Add Subpanel Or Replace Main Panel... - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-02-2008, 04:54 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 95
Rewards Points: 75

add subpanel or replace main panel...

Hi, I'm working on a home addition, and will need a few more circuits than my current 100A 20-20 will allow for. The panel is completely full now, and tandem breakers aren't available for my GE box.

My question is this...are there any advantages/disadvantages over installing a subpanel for the new circuits versus just replacing the main box to a 32 circuit panel?

thanks in advance.


red86yota is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2008, 06:20 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 14
Rewards Points: 10

Just went through this myself. Same situation - out of spaces. However my main panel was a 45 year old zinsco. (Which is pretty much a firetrap), so the decision to replace was a bit easier.

1) Depending on your installation of panel it can be a real bear to physically replace (i.e. embedded in stucco on exterior of house vs surface mount in a basement).

2) Since the new main panel is larger (and maybe different) you could have problems with the length of the branch circuit inputs (i.e. too short) which would require a bunch of splicing. But if you pick the right panel are careful you might get away without any splices.

3) Assuming existing main panel is in good servicable condition and you don't plan on upgrading service to 200A, It is really an easy decision to simply add a subpanel right next to the main and be done with it.

3) If you have any ideas that you might need to upgrade your service, then the problem is a little different. If you plan to do that, then add a new Main panel for it and then make your existing main a sub-panel (observing of course only bonding the actual main panel).



scatkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 09:31 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10

What is the square footage of your new addition, combined with the square footage of your existing home?
GuitarPlayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 09:43 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,786
Rewards Points: 232

First of all. To install a sub panel you need two blank spaces in your existing main service panel. If your panel is full, where will you get your sub panel circuit from? Or you can move one 2 pole circuit to the sub to free 2 up in the main.
The size of your house does not always determine the size of the main service.
My recommendation is an upgrade to 200 amp main service. Then you can install a sub for convenience if you like. Think about the future.
J. V. is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Determining Main Panel Load with Subpanel added Randell Tarin Electrical 2 04-11-2008 01:21 PM
Replace main panel or use subpanel? MasterofNone Electrical 8 02-12-2008 12:24 AM
Replace main panel? And lots of other ?s Bcoleman6 Electrical 13 01-22-2008 09:40 AM
Connecting subpanel to main panel rtyui2 Electrical 10 12-07-2007 06:29 PM
Add subpanel or upgrade main panel dcoz Electrical 1 01-12-2006 09:24 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1