Sharing a circuit for AC and welder
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Thread: Sharing a circuit for AC and welder

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    Sharing a circuit for AC and welder

    I am exploring options for adding a welder outlet to my garage and would appreciate any advice you might have.


    My garage panel has no open breaker slots and is set up with only one 230V/20a circuit that is hardwired to the mini-split AC unit. I was wondering if it is safe/legal to run a line from that breaker to a SPDT (on-off-on) switch that could be used to select between the existing AC circuit OR a new 20a welder outlet, but never both at the same time.

    Here is the switch:

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-...1287/301447054

    The welder (Lincoln 210MP) shows a draw of 14.7 amps, so a 20a breaker should be OK.

    All wiring would be matched 12-2 and the current 20a breaker protection would be maintained.

    Thanks!

    Mike

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    It'd probably be easier to put in a small subpanel and replace your existing 20-amp breaker with a 50-amp breaker to feed the subpanel. Then just put 2 20-amp breakers in the subpanel and feed the A/C unit from one and the welder outlet from the other. T

    hen you could run both at the same time if you wanted to. You'd never have to mess with any switches or worry about forgetting something.
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    I like Jimís idea, but its the most expensive option.

    Itís perfectly ok to daisy-chain another outlet on that circuit, but you will run the risk of tripping the breaker if you run both. You could simply add a switch (like a light switch) for the AC to shut it off or just use the remote and turn it off when you want to use the secondary outlet.

    I personally wouldnít get carried away with a two-way selector switch for this. Itís massively overkill. (So secretly I like it. LOL )
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    I would do what JimR outlined......i would probably just go ahead and do a 100amp (common and cheap) sub panel for possible future ussage since your out of breaker slots......

    the switch you linked to is a single pole switch i am not aware of a double pole switch (220v) like you want and you would require 12/3 wire not 12/2 for 220v ....unless i missed something...obviously the sub panel would need the correct wire size feeder

    a sub panel would probably cost less than the double pole switch if could even find one something like this with breakers and all https://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D...PCVP/204836397
    Last edited by ttazzman; 04-13-2019 at 09:22 AM.
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    What panel do you have?
    In some you can add in some tandem breakers on a few 125v circuits to gain some space for another double breaker.
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    ^^^^^^

    It's a Siemens 1212 with a 40a main. Tandem breakers are a no-go

    The buried feed wire from the house appears to be aluminum and the conductors measure approximately .175. Based on that, I'm guessing 6ga which can't really support much more than the 40a main.
    Last edited by MN3046; 04-13-2019 at 09:29 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttazzman View Post
    the switch you linked to is a single pole switch i am not aware of a double pole switch (220v) like you want and you would require 12/3 wire not 12/2 for 220v ....unless i missed something...obviously the sub panel would need the correct wire size feeder
    I believe a SPDT is the correct switch as this application has only a single "line" and two loads. I am referring to NM 12/2 + ground(3 conductors total). That is what is on the AC circuit now.

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    I agree with adding a subpanel, but don't skimp with a small (like a 6 breaker) panel, go for something with more spaces. My main panel has been space challenged for many years. As a temporary measure I put a couple of tandems in, though they are not approved for my panel. Then I put in a small 6 space panel for a few shop tools. It was handy, but then when I needed more I ended up replacing the small panel with a full sized 24 space one and fed it with a 100A breaker. No more illegal tandems and plenty of spare spaces for expansion.

    Just my 2 cents.
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    ^^^^^^

    That would be nice, but I only have 40a total available in that garage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MN3046 View Post
    ^^^^^^

    It's a Siemens 1212 with a 40a main. Tandem breakers are a no-go

    The buried feed wire from the house appears to be aluminum and the conductors measure approximately .175. Based on that, I'm guessing 6ga which can't really support much more than the 40a main.

    you might do more checking ...i dont think they make a Aluminum (direct burried) UF-B wire....so if its aluminum its probably in a conduit and thus is replaceable should you wish to upsize it...

    FWIW..........175 is probably 6ga (.168) ......6ga aluminum's ampicity is 50amp ....it may be oversized for the 40amps for voltage drop due to length of the feeder...........6ga COPPER direct burried UF-B wire's ampicity is 55amps

    UF-B is the romex type wire that can be directly buried in the ground without conduit and is typically grey in color
    Last edited by ttazzman; 04-13-2019 at 09:52 AM.
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