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Old 02-24-2009, 01:44 PM   #16
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


I had my main feed buried
I also buried my run to the pool cabana for a sub-panel, well worth it to have this stuff buried & out of the way

I agree with the 60a sub, I used a 100a panel fed with a 60a breaker in my pool cabana

Is the cement a walkway? A driveway?

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Old 02-24-2009, 02:33 PM   #17
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


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Does it have to be underground?. Is overhead not permitted anymore?. I believe that the underground installation will cost me a bit more since obviously there will be digging to do and specially because there is cement in the path.
Honestly I don't know. When we have bought houses with overhead feeds we have pulled them out and buried them. I feel like underground is a much safer option when your running the lines across your property,,,but then again most of the power drops to homes are overhead...

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Old 02-24-2009, 02:56 PM   #18
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


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Does it have to be underground?. Is overhead not permitted anymore?. I believe that the underground installation will cost me a bit more since obviously there will be digging to do and specially because there is cement in the path.
Overhead is permitted, but there are clearances you need to meet
In a lot of cases it's easier to bury as a result
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Old 02-24-2009, 03:33 PM   #19
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


Are permites required when you do this underground ran for the cables from the house to the garage? Will this be mapped by the utility company and kept in records or is it up to me to do something about it?. Part of the concrete is driveway. I will look into having it bury.

So far, I am inclining to leave my 100 amp main panel and add a 60 amp sub-panel for the garage with the underground line.
I appreciate all input. This is very helpful in deciding what I need.
I will still post some pictures of the main panel as soon as I have them to get comments on possible replacement by a newer 100 amp panel.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:00 PM   #20
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


Yes, permit is required
No, the public utility does not track private run
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:53 PM   #21
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


As promised here are the pictures of the panels. What do you think? would the 100 Amp main panel require replacement?. I will definetly have the garage done but I am not sure if I want to replace/upgrade the main panel at this time due to the cost.
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:55 PM   #22
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


The third picture is the subpanel in the garage.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:48 PM   #23
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


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The third picture is the subpanel in the garage.
Thanks for posting the photos.

Garage, no question, new panel.

House, I don't see very many ground wires in there. Are there ground wires coming into that panel from the house circuits?

If there are circuits that are ungrounded, then you want to consider rewiring them.

The panel it's self, it sure isn't pretty. I think those may be FPE breakers that have had some failures. Were it my house, I would not give it a second thought and that panel would be replaced with a new clean modern panel. But the absolute necessity of that is up for debate.

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Old 02-26-2009, 09:56 AM   #24
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


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Thanks for posting the photos.

Garage, no question, new panel.

House, I don't see very many ground wires in there. Are there ground wires coming into that panel from the house circuits?

If there are circuits that are ungrounded, then you want to consider rewiring them.

The panel it's self, it sure isn't pretty. I think those may be FPE breakers that have had some failures. Were it my house, I would not give it a second thought and that panel would be replaced with a new clean modern panel. But the absolute necessity of that is up for debate.

Jamie
I did not pay attention to grounding wires. I see there is white wires connected underneath the breakers... this would be the neutral correct? but it seems that there is green wires running to that connection as well?. Yes indeed it is not pretty and I would like to replace it, but I am afraid that this may be more work (and $$$) that I anticipate. As you see the panel and wiring is within the wall which means that I may need to open the wall, or not? so that I can ran the cables for the garage through the bottom inside the wall for the underground garage feed. I am having second thoughts about this underground feed to the garage... it seems that it will add a lot more work to the project. Then again, it may not be too hard. I will still have the overhead wires coming to the main panel. What do you think?
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:07 AM   #25
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


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I did not pay attention to grounding wires. I see there is white wires connected underneath the breakers... this would be the neutral correct? but it seems that there is green wires running to that connection as well?. Yes indeed it is not pretty and I would like to replace it, but I am afraid that this may be more work (and $$$) that I anticipate. As you see the panel and wiring is within the wall which means that I may need to open the wall, or not? so that I can ran the cables for the garage through the bottom inside the wall for the underground garage feed. I am having second thoughts about this underground feed to the garage... it seems that it will add a lot more work to the project. Then again, it may not be too hard. I will still have the overhead wires coming to the main panel. What do you think?
Yes the grounds and neutrals should connect at the same point on this panel, that is correct. However my concern was that I could not see very many ground wires. Each circuit going into the panel should have a ground with it, so for the most part, you should have as many grounds as you do neutrals (whites). Are there anywhere close to this many grounds?

The trenching isn't a big deal, and the conduit is nothing, it's just using pvc cement and slipping them together. You either rent a trencher or find somebody that does some trenching, maybe someone that has one that takes on a few jobs part time. Last time we had a guy like that come and dig maybe 150 feet of trench, I think he did it for $100 and a case of beer. The trenching is pretty hard to screw up, as long as you make sure they get it deep enough and they get from point A to B where you want the conduit to run... imo, underground is easier, cheaper and safer than overhead. 1" PVC is something like $3 for 10'. How long of a run was it again to the garage?

RE: changing the panel, yes you may have to cut open the wall and patch it as necessary. If you were only swaping the panel to a new one and not changing around any other wiring,you might find a remodel panel that could go in that same spot, but it would be a lot of work to change it without cuttting up the wall. At a minium your going to need to make some changes to the wires entering that panel for the garage. So I would say just to cut open the wall as necessary, and patch.

Let me know what the grounds situation is, how many grounds, if each cable comming in has a ground wire or if there are far less grounds than neutrals. It would be good to figure out if there is going to be rewiring work in the house.

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Old 02-26-2009, 10:20 AM   #26
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


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Yes the grounds and neutrals should connect at the same point on this panel, that is correct. However my concern was that I could not see very many ground wires. Each circuit going into the panel should have a ground with it, so for the most part, you should have as many grounds as you do neutrals (whites). Are there anywhere close to this many grounds?


Jamie

I do not see that many ground wires (green). I guess this is bad new to me. Does this mean that those lines would have to be redone?. Does that mean a lot of holes and patching all over the house? I was afraid of that. I will look into getting at least 3 bids from licensed electricians in the next couple of months and we'll see how that goes.

Thanks a lot for all your help.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:42 AM   #27
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


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I do not see that many ground wires (green). I guess this is bad new to me. Does this mean that those lines would have to be redone?. Does that mean a lot of holes and patching all over the house? I was afraid of that. I will look into getting at least 3 bids from licensed electricians in the next couple of months and we'll see how that goes.

Thanks a lot for all your help.

Green or bare copper either one. Most likely bare copper wires.

If there are no ground wires on the circuits in the house, then the best option in the interest of safety is to rewire.

Were you going to do some of the work yourself or were you going to hire someone for everything?

With a rewire, the amount of holes and patching depends on your skill level and your patience. We just redid my parents hole house, it was built in the 1910's and some parts were very difficult. 80% of the house was done without damaging the walls.

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Old 02-26-2009, 12:33 PM   #28
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


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Green or bare copper either one. Most likely bare copper wires.

If there are no ground wires on the circuits in the house, then the best option in the interest of safety is to rewire.

Were you going to do some of the work yourself or were you going to hire someone for everything?

With a rewire, the amount of holes and patching depends on your skill level and your patience. We just redid my parents hole house, it was built in the 1910's and some parts were very difficult. 80% of the house was done without damaging the walls.

Jamie

I am not sure how old this electric work is, what I would have thought that they would have grounds at least. Was this not required before?. As far as doing any work myself, I do not have any experience or knowledge on safety codes therefore I will require a licensed electrician to do all the work. This is starting to sound like a lot of $$$ . Could this be done in steps, lets say I change to a newer panel soon and then rewire the whole house in a year or so?. What risks do I run if I do not address the grounding issue in the house?.
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:37 PM   #29
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


Looks not so good. That looks like a zinsco breaker panel, good luck finding breakers.

I would get rid of that zinsco and fuse panel.

Fuses aren't that bad, zinsco is more dangerous.

Yes, you can go slow on it. Grounding isn't as serious as to require you to do a full rewire immediately.

I would put a new service and main in. This would let you do the rest one by one.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:09 PM   #30
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Legal to have subpanel in garage?


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Looks not so good. That looks like a zinsco breaker panel, good luck finding breakers.

I would get rid of that zinsco and fuse panel.

Fuses aren't that bad, zinsco is more dangerous.

Yes, you can go slow on it. Grounding isn't as serious as to require you to do a full rewire immediately.

I would put a new service and main in. This would let you do the rest one by one.

What kind of panel do you guys recommend?. I probably would like to install a 200 Amp panel since I have to do the work anyways. Which panel is good for the price and would be easy to find parts for?

Thanks

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