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Old 11-16-2010, 07:59 PM   #1
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Basement Subpanel

Hello everyone. I am currently finishing my basement and have a electrical dilemma.

I currently have a 200 amp main panel and a 100 amp subpanel. My basement addition will add 12 circuits and I also want to add a 50amp disconnect for a future hottub.

I have plenty of open breakers to accomplish this (3 in sub and 12 in main), however my problem is the panels are flush mounted in stud cavities and so I can only use the top knockouts. The main panel only has 2 small knockouts left so it looks like I will only be able to fit like 4 wires in there.

To get around this and to try to keep things clean, I was considering adding a second 100amp subpanel and just use it for the basement circuits.

The problem is, I can't even find an available knockout on the main to run the 4 gauge wires for the sub.

The only idea I had was to pull the cover off of the main panel and see if there are any available knockouts on the side of the box. If there are, I could drill a big hole in the framing stud so I could reach the knockout. The wall is made from 2x6's, so I should be able to cut out a big enough hole. Once I have that done, I could connect a 1.5" conduit or a cable clamp and run my wires out to the second subpanel.

I attached a pic. Kinda hard to tell in the pic but there is the "original" wall where the panels are mounted in the stud cavities, and then there is a "new" wall framed in front of it a few inches as part of my basement finish.

I was thinking of mounting the second subpanel in the "new wall" framing to the left of where the radio is in the picture. The new wall is about 3 inches in front of the original wall so that should give me plenty of room to route the cable or conduit between the main and the new sub. If I go the cable route, can I just somehow secure it to the face of the existing wall framing (like you would use staples for smaller wire)? It would be in between the "new wall" and the old wall so it would be well protected.

My other idea was to mount it just to the right of the existing panels but in the "new wall". But I didn't know if that would cause problems with the 30" clearance rule or not since it would be sticking out a few inches from the existing panels.

Does this sound like a reasonable solution? Or am I overthinking this? Any other ideas?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Basement Subpanel-imag0039.jpg   Basement Subpanel-imag0040.jpg  


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Old 11-16-2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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What about raising the panels so you could use the bottom knockouts?


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Old 11-16-2010, 08:51 PM   #3
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I did consider that, however with all of the existing wires, feed to other sub, main SER cable, etc I didn't think that it would be too easy to move up.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:19 AM   #4
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Install the third sub panel the right way. I cannot see how the existing panels can work with that new wall in front. You have clearance issues. I am not sure how that boxing of the subs will play out when inspected.

Last edited by J. V.; 11-17-2010 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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Really? I guess I didn't think the new wall would be an issue. Was just going to make some cabinet doors to go over it.

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