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Old 05-27-2013, 01:52 AM   #16
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


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Originally Posted by jmoser View Post
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.
We know what you stated, and do not get upset because we want to have you better clarify in more detail in what you are achieving, so that you do not make a rookie mistake and go about this the wrong way, which in turn will just frustrate you even further.

The more info that you can give us, we can in turn help you out, in the limits of what you are dealing with on your current setup, how to fix the problem with the grounds and neutral tied together, without ending up into a very deep discussion on codes, requirements when performing this type of work, and then there is the issue of the fact, that you are dealing with electricity, which even at 120vAC per leg, can still not only knock you on your butt, but can kill you.

Even though your breaker on your panel feeding your sub panel may only be say 60 amps, or the breaker on your main panel is 100 amps, that is not the actual amperage that is possible to come into the structure, if you were to lose the Neutral, that just means that if at anytime the current coming into the breaker was to exceed or spike more than the rating imprinted or silk screened on the breaker, it is supposed to trip at that level.

So really to do yourself a favor, and to make this easy on everyone, please if you can post the other pictures of the main panel, any info that you can find on the cabling feeding that sub, distance from main to sub, what are you exactly trying to achieve by adding the extra breakers, are you going to be required to pull a permit to perform this work, is this going to cause you to have to pull all new cables through the conduit to meet the current requirement of four wires, due to you are wishing to change out your panel to allow more circuits.

The part on the permits, any requests by your local code enforcement office because of this work, you are either going to have to call them on Tuesday, or go to their website. Most times just changing out a panel, you do not have to change anything wiring wise, other than in your case, separating the grounds and Neutrals, and add a ground rod at that panel, but you have some homework to get this in order.

Also, return that QO panel back to Lowe's, and wait until we can fit all of this puzzle together, then go to a real electrical supply house in your area and get a Cutler-Hammer panel that will work for you.

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Old 05-27-2013, 01:54 AM   #17
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


I don't see extra slots for more breakers
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:04 AM   #18
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


the run from main breakers to the panel is about 80', maybe 90' max. theres plenty of power for the well pump. i just want to add more circuits (more than the 4 available) to run other sub panels.
i bought a homeline panel to replace this one, but it takes up too much room in the pump house.
mostly, I dont want to rewire the service wiring! lazy, it will be a pain.
but i want a panel with 12-16 circuits available...not just 5.

before i bought this place, it was a very distressed property. a local guy flipped houses (5 acres) and his dad did a lot of the work. I'm sure he wasn't an electrician. this was 15 years ago. i dont know why the inspector, or one of the well companies hasn't mentioned it..it had to get permitted...

i looked very closely at the wires and there is no gauge visible. it says rated to 600 amps...not much more than that.

if somehow i could just gut the circuit board and put in more slots, i could add a ground bus, ground rod etc
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:10 AM   #19
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


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Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
I don't see extra slots for more breakers
Most likely if they went off the sticker on the dead front, it was most likely off another panel. But yeah, that is a four slot only sub-panel.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:13 AM   #20
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


At that distance, and say if you are going with a 100 amp disconnect at the main panel, if you are able to do that (need the picture of the main panel, along with manufacturer & part number info of that panel, the min. wire size you really need is #4 Copper, or #2 Aluminum.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:42 AM   #21
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


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Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
I don't see extra slots for more breakers
Yes, exactly. I want more, but there's not.
And I wish I didn't have to change out the box. That's what I meant by " gut it".
Completely replace the main lugs and hot bars.

I was hoping cutler hammer would have a retrofit kit to do that.
From the responses I'm getting from the experienced and Pros in this thread, I guess that's just crazy talk. I wouldn't even consider it if there wasn't an acceptable, established safe way to do it. Which I'm pretty sure now that there isn't.

On the other hand, given my current set up, there's not really a totally correct way to wire a new panel, without a ground?
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:49 AM   #22
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


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Originally Posted by jmoser View Post
Yes, exactly. I want more, but there's not.
And I wish I didn't have to change out the box. That's what I meant by " gut it".
Completely replace the main lugs and hot bars.

I was hoping cutler hammer would have a retrofit kit to do that.
From the responses I'm getting from the experienced and Pros in this thread, I guess that's just crazy talk. I wouldn't even consider it if there wasn't an acceptable, established safe way to do it. Which I'm pretty sure now that there isn't.

On the other hand, given my current set up, there's not really a totally correct way to wire a new panel, without a ground?
Of course you can add a ground, rod, etc. with a new panel.

You still need to answer my questions:
  • Breaker size in house that's feeding this sub
  • What are the purposes of the circuits you want in the Pump House?
I understand that you can't read the writing on the feeders inside the subpanel. Any chance you can find it at Main?


AND, it is rated for 600V NOT Amps.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:52 AM   #23
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Hey guys, estimating the wire size of feeders based on sight is quite common, and frustrating for DIYers like myself. Isn't there a product made to assist with this, akin to the sizing of drill bits?
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:54 AM   #24
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Need conduit Size Too
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:57 AM   #25
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoser View Post
Yes, exactly. I want more, but there's not.
And I wish I didn't have to change out the box. That's what I meant by " gut it".
Completely replace the main lugs and hot bars.

I was hoping cutler hammer would have a retrofit kit to do that.
From the responses I'm getting from the experienced and Pros in this thread, I guess that's just crazy talk. I wouldn't even consider it if there wasn't an acceptable, established safe way to do it. Which I'm pretty sure now that there isn't.

On the other hand, given my current set up, there's not really a totally correct way to wire a new panel, without a ground?
Unforetally the codes did change and they no longer have old 3 wire feeders to subpanels at all.

Second thing you have well pump in that building it should have 4 conductor in first place.

Now I did look at your conductor the size is hard to tell but I know you mention 600 amps which it not 600 amp acutally ., 600 volt rated cable and IMO that cable look like direct burial cable due they ran a conduit from the panel to the underground run and from there there is no conduit at all.

If you want to make sure just dig up either side and see if they did have conduit run all the way if not will have to run new underground driect bural cable or new conduit with 4 conductor ( THHN/THWN )

Merci,
Marc
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:02 AM   #26
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Well, jmoser, there you go (what Marc said) You'll have to get over your laziness.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:13 AM   #27
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
Hey guys, estimating the wire size of feeders based on sight is quite common, and frustrating for DIYers like myself. Isn't there a product made to assist with this, akin to the sizing of drill bits?
I used have a slotted disk which it is calberated in AWG and I have second disk which it is sized for mm2 conductors

But with modern techology do show up I did heard there is a apps for finding the conductor size useing the smartphone thing but not sure what it called. ( shame on moi for this one but I am more like old school guy.,, )

Merci,
Marc
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:14 AM   #28
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
Hey guys, estimating the wire size of feeders based on sight is quite common, and frustrating for DIYers like myself. Isn't there a product made to assist with this, akin to the sizing of drill bits?
You take off the wire, and either use a Micron, or a wire size gauging template. Also a Little Black Book helps a lot.

If I had to make a estimated guess, I am probably going to go with 1/0 or 2/0 for that feeder. Overkill for the distance and what it is feeding, but they probably were intending it later on to do more than just drive the pump, but stopped at what they did in there.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:17 AM   #29
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
I used have a slotted disk which it is calberated in AWG and I have second disk which it is sized for mm2 conductors

But with modern techology do show up I did heard there is a apps for finding the conductor size useing the smartphone thing but not sure what it called. ( shame on moi for this one but I am more like old school guy.,, )

Merci,
Marc
No shame needed, Marc. Old school is best imo
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:20 AM   #30
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Can I add circuits to my sub panel?


Marc, you are so right. i was around while they were fixing the place up. he ran an underground cable,i think the outer casing is yellow. they ran conduit up the building. I'm almost dug down to the conduit sweep in the ground now.

i guess if i turn off the power, i could pull a wire and either see the writing on the back, or is there a tool, like you size bolts? i'd rather not disturb the main lugs unless i have to.

re: wire size, he knew my long term plan was to add buildings. if anything, he worried that it wasn't as beefy as i'd need. but he never mentioned it should have been 4 wire cable.

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