Advice With New Main Circuit Box Upgrade - Electrical - Page 2 - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 02-10-2010, 10:50 AM   #16
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 32
Rewards Points: 25
Default


To add a subpanel you will need 2 free spaces in your panel. If you dont have that you will need to make 2 spaces by buying 2 "tandem" or "piggy back" breakers. What this will do it take 4 circuits and put them in 2 spaces, leaving 2 spaces open. Heres the thing, the circuits that you take off should be put back on the same phase if possible and to MAKE SURE you do not put anything thats supposed to be 240V on the same phase. Once you do that you should but a 2pole breaker and a subpanel. What are you going to be running from the subpanel. What size service do you have? is the subpanel going to be recessed in a wall? or is it going to be surface mounted next to it, Get me some more info and i will make you a complete material list and go over some safety issues with you also.
longbeach1125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-10-2010, 11:14 AM   #17
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 21
Rewards Points: 10
Default


Thank you for the help.....

I could free up the space with Tandems. What is a piggy back breaker?

I wanted to run both phase of the panel in case I need 240.

My service now is 100 Amps in to a Murray LC112DS box (12 slots).

I will surface mount the box.

My other option is to buy and install a bigger Load center like a 20 slot or so.

The house is not drawing much amps except with the AC in the summer.

I'm getting a 60 gallon 240V 15Amp Air compressor so I need to free up a spot for a double breaker in the box or run a sub panel....

ftp://cj136.gotdns.com/files/DSCN807.JPG


What would you recommend for materials box new main and or subpanel?



Thanks

CJ
CJMEDINA is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-10-2010, 11:26 AM   #18
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 32
Rewards Points: 25
Default


Piggy back is another name for tandem. Yes you are going to run a 120/240v panel.

now that i think about it, i think id rather see you run a bigger 100 amp panel, but then you would be shutting down your whole house and it has to get done in one shot. With the subpanel you could stop and ask for help and take pictures and go to the store etc.

which one do you want to do??
ok you have a 12 slot panel now? chances are is that its filled up with tandems now, how many circuits do you have in there? just count how many breaker handles there are.

do you have any electrical experience? can you pull your meter out of we want to go with the new panel??
longbeach1125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-10-2010, 11:34 AM   #19
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 32
Rewards Points: 25
Default


i didnt see your picture when i was posting. Ok you have a few tandems in there, i also noticed you have 1 free space already on the top left hand side. So all you will have to do is buy one tandem. I would replace the whole thing if it was my house. But if you cant handle the job don't do it, there are alot of potential problems the most common pain in the ass is will your feeds to your panel reach the lugs in the new panel, and how hard will it be for you to put new feeds in? understand? do you have a lock on your meter?
you can get one tandem move some wires around ill show you exactly which ones to move, put in a 2 pole breaker and a subpanel. which job are you leaning towards??
longbeach1125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 12:00 PM   #20
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 21
Rewards Points: 10
Default


I have enough experience to do either job.

I can't pull the meter myself. It has a security tag on it but the power company will come out to pull it till I'm done and it will have to be inspected.

I think I have enough free length to put the new box in the same place. I don't think there is enough length to start the box to the side of the other.
CJMEDINA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 12:11 PM   #21
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brooklyn, New York (NYC)
Posts: 1,124
Rewards Points: 500
Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by paul100 View Post
I cannot see your pic, but can you just remove some breakers and change them to tandom breakers. That will free up some room.
But if the original panel is full, you might have some issues with CTL (circuit limiting. In other words, you might overload the capacity of the bus bars and other contacts to handle the loads safely.!
spark plug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 12:17 PM   #22
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 32
Rewards Points: 25
Default


Please do NOT tell a DIY'r to do something dangerous or that may possibly be quite illegal & lead to a fine
-Moderator

As long as your feeds and long enough to reach the lugs in the panel your good to go. Worst case is you refeed the panel from the bottom of the meter. get some white and red tape. Anything on a neutral bar that doesnt look white to you, tape it white, anything on a breaker thats not red or black tape it red or black. You have 2 phases in that panel, I like to put everything back on the phases they were on, you dont have to do that. this ensures that if you had something that runs on 220v and wasnt on a 2 pole breaker , when you put everything back the way it was you will make sure you dont burnout your cooktop stove because you have both the hots on the same phase.

Is your panel fed with pipe? or seu? (service entrance cable)

you are going to have to buy some scrap 12 and 14 wire to extend what doesnt reach. some wirenuts. count how many breakers you need. dont go by the size of the breaker, go by the size of the wire when you count em

Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 02-10-2010 at 02:18 PM. Reason: removed info on tag
longbeach1125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 12:37 PM   #23
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 608
Rewards Points: 500
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by longbeach1125 View Post
You are going to need a licensed electrician to call for an inspection and unless your friends with one, thats not going to happen.
Isn't this going to depend upon the building codes in your local jurisdiction?

According to my building inspector, I can pull an electrical permit and do the work myself (assuming that I'm the home owner, that its a single residence, and there is some expectation that I will remain in the house). Other local communities require a home owner pass a certification test before doing electrical work their own home, and yet other local communities require a licensed electrician.

Now I didn't specifically ask if all this holds when it comes to more advanced tasks that require a meter to be pulled, but then again, the inspector didn't list any exclusions.
HooKooDooKu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 12:39 PM   #24
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 608
Rewards Points: 500
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by spark plug View Post
But if the original panel is full, you might have some issues with CTL (circuit limiting. In other words, you might overload the capacity of the bus bars and other contacts to handle the loads safely.!
Can't that be handled with a load calculation... basically ensure that we indeed are not going to need more than 100 amps?
HooKooDooKu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 12:45 PM   #25
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 608
Rewards Points: 500
Default


I do see a way that two spaces can be freed up to allow adding a double pole breaker to feed a sub-panel.


First, let me number the slots for my description. I believe the typical numbering scheme (using 1" slots) would go something like this:
01 & 02 on Phase 1
03 & 04 on Phase 2
05 & 06 on Phase 1
07 & 08 on Phase 2
09 & 10 on Phase 1
11 & 12 on Phase 2

There is a 20 amp tandem in slots 01 and 12
There is a 15 amp tandem in slots 03, 08, and 11
There is a 20 amp breaker in slots 05, 07, 09, and 10
There is a 15 amp breaker in slots 02
There is a 50 amp double pole breaker in slot 04 and 06.

Have I got everything correct so far?

1. Move the 15 amp circuit in slot 02 to the spare 15 amp tandom in slot 03. Note that this will switch phases for the circuit.
2. Replace the 15 amp breaker in slot 02 with a tandom 20 breaker.
3. Move the 20 amp circuits from slots 05 and 09 to the tandom in slot 02. Note that this will keep these circuits on the original phases.
4. Move the 20 amp circuit from slot 07 to the breaker in slot 09. Note that this will switch phases for the circuit.
5. Remove the 20 amp breakers from slots 05 and 07.

Now you have slots 05 and 07 to install a double pole breaker to feed a sub panel.

Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 02-10-2010 at 12:47 PM. Reason: Add note about swaping phases
HooKooDooKu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 01:47 PM   #26
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 21
Rewards Points: 10
Default


Thank you for the help. It looks like you have it figured out correctly so I can put the sub panel in....

Do you have a recommendation for a sub panel?

and if I go with a whole new box what brand and model?


Thanks,


CJ
CJMEDINA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 02:11 PM   #27
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 7,828
Rewards Points: 2,006
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by longbeach1125 View Post
-Moderator removed poor advice-
This is REALLY poor advice for a DIY board!!
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 02:36 PM   #28
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 21
Rewards Points: 10
Default


What was poor advice?

Please spell out the poor advice by those that are trying to help?

Why would I pay for work that I know I could do safely for Free?

CJ
CJMEDINA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 02:50 PM   #29
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 608
Rewards Points: 500
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by CJMEDINA View Post
Thank you for the help. It looks like you have it figured out correctly so I can put the sub panel in....

Do you have a recommendation for a sub panel?

and if I go with a whole new box what brand and model?
CJ
Don't jump the gun too fast. Given that you started with the question of how to install a sub-panel, I've got no real clue on what your true level of knowledge on the subject is... and there are several details to potentially discuss. At a minimum there is feeder wire size/type to determine, how to connect the main to the sub, and how the sub has to be wired a little differently than the main.


But on the subject of which panel, well I'm just a DIYer without enough experience to recomend any one brand over one type or another. I know I've heard it suggested that you get the same name brand subpanel as the main panel. But I think that advice is just based on being able to use the same circuit breakers in both panels. There isn't any code requirements that your sub-panel be the same name-brand as your main panel, but you DO have to match name brands for the circuit breakers going into a panel. So if you were to buy a GE sub-panel, you could not place any of your Murry breakers in it.

The next potential issue is what size (in amps) for the sub-panel. While I've learned about many of the electric codes, I don't know all of them, especially as it pertains to sub-panels, and codes can sometimes seem a bit quirky. For example, I'm not sure if code would allow you to install a 125 amp rated sub-panel (common size available in the GE name brand) feed from a 100 amps main just because you promise not to feed it with a breaker any larger than 100 amps (but then maybe you can, after all, even if you sourced the sub-panal with a 200 amp breaker, the sub is still protected by the 100 amp main breaker).



H O L D T H E P H O N E A M I N U T E ! ! !

This discussion started with your need to add a 15 amp double pole breaker for an air compressor.

Well, I've just shown a way to get two slots free. At this point, ditch the sub-panel idea and just utilize the two slots we just logically freed up.
HooKooDooKu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 03:00 PM   #30
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 21
Rewards Points: 10
Default


I was just asking for advice on all my options and I appreciate your help.

At this time the best solution is your last one as in of free up the spots for the double pole 240V breaker.

If I need more then I have the option of a sub panel or I new main panel. The sub being the easier of the two.

Thanks,


CJ
CJMEDINA is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Main Panel Upgrade Invisible-Man Electrical 21 08-23-2011 03:24 AM
Main Circuit Breaker Test lthomps222 Electrical 16 11-07-2010 04:40 PM
Changing a 3 way circuit...using recessed lighting box as a junction box? Oxymoron Electrical 1 12-07-2009 06:46 PM
Advice on Upgrade Main and Sub and new sub rugby1 Electrical 5 02-09-2009 10:43 PM
Add subpanel or upgrade main panel dcoz Electrical 1 01-12-2006 09:24 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts