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Old 08-06-2012, 07:20 AM   #1
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load center oopsie


Right, so I'm wiring my soon-to-be-finished basement. All-in, I've added six 20A and two 15A circuits down there. Also, while I was at it, I pulled a 240V/50A circuit to the (upstairs) kitchen, in case we wished to switch our gas cooktop to electric later. I got all the wire pulled over to the one and only load center in the house, and only then I realized that it's only rated for forty total circuits and ten tandems. With the new circuits, the respective totals would be 42 and 12. With my luck, I'll be boned in the ear by the Nazis if I don't get under those limits. So, my grand plan to hit these limits is:Questions:
  1. Anything horribly wrong with this idea?
  2. Would I need to separate ground and neutral in the new panel?
  3. The panel doesn't come with a grounding bar. What are the allowed ways to bond the branch and feeder grounds in there?

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:52 AM   #2
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I would go with a larger panel and feed with 50-60 amps (future proofing).

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:57 AM   #3
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If the subpanel does not come with a separate grounding bus bar you can buy a grounding bar separately and put that in the panel. Scrape the surface of the panel back down to bare metal for good contact with the grounding bar.

The neutral bar is either isolated from the panel frame (is unbonded to the panel frame) or has a bonding link or screw for optional bonding.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:46 AM   #4
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After pondering this further, I've decided to park a subpanel next to the main panel and branch all of the basement circuits from it:
  • Two 20A (wet bar/"kitchen" outlets)
  • Two 20A (sump pump and sewage ejector)
  • One 20A (full bath)
  • Three 20A (general outlets)
  • One 15A (HVAC blower)
  • Three 15A (general lighting)
I'm not worried about futureproofing, since almost our entire basement will be finished.

[strike]I was thinking of feeding it 60A two-pole. Would that be too small? I assume I'll need to break out the NEC to be sure?[/strike]

After further investigation, I do need 100A two-pole for it. The only open question there is the sizing of the wire, and whether to go Al or Cu.

Last edited by lolwhat; 08-10-2012 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:55 PM   #5
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too lazy tonight for reading all the posts

just like to point out if the sub panel does not supply power to the whole house, i believe it can be 90amp max.
i may be wrong about that tho.

as for service wire on a 100amp sub panel, get 2/2/2/4 Al.
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