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I am looking to put a new outlet in my garage. I would like to run my table saw/planer/miter saw + a shop vac at the same time. I realized that the circuit in my garage is on a 15 amp breaker only. There are two outlets in my garage, one is for a light and the garage opener. The other I have my power tools and whatnot on. Since I can't use one of those outlets for my load because of the 15 amp breaker I was thinking of using a circuit from my living room. That circuit has a 20 amp breaker and only uses a TV and sometimes PS5. Is there any problems with this plan? It would be my first time running and putting in a new outlet.

I know running an entire new circuit is also an option from my panel but I don't think that's a project I can tackle. If there is nothing wrong with using the living room outlet, it's a matter of running the wire which is basically a straight shot and only about 30 ft or so.

The garage is attached and my current panel is in the basement. Directly above the garage is a bedroom.

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  • Do you mean using a extension cord under the doors
    – Traveler
    Apr 15, 2023 at 2:10
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    Is this an attached or a detached garage? Apr 15, 2023 at 3:27
  • Can you post info on the rated amperage of your various big power tools and of the shopvac? Do you run them in the house or garage already? Where is your panel located - garage or house?
    – Armand
    Apr 15, 2023 at 4:06
  • Also, figure out what size wire gauge you have in both the existing garage and living room circuits. Hopefully the breakers are sized correctly but this would be a good time to find out if they are not.
    – Armand
    Apr 15, 2023 at 4:08
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    Just to clarify - do you want to run the table saw, the miter saw, the planer, and the shop vac at the same time, or do you want to run one of those tools and the shop vac at the same time?
    – Mark
    Apr 15, 2023 at 5:55

3 Answers 3

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I have a 1960s tract house with a single 20 amp circuit for part of the family room and the entire garage. In the family room, it is supplying a DVR and LCD TV and in the garage, it is supplying lights and the opener. Never the less, I can run a shop vac and contractor-grade table saw (or miter saw, band saw, etc) simultaneously. Even though the load probably exceeds 20 amps, the tools run for only a minute or two at a time so the thermal trip on the breaker doesn't trip. The only time I trip the breaker is if I stall the table saw motor.

Bottom line is that yes, you can run a power tool and shop vac on a 20 amp circuit if you're careful. Don't run the tools for too long and let the breaker and wires cool down between.

However, in your case, I'd run the tools on the 20 amp living room circuit and the shop vac on the 15 amp garage circuit. You can run all day long this way.

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  • Thanks. That is what I'm trying to do. Just wasn't sure if it made sense. Apr 15, 2023 at 16:02
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WOW, that is a large load. Even if you have a 20 amp connection to the house, I still think it's too large a load. I DK about local jurisdictions would have a say on this .

You should consider a sub-panel in the garage, fed by maybe 6 ga copper wires or 4 ga AL (AL would be much less expensive these days). That would give you 50 amps at 240v/ If your equipment can work at 240v, it's a lot more efficient and needs smaller wires / cables.

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    I should clarify - I don't mean run every tool + a shop vac at the same time. I mean run one tool (15 amp) from one circuit and my shop vac (15 amp) from another circuit. Is that still considered a large load? Apr 15, 2023 at 15:59
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You need to ask this question while knowing the power consumption of you tools

For example the saw/planer/miter saw can consume 15 Amp

The shop vac can consume 10 Amp.

Ups, you are already over your 20 Amp.

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  • Except you're not going to put in a 30 amp circuit!
    – DoxyLover
    Apr 15, 2023 at 3:55
  • The power tools do consume 15 amps and the shop vac 10, which is why I want to run them on separate circuits. Right now I only have 1 circuit in the garage and was wondering if I could pull another circuit in from my living room. That would allow me to run my tools (15 amp) on one circuit and the shop vac (10 amps) on another. Apr 15, 2023 at 16:01

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