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Old 07-20-2011, 11:00 PM   #1
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replacing main breaker vs. sub panel


We're remodeling our bathroom in the main floor of our home and as part of the remode decided to add a heater and a new ductless exhaust fan. When our handyman came to install our new heater and the new exhaust we discovered that our circuit breaker providing electricity to the bathroom was overloaded. The same breaker was used for the boilerom, the bathroom and our kitchen. The handyman then looked at the circuit panel and told us it was full. He recommended us to speak a master electrician to get our options but said we'll must likely Need a subpanel. The electrician came and quoted us 1100 to replace the main panel and said it would take him at least 3 days to run the two new lines to the bathroom. I had a very long day and totally forgot to request a quote for a subpanel but my question is which one is. Better choice? We just need two more brackets for a ceiling heater and and exhaust fan? I'm concerned that replacing our main panel might require lots of permits and delay our project ...

Last edited by gf1025; 07-20-2011 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:56 PM   #2
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replacing main breaker vs. sub panel


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We're remodeling our bathroom in the main floor of our home and as part of the remode decided to add a heater and a new ductless exhaust fan. When our handyman came to install our new heater and the new exhaust we discovered that our circuit breaker providing electricity to the bathroom was overloaded. The same breaker was used for the boilerom, the bathroom and our kitchen. The handyman then looked at the circuit panel and told us it was full. He recommended us to speak a master electrician to get our options but said we'll must likely Need a subpanel. The electrician came and quoted us 1100 to replace the main panel and said it would take him at least 3 days to run the two new lines to the bathroom. I had a very long day and totally forgot to request a quote for a subpanel but my question is which one is. Better choice? We just need two more brackets for a ceiling heater and and exhaust fan? I'm concerned that replacing our main panel might require lots of permits and delay our project ...
Is any reason why go with ductless exhaust fan in bathroom ?? 99% of my time we will install the exhaust fan.

Now the other issue I am not being harsh but senice you got the handyman try to hook up the electrique heater ., what kind of electrique heater it is ??

And with most states are getting strict with hired " handyperson " if they going do any electrical work they have to be liscensed per state requirement so that will open a new cans of worms if that handyperson do not follow the codes.

What brand name the panel box you have ? some case it can get tandem breaker { this is genrally my last resort only if that load centre do listed to use the tandem breaker } otherwise subpanel will be a better choice for time being unless there is a major issue with the exsting load centre.

1100 dollars for a 100 amp panel ? if this is so that is typical in some area but can not give you a excat price due there is too many factors to cover in here.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:47 AM   #3
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replacing main breaker vs. sub panel


I agree with frenchelectrician. In regards to permits, it is the same whether a panel change or subpanel. A subpanel install usually less than a panel change.
I do not know the layout of bathroom to panel location, but 3 days to run 2 circuits seems long.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:39 AM   #4
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The heater is an Air King AK960 and the exhaust is the Nutone 682
A tandem breaker can't be used because the previous owners of this house have already used one. The panel is located in the basement and the bathroom is in the first floor directly above the boileroom. The distance between the panel and the bathroom is roughly 50-60 feet. Since our beams are side to side the electric line is going to run in the drop ceiling.
The location of the bathroom makes ducting to the outside of the house close to impossible. Hence why we opted for a ductless exhaust.
The electrician also mentioned he would suggest a ducted exhaust fan he told us we could just put the duct into the drop ceiling but that wasn't something we're confortable with (seem odd to us and that's technically vapor to the beams which we aren't confortable with....) I should mention that he said the quote for the new panel was only $550, he's charging $1100 because he has to run the two new electric power lines from the basement to the bathroom upstairs and install the heater/light, the exhaust, a new power outlet (the bathroom didn't have one originally).

Just as a sidenote, our "handyman" is not really a "handyman" he works for a co-op and does electric work for a living for them (jr. electrician under the master electrician's license). We didn't know about the overload and lack of breakers since the old owners had a few breakers labelled as "Spare" that were by no means "spares"
That's why we asked him to do our installations. We wouldn't trust a heater installation to just any "handyman". He told us we needed a licensed electrician to look at our options because the panel is full and the electric line going to the bathroom now is overloaded. I couldn't find any law that "required" us to have a licensed electrician install the heater. I don't have the name of our main panel because I'm not home until later today so i can't help you there, sorry.
The house is pretty old and it was converted to a two family in the 70's so that's when the previous owners started installing all sorts of devices into the boileroom line. So we're now here fixing mistakes others made for over 40 years.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:50 AM   #5
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You don't state where you are located, but most places require electrical work to be completed by licensed electricains.

Some locations do not have this requirement.
I have to say, at $1100 to replace the panel would be a bargin, but when you say$1100 for the complete job seems to low.

Again, this is based on my area, so yours may be different.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:10 AM   #6
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While that ductless fan may help with odors, it will do nothing to eliminate water vapor, the most important function of a bathroom vent fan. I would suggest you reconsider and run a duct to the outside, however close to impossible it may seem.

I would opt for the subpanel.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:24 AM   #7
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We're in NY Metro area. Even the electrician said ducting to the outside is not possible and he would just put the duct in the drop ceiling so that the vapor goes into the beams.
The original bathroom didn't have a vent at all.

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Old 07-21-2011, 09:35 AM   #8
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If your handyman/electrician proposed ducting your bathroom into the drop ceiling, find a new one. It must be ducted outside.

Pumping humidity into an enclosed area (one that may have cold water pipes in it?) is a good way to get rot and condensation dripping everywhere.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:46 AM   #9
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replacing main breaker vs. sub panel


Tying in a bathroom exhaust fan to a dropped ceiling would be like hooking up a gas mask to your a$$hole.

Vapour and gas going up into your ceiling will create mold and water damage.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:48 AM   #10
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If your handyman/electrician proposed ducting your bathroom into the drop ceiling, find a new one. It must be ducted outside.

Pumping humidity into an enclosed area (one that may have cold water pipes in it?) is a good way to get rot and condensation dripping everywhere.
That's why I said, oh no, no, no.
I think here in the metro area ppl do this all the time but I don't want to do what "people do all the time" because like you said, pumping humidity into an enclosed area, not a good idea and defeats the purpose of what the duct is trying to do, imho.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:12 AM   #11
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I was reading the heater model number and that is a combation exhaust fan / heater / nitelight / light set up. { to set up this one can get tricky if not pay attetion to the conductors or cables }

That unit do requred it own circuit no question asked due the heater wattage.

And the Nutone fan unit { Nutone 682} is ductless model.

Really IMO that is really poor set up and what really compound the issue if you are not aware with the heater do come with standard exhaust fan so you will have to run the ducted anyway I have done run down in the basement and pipe it outside in few situation where the floor arrangement is very diffucault.

For NY metro area I am not really famauir with the pricing for the panel so I know one of the members he live in that state and I am sure he may chime in and see what he say about that.

As far for the panel name just let us know I will check in later.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:30 AM   #12
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That's why I said, oh no, no, no.
I think here in the metro area ppl do this all the time but I don't want to do what "people do all the time" because like you said, pumping humidity into an enclosed area, not a good idea and defeats the purpose of what the duct is trying to do, imho.
What I am saying is...anyone who was proposing that would not do ANY work in my house, period.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:36 AM   #13
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I was reading the heater model number and that is a combation exhaust fan / heater / nitelight / light set up. { to set up this one can get tricky if not pay attetion to the conductors or cables }

That unit do requred it own circuit no question asked due the heater wattage.

And the Nutone fan unit { Nutone 682} is ductless model.

Really IMO that is really poor set up and what really compound the issue if you are not aware with the heater do come with standard exhaust fan so you will have to run the ducted anyway I have done run down in the basement and pipe it outside in few situation where the floor arrangement is very diffucault.

For NY metro area I am not really famauir with the pricing for the panel so I know one of the members he live in that state and I am sure he may chime in and see what he say about that.

As far for the panel name just let us know I will check in later.

Merci,
Marc

The heater has two models, one with an exhaust one without, we got the one without a fan AND without a duct that is only a Heater, night and nightlight. And then got the ductless exhaust fan to do the exhaust for the bathroom. It took us really long to research items without any ducted exhaust because the default is to have a duct.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:53 PM   #14
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I'll say again, a ductless vent will do NOTHING to remove water vapor from the bathroom. If this is a full bath, the ductless vent is useless.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:38 PM   #15
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I'll say again, a ductless vent will do NOTHING to remove water vapor from the bathroom. If this is a full bath, the ductless vent is useless.
Duly noted, thanks for the info.
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