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Old 05-25-2010, 02:30 PM   #1
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Adding a 220v outlet to full panel


How do i add a sub panel from a full service panel? I'm switching from a gas clothes dryer to electric. Just need an outlet for it and my box doesn't have any more room.


Last edited by deltalee59; 05-25-2010 at 06:05 PM. Reason: follow up from answers
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:45 PM   #2
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Adding a 220v outlet to full panel


Assuming your service will support the additional load adding a subpanel would be the easiest means.

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Old 05-25-2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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Adding a 220v outlet to full panel


You only have two options.
1. Add a sub panel by moving some of the existing circuits to the sub panel to free up a feed for the sub panel.
2. Replace the entire panel with one that has more space in it.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:35 PM   #4
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Adding a 220v outlet to full panel


Take and post a picture of your panel with the door open so we can see all the breakers and the information on the the inside of the cover door. You may be able to install wafers or twins depending on what you have.
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:44 PM   #5
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Adding a 220v outlet to full panel


The cheapest and easiest way is to combine a few circuits to free up 2 spaces (make sure they are on different legs). This is kinda frowned upon though, but I don't think it's against code as long as the breaker is sized correctly. To make this easier just use two 15 amp circuits and put on one 15 amp breaker. Don't put two 15 amp on a 20. Chose two circuits that have very little load. I would consider replacing the panel with a bigger one though, but this does serve as a quick way until you get the money/time to do a full replacement.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:23 PM   #6
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Adding a 220v outlet to full panel


dealtalee59, If your panel is "full" with 1" breakers, you can use tandem breakers. Two individual 1/2" breakers that will free up one 1" breaker space. In order to free up enough room for a typical 220 VAC breaker, you'll need 2 of those. You don't want to combine two separate circuits under one lug of a breaker; 1) you don't know how much each circuit is drawing and wind up adding too much for a breaker (they do fail occasionally), 2) the breaker may not be rated for two wires. You'll need to consider how much current your house uses; how many devices are on at a given time. Elec. water heater, range/stove, dryer, dishwasher, large fridge, etc. A/C and elec. heat are calculated differently because they're usually not on all the time (seasonal demand). Choose to err on the side of safety. If you use a lot of current, maybe it would be a good time for a service upgrade, say from a 100A 20 circuit panel to a 200A 40 circuit panel (also if your panel is full of tandem breakers). Having a larger service is always a good selling point (when you get there). Safe gets you to see another day. Hope this helped. Regards, pete
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:40 PM   #7
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Adding a 220v outlet to full panel


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Originally Posted by petey_c View Post
dealtalee59, If your panel is "full" with 1" breakers, you can use tandem breakers.
Tandems can only be used in the panel if the panel label allows tandems. Just because they fit or can be made to fit, does not mean they are allowed to be used in a panel.

Also it is 240 volts, not 220.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:54 PM   #8
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Adding a 220v outlet to full panel


Yes as petey_c said if you do combine don't put the two wires under the same breaker, pigtail to one wire then add. The tandem is a better idea if your panel supports it though.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:17 PM   #9
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Adding a 220v outlet to full panel


Jim Port, is correct. Tandems only if the panel supports them. I'm stuck on using 220VAC probably due to a scene from "Mr. Mom" when Michael Keaton says he's going to install, "220, 221, whatever it takes."

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