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Old 02-09-2013, 08:09 PM   #1
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Modular home electric


We purchased a used modular home on a foundation in 2008. The home inspection found the meter box bad on the pole and the previous owner paid to replace the 125 amp box, however, we gave the electrician the difference to upgrade to 200 amp. A 100 amp breaker in that box feeds the 100 amp panel in the home. It also had a 30 amp breaker for the well pump.

After we purchased the home, we noticed the 2 car garage was only fed with a 10/3 wire off of 2 - 20 amp breakers fed from the 100 amp home panel. We called the electrician back and he ran #4 copper wire underground to the garage to a 4 breaker main lug sub panel. It is fed by a 60 amp breaker now from the 200 amp box. We have a 1/2 HP garage door opener, and use very little other power draw from the garage.

At this point in the 200 amp main box mounted on the pole we have a 100 amp breaker feeding the home, 60 amp breaker feeding the garage, and 30 amp feeding a well pump. We only use the well for washing cars, as the town put city water in.

Inside the home we have refridgerator, freezer, electric dryer, washer, stove, dish washer, hot water tank. We now realize the 100 amp panel needs help. I have a roll of #4 copper that will allow me to run 4 wires to a sub panel next to the main 100 amp panel inside the home. We want to put a 8 breaker sub panel in and move the stove, washer, dryer, and dishwasher to it. We live in a very rural area, and #4 copper feed is suitable for 100 amp house feed. We cannot go any higher than 200 amp main. Would a 70 Amp breaker in the 200 amp panel outside be enough to power this box ? I have a 100 amp, 70 amp and 60 amp available. The electrician moved and we have no one local.

Also, the 200 amp box on the pole would then have a 100 amp breaker feeding the house panel, 30 amp for well, 60 amp for garage, and 70 amp for house sub panel. It's just myself and wife living here, and we're power misers.

Any advise would be appreciated.

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Old 02-09-2013, 08:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ricbrk View Post
... We now realize the 100 amp panel needs help....
What made you come to this conclusion?

Are you tripping out the 100 Amp main breaker?

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Old 02-09-2013, 08:16 PM   #3
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If you are not tripping the 100 amp main when everything is being used in the home then you should be fine. Code only allows one power feed to a building.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
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The original electrician felt the 100 amp panel in the home was not adequate for the electrical appliances we have. That was one reason for the garage rewiring. Since this home is classified as a trailer in our municipality it would have created a ton of problems to mess with the 100 amp existing panel. The 100 amp panel is in excellent condition, the home is only 9 years old. We do not have a breaker tripping issue at all currently, but are going to be putting a 15,000 btu window ac unit in this summer for my wife's asthma and don't want a issue. If the 100 amp panel is adequate, then fine.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:45 PM   #5
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I would not upgrade the panel unless you start having trouble. What size wire is currently feeding the home?
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:03 PM   #6
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From the "new" 200 amp panel on the pole to the 100 amp panel in the home is #4 copper. That is from factory. I had a 500' coil of #4, so the electrician used that to the garage in conduit, and I have more than enough left to feed a sub panel from the pole to the home if needed. The electrician originally suggested putting the 200 amp panel in the home and eliminating the pole. Our municipal inspector denied it unless we reclassified the home. We could have done so because it is on a foundation. Listed as a trailer, our taxes are $635 a year. Reclassifying it taxes would be around $2,200 a year. The home originally had a propane hot water tank and stove, but the municipality caused some kind of problem with the previous owners and they converted to electric. I has a oil furnace.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:08 PM   #7
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You can only run one power feed to a structure. And #4 CU is only supposed to be on 90 amp breaker. What size conduit is this wire in?
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:10 PM   #8
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I also have a mobile home but we fed the power to the garage first then went to our home with a 200 amp sub panel.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:28 PM   #9
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He used 1 1/2" conduit, mainly because I had it available with fittings. The electrician actually wanted to do that with the garage, but the local inspector insisted the 200 amp panel be on the pole, maybe because the meter is part of the panel ? They also allow a 100 amp breaker for use with the #4 cable feeding a dwelling. It passed inspection in the 200 amp main. I'm kinda thinking maybe I better leave matters alone. Maybe get the inspector here to see what has to be done, if anything.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:35 PM   #10
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They wanted me to go with the pole in my yard. But I argued till they let me go to the garage so I could get the pole out of my yard. When I finally had it switched over the pole was junk I was able to take the guy wire and pull the pole over. Since then a bunch of people around me have done the same thing.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:36 PM   #11
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There really was no need to upgrade to a 60 amp circuit for the garage, unless you plan on running some wood working equipment, a large air compressor, or doing some welding out there. It is normal for a garage to just have a 20 or 30 amp circuit, to just feed lights & convenience outlets off of a panel with a 15amp breaker for lighting, and a 20amp breaker for gfci protected outlets.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricbrk View Post
After we purchased the home, we noticed the 2 car garage was only fed with a 10/3 wire off of 2 - 20 amp breakers fed from the 100 amp home panel. We called the electrician back and he ran #4 copper wire underground to the garage to a 4 breaker main lug sub panel. It is fed by a 60 amp breaker now from the 200 amp box. We have a 1/2 HP garage door opener, and use very little other power draw from the garage.
I'm curious why you spent money to rewire the garage feed to #4 if you use very little power there.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
There really was no need to upgrade to a 60 amp circuit for the garage, unless you plan on running some wood working equipment, a large air compressor, or doing some welding out there. It is normal for a garage to just have a 20 or 30 amp circuit, to just feed lights & convenience outlets off of a panel with a 15amp breaker for lighting, and a 20amp breaker for gfci protected outlets.
I'm not sure I understand that either. Where I'm at a garage typically has a 15A circuit for lighting AND receptacles. The circuit is also often shared with something else in the home.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:47 PM   #14
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I assume we're speaking of a detached garagre.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diystephen View Post
I'm curious why you spent money to rewire the garage feed to #4 if you use very little power there.
I was wondering that too. But I was thinking maybe there were plans to do something in the future.

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