shop at the house). I got a great tip from my Uncle who is a Master Electrician: the Power co sends a “survey/application” to you that you fill out with total useage, demand etc for the new service. If you list EVERY possible machine you’ll run, the load, they will do the calculation. Many times, they will offset the cost of the new service being buried, by their “expected revenue” from your shop. This worked in my case. I was staring at $4,400 for a new full service. My application showed that they would recover that within 2years. I pay on average $19/ month for my shop’s electricity ;) Gotta love those inside tips!
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Re: Help, Running 220 to Garage From Sub-box Possible?

Postby aland » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:53 pm

cj737 wrote:That is not necessarily true. Many modern inverter based welding machines run off a 30 amp 240/220v circuit


This is true, I am running my inverter off a 30 amp circuit, and a number of machine do run on 30 amps, some less, but 30 amps seems like the minimum for a 200 amp inverter.

The cable/plug are a standard 50 amp NEMA 6-50P.

This starts to get more complicated when you do this, because the way the machine is wired is for a 50 amp circuit. Even though it draws less, the wire/plug are 50 amp.

The only reason I mention this is that if you rewire the machine you need to make sure you wire it for the circuit, not the machine. Most inverters are designed to plug into a standard 50 amp welding circuit, and will use a pig tail for 110v these days. I made a pig tail to plug from the 50 amp to the 30 amp L6 which I use for my 220v line.

This all works fine, just be aware that you will have different amps for the circuits and welder and if you re-wire the welder cable itself, the manufacture might not like that...again you may want to consult an electrician on that as well. :roll:

The bottom line is that electricity can get complicated, main line amps, breakers, 110/220 circuits, plugs, machine wire/plug, etc...pretty easy to cause a problem if not careful. Since I am not an electrician I suggest you talk to one. You should have a fair idea on what to ask them about and/or have them look at your garage. Some may do it for free, or some may charge a service fee. It's worth paying a service fee to get a professional opinion, just be warned that not all electricians were created equal either... :o

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Re: Help, Running 220 to Garage From Sub-box Possible?

Postby homeboy » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:01 am

I have a 100A panel in the house with a 60A sub panel in the shop, house 40+ years and shop 30+years, fuses even, all installed by a certified electrician. They run everything without a glitch. Mind you we are energy conscious with T-8's, Led lighting and 6 kids long gone with the 1/2 hr showers etc. As a retired hobbyest all that would run at once is a 2hp compressor,lighting, a vent fan and the tool I'am using at the time. Lincoln 180 max 20A, 250 mig inverter max 24A which I'll never max out with .035 wire. They both have a 50A plug which I suspect is industry standard up to a certain size? How and what you are going to operate governs what your needs are. As others suggested a meeting with a certified electricion is a necessary first step. :?:
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Re: Help, Running 220 to Garage From Sub-box Possible?

Postby clavius » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:56 pm

It's a bit hard to say for sure from the photos, but if that third pic you posted is the sub-panel it looks like you have two 220V circuits and a single 120V circuit in there. The remarks in the other replies about having enough available current apply of course, and what you can run will depend on what your machines draw. If none of them are more than the maximum available and you only run one at a time, it still works fine. One place I worked had 3 welders on one 50A line. We never used more than one at a time, so no problem.

You really do need a local electrician to take a look. They can assess things and give you much better advice than we can from a distance. You don't say where you are located, but maybe there is a local forum member that would be willing to take a look and at least offer some advice. I've had guys on other forums do as much for me.

And good for you for using your time and shop skills to help out your son. He's a lucky kid, he has a real "capital D" Dad.
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Re: Help, Running 220 to Garage From Sub-box Possible?

Postby aland » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:40 am

cj737 wrote:
aland wrote: The standard welding plug/circuit is 50 amps.

That is not necessarily true. Many modern inverter based welding machines run off a 30 amp 240/220v circuit. I run my Dynasty TIG box all day amp for instance and have never popped a fuse. But most older transformer based welders do use much higher amperage, and some of the machines he listed in his post probably do as well.


cj,

Which model Dynasty do you run off a 30 amp circuit? Must be a 200 or 210. I saw a Dynasty 280dx for sale locally and on the plate it said it needed close to 60 amps for max-inrush. I had thought you mentioned using a 280, so confused...

miller-dynasty-280dx-plate.jpg
miller dynasty 280dx plate
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Re: Help, Running 220 to Garage From Sub-box Possible?

Postby Arno » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:31 am

In most cases inrush current is not an issue as it's high, but very short in duration.

Circuit breakers are normally sized on the sustained load capacity of the circuit (wiring size, lenght, etc.), but have a certain trigger time and speed when it comes to the actual current protection.

A circuit breaker normally has 2 parallel methods of current protection/limiting that are active:

- A thermal protection that's set at a little over the rated limit

This is the regular 'over current' protection and relies on the breaker warming up as more and more current flows through it. In a sustained over-current condition it will basically 'overheat' a trigger circuit and it will cut the power. (eg. you run too many devices on 1 circuit and after about 5 to 10 minutes the breaker 'pops')

- An electromagnetic protection for short-circuit/high current conditions

The current in the breaker also runs through a coil setup where it magnetises a metal slug. If the current peaks and exceeds a certain threshold then the magnetic force will be big enough for it to pull a trigger-pin back and the circuit breaker then cuts the circuit.

Internally a breaker also has some internal arc-break construction as the current flow will resist the break and bridge an air-gap with a welder-like arc. Usually inside the breaker there's a system where the arc is allowed to dissipate across a set of secondary contacts to reduce the wear on the main contacts. (oh and yeah.. circuit breakers wear a little each time they are triggered and can end up being flakey, so in older houses it's good practice to inpect the wiring and then renew al breakers..)

I'm not in the USA, so not up to speed with the types of circuit breakers you guys use, but here in europe you get breakers in a single amp rating (eg. nominally 6A, 10A, 16A, 25A, 32A, etc.) but in 'B', 'C' and 'D' trigger type where 'B' breakers are used for plain (household) circuits (up to 16A) and 'C' and 'D' types are used to higher inrush current applications like electric motor start, etc.

Often 'C' are used in household applications like electric boilers, home A/C, etc.

Circuit breakers can often allow up to 10 to 20x the sustained amp rating for inrush current before the (electromagnetric) trigger level is reached.

So in this case I would not expect a 60A inrush current on a 30A breaker to give much issues.. You will likely see the lights dim briefly a little once you flip the switch though ;)

Bye, Arno.
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