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Old 11-15-2009, 01:09 PM   #1
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Surface Mount subpanel and 110/220 recepts - good idea?


The goal is to allow me to connect differing power tools as may be needed, and allow me to easily add or make changes as may be needed in the future.

I am planning the wiring of my 24x30 detached workshop. To the workshop I am going to do a 100 amp subpanel fed by a 60 amp breaker in the house main panel.

Towards the goal above, I am thinking of installing another subpanel in the garage off the 100 amp subpanel - this subpanel would be surface mounted with differing breakers feeding appropriate surface mounted recepts (6-20R, 6-30R, 5-20R, 5-15R).

Where the entry for the "main" subpanel is in the opposite end of the building from where tools and such would be used, thus the why of not doing it all from the one panel.

Thoughts or suggestions?


Last edited by vsheetz; 11-15-2009 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:24 PM   #2
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Surface Mount subpanel and 110/220 recepts - good idea?


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Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
The goal is to allow me to connect differing power tools as may be needed, and allow me to easily add or make changes as may be needed in the future.

I am planning the wiring of my 24x30 detached workshop. To the workshop I am going to do a 100 amp subpanel fed by a 60 amp breaker in the house main panel.

Towards the goal above, I am thinking of installing another subpanel in the garage off the 100 amp subpanel - this subpanel would be surface mounted with differing breakers feeding appropriate surface mounted recepts (6-20R, 6-30R, 5-20R, 5-15R).

Where the entry for the "main" subpanel is in the opposite end of the building from where tools and such would be used, thus the why of not doing it all from the one panel.

Thoughts or suggestions?
You don't consider using the breakers (that would serve the receptacles for the various tools) to switch the tools on and off? (Hopefully, the answer is NO) Since the primary purpose of circuit breakers is to provide protection in case of overload or short circuit, then you don't need a third panel --just so that it's in proximity to the power tools. What difference does it make if the breakers are at the other end of your shop? On the other hand, if you plan to use them to switch the equipment ON and OFF, that's not a good idea. Because the spring in the breakers will get worn by overusage and they will trip for no reason at all.


Last edited by spark plug; 11-15-2009 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Missing letter
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:28 PM   #3
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Surface Mount subpanel and 110/220 recepts - good idea?


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Originally Posted by spark plug View Post
You don't consider using the breakers (that would serve the receptacles for the various tools) to switch the tools on and off? (Hopefully, the answer is NO) Since the primary purpose of circuit breakers is to provide protection in case of overload or short circuit, then you don't need a third panel --just so that it's in proximity to the power tools. What difference does it make if the breakers are at the other end of your shop? On the other hand, if you plan to use them to switch the equipment ON and OFF, that's not a good idea. Because the spring in the breakers will get worn by overusage and they will trip for no reason at all.
No, I don't intend to use the breakers as switches...

Rather than run multiple wires across the building, the idea is to run just one - and to not have to run another across the building whenever a change or add is desired. Rather I can easily add/change on the surface mounted panel and recepts near the tools.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:44 PM   #4
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Surface Mount subpanel and 110/220 recepts - good idea?


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Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
No, I don't intend to use the breakers as switches...

Rather than run multiple wires across the building, the idea is to run just one - and to not have to run another across the building whenever a change or add is desired. Rather I can easily add/change on the surface mounted panel and recepts near the tools.
The reason I mentioned the possibility of using the Breakers as a regular switch because many times they are used that way. One service call in particular sticks in my mind. Where a fairly new (less than Four years) dedicated line for a central A/C unit would trip intermittently. after checking for loose connections or frayed insulation (highly unlikely) I came to the conclusion that because the breaker was used to turn the unit on and off it failed. After replacing the breaker and installing a (30a. Toggle Switch) the problem disappeared. (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:29 PM   #5
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Surface Mount subpanel and 110/220 recepts - good idea?


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Originally Posted by spark plug View Post
The reason I mentioned the possibility of using the Breakers as a regular switch because many times they are used that way. One service call in particular sticks in my mind. Where a fairly new (less than Four years) dedicated line for a central A/C unit would trip intermittently. after checking for loose connections or frayed insulation (highly unlikely) I came to the conclusion that because the breaker was used to turn the unit on and off it failed. After replacing the breaker and installing a (30a. Toggle Switch) the problem disappeared. (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
Thanks, but no, I don't intend to use the breakers as switches...
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