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Old 01-08-2015, 02:19 AM   #1
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Need some guidance on subpanel wiring.


My house is currently run on 14-2 without ground on a single 50 amp breaker. (That is all lights and receptacles. A new fridge, stove, water heater, and ac each have there own dedicated circuits.) The main breaker panel is full so I plan to install a panel indoors.

First, I wanted to check that it is acceptable to run wire from the main panel like this: (see attachment 1. I have a larger image, but it's not letting me post links to images right now.)

This is where I plan to put the indoor panel. (see attachment 2) I think it's a 3 phase panel, but I'm pretty sure it can be modified to work for me.

Finally, the guy who installed the new 4 new appliances and ran power to them ran conduit directly to the outlet. (see attachment 3)

I plan to rework these so it's neater, but I wanted to check if I have to bury all the conduit going from the pole to the house or if it is acceptable to hang the conduit from the floor joists. It seems like it would be a real pain to dig a 20" trench in my crawlspace.

Any help is appreciated!
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:25 AM   #2
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You may use the feed through lugs provided the conductors are equal in current capacity to the incoming line.

You can use the 3 phase panel but loose 1/3 of the spaces.

The rest, IMO needs to be re-done by a licensed electrician. The wires coming out of the panel with no bushing, double lugging, romex in conduit, wires not even in conduit and the overall sloppy work are all indicators whom ever did this is not aware of code nor takes pride in his work. I would rip it out and start over. Guys like that cost you many times over than what you save up front.


Second, if you can I would return the 3 phase panel. A 30 space panel goes to 20spaces in single phase but costs 4 to 8 times what a single phase panel does, especially a Square D QO. You can buy a 200amp 20 space Murray panel for $90 at Home depot or a 40 space 200 amp for $120 to $150. A lot cheaper and you get all the spaces.

Last edited by Jump-start; 01-08-2015 at 06:28 AM. Reason: fixed spelling
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:17 AM   #3
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"Feed through lugs," just what I wanted to hear. I wasn't sure that was actually what those were for.

The 3 phase panel came from a job he supervised. I was planning on buying a 125amp 8 space panel and running it from a 125amp breaker rather than using the feed through lugs with 200amp rated wire, but it's free and 2/3 of 24 spaces is 16 so the wasted space is of no matter. If I don't use the panel, it's going to the dump anyway.

All the issues you mentioned will be remedied, even the "romex in conduit" which as far as I know does not actually violate the code. But the cable in use will be too short once I route it properly, so I will be running stranded wire in conduit through the floor for these large appliances.

And, as you say, there was no pride involved in this work. He was just trying to separate power for this house and get hot water running for his mother-in-law. He's said it himself, he is not an electrician. That's why I've elected to seek what help I can from hopefully more knowledgeable DIY'ers. I would get the required permits, hire an electrician, and get my work inspected if I could afford it. Unfortunately I cannot, but I'm doing what I can to ensure my work hits the mark.

Thanks for your input, Jump-start
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sogeki View Post
"Feed through lugs," just what I wanted to hear. I wasn't sure that was actually what those were for.

The 3 phase panel came from a job he supervised. I was planning on buying a 125amp 8 space panel and running it from a 125amp breaker rather than using the feed through lugs with 200amp rated wire, but it's free and 2/3 of 24 spaces is 16 so the wasted space is of no matter. If I don't use the panel, it's going to the dump anyway.

All the issues you mentioned will be remedied, even the "romex in conduit" which as far as I know does not actually violate the code. But the cable in use will be too short once I route it properly, so I will be running stranded wire in conduit through the floor for these large appliances.

And, as you say, there was no pride involved in this work. He was just trying to separate power for this house and get hot water running for his mother-in-law. He's said it himself, he is not an electrician. That's why I've elected to seek what help I can from hopefully more knowledgeable DIY'ers. I would get the required permits, hire an electrician, and get my work inspected if I could afford it. Unfortunately I cannot, but I'm doing what I can to ensure my work hits the mark.

Thanks for your input, Jump-start

Welcome

Romex in conduit does violate code if its being put in conduit that is considered a wet location. Conduit underground for example is a wet location and NM-B (Romex) is not listed for that type of application.

In all honesty your best bet is moving all circuits inside to the subpanel. This would be the easiest option and would eliminate the conduits plus the uncontained wires running out of the panel (like the purple ones)


I wouldn't worry about inspection. The cheapest possible electrician who does not pull a permit is better option that one who is not an electrician.

How big is your house? If you can give details on the loads you could even get away with a 100amp feed to the subpanel provided a 100amp breaker is used in the main. This would save money, especially if the conductors is Aluminum.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:51 PM   #5
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Here are the code sections:
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:50 PM   #6
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Just curious.....what the hel* is that hydraulic jack holding up and why is the stud cut?
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:06 PM   #7
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Would a romex in a water tight flexible conduit under gound be OK?



Just curious.
Actually, that's a lie. I buried this system when I built my garage.
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:48 PM   #8
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NM cannot be used buried or outside.
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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 01-08-2015, 07:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Would a romex in a water tight flexible conduit under gound be OK?



Just curious.
Actually, that's a lie. I buried this system when I built my garage.
I know this is DIY....but digging a 20" deep trench in a crawlspace would be a........minimum wage job for someone.
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Old 01-08-2015, 07:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123pugsy View Post
Would a romex in a water tight flexible conduit under gound be OK?



Just curious.
Actually, that's a lie. I buried this system when I built my garage.
Nope, not by the code. The issue with romex is that the jacket isn't rated for continuous water submersion. The jacket is thin as well, so any water can be wicked up by the paper. The bare EGC can corrode over time in such a case, and if an inspector really wanted to get technical he could also argue the individual conductors within romex are not listed as THWN since they have no markings and could be anything.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jump-start View Post
...
Romex in conduit does violate code if its being put in conduit that is considered a wet location. Conduit underground for example is a wet location and NM-B (Romex) is not listed for that type of application.

In all honesty your best bet is moving all circuits inside to the subpanel. This would be the easiest option and would eliminate the conduits plus the uncontained wires running out of the panel (like the purple ones)...
If that's the case, I'll have to pull new wire when I move the conduit anyway, so I may as well pull stranded thwn. I am considering moving everything to the subpanel. I'll have plenty of room to spare as it is.

The bundle of wire (with the purple) is what was installed when the house was built. It's 10 awg, "protected" by a 50 amp breaker, and it runs loose over the roof and into the attic at the far end. It and all branch circuits with even smaller cable will be removed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanS26 View Post
Just curious.....what the hel* is that hydraulic jack holding up and why is the stud cut?
It's holding the ceiling, of course. Rather, the 4x4s are. The load bearing wall where the used 3 phase panel is going had termite damage.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:26 PM   #12
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That's a plan. Make sure you get the breaker size down.

14 gauge 15amps
12 gauge 20amps
10 gauge 30amps
8 gauge 40amps
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jump-start View Post
Nope, not by the code. The issue with romex is that the jacket isn't rated for continuous water submersion. The jacket is thin as well, so any water can be wicked up by the paper. The bare EGC can corrode over time in such a case, and if an inspector really wanted to get technical he could also argue the individual conductors within romex are not listed as THWN since they have no markings and could be anything.
Thanks.

I'm going to be knocking the house down soon so I will run a new feed to the garage at the same time.
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