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Is 200 amp service enough to power appliances + woodworking equipment?

March 28, 2019

Is 200 amp service to a home (2,800 sq ft, custom built in 2006) enough to power a couple 220v woodworking machines at a time (think large saw + dust collector) considering the home has an electric hot water heater, range, and dryer? I know these things are usually gas, so I thought it was worth asking. Is there any reason to worry whatsoever? My intention is to do a 60 or 100 amp subpanel in the garage, which is up a few feet (one level) and on the other side of the wall from the main panel.

Comments (4)

  • Ron Natalie

    It should be. I ran my shop off a 60A subpanel without problem. My table saw (3HP) and dust collector (2HP) don't draw 40A combined (each is on its own 20A circuit). I've got 400A service but the load monitor I have shows we never much peak out anywhere near that.

  • opaone

    You need to be more specific with your tools and other uses in your house as well as your current service entrance size.

    My buddy's dust collector alone is 230v/30a and on startup would often dim lights until we upgraded his service entrance from 200a to 400a. Later we found out that his wife had a heat pad for something she did with paints that was also drawing near constant 20a/120v.

    Our house is 2200 sq ft. Even with my smaller dust collector (2.5hp Oneida) I could dim the lights with it and my bandsaw starting at the same time when we had 200a service. We got the power company to upgrade our line and meter to 400a but kept the 200a panel and our problems ceased. I found out that they (Xcel) now always provide a 400a service entrance even if the house is only calling for 200a.

    If your service entrance is barely large enough for 200a then you may have some issues, if it was sized larger then you'd likely be OK with smaller consumer tools.

  • rwiegand

    Yes, no problem unless you have some massive industrial equipment or an unusual big draw like electric heat or a kiln. My shop is on a 100A subpanel off the 200A house service. The most I run at once is a 3hp dust collector, 3 HP table saw, 3 HP compressor, and a big window air conditioner at the same time without any issues. (figuring about 7A/HP that's on the order of 25A @240V, leaving the other 7/8 of the panel capacity for the house.

    Best is to add up the loads of everything you think could ever all be on at the same time and see if that comes in at something like 80% of your panel capacity. If you're under that you're fine.

    Lights dimming on startup would be an indication of inadequate wire size for the distance involved and load, not the size of the breaker in the panel. It would be unusual for that problem to be on the POCO side of the meter-- though apparently it can happen.

  • opaone

    "It would be unusual for that problem to be on the POCO side of the meter-- though apparently it can happen."

    It's actually not uncommon. For years power companies sized the service entrance to be just large enough due to the costs of materials. More recently they've fortunately begun over sizing to handle rush currents better, reduce service calls and so that they don't have to retrench wire when people upgrade their service (which they expect to see a lot more of with more and more people buying electric cars, mowers, etc.)

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