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Old 12-26-2008, 12:44 AM   #1
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Proper way to route wire...


I am sure there has to be a "good way" to run power from a main panel that is recessed into a finished wall to a subpanel that is not. Attached is a picture of the main panel (I am in the process of re-wiring it currently) and the adjacent wall space to the right is where the sub panel was mounted. The wire feeding it was just 4 wires of THHN running from the main panel to the sub (through knockouts and cable clamps of course). My thought was to obviously put the THHN in conduit, but in the event this wall ever gets closed up again with sheetrock, is there a better way to feed the sub panel? I'd prefer not to run 6/3 w/ground romex through the wall to feed into the subpanel from behind. I'm just wondering what other ways people have accomplished this task.

Main reason for needing the sub panel is I have a sub-meter to go with it, just a standard spinning disc meter (not the electronic kind). I have some 6 guage white and green for when I finalize the wiring, I realize now that re-coloring 6 guage wire isn't exactly code compliant.

Part of this project includes adding a ground bar to the main panel to free up some space on the neutral bar (pictures attached). FYI there is a small bonding strap below the neutral bar, its kinda hidden behind the neutral wires.

Just as an added tid-bit, ALL of the MWBC's in this panel (which makes up 90% of all the circuits in the house) were wired on the same phase. In the panel it went "Black - Red - Black - Red" but each 2 circuits going down in the panel is on the same phase becuase these are the GE 1/2" breakers. I am already in the process of fixing this issue. At least they have the proper rated circuit breakers for the size wire used, which I was surprised to see.
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:06 AM   #2
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Proper way to route wire...


It's hard to tell exactly what is where from these pics. How about posting a wide shot of the whole thing, so we can get a better feel for what suggestions can be made here?
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:28 AM   #3
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Proper way to route wire...


I ended up just running a small piece of conduit between the two panels. Made the bends and ran the 6guage wire through the conduit, put in a small 1" offset nipple between the subpanel box and the meter can. The only concern I have is of the 8/3 with ground that comes out of the wall and into the subpanel (the black cable entering the side of the subpanel just below the conduit). The black line that runs vertically in the picture between the two panels is an air hose that goes to the overhead hose reel in the middle of the garage; the air compressor sits under the subpanel/sub meter.

Attached are some of the more completed project, the main panel is nearly done with the re-wire, still need to re-locate the TED main unit (can this little box sit in the main panel). I might have to put in a 4" junction box off to the side of the panel to put the TED main unit into just to get it out of the main box area.

I've been trying not to cut too much wire off in the process of re-wiring the panel, just for when it does eventually get upgraded the wires will hopefully still be long enough to reach.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:39 AM   #4
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Oh I forgot to mention, ALL of the MWBC's that were wired up in the panel were wired incorrectly and had all the circuits on the same phase within the same cable. No visible signs of excessive heating of the neutral wires, probably because the connections were pretty tight to begin with.

All the MWBC's have since been fixed now, definitely is nice to have that issue taken care of.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:16 AM   #5
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Proper way to route wire...


I hate to tell youthis now but you should have simply instaled a bigger panel instead of adding the sub. It would have been just as easy and would have gotten rid of all those twins.
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Old 12-27-2008, 12:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
I hate to tell youthis now but you should have simply instaled a bigger panel instead of adding the sub. It would have been just as easy and would have gotten rid of all those twins.
I actually have a 30 or 32 space Square D QO 200 amp panel that i'd like to install here, but part of the reason for having the subpanel is to do the submetering. I run all the holiday lights through the subpanel which is metered by the submeter. in 2006 I had 37,000 lights on the house pulling just over 100 amps just in christmas lights alone. That took a lot of work with a clamp meter to properly balance everything out, with a 100 amp main I ended up popping the main a few times until I balanced the entire setup out.

I understand what you mean by putting in a larger panel, this panel is so small and its been a pain to re-wire because there really is no spare room. I'm leaving the wires as long as I can so that when it does eventually get swapped out, it shouldn't be that hard to wire the old circuits in.
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