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Old 02-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #1
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


Ok, here is the story. I just finished the basement and while all of the circuits fit in my already existing 200A main panel, I am now out of spaces for expansion. I'd like to install a sub panel that would allow me to add additional circuits for future needs/projects as they come up.

My current panel is a 200A Square D main panel which has all spaces currently filled.

I purchased the panel below with the thought that it would be a good sub panel.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_36242-296-HOM612L100SCP_4294821907_4294937087_?productId=313 4331&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_qua ntity_sold|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Load%2BCenters_ 4294821907_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_or d_nbr%7C0%7C%7Cp_product_quantity_sold%7C1&facetIn fo=

From my brief research I THINK that I will need a #6 4 wire THHN wire to go from the main panel to the sub. I also have a 60A dual space breaker that I plan to use to feed the sub panel.

Beyond this I am pretty unsure of myself with the orientation of the wires from the main to the sub. If someone could work with me on developing a step by step plan I would greatly appreciate it.

I can get a few pics of the main panel and sub when I get home to help with the plan.

Thanks so much!

Jason

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Old 02-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #2
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


I would wait till said project comes along before settling on what you would like to install now. Maybe a garage sub panel or some other idea will come up.

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Old 02-06-2012, 02:33 PM   #3
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


Are you putting the sub right next to the main? If so you are on the right track. #6 is fine for the hots and neutral, but you could use #8 for the ground. Your sub will have to have the neutral isolated from the panel, and the ground bonded to the panel. And all circuits will have to be seperated the same, neutral on the neutral bar and grounds on the grounding bar.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:34 PM   #4
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


Simpler to just remove some of the full sized breakers and replace with some minis to open up some space.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:34 PM   #5
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


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Originally Posted by rrolleston View Post
I would wait till said project comes along before settling on what you would like to install now. Maybe a garage sub panel or some other idea will come up.
said project has come along. I'm trying to get my plan in place before I actually take on the project and as soon as I have the plan in place I will begin....I like to be prepared.

One more bit of information, the sub panel will be directly to the right of the main panel. I would estimate roughly 20" between the two.

thanks,

Jason
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:36 PM   #6
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Simpler to just remove some of the full sized breakers and replace with some minis to open up some space.

Maybe simpler but possibly not code compliant due to CTL limitations of panels. A 200A panel can't have more than 42 breakers for branch circuits. So if the OP has 40-42 slots already used he cannot use tandem breakers. In fact the panel should mechanically block such breakers unless he is using nonconforming "NC" designated breakers which are meant for very old panels. There should be a label inside the panel that designates which slots if any are certified to accept tandem breakers.

Apparently the 2008 NEC expanded the panel limit to 60 but you have to have a panel that was certified to that 2008 limit to use it that way. So in this case a sub panel may be the only way to get the extra circuits and stay code compliant.

This whole CTL stuff seems a bit silly as in this case plunking down a 60A breaker to feed a sub panel seems no better than using more tandem breakers. The load on the main panel bus bars will be the same so its hardly a safety benefit. Add to that all the appliances which are mandated for individual branch circuits (furnace, dishwasher, fridge, oven, ....) and the slot get used up pretty fast. It begs the question of what were they thinking with this CTL mandate....
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


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Originally Posted by curiousB

Maybe simpler but possibly not code compliant due to CTL limitations of panels. A 200A panel can't have more than 42 breakers for branch circuits. So if the OP has 40-42 slots already used he cannot use tandem breakers. In fact the panel should mechanically block such breakers unless he is using nonconforming "NC" designated breakers which are meant for very old panels. There should be a label inside the panel that designates which slots if any are certified to accept tandem breakers.

Apparently the 2008 NEC expanded the panel limit to 60 but you have to have a panel that was certified to that 2008 limit to use it that way. So in this case a sub panel may be the only way to get the extra circuits and stay code compliant.

This whole CTL stuff seems a bit silly as in this case plunking down a 60A breaker to feed a sub panel seems no better than using more tandem breakers. The load on the main panel bus bars will be the same so its hardly a safety benefit. Add to that all the appliances which are mandated for individual branch circuits (furnace, dishwasher, fridge, oven, ....) and the slot get used up pretty fast. It begs the question of what were they thinking with this CTL mandate....
That's such a good point, not to mention the 6/12 and 8/16 sub panels. With the advent of afci breakers using tandems is getting less and less possible
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:41 PM   #8
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


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Are you putting the sub right next to the main? If so you are on the right track. #6 is fine for the hots and neutral, but you could use #8 for the ground. Your sub will have to have the neutral isolated from the panel, and the ground bonded to the panel. And all circuits will have to be seperated the same, neutral on the neutral bar and grounds on the grounding bar.
Number 8 or 10 for ground on 60 amp sub?
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:50 PM   #9
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


#10 copper or #8 aluminium for 60 amp.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:45 AM   #10
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


A guy I work with me mentioned something about needing to add an auxiliary ground bar to that sub panel I linked.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:57 AM   #11
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


THe subpanel will need a terminal strip (bus bar) set off on plastic brackets for the (white) neutral wires (actually called grounded conductors) and a terminal strip fastened directly to the panel back (with good metal to metal contact) for the ground wires (equipment grounding conductors).

Alternative methods of bonding the ground bus bar to the panel itself are a jumper wire sized for the largest ground wire inserted into the bus bar, or a screw that digs into the panel back.

Be careful knocking out the holes in the side of the panel for cable clamps and couplings to be sure just a hole of the correct size is made.

Before screwing the subpanel to the wall, test fit the couplings connecting it to the main panel to be sure all the parts fit together straight which is more important than having the panel itself be aligned.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-07-2012 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:07 AM   #12
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


If the subpanel is directly next to the main panel, will the 6-3 wire need to be run in conduit?
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:09 AM   #13
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


Probably not, unless subject to physical damage.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:50 AM   #14
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousB View Post
This whole CTL stuff seems a bit silly as in this case plunking down a 60A breaker to feed a sub panel seems no better than using more tandem breakers. The load on the main panel bus bars will be the same so its hardly a safety benefit. Add to that all the appliances which are mandated for individual branch circuits (furnace, dishwasher, fridge, oven, ....) and the slot get used up pretty fast. It begs the question of what were they thinking with this CTL mandate....
Circuit breakers generate their own heat from the thermal mechanisms inside. Put too many in and you can generate too much heat without overloading the bus bars.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:57 AM   #15
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Need some help installing a 60A sub panel


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Probably not, unless subject to physical damage.
The panels are pretty well isolated from everything. I don't think there would be any exposure to physical damage. Thanks!

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