Not as quickly as I’d like, but I do keep making progress on the new Fit RV Shop. This week, I get some of the rough electrical work done, and fill you in on the final layout of the shop. Check it out:
Honestly, I had wanted to sub out all the electrical work. So, I got a bid to:
- Add a sub-panel
- Add 2 30A 240v circuits
- Add 2 120v circuits for outlets
- Keeping the lighting on its own circuit
But the bid came to
I figured there’s a lot of work I can do myself for $3,700, so I did a little detective work. It turns out, I already had two separate circuits of 50A 240v power in the shop. I also had no less than 3 120v circuits powering outlets, and the lights were on a separate circuit from everything else. Fantastic! This meant that the hard parts, like running heavy gauge wiring through poured concrete walls, was already done. All I had to do was to work inside the room to get the various outlets where I wanted them. THAT, I can do – and for a lot less than $3,700. The only thing I will lose by not having the sub panel in the shop is that I’ll have to walk upstairs to reset a breaker if I trip one. (But my last shop was powered by a sub-panel with a single 30A feed, and I never tripped a breaker in 13 years… I think I’m good.)
So, I’ve got the rough wiring done for the 240v circuits now, and you’ll see the planned finished layout for the shop in the video as well. There are a couple things I want to call your attention to though that made the work to-date easier.
Polaris Connectors – the existing wiring for the 50A circuits was in great shape, but it was as thick as a pencil. That makes it unwieldy, expensive, and not exactly wire-nuttable. I didn’t want to run that stuff all over the shop. So I needed a good way to step that wiring down to a 30A size. I used these Polaris connectors to do the job. They’re a bit expensive, but they seemed the most foolproof way to do what I needed to. I wish I had seen this Amazon price before I bought mine locally at an electrical supply place. I bought 6 and I paid what Amazon is charging for 12.
30 Amp Circuit Breakers – It’s completely acceptable to replace a breaker with a smaller breaker, and that’s what I did here. I specifically didn’t show it because I don’t want anyone messing around inside their service panel based on my video. Anyway, this was necessary because I wanted to use only 30A wiring to handle the 240V circuits in my shop. Since the breaker protects the wiring, I needed to size the breaker to match the wiring. Replacing the breakers was uneventful, and they’re taped “off” for the time being.
A Conduit Bender! – I’ll be completely honest. I don’t anticipate using this tool much in the future. Heck, after this project, I don’t know if I’ll ever use it again. But I priced out some of the offset connectors, unions, and 90 degree pre-bent elbows and I realized this thing would quickly pay for itself. Having it around in the future is just a bonus, I guess. Plus, if I ever decide to run wiring in the garden shed, I guess it might come in handy.
So that’s it. Next time, I’ll have a closet framed and some wall material going up.