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Old 01-23-2010, 12:49 AM   #1
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50 Amp Circuit - Splice 6 Gauge Cable to 12-3?


I want to use an existing 50 Amp circuit in a basement workshop to power some tools and a light or two. The 6 gauge cable for the circuit is in metal conduit.

1) Should I attempt to pull the cable out of the conduit? It's a long run of pipe (~50') with three 90 degree bends. Or-should I just saw through it (after duct taping the circuit breaker OFF!)?

2) Once the cable is free, can I run it into a J-box and splice one or more 12-3 cables to it? If not, what should be done instead?

3) If it's ok to make the splice, how should the 6 gauge be connected to the 12-3 romex? Wire nuts?? Would Gardner Hex Lock Universal Wire Connectors work?-they're for 6 -14 gauge cable.

Please excuse my ignorance, I've never tried to splice such a big cable to a smaller one before so it's pretty intimidating! Thanks for your help.

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Old 01-23-2010, 05:27 AM   #2
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50 Amp Circuit - Splice 6 Gauge Cable to 12-3?


If the conditions are right, I would suggest feed a small sub panel with the 6's, and then feed your new circuits from there.

Square D makes a small 70 amp 2 space, 4-circuit panel that may work well for you.

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Old 01-23-2010, 07:01 AM   #3
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50 Amp Circuit - Splice 6 Gauge Cable to 12-3?


You could splice #12 conductors to that #6, provided that you splice it at both ends! You see, some 20 Amp circuit breakers' lugs are not rated for #6 conductors, depending on manufacturer.

Square D breakers 30 Amps and under are only rated for up to #8 wire. Cutler-Hammer type BR, is rated for up to a #4, so you would not have to splice the end at the main panel. Their type CH breaker accepts only up to a #10. Your brand may or may not be suitable.

Better to install a small sub-panel and then you can have more circuits available at your shop.
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:09 AM   #4
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50 Amp Circuit - Splice 6 Gauge Cable to 12-3?


I agree with the others, install a sub panel. This provides lots of flexability and capability for expansion.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:10 PM   #5
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50 Amp Circuit - Splice 6 Gauge Cable to 12-3?


Thank you everyone, this helps a lot. I've never installed a sub panel, so will look through previous posts to see how it's done. Thanks again!
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