Several Questions...leading to Garage Subpanel
I recognize that an often discussed topic is the garage subpanel. I imagine some guys get sick of dealing with it. My problem is that there never seems to be a situation that matches mine, and I'm hesitant to mess around with stuff that can kill you on partial info... thanks in advance for your longsuffering...
Here's what I would appreciate help on:
- Determining my current power service situation
- Installation of a subpanel in my garage
Here's the current situation:
For my main panel I have a bulldog pushmatic. I have no idea what the actual service is as there isn't a main breaker. In the attached picture you can see that there are three double pole breakers. According to a faded sticker on the panel, those three breakers control all of the circuits below. They are 40 (top), 60 (middle), and 50 (bottom). The top appears to only control the circuit that my stove in my kitchen is connected to, the middle powers a subpanel in my laundry room (will get back to this point), and the bottom controls all of the other circuits in the house.
First question(s): Is this panel then a 150A panel? Why wouldn't there be a main?
I'd love to eventually replace this old thing with a modern panel that offers me more flexibility. Cash is an issue at present.
Continuing... the subpanel that is fed by the middle breaker (as seen in the second image) is where I would like to draw power for the breaker in my garage.
My plan for the garage is a 60A panel. From what I've read this should be adequate for my intended use, which is a workshop...mostly woodworking. I won't have any 220v applications, and at any given time there will only be two things running apart from lights, 5,000btu window A/C, etc...table saw or other similar tool, and dust collection, which is rigged up with my shopvac.
The subpanel currently runs a couple of circuits that power lighting, and my washer and dryer. There are two 30A 220v circuits on it currently, but they are not actually in use, nor will they be.
Is it ill-advised to run a 60A subpanel out of this other subpanel? Would it be better to run those two 30A circuits out to the garage as separate sources of power, one for the shop tools and the other for lights, etc.? I could bring them into a box in the garage so I can split them into separate circuits.
If I'm effectively setting up two 30A panels in my garage (but in one panel), what gauge wire should I use? In total the run will be 50'. Also, the power out to the garage right now (which is off a 20A breaker in my current subpanel) is via a cable suspended above ground. I'm planning on doing the same thing as I don't really care to bury the cable. To do so would mean cutting through a concrete walkway...not happening.
Sorry for being wordy...never figured out how to economize myself.