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Question DetailsAsked on 6/14/2014

How much to install a 220v outlet on a full breaker panel?

The house has a 100amp panel. I am trying to install a new 220v outlet in the garage for my table saw.

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Voted Best Answer

Depends on whether that will overload the panel or not, which depends on existing connected circuit ratings. If panel has capacity using the official computations, sometimes you can get another couple of spaces by buying twinned or half-width breakers, which allow two circuits in the width and same place a one normal breaker, freeing up that slot for another full-size breaker - so if you can do that twice (if legal in your area, as is in most) that would give you slots. With 100A panel this is unlikely to work if you have electric range and clothes dryer. Typically about $150 labor and $100-300 for two twinned breakers, depending on age and make of panel, to do that.

If would exceed legal panel load, then you need either a new higher capacity breaker panel, or an auxiliary panel. Gets sticky here as in some jurisdictions they require ALL loads pass through one main feed from the meter/disconnect - others allow multiple main feed to multiple panels off the main disconnect/breaker box at the meter. If allowed, and depending on whether your disconnect/main breaker box has multiple feed lugs or they can legally be added, can typically cost in $300-600 range to get second main lead connection from main breaker/disconnect/meter base to a new panel, plus 220V paired breakers there. Circuit to outlet for saw can run from about $100 if very close to panel to $300 or more if need to run a fair distance through stud wall - not counting drywall repair and repainting if garage is finished. Typically $200-400 range if using surface-mount conduit or metal race to surface-mount the wiring to the outlet.

Therefore, you can be running from a best-case low of maybe $250-300 on up to a high of around $1000 depending on your situation - and of course this all assumes your incoming feed from the utility can handle the extra load and the meter/meter base and distribution line/transformer don't need replacing to higher capacity, which generally would only be the caseif your utility feed was installed before about 1970. If they need upgrading too forget it - go with 110V saw.

Another alternative - I am assuming your table saw is 220V wired now, but many up to about 2-1/2 horse are dual voltage - minor wiring connection change (just tabs or eyes on screws) in the motor per owners manual, usually easily owner doable, can allow to run on 110V 15 or 20A circuit, depending on horsepower. Of course, loses some torque particularly for ripping thick material or real high-profile surface molding work, but I did that rather than have to install a new panel (already had air compressor and welder on two separate 220V breakers plus electric range and clothes dryer) and have only stalled it out and tripped breaker probably 3-4 times in 30 years with a 2 to 2-1/2 horse Craftsman 10 inch table and 10" radial and 14" cutoff saw all running (only one at a time, obviously) off a 110V 20A circuit. The only times I have stalled it out and tripped breaker due to overloading is in blind resawing wood like cutting a 2x board down in thickness preparatory to surface planing to a thinner board, and only when the blade is not fully penetrating the wood so it can not clear out the sawdust well or the wood has a twist that develops during sawing, binding the blade. Cleaned and carbide blades work fine for all uses for me, in soft and hardwoods and plastics, without loading it up excessively, though obviously in hard cutting conditions you do have to slow down every so often to clear the sawdust out of the kerf and teeth or it will bog down - but not enough to significantly affect my work. If you are going to be consistent heavy ripping or molding or constant commercial work then maybe it would make a difference, but for for casual business or for home maintenance/hobby work.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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