Shop Wiring

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CR11
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Shop Wiring

Post by CR11 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:25 pm

I have a saw, router and joiner each wired with a female plug to a vacuum. When each is plugged into the vac each turns on when the tool is turned on. I purchased a switch (Leviton Three Switches) with 3 switches so that I can wire each tool to 1 terminal. The switch has a black terminal on 1 side and 3 terminals on the opposite. How can I wire it so that each tool and vac will turn on when the tool's switch is flipped? How can I add a 4th tool to this situation?
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Aaron
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by Aaron » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:49 pm

Welcome to the forum. So the three switch combo unit you got takes a hot wire and splits it to three switches that each provide power to whatever you want to connect to them. You can have one or more things per switch if you pigtail wires together to combine one or more loads to power.

So you'd twist together a black wire from a tool, one from its vac, and a short pigtail wire together. The pigtail would connect to one of the switch terminals.

If your three-switch device is only designed to fit in a single gang (think of a box that only fits one normal switch), you could easily have overfill if you have all these switch splices happening for each switch. So I'd recommend instead using a 3-gang box with three regular single-pole switches. The you will have enough space for your splices.

CR11
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by CR11 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:22 pm

Thanks, Aaron. But I didn't explain myself in depth enough. I'm told this switch would allow each of the 3 tools to turn on/off when the tool is turned on/off. What do I do with the white wires of each tool? Seems to me that the single vac black wire would have to be connected to each tool. Do I run an independent black wire from the vac's motor? Where will the power to run the tools come from? It doesn't sound as if I plug the vac to a live outlet that that will enable the tools to run.

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Aaron
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by Aaron » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:08 am

Sorry I guess I don't understand your goal, what you want this triplex switch to do for you?

You have one vac and three tools, and you want it so instead of plugging and unplugging each tool into the vac you can just flip a switch to choose which tool operates the vac?

You said your tools have a female plug on them? I guess I haven't seen that before on anything other than power coming from a cord from a backup generator.

CR11
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by CR11 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:15 am

Yes, I want to turn on each tool so that the vac will turn on too. I used a female plug just as an idea b/c that was how I could plug the vac into it. Now I'm plugging the vac male plug into each of 3 female plugs. That gets old and is aggravating when moving back and forth for little steps. I just don't know what to do with all of the wires and what the triplex switch plugs to.

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emtnut
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by emtnut » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:03 am

CR11 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:15 am
Yes, I want to turn on each tool so that the vac will turn on too. I used a female plug just as an idea b/c that was how I could plug the vac into it. Now I'm plugging the vac male plug into each of 3 female plugs. That gets old and is aggravating when moving back and forth for little steps. I just don't know what to do with all of the wires and what the triplex switch plugs to.
A pic or drawing of your set up now would be helpful.
I'm not clear how you wired in the vac, and how many switches you currently have.

I think you will have a box fill issue using a triplex switch (even if using a 4 square). I'd think 3 single pole switches, and one outlet(for the vac) in a quad box would work best.

Are all these on the same circuit ?
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

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Aaron
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by Aaron » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:07 am

And by "female plug", do you mean a regular receptacle--the ones that are in your walls? Because all plugs are male.

Male plugs never have power unless they are plugged into, and receive power, from a female receptacle.

Receptacles are often called outlets and plug-ins.

I'm guessing your vac has a receptacle, where, if it senses a load on it, the vac will automatically start--is this true?

CR11
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by CR11 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:49 pm

Let me try to be more clear. I have a saw. I added a wire to the saw switch and put a female plug like an extension cord on it so I could plug in the vac. I turn the vac on. Nothing happens. When I turn on the saw, the vac starts. I did the same for the router and joiner.
I want to set up a switch so I don't have to go plug in and plug out the wires.
I was advised to buy a triplex switch. On one side, it has 3 terminals. I was told to put the black wire from each of the tools on one of the terminals and twist all of the white wires together and leave them. On the other side is a black terminal. I am at a loss at what to attach to it and what to do with the vac wires. I was told I need a separate wall outlet to go with it. But I don't know what to attach to it.

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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by emtnut » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:19 pm

CR11 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:49 pm
Let me try to be more clear. I have a saw. I added a wire to the saw switch and put a female plug like an extension cord on it so I could plug in the vac. I turn the vac on. Nothing happens. When I turn on the saw, the vac starts. I did the same for the router and joiner.
I want to set up a switch so I don't have to go plug in and plug out the wires.
I was advised to buy a triplex switch. On one side, it has 3 terminals. I was told to put the black wire from each of the tools on one of the terminals and twist all of the white wires together and leave them. On the other side is a black terminal. I am at a loss at what to attach to it and what to do with the vac wires. I was told I need a separate wall outlet to go with it. But I don't know what to attach to it.
That's a bit clearer.

Sorry for the million questions here, but how do you currently turn on the tools ? Plug them in ? On a switch ? Are these tools hardwired ?

Pic would be worth a 1000 words !
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

CR11
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by CR11 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:07 pm

The tools are on standard switches that are plugged into a wall outlet. However, I added an extra wire, like an extension cord, to each so that the vac male plug goes into extension cord attached to each tool. 3 tools, 3 switches, 3 extension cords. There is nothing to show in a picture unless I take the switches apart. Basically, each is an electrical box with an on/off switch. 2 wires. I added 2 more wires, 1 hot, 1 neutral. An extension cord. Female plug at the end. Vac plugs into female plug. Saw switch on, vac switch on. Ditto router. Ditto joiner.
All of this is not the point. I want to change this so that I have 1 switch to 3 tools. I know I will have 3 wires, 1 to each tool. How to get there?

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Aaron
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by Aaron » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:45 pm

There's no easy way to do that, unfortunately, without getting into wiring relays.

You want it so if one or more tools are turned on, the vac is on. The problem is the vac is being powered by the circuit of any one tool and not another.

So what you need is a relay module in each tool, where, if the tool is turned on it activates a relay that sends low voltage current to the vac's relay that switches on the vac. If you turn on another tool, that same thing happens and the vac's relay will switch on if it isn't already. Relays open when no longer getting either low or high voltage power, depending on the relay.

It would be a pretty involved circuit design; you'd need relays and a low voltage power source and low-voltage wiring. But it would be pretty slick if you pulled it off.

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emtnut
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by emtnut » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:24 pm

CR11 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:07 pm
The tools are on standard switches that are plugged into a wall outlet. However, I added an extra wire, like an extension cord, to each so that the vac male plug goes into extension cord attached to each tool. 3 tools, 3 switches, 3 extension cords. There is nothing to show in a picture unless I take the switches apart. Basically, each is an electrical box with an on/off switch. 2 wires. I added 2 more wires, 1 hot, 1 neutral. An extension cord. Female plug at the end. Vac plugs into female plug. Saw switch on, vac switch on. Ditto router. Ditto joiner.
All of this is not the point. I want to change this so that I have 1 switch to 3 tools. I know I will have 3 wires, 1 to each tool. How to get there?
All of this IS the point. We are not in your garage, and I had to ask if they were just plugged in, or if they were hardwired, or on a switch. My mind reading is off today :mrgreen:
The pic would have saved much back and forth ... ie, If I was standing in your garage, I could tell you in 30 sec what to do :mrgreen:

There is a fairly easy solution, but I still need to know if all these tools are fed from the same breaker ( I asked that earlier).
If not, they could be on separate phases, and things will go poof ! :o
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

CR11
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by CR11 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:41 am

Yes, the same breaker.

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emtnut
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by emtnut » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:12 am

Simplest way would be to run a cable from each of the existing switches (for each machine), and run that to a 4x4 box with a receptacle.
Tie into the switched hot on each switch, and the neutral.
So, if any switch is on, it will energize the receptacle (and turn on the vacuum)

You'll need the 4x4 box for the recept, because you will have 3 cables in there.
Tie all neutrals together and all hots together, and pig tail to the switch.


You could do the same with the new switch you bought, but then you would have to rewire all those switches to the new triplex switch ... and I think you will have a problem with box fill that way.
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

CR11
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by CR11 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:21 am

OK Thanks.

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emtnut
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Re: Shop Wiring

Post by emtnut » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:18 am

emtnut wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:12 am

You'll need the 4x4 box for the recept, because you will have 3 cables in there.
Tie all neutrals together and all hots together, and pig tail to the switch.
Sorry, that should read "pig tail to the receptacle"
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

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