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Old 12-27-2012, 04:10 PM   #1
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Help with Subpanel for attic renovation


Hello, I was hoping to get some advice from the experts in this forum. I am doing an attic renovation in my home and need to install a subpanel. To give you background as efficiently as possible:

1. I have a permit
2. The space is a walk up attic with plenty of possible locations for a code compliant panel.
3. Need to provide power for: air handler (gas - just igniter?), full bath, bedroom, main room to be used as an office, wetbar with small refrigerator and maybe a microwave and coffee maker.
4. Probably several flat screen TV's
5. 2 or 3 ceiling fans (1 in bedroom, 2 in main room).
6. I already have one 20A and one 15A spare circuit run to the attic from the main breaker panel but I think it better to have a subpanel for the space as I may renovate the other half of the attic one day.
7. I have two 200A service panels in the first floor garage and each has plenty of space for a 2pole breaker. These panels are SquareD and use the Homeline breakers.
8. Attic is essentially the third floor.
9. There is no pre-installed conduit to make the feeder run easy.

So, my questions are:

1. What size panel to install? I think 60A is plenty big but it is difficult to find them.
2. Is it compliant to use a 100 or 125A panel while only using a 60A 2-pole breaker in the main panel to supply it? Is it wise?
3. There doesn't appear to be any easy way to run the feeder to the attic. Any tips on doing this?
4. What size feeder wire should I use? Should they be individual conductors or the bundled wire?
5. What type of wire?
6. It should be be 2 hots, neutral, and a ground. Correct?
7. If I decide to go through the walls, does NEC code specify how it needs to be run? Through conduit? Secured by staples?

Thank you for your help!



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Old 12-27-2012, 06:31 PM   #2
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Help with Subpanel for attic renovation


Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinviau View Post
Hello, I was hoping to get some advice from the experts in this forum. I am doing an attic renovation in my home and need to install a subpanel. To give you background as efficiently as possible:

1. I have a permit
2. The space is a walk up attic with plenty of possible locations for a code compliant panel.
3. Need to provide power for: air handler (gas - just igniter?), full bath, bedroom, main room to be used as an office, wetbar with small refrigerator and maybe a microwave and coffee maker.
4. Probably several flat screen TV's
5. 2 or 3 ceiling fans (1 in bedroom, 2 in main room).
6. I already have one 20A and one 15A spare circuit run to the attic from the main breaker panel but I think it better to have a subpanel for the space as I may renovate the other half of the attic one day.
7. I have two 200A service panels in the first floor garage and each has plenty of space for a 2pole breaker. These panels are SquareD and use the Homeline breakers.
8. Attic is essentially the third floor.
9. There is no pre-installed conduit to make the feeder run easy.

So, my questions are:

1. What size panel to install? I think 60A is plenty big but it is difficult to find them.
You Won't
2. Is it compliant to use a 100 or 125A panel while only using a 60A 2-pole breaker in the main panel to supply it? Is it wise?
Not a problem and is done all the time
3. There doesn't appear to be any easy way to run the feeder to the attic. Any tips on doing this?
The best way is to follow a plumbing vent pipe.
4. What size feeder wire should I use? Should they be individual conductors or the bundled wire?
6/3 with ground is good for 60 amps.
5. What type of wire?
See answer above
6. It should be be 2 hots, neutral, and a ground. Correct?
Correct
7. If I decide to go through the walls, does NEC code specify how it needs to be run? Through conduit? Secured by staples?

Does not have to be stapled if fish inside the wall.

Thank you for your help!


Answers in blue.

The bath requires a dedicated 20 amp circuit.

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Old 12-27-2012, 11:33 PM   #3
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Help with Subpanel for attic renovation


as far as running your wire, think about it. if you have to cut sheetrock or expose a wire(put exposed wire in conduit) look for a closet to help. i have taken down fluorescent lights and cut holes that would then be covered up by rehanging the light. just use your brain on this and keep the damage you have to do to a minimum. consider going outside in conduit and coming back in at the best place. a two story house is always a challenge.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:45 PM   #4
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Help with Subpanel for attic renovation


Quote:
Originally Posted by buddy builder View Post
as far as running your wire, think about it. if you have to cut sheetrock or expose a wire(put exposed wire in conduit) look for a closet to help. i have taken down fluorescent lights and cut holes that would then be covered up by rehanging the light. just use your brain on this and keep the damage you have to do to a minimum. consider going outside in conduit and coming back in at the best place. a two story house is always a challenge.

I've probably put too much thought into this. I decided to run NM-B 6/3 w/g (or 4/3 if I can get my hands on it) and not use conduit. This way, I only have to cut one hole in the drywall inside the house. The other would be in the garage which I'm not concerned about. I may even be able to utilize my A/V closet and avoid any drywall damage if things line up right.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:59 PM   #5
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Help with Subpanel for attic renovation


Keep in mind that there are clearance issues that may come into play.

You need a clear space 30" wide, 36" deep, and 78" tall. The attic will need a floor to stand on for the 30" x 36" space. You will probably need to provide a floored walk way as well.
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