Is A Separate Electrical Subpanel Required For A Guest House? - Electrical - 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 02-09-2015, 06:09 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 194
Rewards Points: 282
Default

Is a separate electrical subpanel required for a guest house?


Hello all,

I am buying a property in rural North Carolina that has a small main house where the electrical service and main panel are. About 15-20 feet away is a 900 sf building that was built as a storage and office space by the previous owner, and I plan to turn it into a guest house with kitchen, bath, etc. (I guess it's basically like converting a detached garage.) The power to the second building is currently run from four 15-20 amp circuits on the panel at the main house. The four wires run underground between the buildings through buried PVC pipe. I will have to do very little inside electrical work because the building is already well wired and has more outlets and light fixtures than I need.

My question is, when I get the permit from the county to turn this into residential space, does code usually require a guest house or detached garage conversion to have a separate electrical subpanel? I'm pretty sure the four circuits will give me the capacity I need because the appliances and heat will all be propane. Just wondering what code says and if a building inspector is likely to even look at the building's power supply since I don't have much electrical to do and won't need to get an electrical work permit.

Thanks ahead of time for your thoughts.
eholmes77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-09-2015, 06:14 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Posts: 336
Rewards Points: 332
Default


You'd have to check with your local building department for your local specifics, but generally, detached buildings need a means of disconnecting power at the building.

I'd run a sub panel even if code didn't require it. Depending on the conduit size that was previously run, you may even be able to reuse that.
sgip2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-09-2015, 06:24 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 194
Rewards Points: 282
Default


Thanks. I would like to do a subpanel, but it looks like they're expensive to have installed and I'm trying to get this building signed off on as residential as cheaply as possible in the short term.

I have read elsewhere that separate buildings need a means of disconnecting power. Is that accomplished only through a subpanel, or is there another method? If it's only through a subpanel, I guess I don't have much choice.
eholmes77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-09-2015, 06:33 PM   #4
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 7,551
Rewards Points: 6,290
Default


Yes, you will have to have a panel in the building (or on it). Converting this to a house means you must meet certain requirements such as at least 2 20 amp circuits for the kitchen that cannot be used for lighting anywhere or power other than the kitchen, dining, and (I think) a pantry.

You cannot provide those circuits and the other necessary circuits from the main house because of the limitation of how many circuits you can carry over to a detached building.
nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2015, 06:51 PM   #5
Super Moderator
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 19,781
Rewards Points: 30,878
Blog Entries: 11
Default


The system you have now is already against code. By code you are only allowed to run one set wires to detached building. That is two hots, neutral and ground to be used to feed a sub panel.
Yes you will need panel in converted building.
Some circuits you will need.
2 Kitchen counter 20 amp GFCI small appliance circuits.
1 Bathroom 20 amp receptacle circuit
at least 1 circuit for lighting and other receptacles, possibly more.
1 receptacle for the laundry area if you have one.
1 GFCI for outdoor receptacles.
joed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2015, 06:53 PM   #6
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 12,630
Rewards Points: 3,740
Default


Your four circuits going to the guest house are already a violation. You are allowed one circuit or feeder to an outbuilding. When this is fixed a subpanel will be installed to act as the disconnect and to provide overcurrent protection for the existing circuits in the building.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2015, 09:15 PM   #7
Member
 
Msradell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Louisville Kentucky
Posts: 2,854
Rewards Points: 1,002
Default


As others have mentioned what you have now is probably in violation of the existing NEC codes. It's possible that what's there is grandfathered in but it will have to be changed anyway to do what you want. Since you already have conduit between the 2 buildings it really shouldn't be that expensive all to put in a subpanel and bring it up to code! I'm guessing about $500 but certainly no more than $1000 to the whole thing in compliance with today's codes.
__________________
Written using Dragon Naturally Speaking
Msradell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2015, 08:18 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,304
Rewards Points: 2,600
Default


four sets of wires, 14/2 and 12/2 in a conduit? should be plenty big to pull some #6 THHN/THWN-2 wire (red/black/white/green). or if individual conduits then run each #6 in its own conduit, etc. dont forget the need for ground rod(s).

whats the cooking appliance in kitchen? gas ??

i would use std 50a breaker in main, then use AFCI breakers in sub (gfci outlets as needed). not required, but i would install a disconnect right next to sub panel so that the whole thing could quickly be shut down in case of emergency

not sure if 50amp though will suffice given two of your 20amps should be dedicated for the purpose.

Last edited by concrete_joe; 02-10-2015 at 08:21 AM.
concrete_joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2015, 08:19 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Eighty Four, Pa.15330
Posts: 1,597
Rewards Points: 1,192
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by Msradell View Post

I'm guessing about $500 but certainly no more than $1000 to the whole thing in compliance with today's codes.
When can you start?
bobelectric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2015, 08:37 AM   #10
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 7,551
Rewards Points: 6,290
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by concrete_joe View Post
four sets of wires, 14/2 and 12/2 in a conduit? should be plenty big to pull some #6 THHN/THWN-2 wire (red/black/white/green). or if individual conduits then run each #6 in its own conduit, etc. dont forget the need for ground rod(s).

whats the cooking appliance in kitchen? gas ??

i would use std 50a breaker in main, then use AFCI breakers in sub (gfci outlets as needed). not required, but i would install a disconnect right next to sub panel so that the whole thing could quickly be shut down in case of emergency

not sure if 50amp though will suffice given two of your 20amps should be dedicated for the purpose.
You can't run the individual conductors in seperate conduit. They must be run together
nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2015, 08:51 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,304
Rewards Points: 2,600
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
You can't run the individual conductors in seperate conduit. They must be run together
very true under NEC,........ if OP wants it to NEC.
concrete_joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2015, 06:30 PM   #12
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 Msradell View Post
I'm guessing about $500 but certainly no more than $1000 to the whole thing in compliance with today's codes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobelectric View Post
When can you start?
I know, right?
WHY do folks post such foolishness!
__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Tags
code , garage conversion , subpanel


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
House on Crawl Space - Sagging Center Beam - Need Advise stevenrossi Building & Construction 9 01-17-2017 10:32 AM
Electrical Wiring for Separate Garage HomeGuy2 Electrical 11 03-15-2013 10:50 PM
Rewiring the house, garage subpanel question WillK Electrical 4 09-28-2010 10:14 PM
Subpanel Questions/Running electrical to garage. FlyGuy Electrical 28 05-24-2008 10:50 PM
Complete AC installation in Old Capitol Hill Row House jacko10 HVAC 0 09-18-2007 05:42 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts