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Old 01-11-2010, 03:04 PM   #1
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Add a second service panel


I have a home with a 100 amp service. I am approved for up to 200 amp. I don't want to replace the old panel I just want to add a new 100 amp panel next to the old one. Off of it I want to run a subpanel of 100 amps to a shop. Is that Bad practice, do I just need to replace the original 100 amp panel with a new 200 amp and run a subpanel off that? I just don't want to spend the time rewiring a new 200 amp panel but don't know if I am just thinking in the wrong direction.

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Old 01-11-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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Add a second service panel


Welcome.

A lot of great posters on this sight, I am sure you will get a lot of positive and informative responses.

I do have one logical thought/question about the panel

if you run a 100 amp next to your 100 amp is that not the same of updating your panel to a 200 amp...when I say the same is it not the same amount of work, i.e. wires and stuff???

Just a thought/question

Not an electrican, really do not know.

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Old 01-11-2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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Add a second service panel


If the existing 100 amp panel is ok, no recalls, not rusted, etc. and there would be no need to replace it in the near future, then sounds like a good plan to me.

Can you post a picture of the existing panel with the cover removed?

And if you could find the brand and model number of the panel, that would be helpful.

(There are some panels out there which are dangerous and should be replaced...)
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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Add a second service panel


Some Inspectors will not approve a 100a sub off a 100 main panel
Wiring a 100a sub, then another 100a sub off that does not make a lot of sense
How many circuits in the 100a panel right now ?
What do you have for heavy use electric items ?
What will you be installing ?
The cost difference between a 200 panel & 100a panel probably will not be that great

I'd be inclined to install a 200a 40 circuit panel & make the exisitng 100a a sub
Then run another 100a sub to the shop

All depends upon the size of the house, what your current Load Calc for the hous eis, & what you are going to run in the shop, & what your new total Load Calc will be based on additional equipment
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:33 PM   #5
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Add a second service panel


BillyBob, Thanks for your reply. This is a 2001 Cutler/Hammer panel in great condition with all circuits taken. My only concern is wiring a second main wire into the meter. Do they have space for a second set of say 2 gauge wires coming out of the meter to support a second panel or is that done in a different way?
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:36 PM   #6
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Add a second service panel


You cannot just replace the 100A panel with a 200A panel unless you change the service entrance conductors which means a service change.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:37 PM   #7
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Your meter would need to be a 200a meter setup with dual lug
You need to clarify what you mean by "approved for a 200a service"
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:40 PM   #8
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Scuba Dave, Thanks. I am concerned with what will pass. I am just dreading having to pull out the old 100 amp panel and putting in the new one but I don't want to do anything goofy.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:44 PM   #9
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Add a second service panel


Thanks everyone, I had the utility company (PNM) check on the current service size etc and whether I could upgrade to a 200 amp service and they said it was good to go. ( I hadn't checked on the feeders from the meter to the panel... I'll probably need to upgrade those to 2 ga. if they're not. ) I think I will just break down and put in a 200 amp panel and not try to go with two panels.
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:21 PM   #10
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Add a second service panel


Depending on how your setup is you could add a 200 AMP meter combo panel in place of your meter, then sub feed your existing panel out of your new panel with 4 wire(2 hots,1 neutral,1 ground) seperate your grounds and neutrals in your old 100 amp panel. The only thing you have to make sure of is that your range and dryer are 4 wire unless they are fed from the new service panel.
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:35 PM   #11
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One of the 1st things I did here with a 200a panel is put a 100a sub 3' to the left

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