It's not unusual for a homeowner to turn the garage into a mini-workshop where the homeowner can create items as part of his or her hobby. But if you plan to take it a step further and take the workshop to the professional level, you need to get some work done right away. The electrical design of a professional workshop has to be much tougher than that of a residence; if you try to use the original wiring that was meant to power just a residential home, you could be putting your equipment and your home's wiring at risk of problems.
Three-Phase Wiring and Longer Equipment Life
Residential wiring uses single-phase designs that limit the voltage in each outlet to one voltage only. You have two "legs" that run an identical voltage, such as 110 or 120, and then a neutral leg. Industrial electrical design uses two identical legs with a third leg that runs a much higher voltage, and then that neutral leg. That three-phase design helps smooth out the electrical load and the distribution of power. It can make using equipment safer as the equipment doesn't experience quite as much stress, and as a result, the equipment can last longer.
Heavy Loads Can Overload
Even if the equipment you're using doesn't need to be on a three-phase design, it would benefit from additional power provided to the garage/workshop. Assuming you're manufacturing items for sale, you'll need the equipment to run for a long time, and you may need several types of equipment running simultaneously. That can place a serious strain on your home's electrical wiring and circuit breakers. That can overload the system easily, and having the wiring upgraded to an industrial standard is much safer.
Permits Play a Role
Obviously, your home's electrical system was originally installed with the assumption that you'd just be living in the home. Converting part of the system to an industrial or commercial system could go against zoning laws if you don't get a permit first. You may want to have a professional electrical design firm draw up the plans and get the permit for you. They will be able to explain the changes properly.
Protecting your home while still allowing your workshop flourish isn't an impossible task, but it does require the help of a professional electrical design team. Don't try to use residential wiring if you're going to have a full, professional workshop going on downstairs -- get everything upgraded for best results.
Contact a company like Albarell Electric Inc for more information and assistance.