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Thread: Electrical receptacles for my work table

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Electrical receptacles for my work table

    Even Jane is now saying I need adult supervision in my shop.
    I have been taking full advantage in a tween project time lately. Doing some much-needed housekeeping around the shop and adding a multitude of electrical outlets. I have extended this to include adding outlets on 1 of my worktables I am sick and tired of needing several extension cords strung all over the floor while working. They just seem to be in the way all of the time when moving something or at worst creating a tripping hazard when someone's feet get tangled in them.
    This is one way I am solving that problem By adding a double duplex box on the legs at either end of the table then connecting it to the wall via a 3/4" non metalic flex conduit and a L6-30 twist-lock plug. Since I still have a dirt floor I can simply trench it in and bury it for now
    And yes the first thing you might notice is I have the ground pins all located on the top. just the opposite of how most feel they should be. But I'll tell you my reasoning for doing this. Through out much of Europe and the Middle east the Earthing pin as they call it is located on top. Here we have these flimsy bladed plugs with a round ground pin when the ground is located on the bottom and someone steps on the cord the plug pulls out but the ground pin usually gets broken off mounted wrong way round the whole plug comes out and the ground pin does not get broken, another advantage to having the ground on top is if a cord happens to be partially loose and a chip or sliver of metal fall there it makes contact with the ground and not the line and the common. or in the case of a 240 connection both of the lines
    Electrical receptacles for my work table-img_20230713_122458plug.jpg
    With a little minor shaving of the clamp the conduit clamped in nicely
    Electrical receptacles for my work table-img_20230713_145716plug.jpg

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    Last edited by Frank S; Jul 13, 2023 at 10:14 PM.
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    mwmkravchenko (Jul 15, 2023), rgsparber (Jul 14, 2023), Scotty1 (Jul 13, 2023), WmRMeyers (Jul 15, 2023)

  3. #2
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    I now have receptacles on my tilting work table, this will greatly reduce the need for extension cords and make things so much better
    Electrical receptacles for my work table-img_20230714_173021plo.jpg

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    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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  5. #3
    Supporting Member carl blum's Avatar
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    Way to go Frank!

    I put power strips all over my shop and several cord reels made from vacuum cleaners.
    Electrical receptacles for my work table-img_0727.jpg

    I too like the ground pin up. That way if a bare wire or the edge of some sheet metal falls there, it won't burn up.

    British Plugs are crazy safe. The power pins are insulated where the wire would fall, and the plug shuts off power if the plug isn't fully in!

    Take care, Carl.

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  7. #4
    meyer77's Avatar
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    I want to run a 220 line for my belt grinder located at one end of the shop but I have a work bench that I would like to get power to halfway between.
    Is there a safe and code approved way to tap off the 220 line to get 110 to the bench?
    I would be using conduit (metal or PVC) across the ceiling.

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    I agree with Frank, Iíve been mounting receptacles with the ground hole on top for years, my basement workshop and garage have them all mounted this way.
    My reason being, years back I read somewhere that if you have them mounted with the ground on the bottom and have metal receptacle covers the cover screw could loosen and fall out from using the receptacle, it is then possible the cover can fall off while a cord is only partially inserted it will land across the hot & neutral blades and short out.

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    Supporting Member carl blum's Avatar
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    Hello Mr. Meyer:

    Yes. You are talking about a three wire circuit. According to my Practical Electrical Wiring book the most important thing is the common / neutral wire must not depend on any fixtures, it should have continuity to the end. There is even an advantage that with it being more of a 220 volt circuit the voltage drop is less. Conduit is always nice, it protects the wires and is easier to keep neat. So where you tap off the center, use pig tails to the branches.

    Carl.

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  11. #7
    meyer77's Avatar
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    Do you mean a ground to the main panel? What do you mean by fixtures?

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Actually Carl in the USA with our silly split phase For our 240 & 120v circuits many still call them 220 & 110v, no matter the voltage term the circuits are still the same.
    for 240v there are 2 hot lines and a ground, sometimes with the neutral as well. for 120v it is 1 line the neutral and the ground any 240v equipment which utilizes 120v controls will additionally have the neutral. The neutral wire should be bonded to ground only at the main panel this creates a direct return pathway for the current to the panel should there ever be a short circuit. Some districts will allow the metal conduit to serve as the ground. I never rely on this, and always pull a green wire from the panel through the conduit to whatever the terminus of the circuit may be. Additionally, if I am going to add 120v receptacles by taping 1 or the other of the 2 hot lines from the 240v circuit I pull a separate white (neutral wire) for that circuit. Now here is the problem with splitting a 120v circuit from and existing 240v circuit the breaker for the 240v is designed for both lines and if there is a fault it disconnects both. All of mine are from 40 to 70-amp breakers hardly suited to split a 120v circuit off of them, meaning should I decide to pull a 120v circuit from one of those I would need to include a micro panel with a single 15- or 20-amp breaker, between where I tapped into the larger circuit and the 120v receptacles.
    In answer to Meyer77's question is there a safe way of doing this YES, can it be done to code? That depends on who wrote the code and how they interpret it.
    When in doubt always pull a couple wires and make the circuit completely separate There is no problem having both in the same conduit as long as you do not go over a 50% fill. Where you can get yourself in trouble is when trying to run 3 ph in the same conduit as single or split phase. Large raceways and cable trays being the exception to this, in some cases.
    Disclaimer: No, I am not an electrical engineer nor a licensed electrician. So, any of my advice is to be taken for what it is worth, always consult a licensed electrician local to your area before attempting to make any changes in your home or shop wiring. I have always done all of my own wiring in my houses, and my shops including 3 phase, and have worked with higher voltages in the 600v range including 10,000amp 1200V DC
    Last edited by Frank S; Jul 15, 2023 at 04:08 PM.
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  14. #9
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    Electrical receptacles for my work table-three-wire-circuit.jpg
    Here is a three wire circuit. If the loads are equal almost no current travels through the neutral. But if the neutral is open the voltages on the L1 side will not equal the L2 side and item on the higher voltage side could burn out and present a shock hazard. Otherwise the currents could be lower with a better voltage loss.

    Carl.



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