DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently moved into a new (old) house and I am turning my garage into a workshop. In doing so i plan on adding a subpanel and rewiring existing switches and outlets as well as adding new ones. I plan on having about 10 circuits all 20a. All the wiring is very old and disorganized. Today when determining which breaker controlled power to the garage i found that the light/fan in my kitchen was on the same circuit as the garage and that it was all running off just a 20a circuit.

I am at a standstill as for what i should do. The garage is detached and the wiring for it is ran underground (under a sidewalk). coming into the garage there are 3 separate cables (all very old) with braided cloth-like insulation, but there is only one cable at the breaker that controls it. I'm guessing that whatever is going on happens at or around the switch that controls the kitchen light/fan however i can not rip my wall apart to get to the bottom of things.

ANY SUGGESTIONS!?
 

·
Licensed Electrician
Joined
·
4,352 Posts
Follow the wires from the panel and see where they branch off...disconnect them there. Then run your new 4 wire feed to the garage. There are many codes to keep in mind when wiring a detached garage.

-ground rods
-what code cycle your area is under will determine if you can run romex
-all receptacles must be GFI protected
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I can't follow the wires from the panel because it is set inside the wall on the main floor. I'd have to tear out the wall to see how the wires are run. All i can see is that there is one cable attached to the 20a breaker in the panel, somewhere along the lines my kitchen light is integrated and then next thing you know 3 cables show up in my garage.

forgot about grounding rod, good call. I had planned on getting GFI breakers for the panel. Will that suffice? I'll have to check into the romex issue, i certainly hope it is acceptable since i have already bought it.
 

·
Master Electrician
Joined
·
4,627 Posts
Assuminng you are running new feeders for a new sub panel in the garage, the old cables can be disconnected where they enter the garage and capped off in a j-box with a blank cover. Rip out the old garage wiring and start anew from the new sub panel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
That's what i was afraid of. Are there any tips or suggestions as to running new power to the garage? there is conduit coming up from the ground hopefully it goes all the way to the house. I'm not sure how or wear it enters the house because i have not been able to get down in the crawl space yet but it has to go underneath at least one sidewalk. Would i be able to use the existing conduit you think? just pull new wire through somehow? If so what size wire should i use if i want at least 10 20a circuits in my subpanel?
 

·
Licensed Electrician
Joined
·
4,352 Posts
I'm thinking you could get by with a 60A sub, but I highly doubt you will be able to use the existing raceway from the house to the garage.

What size service do you have on your house?
Electric appliances? Heat? AC? Dryer? Range? Water heater?
What are you planning on running in the workshop?
How much will be running at the same time?
Heat/AC in workshop?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The house's main shut off switch in the panel says 100a. I have a range, washer/dryer, furnace, water heater, no AC. I plan on running numerous power tools in the workshop. Many at the same time but nothing that requires more than a 20a circuit. no welders or anything like that. mostly small things but lots of them.
 

·
Licensed Electrician
Joined
·
4,352 Posts
I hate to break the news to you, but it sure looks like you are going to need to upgrade your service to 200A....or you can check with your local power company to see if they will allow a second service to your garage. I have done that a number of times around here (WI), but I have also heard that other POCO's will not allow two meters at one address.
 
  • Like
Reactions: danthemanwilde

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
if the power company does not allow me to have two meters but does upgrade me to a 200a service what kind of cable should i run from the panel in the house to the subpanel in the garage?
 

·
Licensed Electrician
Joined
·
4,352 Posts
1 1/4" PVC with (3) 6's and a #10 ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'm confused. 3 6 gauge wires + a ground wire? I thought there would be 3 wires total, one for ground and two going into the split bus 100a breaker at the top of the panel (assuming i installed a 100a panel in the shop). If i were walk into Lowe's right now what would i look for? hahaha
 

·
Licensed Electrician
Joined
·
4,352 Posts
4 wires...Hot, Hot, Neutral, Ground
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
in that case my house may be currently wired incorrectly. I called the electric company and they said that both upgrading or adding a meter would be an option but the cost for adding a meter would vary depending on the work that it would entail i.e. adding a pole etc. However, they said that it would cost nothing for them to upgrade me to 200a as all they would do would be shutting off my electric service and I would be responsible for making the upgrade myself or with an electrician and then having it inspected and signed off on at which point they would turn me back on. So my question now is what does upgrading to 200a entail as i would apparently be responsible for making this happen.
 

·
Licensed Electrician
Joined
·
4,352 Posts
Normally, you will only have 3 wires entering your main panel. There are different requirements for sub panels.

As for upgrading your service, your first step should be contacting your inspection dept and finding out if you are allowed to do the work. If you are, then you need to start researching. It sounds as if you do not have much experience with electrical. Upgrading your electric service is not a good place to start.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,106 Posts
To upgrade to 200 amps from a 100 amp service requires you to replace the meter, the wire from the meter to the mast where the power company connects to, and replacing the wire from the meter to the new 200 amp panel you install.

The size wire will be 2/0 copper or 4/0 AL.

Local codes may require an outside disconnect, as well as all grounding and bonding be updated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thank you very much for all the information. I most likely will not be doing all this myself as i have only done some of it before. The plan was to do as much of it as I possibly could myself so there was minimal left for the electrician. I will probably get everything ready as far as the garage goes myself so that all that is left is to have an electrician do the upgrade in service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
would it be wise for me to buy materials ahead of time so that my bill for upgrading my service would be pretty much just labor? or are most electricians required to use material that they supply for liability reasons?
 

·
Licensed Electrician
Joined
·
4,352 Posts
Electricians are not required to supply the material, however, you may not find as large as a savings as you might think. Nine times out of ten, the customer will not get everything or buy the cheapest stuff (makes the job more difficult) and the EC compensates for that.

I would discuss it with the EC.
 

·
" Euro " electrician
Joined
·
5,369 Posts
If you going to upgrade this yourself ( only if you have undestand the code requirement on this one ) there is one way you can do is run the new service next to the old one and when you are approved to switch over the new one you can able do it on your convenice pace.

Otherwise if you going to do this all in one day for a average person that will be a full day minuim but for sure two days ( the pros will have this done under a full day ) and expect the power to be out at least 4 hours minuim and have to corranation the timming with inspector to come out and check it out before they can turn the power source back on.

Once they approve it then the POCO will make the final connection.

Do you have overhead or underground service ? if underground it will compound the issue a little.

Make sure you read the POCO reguations sometime it called bleubook or greenbook or whatever colour it is but that is their regualtions so read it to see what they required for your home useage.


Few of us are Electrician by trade so we can assit you all the question you need to ask us.

Merci,
Marc
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top