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table saw wiring- too small?

edwardh1's picture

table saw wiring- too small? (post #206976)

I have a 2000 year powermatic table saw. it has a 1 1/2 hp single phase 115 volt motor . the motor nameplate says it draws  15 amps. when I look up a 1 1/2 hp single phase mtr on internet it says it draws 20 amps.

the wire from the motor to the saw switch (3 ft) , and from the switch to the plug (4 ft cord ) that came with the saw is 14 gage.

is this wire too small?

The wire size is fine.  It's (post #206976, reply #1 of 5)

The wire size is fine.  It's become routine for manufacturers to overstate the HP ratings of tools -- they generally give the HP at stall rather than the running HP rating.  And even if it were a true 20A device, seven feet of #14 is not enough to choke it, if the rest of the wiring to the panel is #12.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

As mentioned 14ga should (post #206976, reply #2 of 5)

As mentioned 14ga should suffice.

If the wire is original from p-matic, I'm sure they know what they're doing and build to nameplate specs.

I would be more concerned with vibration and it's effect on connections.

Tight/clean connections make all the difference in the world

If your wire is to small it will also get quite warm to the touch and your saw would labor to start.

If the saw seems just a hair (post #206976, reply #3 of 5)

If the saw seems just a hair underpowered and sluggish you might see some slight benefit in replacing the wire.  But keep in mind that the wire in the motor itself is probably smaller.

You do want to avoid long extensioin cords, even if they are #12, and make sure that the circuit you're using is a 20A with #12 wire.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

thanks (post #206976, reply #4 of 5)

no warm or hot wires

must be ok? feed to the wall plug is 12ga, then biggest ext cord I could find, also 12 ga but only rated at 15 I am told due to the plugs

The thing with the plugs is (post #206976, reply #5 of 5)

The thing with the plugs is an artificial, label-only limitation.  An official 20A plug has one prong twisted at right angles to the "normal" 15A orientation.  This will only plug into a 20A outlet, which is one of those outlets with the T-shaped prong opening.  In terms of actually handling the current the cord is fine, if it's #12.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville