View Full Version : How To Run 220V to Detached Garage?


ChrisK4218
03-27-2013, 11:24 AM
Hi guys, I believe this is my first post here and I don't know much about navigating this forum yet.

My question is, is there any good step-by-step instructional on how to run 220 to a detached garage? Don't currently have 220 in the house either. I'm guessing this topic has been beat into the ground before so if someone could point me in the direction of a previous thread that would be great, I just couldn't find one using the search bar.

Thanks!

ChrisK4218
03-27-2013, 11:41 AM
Also, you should know, the only reason I want to do this is to run an Arc Welder I picked up for VERY cheap. So, that said, would it be feasible/cost-effective to just purchase one of these and use it instead? I believe I've read that 5000 watts would be enough, or would I need to go to the next model up which is 7500 watt?

http://www.voltage-converter-transformers.com/product_info.php?category_id=10016460&products_id=10061406

DirtRoad
03-27-2013, 11:47 AM
Your right, your house dosent have 220v, it has 240v.

Its impossible that you found nothing searching this site, litteraly impossible.

There is also google.

ChrisK4218
03-27-2013, 11:49 AM
Thanks for the help.

pattenp
03-27-2013, 01:11 PM
You should have 240V available at your main service/breaker panel. It also helps to know where you are, US, Canada or elsewhere.

Here's a diagram to start you off if in the US.

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=1735&pictureid=16967

ChrisK4218
03-27-2013, 01:16 PM
Okay thank you, yes I'm in the U.S., Illinois.

Also, I wrote another post but it says it has to be approved by a moderator first, and that hasn't happened. I believe that's because I included a link in it.

Anyway, the jist of the post is that the only reason I want to do this is so I can use an arc welder that I picked up for basically nothing. Since this is really the only reason right now, would it be more cost-effective for me to run a 110 to 220 inverter? I THINK I've read that I would need at least a 5000 watt version for the welder to be able to run, but should it be 7500? Is this even an option? The cost is between $160-$240 for the inverter.

pattenp
03-27-2013, 01:23 PM
I think it would be a mistake to do 120V and then use an inverter. Cost wise you are better off running 240V to the garage to start. How far is it from the house to the garage? Do you plan on burying the power feed to the garage? Also what size main panel is in the house, 100A, 200A?

Journaler
03-27-2013, 01:24 PM
Okay thank you, yes I'm in the U.S., Illinois.

Also, I wrote another post but it says it has to be approved by a moderator first, and that hasn't happened. I believe that's because I included a link in it.

Anyway, the jist of the post is that the only reason I want to do this is so I can use an arc welder that I picked up for basically nothing. Since this is really the only reason right now, would it be more cost-effective for me to run a 110 to 220 inverter? I THINK I've read that I would need at least a 5000 watt version for the welder to be able to run, but should it be 7500? Is this even an option? The cost is between $160-$240 for the inverter.

This thread makes me nervous.
I've run 240V to my shed, no problems.
Depending on the distance though, it may be cheaper to have someone come out to do it. I don't remember the exact amount, but it was $3-400? for a licensed electrician to put a 100A subpanel in my garage. The subpanel is about 30' from my main boxes.

Another thing to consider is that if there's an electrical fire in your house... the insurance company won't like that you added a new circuit yourself.

pattenp
03-27-2013, 01:28 PM
....
Another thing to consider is that if there's an electrical fire in your house... the insurance company won't like that you added a new circuit yourself.

Not true as long as required permits are issued and inspections are done and approved. But there are some jurisdictions that do not allow electrical to be done by non licensed people.

ChrisK4218
03-27-2013, 01:31 PM
Yeah, that's one of the 'cons' that's been running through my head. I just wanted to find out how dangerous/technical it would be to do it myself before I make my decision about what direction to go. That's another thing to add, it's probably 40-50 foot to get from the box at the house to the garage.

Anybody have experience with an inverter?

pattenp
03-27-2013, 01:34 PM
Chris,

Go to the main forum page for Lighting and Electrical and in the upper right see "Search this forum" and type in the key words "detached" "garage" "subpanel", quotes are not needed, then click "Go". You should get a lot to read.

ChrisK4218
03-27-2013, 01:35 PM
Okay thank you. I originally searched "How to run 220 V to garage" and got absolutely nothing. I now see that all of the words except 'garage' weren't counted in the search because they were too vague.

DirtRoad
03-27-2013, 01:39 PM
It would also help to use 240v in your search and not 220v.

CNGsaves
03-27-2013, 01:47 PM
If you've already got electricity of some sort to detached garage already, then THAT RUN will need upgraded. You're not going to be legal running 2 different power sources to detached garage. You can ONLY have one power source to detached garage.

Do it right and hire licensed electrician to install subpanel in detached garage. Plan out all the things you'll want and get them all done at one time - - - cheaper to get everything done at one time. Consider upgrades in wiring for lighting (do Advance Search and see Veno post on CFL lighting), more outlets, welder (ie 240v), compressor (ie 240v), etc. If you're considering a hanging natural gas heater, you'll need electrical outlet up near the heater with shutoff switch. Thus, lots of things to plan out ahead of time.

For the buried trenching over to garage for bigger electrical conduit (like 2"), consider another trench a foot over with 1 1/2" conduit for phone/internet/CATV/intercom, etc.

For natural gas supply line over to garage, that might go in bottom of your 2nd (ie telco/CATV) trench for the buried yellow polyethlene plastic pipe. The NG yellow plastic line would need buried deep enough for local IL code.

Good luck planning out your upgrades but do it right. You can get by temporarily welding with a cheapie HF 120v welder - - - I've seen these on CL for $50 or less.

madosta
03-27-2013, 01:52 PM
Find as many coat hangers as you can. The steel kind. Braid them together. Remove the varnish first. However many you have, consider each piece a "half gauge" as the pros call it. So if you have 2 of them you know have 1 gauge wire, 4 of them, 2 gauge wire. Do this until you get 12 of them together, or 6 gauge, that will be good for 60amps if it's THWN in conduit. Bury it deep! At least 24"

Oh... wait. Disregard that. Pattenp knows what he's talking about. Take your time and read some stuff! I have a book you can borrow too, but I'm in SE Michigan.

ChrisK4218
03-27-2013, 01:59 PM
Thanks for the advice CNGsaves. You all have me leaning towards the professional route, as I will be installing an overhead heater in the future, and would like to get my hands on a lathe.

The whole reason I have this dilemma is that I picked up the welder for basically free, so I'm trying to accomodate that. At the time I just figured I would run the proper load out to the garage, thinking it would be fairly easy, obviously I didn't know what I was talking about.

So my question still stands, any experience with an inverter? If so, would the combination of the inverter and the welder I have provide better welding capabilities than a cheapo 120 V welder as CNGsaves suggested?

In the meantime, I'll go home and start braiding.

CNGsaves
03-27-2013, 02:24 PM
Thanks for the advice CNGsaves. You all have me leaning towards the professional route, as I will be installing an overhead heater in the future, and would like to get my hands on a lathe.

The whole reason I have this dilemma is that I picked up the 240v welder for basically free, so I'm trying to accomodate that. At the time I just figured I would run the proper load out to the garage, thinking it would be fairly easy, obviously I didn't know what I was talking about.

So my question still stands, any experience with an inverter? If so, would the combination of the inverter and the welder I have provide better welding capabilities than a cheapo 120 V welder as CNGsaves suggested?

In the meantime, I'll go home and start braiding.

Up until recently you had no welder, but you're in big hurry to use this "free" 240v welder. What is the project needing welded??

Using inverter is possible but expensive. I'd ditch that idea.

Temporarily, you'd be better off getting a long 240v cord to either dryer outlet or electric stove in your house and weld outside on the patio. Cord would be pricey but a work-a-round.

Another option is use portable generator with 240v outlet that could power your welder until you get electricity properly ran to the garage. This would likely be your best short-term solution. Check on CL in your area as $300 likely get you properly sized genset.

ChrisK4218
03-27-2013, 02:29 PM
I'm not in a hurry.

I have multiple other places I could just take my projects to get welded, mostly friends' shops, but I'd rather do it myself in my own garage, that's half the fun of it. The welder will mostly be used for custom bikes.

Again, thanks for the suggestions.

Charles (in GA)
03-27-2013, 02:57 PM
First off, welcome to the board, and please stay a while and look around. It really is a good board with decent members.

The search mechanism of this board does not handle any words with less than 4 letters. That makes searches for cat dog PVC GFI and such impossible.

You can use Google to search any one web site, by going to the Google search page and entering

PVC site:garagejournal.com

Where the PVC is your search term. It could be anything such as Williams ratchet or dogs in the garage or adding a subpanel to a detached garage, the site: and the sites address will tell Google to limit the search to that particular URL.

You always want to mention that your garage is detached, whether discussing electrical issues or zoning and planning issues, it is quite important.

It would be best to go to your User CP in the black menu bar near the top of the screen, just below the The Garage Journal oval logo, and edit your profile to include your location, at least your state or what part of the state such as western Illinois as this will show up below your screen name in every post and it too helps out in discussions about insulating and heating your garage, and electrical and planning and zoning issues, as it varies from state to state. If you are in the Chicago area, in a town where they follow the insanely strict Chicago electric codes, you need to define your location to at least Chicago area. It helps out in the discussions and eliminates unnecessary posts by others and yourself.

Charles

DirtRoad
03-27-2013, 02:59 PM
You can search three letter words on any forum, you just need a wild card

Example: dog*

MoonRise
03-27-2013, 04:27 PM
re: using an 'inverter' to change 120V AC power into 240V AC power, in order to supply power to a 'free' 240V welder.

Ummm, in almost any real-world situation, no.

First off, most of the time an "inverter" is a device used to change DC power into AC power, via the miracle/magic of some electronics.

Changing one voltage of AC power into another voltage of AC is usually accomplished with a transformer.

And the usual reason a power tool (including a welder) is made/configured to run off of 240V AC power is because you can usually just not get enough power from a 120V circuit. (as well as the higher wiring/infrastructure costs of trying to supply 2x the current at a lower voltage).

Short equation (close enough in this case, although it ignores power factor for an AC circuit)

power = Volts x Amps

120V circuit at 20 amps = 2400 watts max power

240V circuit at 30 amps (a middle of the road 240V welder power level) = 7200 watts

If you are thinking of running an inverter off of a bunch of 12V batteries (a 'typical' use of a power inverter) in order to supply 120V or 240V AC power to feed a welder, you would need a pretty big inverter ($$$) as well as a pretty big bunch of batteries ($$$) in order to supply all the power that the inverter will then convert into AC power.

And depending on just what make/model of welder you have, it sometimes takes a very big generator in order to supply the volts and amps to run the welder. ex: Lincoln 'tombstone' or other common 'buzz-box' welder. In order to supply the voltage/amperage to run that welder, you need in the order of a 15kw generator.

http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/support/welding-how-to/pages/generator-size-detail.aspx

As said, your house already has 240V AC power in it. If you have an electric clothes dryer or an electric stove/oven/range then you have a (usually) available 240V power point. Just buy/make an extension cord (of the appropriate wire gauge for the welder and length of cord, and the appropriate connectors on the ends), plug into the outlet in the house and run cord outside and plug in welder. When done welding, unplug things and plug the house appliance back in.

As to how to run 240V power out to a detached garage, you first learn how to work with electricity safely. Then you go and get an electrical permit (if you are even 'allowed' to do so in your jurisdiction, see above about Chicago and DIY electrical work). Pay the permit money, get the materials/supplies and start installing them, get the various inspections during the course of the project, done. Simple, right? :D

Done 'right', electricity is pretty safe.

Done 'wrong', it can kill, injure or damage things (think electrical fire).

laser3kw
03-27-2013, 08:22 PM
north central Illinois?
Rockford or surrounding?
don't be embarrassed....
Rockford is "nice" :sad: