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Old 02-26-2011, 07:33 AM   #1
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Installing two sub panels, is it OK?


We are building a garage this spring. Originally, I was going to take the only two spots (out of 20) in my 100 amp service panel and run a sub panel 80 feet away to the garage.

I was wondering, would it be better have two sub panels?

One sub panel would be installed 30 away from the main panel. This sub panel would free up 3 circuits in the main by taking the living room, 2nd bathroom and basement lights and putting them into the new sub, and also power a 30 amp breaker for the sub panel in the garage.


I know that the best solution would be to upgrade to a 200 amp service, but I just don't have the money for that now.

Does this sound OK?

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Old 02-26-2011, 07:50 AM   #2
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Installing two sub panels, is it OK?


sounds ok. first i would recommend that garage feed comes from main. note you are only allowed one feed to garage.

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Old 02-26-2011, 12:22 PM   #3
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Installing two sub panels, is it OK?


I would do what you say in your first sentence. Do not add two subs. Upgrade the main panel first. Wait until you have the money if you must. Or wait on the garage.
They make tandem breakers that only occupy one space but provide two separate circuits. See the picture below.
These will free up some spaces in your existing panel. You must be certain your panel will accept them first and where they go second. Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:55 PM   #4
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Installing two sub panels, is it OK?


Thanks, I guess I will have one sub panel off of the main, and hopefully upgrade to a 200 amp sometime down the road.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:01 AM   #5
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Installing two sub panels, is it OK?


I guess I have one more question, with the main panel in the basement and the garage is about 80 feet away, and the sub panel will be 30 amp, would 10 guage wire work, or should I use 8 guage due to the distance and voltage drop?
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:08 AM   #6
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Installing two sub panels, is it OK?


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I guess I have one more question, with the main panel in the basement and the garage is about 80 feet away, and the sub panel will be 30 amp, would 10 guage wire work, or should I use 8 guage due to the distance and voltage drop?
Lets be real about this. Is 30 amps all you will ever require in your garage? If this were my garage and I planned to use the garage for more than just parking, the items on my list would start with a 100 amp main breaker panel and a 1.5" PVC run. In that run I would pull 4 - #3 individual THHN/THWN conductors. Yes, a 100 amp sub panel. You can install this before you upgrade the service if you MUST. I would concern myself with the main service upgrade first though.

Search at the top of this page for "sub panels" garage wiring" ect....... This is by far the most frequently asked question on this forum. There is more there on sub panels than you could ever read.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:53 AM   #7
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Installing two sub panels, is it OK?


JV this makes alot of sense, who knows what I will end up putting in that garage. I always try to take the cheap way out and in the long run, it costs me more.

Thank you very much!
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:57 PM   #8
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Installing two sub panels, is it OK?


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JV this makes alot of sense, who knows what I will end up putting in that garage. I always try to take the cheap way out and in the long run, it costs me more.

Thank you very much!
Glad I could help. Better to do it right the first time. The panel and conduit will both be relatively cheap. I saw a 100 amp main breaker panel at the store for right around $100.00.
The wire is what will be the most expensive. Make sure you measure twice. They don't take back cut wire.

Make sure you do your research. Use the search function on this forum.

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