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Old 02-18-2013, 11:19 PM   #1
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Adding 60 amp subpanel in basement with maxed-out 200 amp main


Hi all, glad to join the site tonight. I have a few questions for more experienced electricians who can chime in. I have 6 months experience doing electrical work and have someone who needs a 60 amp subpanel installed in their basement. I sized it for 60 amps because the basement is very small and the demand is for two rooms; one bedroom, and one play room for their kids. They plan to eventually finish off this area, but not right now.

The house is an electrical mess - how it passed when they bought it really amazes me. Lights spliced outside of boxes, lights nailed to joists without boxes, home runs going out basement windows (!!!) under additions and up into walls. Receptacles just dangling from the ceiling. Truly scary.

*The main 200 amp panel is on the first floor in an addition to the house. It is completely full.

*The desired 60 amp panel will go in the basement.

*The addition sits on a concrete slab, providing no means to fish wire under the finished floor.

*The subpanel will require 100' or more to fish up above the 2nd floor, across, and down to the basement.

Article 310.15(b)(16) states #4 ser cable would be plenty for 60 amps.

My questions are:

*Is #4 ser ( 4 4 4 6 aluminum) the best choice for this install? Accounting for voltage drop?

*Plumbing is near the ideal location for the sub panel. Is 3' on all sides sufficient space away from these pipes? Trying to save on wire cost, but if it has to be on another wall clear of any plumbing then that's where it will have to go.

*Can I install 1 tandem breaker in the main panel to free up space as long as it is listed and the same brand?

I've done quite a bit of searching online, but haven't come across my exact situation just yet. Thanks in advance for your help!

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Old 02-19-2013, 12:17 AM   #2
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Adding 60 amp subpanel in basement with maxed-out 200 amp main


Are you a licensed electrican? I think not!

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Old 02-19-2013, 12:58 AM   #3
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Adding 60 amp subpanel in basement with maxed-out 200 amp main


If that guy is what I'm to expect out of people here then I'll just pay one of the licensed electricians I know to review my work when I'm finished.

Heck of a welcome for a newcomer.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:17 AM   #4
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Adding 60 amp subpanel in basement with maxed-out 200 amp main


As you stated you are doing the work for someone else, it is a simple question and an observation.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:19 AM   #5
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Adding 60 amp subpanel in basement with maxed-out 200 amp main


No, I am not. I haven't acquired the hours to take my examination yet.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:30 AM   #6
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Adding 60 amp subpanel in basement with maxed-out 200 amp main


Welcome to the forum we are glad to help.

I see you have been doing some research but a few corrections if that is ok ....

Article 310-15(b)(6) cannot be used for feeders to panelboards (sub-panels) that are not service equipment. You must use table 310.16. #4 ser aluminum is good for 55 amps, you would be allowed to use a 60 amp breaker .... so it is a bare minimum for 60 amps. I'd use a 50 instead.

You sound like your doing electrical work for someone on property other than your own. Where I'm going is that even though this is a DIY place you cannot do electrical work on someone elses property without being licensed by the city or state. However I do understand that this happens all the time but you would be well advised to reconsider ..... Someone needs to take out a permit regardless ... so the work can be inspected.


Quote:
Is #4 ser ( 4 4 4 6 aluminum) the best choice for this install? Accounting for voltage drop?
Its fine but I like copper. #6 nm-b copper cable would do the same as the al SER.
Quote:
Can I install 1 tandem breaker in the main panel to free up space as long as it is listed and the same brand?
Only if the panel is designed for them and it states on the panel labeling it accepts tandems.

Sorry but it is late here in Kansas and it time for me to retire for the evening... will be back in the morning.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:35 AM   #7
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Adding 60 amp subpanel in basement with maxed-out 200 amp main


Thank you. It is quite late here too but I'm still up for some reason. I'll check back in the morning.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:41 AM   #8
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Adding 60 amp subpanel in basement with maxed-out 200 amp main


You should NOT be doing this work. You do not have the experience needed. Furthermore, if this house is as bad as you say it is, they need to get a QUALIFIED electrician in to address safety issues. You can be held responsible for ANYTHING that goes wrong in the house. You need to explain to your customer that they need to fix the existing wiring before doing anything else.

Since this is not DIY, I hope one of the mods locks this thread.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:49 AM   #9
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Adding 60 amp subpanel in basement with maxed-out 200 amp main


I'm just as new as you to this site, but I'll put my two cents in as well. You have not asked a DIY question; you have asked as a contractor [qualified or not is irrelevant]. When you stated that this was for another person, you took on a large liability.

I am not certain you are qualified to take on such a liability, or if you even realize that it might be happening this way. But you must understand that if something does go wrong, your best friend could turn out to be your worst enemy. You may scoff at me now, but I have seen this happen first hand.

When you are a contractor, you insure yourself against liability claims. This insurance is not usually cheap either. I suggest that you let the homeowner ask the questions and make this modification. Your liability goes way down if you just give the guy a hand pulling a little wire [whatever he buys]. And from your description of the present house wiring, sounds to me like all manner of things could go wrong anyway.

Just something to think about. I know we all think that our best friends wouldn't do anything to hurt us, but just turn on the TV or read the newspaper. BFF's ain't what they used to be.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:02 AM   #10
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Adding 60 amp subpanel in basement with maxed-out 200 amp main


Thank you for your posts-----You have received very good advice from some experienced pros----

This thread will be closed as this is not do-it -yourself related--instead it is commercial work done by an unqualified individual----thank you all for the attention---Moderator----

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