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Old 07-19-2011, 11:36 PM   #1
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Garage Sub Panel Questions

Hi experts,

We were considering selling our house a while ago, so we had a home inspector come in and he strongly suggested replacing a Federal Pacific sub panel in our garage. He also said that there was a 14 AWG wire connected to a 20 Amp breaker in that panel and that one or more openings existed in this sub panel. I was going to replace this sub panel and when I opened the cover I also discovered that it was (I think) wired improperly. From the other posts Iíve read here, I think the ground and neutral wires should be on separate buses, unlike the main panel.

At the time this sub panel was installed I believe the garage was unattached, but I donít see any ground rods either. Since then, an addition was built which now connects the house to the garage. The sub panel in the garage is 20 Ė 30 feet from the main panel in the basement. The sub panel is feed from a SEU XHHW CDRS. 3 #6 AWG 300V TO GRD wire which is enclosed within a 2Ē Sch 40 PVC tubing that runs underground, but Iím not sure exactly where or how deep. This wire is connected to a double 40A breaker in the main panel. I have enclosed pictures of the main and sub panel. There is also a sub panel in the basement adjacent to the main panel because we have a generator.

The sub panel in the garage is used for lighting on the porch, garage door openers, lights workbench outlet and the 20A circuit is connect to a GFI for a swimming pool pump.

Can anyone please give feedback on what I need to do to replace this panel and make the correct connections? Thanks in advance.
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Garage Sub Panel Questions-garage-electric-2011-007-cropped.jpg   Garage Sub Panel Questions-main-electric-panel-2011-002b.jpg  


mscanlon01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2011, 12:21 AM   #2
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Those both appear to be brand new panels to me. As for the sub-panel, yes it should be four wires (2 hots, a neutral, and a ground (ground & neutral on separate bus bars)). If you have any doubts, and do not feel like doing the work yourself, hire a electrician to fix, not a handy-man.


gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2011, 10:00 AM   #3
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Can't I use the current 3 wire feed to the sub panel? There is now a sidewalk and porch that go over where this wire runs and it would be a pain to rerun. I'd like to replace the sub panel with the least amount of work and cost, but still correctly and safely. I don't need 240 volts at the sub panel.
mscanlon01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2011, 10:03 AM   #4
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The cable feeding the subpanel is not listed for use underground. Since you have a partial conduit system it may not be too hard to fix this correctly.
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is offline   Reply With Quote

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