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Old 07-22-2010, 01:27 PM   #1
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Multiple Sub panels?


Hey everyone, I was recently asked to look at the wiring in a small shop, so they could add circuits for a medium sized horticultural space. There are two upstairs offices with the usual computers and lighting, etc, and downstairs two plant rooms with fairly extensive lighting needs. 10 1000W High pressure sodium ballasts and lights, as well as 8 fans. should a standard 40 space, 200 amp panel be sufficient to power this whole outfit? They want to add a subpanel just to service the lighting, but I am wondering if that's even necessary.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
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Since this is a commercial space there are liability and insurance issues that would require a licensed contractor. They should also know how to perform a demand load calculation.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:34 PM   #3
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Yeah I told them that, we are not just dealing with the black and white of it. We are also dealing with an economy where contractors are trying to sell them the whole warehouse because they look like they have money. They are friends, and I would like to help make sure they don't get ripped off.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:36 PM   #4
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Ususally sub pannels are mandated when there are long runs. If you are just looking for high power, 1 big pannel will do it easier and cheaper.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:43 PM   #5
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Thanks. All my expertise is in RF propagation, although I did learn AC and DC theory like electricians do, just not to the extent of a qualified electrical contractor. When I got the phone call, they had been given a bid of some 3500 dollars including TWO separate subpanels, including one just upstairs from the main panel, about a 12 foot run, which is absurd to me. At present, there are a grand total of 13 110 drops into the main panel, as well as 1 240 drop. the main panel is a 12 space, so I am thinking the main breaker is only a 100 or 125 amp, you can't really tell because there is nothing written on it. the lighting will be about 30 feet from the main panel, so I was thinking that replacing the main panel with a 200 amp 40 place would fix this whole issue, perhaps a main lug 12 place subpanel to support the lighting?
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:24 PM   #6
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Well, big thanks for the folks who took the time to reply, I am off to find more answers, and an honest electrical contractor! If any of you are in or near the lake elsinore, CA area, please send me a private message. I have a job for you!
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