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Old 01-15-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
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Looking for more capacity


Hello spark enthusiasts!

I am living in a 30 y.o. home that I purchased last year and would like to get a few more breakers installed. I would like to run the computers in my office off their own line, add an isolated line or two to the kitchen (everything currently on the same circuit) and a few other places in the house.

Also, there are a few beakers that have been double-tapped. That's probably not legal.

I think 6 more breakers are all I would needed. To be on the safe side, let's call it 8.

With the exception of a possible dehumidifier in the crawl space, I would not be adding much additional usage, just separating things out.

What would be need to be done to add this extra capacity?

Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:09 AM   #2
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Doesnt look like you have the room to add more breakers. Maybe upgrade to a larger panel? Or use those double breakers that have two breakers in the space of one.

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Old 01-15-2013, 11:10 AM   #3
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What type of service do you have coming in 200A, 100A? Do a search on here for Sub-Panels.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by TrailerParadise View Post
Doesnt look like you have the room to add more breakers. Maybe upgrade to a larger panel? Or use those double breakers that have two breakers in the space of one.
It already has several of those two breaker items.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Trucon01 View Post
What type of service do you have coming in 200A, 100A? Do a search on here for Sub-Panels.
Sorry, I should have mentioned

Square D. 200A
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:00 PM   #6
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Sub panel

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Old 01-15-2013, 12:09 PM   #7
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I know the sub panel is the easiest way and would work fine but I'd like to just suggest you look into replacing the main panel for a larger one. It's really not that much more difficult and would look much cleaner.

Reasons: The current main panel is a small one and to add a sub you will loose 2 more slots on the main (to run to the sub). This would mean the sub would have to be a larger one. To run the current circuits to the sub there might be splicing involved in the panels anyway which is ok but you may get by with fewer or no splicing if you just replace the main.

That said, I'd look into replacing the main but if it turns out to be a headache then the sub will work for sure. Just remember to run the neutrals and grounds seperate in the sub panel.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:33 PM   #8
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Install a 200A 40 circuit main breaker panel.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:37 PM   #9
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Replacing a main panel, even a small one, is usually more complicated than adding a subpanel, even a large one.

1. You may need a separate permit on top of the permit for adding more circuits in the house.
2. You may need to coordinate the installation with the power company since the feed from the meter has no shutoff or breaker (overcurrent protection) specifically for your house.
3. There are many more cables and wires that need to be unhooked, perhaps rerouted a tad, and hooked up again.

With a subpanel, only enough circuits need to be rerouted from the existing panel to free up breaker positions for the subpanel feed.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:42 PM   #10
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Okay gents and ladies. I get the picture.

I think my preference would be to have a larger single panel, but on the other hand, the sub panel would probably be easier. I am in no rush, so I will spend some time cogitating on it.

Thanks for the advice. Plenty to chew on.

Murph
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:46 PM   #11
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If you are planning on flying under the radar, you gotta go sub-panel.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIVOLT View Post
Install a 200A 40 circuit main breaker panel.
Or go for broke and install the 200A 60 circuit panel.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electures View Post
Or go for broke and install the 200A 60 circuit panel.
I thought residences were limited to 40 circuits per panel...

Anyhoo, your best best is to find out what model of panel bus you have, to see how many tandems it will accept. Some will only accept tandems in the bottom four slots. Others will accept tandems in all slots. If yours accepts them in all slots, just start adding tandems. In addition to regular "twin" tandems, you can also get 20-50-50-20 and 15-30-30-15 etc "quads" that let you supply a 240V load AND two additional 120V circuits using two slots.

If your existing panel will not accept tandems in all slots, you still probably don't have to change out the whole panel box -- just the panel guts. Label then disconnect all the wires, pull the breakers out, unscrew the black bus assembly from the back of the box, screw in a new bus assembly, reinstall breakers, reconnect wires. You'll need to know the part number of box you have now, so you can purchase a new "bigger" bus (either one with more slots, or one that accepts tandems in all slots) that is compatible with your existing box. Note that if you get a bus with more slots, you may also need to replace the panel front, as your existing front may not have enough knockouts to accommodate the lower breakers.

BTW many Square D breakers are rated for double-tapping. Look for clamp plates with a slot on each side of the screw -- if yours has those, you can double-tap.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylernt View Post
I thought residences were limited to 40 circuits per panel...
Not anymore. They eliminated that in the most recent NEC revision.

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