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-   -   How to add 220 line to my electrical panel? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/how-add-220-line-my-electrical-panel-69827/)

river251 04-25-2010 04:38 PM

How to add 220 line to my electrical panel?
 
Hello, I have a 125v electrical panel in each side of my duplex. I live in one side. I want to put a 220v outlet outside on the back wall of my apartment, so I can use a welder and a compressor in the back yard. All of the breakers in the panel are accounted for except one double throw 60 (2 30s). I don't understand these things that well, but I think that I have to put in a new panel, or add another panel. I don't know how to do this so could use some advise. I presume turning the mains off in the current panel is not enough, that I need to figure out how to stop power to the house while doing this. I also presume I need to use 8 gauge wire, even though the new panel will be under the old one? Just being conservative.

Do I just pull two more wires off the main lines coming in and run them to the new panel, just as two wires run to the current panel? Should I use a pigtail instead?

Any advice much appreciated. I won't start until I am confident I know what to do and how to do it, given the potential danger.

Thanks very much.
Jim

oh'mike 04-25-2010 04:49 PM

Please post a picture of you panel box--That 60 amp double that you mentioned is a 220 breaker.

You may be able to use that one if it is not already used --You could gain the space you need for a new 220 breaker by using mini-twins(two breakers in one opening.)

Please give us a little more info. There are several fine electricians here that can give you the info that you need.---Mike--

river251 04-25-2010 05:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 433461)
Please post a picture of you panel box--That 60 amp double that you mentioned is a 220 breaker.

You may be able to use that one if it is not already used --You could gain the space you need for a new 220 breaker by using mini-twins(two breakers in one opening.)

Please give us a little more info. There are several fine electricians here that can give you the info that you need.---Mike--

Thanks Mike. It's easy to take a pic of the side with the breakers, but I'd like to get a shot of the backside too, but I'm a little nervous getting back there without turning off power to the house. How do I do that?

I'll take a bunch of pics and post them.

Jim

oh'mike 04-25-2010 05:33 PM

A picture of the box is a good start--don't open any thing up if you are not sure it's safe.--Mike--

jbfan 04-25-2010 05:54 PM

The breaker you have is a 2 pole 30, not a 60.
This is something you really need an electrician for, because it seems you do not have the knowledge to do this.

DangerMouse 04-25-2010 06:46 PM

If I thought that way, I'd be broke from paying electricians!
My advise? You're showing common sense and intelligence so far, so continue to do so and go pull a permit.
Come back here and get the answers you need to do the job exact and correct, then get it inspected and approved.
If you do not pull a permit, you could be endangering the lives of the people living next to you as well as your own!

DM

troubleseeker 04-25-2010 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by river251 (Post 433452)
I don't understand these things that well,,,,,, given the potential danger.
Jim

These two snippets from the post sums it up for my advice.. Listen to the guy who said to hire an electrician.

Sounds like the panel is maxed out, and the best thing would be to have another small panel added to service the welder and give a few circuits for future use.

I am not trying to be insulting, but if you are as unclear about things electrical as you admit, a pro for this would be $ well spent IMO. It's a lot cheaper than the costs of fire repair or funeral services.

Scuba_Dave 04-25-2010 08:35 PM

Where are you located ?
Is it legal where you are located to DIY on a multi-family dwelling ?
Pics or the Mfg of the breaker box would help to start with

When you say the (2) 30a breaker is not accounted for...what do you mean ?
No wires attached to it ?
Wires attached but you do not know where they go, what they power ?
30a could be for water heater, AC...other ....
The Main wires feeding into the breaker box are ALWAYS live unless there is a shut-off ahead of them

Do not touch anything until you are 100% sure of what you are doing

xxPaulCPxx 05-02-2010 01:45 PM

On a sub-panel, there is one breaker that controls the feeders for the box, I suspect that 60amp breaker is serving that function.

Here's how you tell: Flip that breaker off - if everything in your side powers off, you found your main disconnect for your panel. With the breaker off, the only thing with juice in your box is the two wires feeding into that breaker.

If nothing happens, then that 60 probably goes to a line that isn't being used, like a hookup for a hot water heater, double oven, dryer, etc. If it's really not being used, you can wire an outlet for your compressor to this breaker. Only one set of wires per breaker!

nap 05-02-2010 02:02 PM

there are some very important facts missing that might make a huge difference.

OP states they live in one half of a duplex. If they are renters, they may not have permission from the LL to do this and is most likely illegal for them to do this.

the fact this is a multi-family unit, it may be illegal to do any electrical work without a permit or possibly a licensed electrician.


Now personally, if a person wants to play by Darwin's rules, that is up to them but there is another side to this story and that is whoever lives in the other half of the duplex. Their safety is in jeopardy if OP messes up anything.

so, while I see no problem with helping somebody that is legally allowed to do what they are trying, helping a person when it is illegal just isn't the best thing to be doing.

xxPaulCPxx 05-02-2010 08:46 PM

That's true, but this is not the only guy we are helping. There are going to be others searching for a similar answer who are not bound by his constraints.

nap 05-02-2010 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xxPaulCPxx (Post 436797)
That's true, but this is not the only guy we are helping. There are going to be others searching for a similar answer who are not bound by his constraints.

there are thousands of posts to cruise through besides this one. I don't think we should be helping a person act illegally knowingly.


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