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Old 10-15-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
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Subpanel


Hello to all. My main service panel in a bedroom is almost filled. I would like to put a new subpanel in my utility room. The first thing I will wire from the new sub panel is a 220 dryer outlet. What size circuit breaker in the main panel and what size cable do I need to wire the subpanel? Please feel free to give me any other tips as I have never done a subpanel before. I am used to Square D, but the main panel is a Cutler Hammer. Do I have to stay with that? Which is best?

Thanks to all who help.

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Old 10-15-2012, 05:51 PM   #2
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What else do you intend to wire to the subpanel?
You need to figure everything you want to add, then figure the size of the panel.
A 60 amp, with 6/3 w/g might suit you, or you may have to go larger.

As far as Square D, or CH, ford or chevy?

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Old 10-16-2012, 11:55 AM   #3
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Now there are a few things in the main panel that should be changed. For example the bathroom should be on its own circuit, but now it shares other lights and outlets. Just give me a rough idea of what I should do to include the dryer and a few other modifications. I will not be rewiring the whole house, but I want to be able to add things later if needed. There is no where to go with the current box.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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A 60 amp, with 6/3 w/g might suit you,
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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Subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by crescere View Post
Hello to all. My main service panel in a bedroom is almost filled. I would like to put a new subpanel in my utility room. The first thing I will wire from the new sub panel is a 220 dryer outlet. What size circuit breaker in the main panel and what size cable do I need to wire the subpanel? Please feel free to give me any other tips as I have never done a subpanel before. I am used to Square D, but the main panel is a Cutler Hammer. Do I have to stay with that? Which is best?

Thanks to all who help.

Agree with jbfan, 60amp sounds like it should be enough for you.

as for Sq D or CH, since you already have CH it may make sense to use CH for the sub.
this way you can use any remainder breakers in either panel.

Another point, since you're inexperienced with subpanels you may want to consider hiring a pro.
if you plan on doing this project yourself, for whatever reasons you have, please do ample research about the subject first. Subpanels are not a great "mystery", but as with anything there are certain rules which must be followed.

jbfan points out using 6/3 plus ground for a reason. in the subpanel you MUST keep the Grounds and the Neutrals isolated from each other.

if you need any more assitance, do not hesitate to ask. Safety is priority #1
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:06 PM   #6
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I would leave the larger loads in the main panel.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:45 PM   #7
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The guy at Home Depot said the subpanel cannot have any more amps than half of the main panel. So according to him a 100 amp main means no more than a 50 amp subpanel. Is that true?

When you said to keep the ground and neutral separate I assume you mean they must be put in two different busses? I am using B&D and Tauton books to do this and they have plenty of pictures.

I want the subpanel to have the dryer since it is closer to the utility room. Another pro told me that the subpanel must only be next to the main, and I cannot put it two rooms over in the utility room. Is that true?


Thanks to all for assistance.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:25 PM   #8
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The subpanel does not need to be next to the other panel.

I don't know what the HD person is talking about.

Yes the neutrals and grounds need to be on different bus bars.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by crescere View Post
The guy at Home Depot said the subpanel cannot have any more amps than half of the main panel. So according to him a 100 amp main means no more than a 50 amp subpanel. Is that true?
Nope, not true. It might be a good rule of thumb for when you don't have a real load calculation, but it's certainly not an actual rule. As long as the main panel's total calculated load is within its capacity, you're fine. The subpanel load is included in the main panel load calc just like any other load would be. It would be theoretically possible to have a 100A sub feeder off a 100A main, as long as the calculations show it to be acceptable.

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When you said to keep the ground and neutral separate I assume you mean they must be put in two different busses? I am using B&D and Tauton books to do this and they have plenty of pictures.
That's right. You remove the bonding screw or strap between the factory ground/neutral bus bar, which isolates it from the grounded metal and makes it a neutral bar. Then you install a ground bar mounted to the metal tub of the panel.

Quote:
I want the subpanel to have the dryer since it is closer to the utility room. Another pro told me that the subpanel must only be next to the main, and I cannot put it two rooms over in the utility room. Is that true?
No rule on that. The subpanel can be located anywhere that any panel is allowed to be located.

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Last edited by mpoulton; 10-17-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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