Electrical Wiring for a Workshop Panel
Craig in Osage City, Kansas asks: Workshop Electrical Wiring Project: Planning the Electrical Panel for a Workshop, Workshop Electrical Circuit Wiring.
Workshop Electric Wiring
Electrical Wiring Questions: I built a 30×50 shop building 2 years ago and am at the point of supplying power to the building. Here is some background before I ask my questions.
- I had a new Square-D 100 AMP service panel from a home remodel and that never was completed so I thought it was a perfect candidate for my shop although it probably is overkill for the building needs.
- I buried a 3″ PVC conduit with #0 aluminum cable between the attached garage (where the house service panel is located) and my shop.
- I have also run a copper ground cable to a ground rod outside the shop. Each end enters a 12×12 pull box on each end. That is where things sit right now.
- On the shop end, I need to make the connection between the aluminum cable and the shop service panel bus.
- Since they are dissimilar metals, do I need to coat the aluminum cable before splicing it to the feed cables to the panel? What should I use?
- I was also planning on using split bolts to make the splice between cables. If that is OK is there a specific material they should be made of – I have seen them brass and what I would call galvanized steel.
- I then planned to wrap the connection in electrical tape and then re-wrap them in 3M rubber tape which took me a while to find. Is that OK? What gauge wire should I use to run from the pull box to the service panel? I was thinking #2 or #4.
- On the house end I need to do the same connection between the aluminum cable and the copper service panel feed (ultimately) cable.
- On this end I would like to place a disconnect switch in case there were ever a problem and I needed to the kill the power to the shop. I have a 100 3-blade knife switch I plan to use for this purpose.
- From the switch I plan to splice into the cable that goes from the meter to the house service panel.
- The conduit goes directly from the meter to the back of the service panel so my splice would be inside the service panel but I could feed it into a separate pull box where the splice was made and feed it back to the house service panel.
- If I made the connection in the service panel, I had planned on removing the needed amount of insulation on the existing feed cable and make a saddle connection with split bolt to the cable from my knife switch.
- I would be wrapping the connections as I did with the shop end of the connection. Again is this OK, what size wire should I be using (#2 or# 4).
- As for the electrical loads in the shop – This is a hobby shop so to speak – I have a air compressor (220), welders available (both 220 stick and 110 mig), lights, 2 post lift (220 and 110 line I’m told in various vendor literature).
- I don’t see all three 220 draws running at the same time but I could see 2 such as the compressor running while the lift was in use.
I hope that’s all the info you may need. I look forward to your reply.
This electrical question came from: Craig, a Handyman from Osage City, Kansas.
Additional Comments: Very well done. Keep up the excellent work.
Thanks for your Electrical Wiring Question Craig.
Workshop Electrical Wiring Project
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Electricians Tool Pouch and the various power tools necessary for installing the sub-panel.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type and size of the panel and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing electrical wiring within the immediate area that may interfere with the installation of the sub panel should be identified and turned OFF and Tagged if necessary.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring and a sub-panel should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Planning the Electrical Panel for a Workshop
- Workshop Electrical Circuit Wiring
- The size electrical panel for a workshop can only be determined after all of the known electrical loads are identified.
- The type and size electrical wire or cable is determined when the panels size has been established, then factors are considered, such as how long is the one way distance of the wire run or conduit, will this be an overhead or underground installation, direct burial or PVC conduit, so as you can see there is specific information that must be determined that will be unique for each specific project.
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