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Old 05-26-2013, 07:01 PM   #1
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


I have a 125 amp cutler hammer (BR48L125P) 4 slot 8 circuit sub panel in my pump house.e. Currently 2 slots are used for my well pump, a 220v 30amp breaker. That leaves 2 slots for 4 circuits.
I'd like at least 2 more slots, but 4 more slots would be better.

It's not the cost of a new panel holding me up, it's the labor. A new panel won't fit very fit very well in the pump house and I don't want to do the labor right now.

Can it be done?

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Old 05-26-2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


So what are you really asking? Are you asking if you should add the two circuits to the panel, or asking if you should just max it out for the whole eight circuits? Really confused in what you want to do.

Also, what is it that you are going to be using those extra circuits for, how many amps is the breaker at the main panel, that is feeding that sub panel? Is there currently three wires (two hots and a Neutral, with ground rod at the panel), or four wires (two hots, Neutral, ground from the main, with a fifth wire feeding a ground rod outside the pump house).

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Old 05-26-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


gregzoll, thanks for responding. i was answering your questions and lost the whole thing.am typing up a reply again.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:58 PM   #4
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
So what are you really asking? Are you asking if you should add the two circuits to the panel, or asking if you should just max it out for the whole eight circuits? Really confused in what you want to do.]

i have 8 circuits available on the panel now. 4 are used by my 240v 30amp breaker. that leaves 4 circuits. i would like to have 2-4 more circuits available.

[quote;Also, what is it that you are going to be using those extra circuits for, how many amps is the breaker at the main panel, that is feeding that sub panel? /quote]

there is a 70 amp main breaker at the house that feeds the pump house sub panel. from there i want to run 3 additional sub panels:
each has 12g 3 wire plus ground. i know i need ground rods(s) at each.
1--small chicken house. light, outlet, possible heat lamp in winter, outdoor outlet and possible outdoor motion light.
2--horse barn, 28x36'. 5 8' fluorescent lamps not used very often. a few general use outlets. a ceiling fan and 2 box fans. maybe a motion sensor. possibly mini fridge in future, not likely anytime soon.
3--old barn, 24x28', lights, a few outlets, does run a low voltafe electric fence all the time.

[quoteIs there currently three wires (two hots and a Neutral, with ground rod at the panel), or four wires (two hots, Neutral, ground from the main, with a fifth wire feeding a ground rod outside the pump house).
the panel in the pump house has only 3 wires, 2 hot and one ?ground or
?neutral...there isn't a separate buss for ground and neutral, and there isnt a ground rod(s). so need to fix those problems.

i just dont want to move the metal circuit box, i want to replace the guts.
can i?
thanks

Last edited by jmoser; 05-26-2013 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Probably going to have to redo it correctly.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:20 PM   #6
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Do you mean make corrections to the pump house sub panel?
That needs to be fixed no matter what. Ground rods, separate the buss.
But why 3 wires instead of 4?

Or do you mean you can't take out the existing main lugs and circuit panel, and put a new panel in the existing metal box?
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:33 PM   #7
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


If you have that sub-panel run in pipe, you can use the conduit as the ground conductor with a few changes. You also might find a twin 240 volt breaker(2 two pole breakers) taking up only 2 slots leaving 2 spaces for 2 twin breakers.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:36 PM   #8
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoser View Post
Do you mean make corrections to the pump house sub panel?
That needs to be fixed no matter what. Ground rods, separate the buss.
But why 3 wires instead of 4?

Or do you mean you can't take out the existing main lugs and circuit panel, and put a new panel in the existing metal box?
Old way of doing it, was two hots, and a neutral, with the ground "floating", just a wire to a ground rod, no ground return to the main panel. No longer is that the case. Now you have the two hots, a neutral and ground tied between the two panels.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:46 PM   #9
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Unfortunately, the conduit is pvc. How could I have only 3 large aluminum wires feeding this 220 volt sub panel? And no ground bar? It's been like this for 14 years and no one has ever commented on it. I see it, I just don't understand how it has escaped anyone saying something...

And sinceno one is addressing the question, I assume you CAN NOT take out the guts of an electrical panel and put new guts in...?

Last edited by jmoser; 05-26-2013 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:09 PM   #10
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Take a picture and post it, show the wiring inside the panel, behind the dead front. As for how they can get the wires through the conduit, they use a soap type product, that they slather on the cables, while pulling it through the conduit.

As for the changing of the guts, depends on the panel, so again, pictures are helpful.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:13 AM   #11
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Jmoser,

If all you want to do is add two more circuits, that's easy enough. You shouldn't have to "take out the guts".

What are the additional circuits to be used for?
What is the size of the breaker in your Main panel that is feeding the pump house?

Also, the pic is a good idea, as Greg requested.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:23 AM   #12
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


heres the pump house box. see the 3 large wires coming from the house breaker box. can you tell about what gauge the wires are? is third one the neutal or a ground?

http://s1265.photobucket.com/user/ba...image.jpg.html
(i don't know how to upload this picture, sorry. id rather have it posted for reference but ???)

see where the power enters the box? i'd like to leave the box attached as is, and replace the guts with an 8 slot circuit board. but i'm guessing it cant be done? even if money were no object?

i picked up a QC main lug box at Home Depot today that fits between the studs, and has 8 slots so 16 circuits. it is only a 100amp box, and the breakers are 3x as expensive as th
sd homeline. but it fit my needs in the pump house. i will want to add a garage sub panel from this box one day, but not now.

so

Last edited by jmoser; 05-27-2013 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:34 AM   #13
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
Jmoser,

If all you want to do is add two more circuits, that's easy enough. You shouldn't have to "take out the guts".

What are the additional circuits to be used for?
What is the size of the breaker in your Main panel that is feeding the pump house?

Also, the pic is a good idea, as Greg requested.
i detailed the purpose earlier in this thread (no disrespect, but pls see my earlier reply). I currently have one 30amp 220v circuit to the well pump. the other breakers go to outlets that have cords plugged in that run to two of the out buildings. that allows me 4 circuits, but i'd like to have more than 4 circuits available (again, pls see above).
thanks for your help, i appreciate your time.

Last edited by jmoser; 05-27-2013 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:41 AM   #14
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Again, if only adding two maybe four more circuits, you need to change the panel out, but personally I would stick with a Cutler-Hammer, since you already have that company's breakers on the current panel, and going with the Q) panel, you are going to be dropping more dime. I have a QO panel for my main panel in my home, and a Homeline in my garage. Personally I prefer the Homeline over the QO, due to the way the breakers are manufactured, in how they attach to the bus bar.

As for that incoming wiring, that is more than what you need for 30 amps, unless it is a very long run from the pump house to the main panel. Do you know the "as the eagle flies" distance from the pump to the location of the main panel? Can you post a drawing of the property, showing the relation of the pump house to the home location of the main panel, with a guess on how the conduit is ran from one structure to the other.

There are some markings on the wire that you can just barely make out. Can you try to get a closer shot of it, or on the other end as request at the main panel, what breaker is connected to those wires.

To fix your problem with the Neutral and grounds tied together on that same bus-bar, you would need to remove the bonding screw if there is one on that Neutral/ground bus-bar, then add a ground bar to that panel, and then add a ground rod, to make it compliant with current codes. That still would not bring it to a four wire circuit, but it would at least be a lot better than what it is now.

Is there any paperwork filed with your county for any of this electrical work, or anything that you have come across, in info left by the previous homeowner, or any tags on either panel cover, that shows a company sticker or even a notation with a sharpie or marker, by the person that did this work?
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:51 AM   #15
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


I'm not sure the correct orientation, but here's the photo.
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?-diyquestion.jpg  

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