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E-lec-tri-city
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there a sticky or an FAQ on this?

I need about 3-4 more circuits than my main box has capacity for. Main box is a 125 amp service with capacity for 24 breakers and it's a SquareD. I want to install a subpanel upstairs.

How many amp subpanel do I need?
What kind of wiring between the main box and the subpanel?
What kind of breaker do I put in the main box to feed the subpanel?
Do I need conduit between the main box and the subpanel?
What kind of wall do I need to install it on?
(thinking the master bedroom closet).
What kind of circuits should I put on it, I was thinking just lights and plugs and leave the heavy draws in the main box?

Thanks in advance for any info you have.
 

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Scared Electrician
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715 Posts
How many amp subpanel do I need?
That depends on your service calc. not likely to exceed 60a

What kind of wiring between the main box and the subpanel?
It must be 4wire, grounds and neutrals must remain seperate in a sub panel
60a= #6
What kind of breaker do I put in the main box to feed the subpanel?
eg. 60a

Do I need conduit between the main box and the subpanel?
If not in a detached building- you could use romex(MN) cabling, but if you like conduit go ahead

What kind of wall do I need to install it on?
(thinking the master bedroom closet).
It can't be installed in bathrooms or closets

What kind of circuits should I put on it, I was thinking just lights and plugs and leave the heavy draws in the main box?
You can put any thing on it at all, but it does effect your calc





You may not have to install a sub panel if you can use tandems/quads. (space saving breakers $$)

Installing a sub panel is one of our more popular questions. It is sorta covered in one of the stickies but not directly. A FAQ might be a good idea, with code references.


To start thinking about a sub panel, you need to decide what will be in it. This will determine how big it need to be, as well as a lot of other factors.
 

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A often used location for a subpanel in a bedroom is behind an entry or other door that typically stands open.
 

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E-lec-tri-city
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That depends on your service calc. not likely to exceed 60a
What do you mean by "your service calc"


It must be 4wire, grounds and neutrals must remain seperate in a sub panel
60a= #6
eg. 60a
So for a 60 amp subpanel I need to run a 6-3?


If not in a detached building- you could use romex(MN) cabling, but if you like conduit go ahead
If conduit is not necessary, I'd prefer not to. It's not in a detached building.


It can't be installed in bathrooms or closets
How about the garage?

You can put any thing on it at all, but it does effect your calc
What calc?

You may not have to install a sub panel if you can use tandems/quads. (space saving breakers $$)
My 125 amp main panel does not take tandem breakers. It's a SquareD Homeline. The tandem breakers fit fine on the 200A SquareD Homeline main panels but not on mine. I tried it in a big box store just to see.

Installing a sub panel is one of our more popular questions. It is sorta covered in one of the stickies but not directly. A FAQ might be a good idea, with code references.


To start thinking about a sub panel, you need to decide what will be in it. This will determine how big it need to be, as well as a lot of other factors.
plugs, lights. nothing major. All the high draw stuff will go back to the main panel.
 

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What do you mean by "your service calc"
He's talking about the total power you will be requiring vs. the ampacity you'll need by doing a Load Calculation, which is partially dependant upon the Sqare footage of the house. I think you said you have a 125a Main panel, and you're going to feed a sub with a 60a breaker. Just be sure that you're not exceeding the 125a rating of the Main panel. Here's a link to a load calculator. It's based on the 2002 Code, and there may be (probaby are) some changes. I add it only for your better understanding.

So for a 60 amp subpanel I need to run a 6-3?
6/3 with ground

If conduit is not necessary, I'd prefer not to. It's not in a detached building.
Cable is fine then

How about the garage?
That's fine. Make sure that it's easily accessible. A minimum (I think) of 36" is required in front of the panel. It has to be easily accessible without having to bend, stoop, or move items around to get to it, and cannot be hidden by a closet door.
 
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