Author Topic: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet  (Read 922 times)

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Offline nicholam77

  • Posts: 57
Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« on: Yesterday at 03:08 PM »
Hey everyone,

Perhaps dumb question, but I just picked up a CT15 dust extractor (first Festool vac!) and am loving the auto-on tool outlet with my sander. I saw in the instruction manual that it says "Max. electrical outlet module connected load - 2 A (240 W)". I assume this means it can't be used with tools that draw more than 2 amps? My Makita track saw has a 12 amp motor according to it's manual. I'd be quite disappointed if I can't use the auto-on feature with that, but don't want to try it if it's going to fry my new vacuum.

Any thoughts? I thought these vacs were commonly used with track saws. Thanks in advance for any guidance!

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Offline CeeJay

  • Posts: 257
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 03:53 PM »
I use my CT MIDI which is same internals as CT15 with an 1800W mitre saw. It’s never tripped out, even cutting 8” x 2” hardwood boards.

Also use it with OF1400 and others use with OF2200. I’m guessing it’s a regulatory/compliance issue with what the manual says.

Festool sales folks say you can use it with any Festool unit. You will see Festool doing online demos doing this all the time.

In practice, you will be fine.


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Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 209
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 03:57 PM »
I just bought a c15 dedicated for my Kapex which is rated for 13amps.

I believe Max is referring to the suction

There will be someone along shortly to give a better response but I think your fine
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 1400 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus, MFT/3, MFT-SP, FS-HZ 160

Offline nicholam77

  • Posts: 57
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 04:12 PM »
I use my CT MIDI which is same internals as CT15 with an 1800W mitre saw. It’s never tripped out, even cutting 8” x 2” hardwood boards.

Also use it with OF1400 and others use with OF2200. I’m guessing it’s a regulatory/compliance issue with what the manual says.

Festool sales folks say you can use it with any Festool unit. You will see Festool doing online demos doing this all the time.

In practice, you will be fine.


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Thank you for the reply. That's what I thought, too. But then I noticed different specs are listed in the MIDI and CT15 manuals (this is straight from Festool's current website):

MIDI/MINI:



CT15:



So just wanted to be overly cautious. I keep hearing people say "I'll use CT15 as a dedicated Kapex vac" etc and was confused why it's listed so low. It also says this under connecting a power tool:



Makita lists the saw at 1800W, which greatly exceeds even the MIDI warning, but I guess if it works it works?

I just bought a c15 dedicated for my Kapex which is rated for 13amps.

I believe Max is referring to the suction

There will be someone along shortly to give a better response but I think your fine

Ok that's good to know. I assume you've tested out the setup then? Thanks!

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 209
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 04:15 PM »
No, it’s still in the box. I’ve been staining/finishing and just have fused yet.

You’ll love the collector , good luck
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 1400 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus, MFT/3, MFT-SP, FS-HZ 160

Offline mino

  • Posts: 215
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 04:24 PM »
The problem will be with the low voltage these vacs are forced to operate on in the US.

In Europe, at 230V, the whole vac is 16A-rated which allows for 2400W max (a bit above 10A at 230V) to be taken from the tool socket irrespective of the vac power output. This is aplenty even for the biggest hand tools.

As such, the socket and the internals /electrically/ should be able to handle at least 10A or whereabouts during a prolonged use. In Europe standard 16A industrial sockets are used on the vacs.

But the limiting factor here is the power cable to the wall. I have no idea what cable Festool uses for the US CT - but it can be it is rated for only 13A or so sustained.

Unless Festool put there a 2A slow fuse you can likely overloaded it a lot without any observed effects. However you would be out of approved usage and hence any liability claims will go against you.

I would advise to contact Festool for clarification given most of their other vacs present much higher allowed amperes there. Usually in the 10A or so range.
It is possible that the 2A/240W limit is in fact an duty-cycle-averaged value and not an absolute maximum allowed.



Below is technical information provided purely for educational purposes and shall not be construed as an advise or instruction of any kind.

There are two main aspects which limit the max amperage:
 - The impedance of the circuit so that a traditional fuse breaker will be initiated in case of a wire contact.
That is mostly a concern for the wall installation so unless an extension cord is used the lone vac connected directly to a compliant wall socket should in most cases be well under the safety thresholds.
 - The waste heat generated IN the cable form resistance and the attendant risk of a fire should this heat cause the cable insulation to melt. That is a major concern for any sustained operation - e.g. routing, planing etc. Powerful tools with high momentary output but a low duty cycle /percentage of time the tool is active and using maximum power versus the total time passed/ can have low-enough average power use and hence cause little heat to be accumulated in the cable.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 06:18 PM by mino »
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(fixed@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 2520

Offline mino

  • Posts: 215
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 04:36 PM »
Thank you for the reply. That's what I thought, too. But then I noticed different specs are listed in the MIDI and CT15 manuals (this is straight from Festool's current website):
MIDI/MINI:
... snip ...
Careful here.

That is clearly the old international manual as it includes no voltage and only wattage values. The problem is the wattages are for the European (230V) vacs which are 3600W (16A) total with 1200W (6A@230) for the vac and 2400W (10A@230) for the tool.

At 120V that would require a 20A socket (!) on the tool and attendant thick cabling with a 30A wall plug. I am sure you would notice that..

It is also a manual for the OLD generation of the Mini/Midi. It does NOT apply to the current generation Mini/Midi HEPA units nor to the US-sold units with 110/120V motors!

Of course, with a light-duty-cycle tool, especially a power-limited one, it will work well beyond sustained load spec. But these specs in the old manual are no 110/120V specs. Far from them.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 04:39 PM by mino »
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(fixed@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 2520

Offline CeeJay

  • Posts: 257
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 05:43 PM »
Fair point. I am operating off 230V.


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Offline nicholam77

  • Posts: 57
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 05:48 PM »
Of course, with a light-duty-cycle tool, especially a power-limited one, it will work well beyond sustained load spec. But these specs in the old manual are no 110/120V specs. Far from them.

Thanks for all the info. The screenshots I took are from what's currently on Festool USA's website. It did not differentiate between generations of MIDI, just one link. If they are giving Euro specs for last gen vacs on the USA website, then that should probably be updated...

For what it's worth, the paper manual my CT15 came with lists the same 2 A (240 W) information.

And there is a sticker right on the receptacle cover that says this:



I'm in the U.S., purchased from U.S. distributor (Tool Nut), and the receptacle is a U.S. receptacle.

I am going to contact Festool and see what they say. If there is anyone in the U.S. using the CT15 on 110/120v with a higher amperage tool (like 10-13 amps), and has had no issues anecdotally, I'd still appreciate hearing that out of curiosity.

Thanks everyone.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2406
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 06:14 PM »
I use the CT15 regularly with the DF500 which is rated at 420W.

Offline RustE

  • Posts: 540
Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 06:34 PM »
As another point of reference, the cover on my 2017 CT MIDI has ‘3.7A maximum’ in the warning statement. This is a 120v machine.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 06:40 PM by RustE »

Offline nicholam77

  • Posts: 57
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 06:37 PM »
Thanks @ChuckM and @RustE

I have sent a message to Festool USA to see if they can clarify. I'll report back here  [big grin]

Also just to make sure no one interprets this the wrong way, I'm not ripping on the CT15 (I quite like it!). I'm just not familiar with these vacuums and didn't want to break it or void the warranty.

Offline RustE

  • Posts: 540
Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 06:44 PM »
...
Also just to make sure no one interprets this the wrong way, I'm not ripping on the CT15 (I quite like it!). I'm just not familiar with these vacuums and didn't want to break it or void the warranty.

Fein has a similar warning on their extractors. Since I know the electrical layout of my basement and garage, I use a short 12g extension cord to put the extractor and the saw on different circuits.

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 38
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 07:36 PM »
...
Also just to make sure no one interprets this the wrong way, I'm not ripping on the CT15 (I quite like it!). I'm just not familiar with these vacuums and didn't want to break it or void the warranty.

Fein has a similar warning on their extractors. Since I know the electrical layout of my basement and garage, I use a short 12g extension cord to put the extractor and the saw on different circuits.

I feel like this takes the auto-start for the extractor out of the equation, yes?

The disadvantage to the CT-15 is that there's no Bluetooth module available, so that method of remote-starting isn't a ready option either.

Offline RustE

  • Posts: 540
Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 07:44 PM »
I feel like this takes the auto-start for the extractor out of the equation, yes?

The disadvantage to the CT-15 is that there's no Bluetooth module available, so that method of remote-starting isn't a ready option either.

Correct. Turn the knob on the Fein to start it. Forgot to mention earlier that the usual tool connected is an older Delta miter saw with 15 amp motor. So, not something I wanted to risk.

The only way to start a CT-15 is with a tool connected? No manual method?

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2406
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #15 on: Yesterday at 08:16 PM »
Snip.
The only way to start a CT-15 is with a tool connected? No manual method?

You can start the CT15 manually or automatically with a tool switched on.

Offline nicholam77

  • Posts: 57
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #16 on: Yesterday at 08:29 PM »
Yes, my initial question was regarding the auxiliary auto-on tool receptacle and the power specs for that. I know I can power the tool separately, but the plan was to store the CT in my MFT cart. Would be 100x more convenient to have the tool trigger the vacuum during use, and one of the big reasons why I got this vac. The tool trigger feature works excellent with my ETS 125 REQ, I'm just hoping I can use more powerful tools like my Makita track saw in the same way.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2406
Re: Question about CT15 auto-tool power outlet
« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 09:23 PM »
Would be 100x more convenient to have the tool trigger the vacuum during use, and one of the big reasons why I got this vac.

If the CT15 (or any CT dust extractor) came without the auto feature, I think its sales would be brutally poor.