Considerations When Planning An Electrical Sub Panel
By Dave Rongey - Summary:|
How to Plan for a Sub Panel Installation: Planning the right amperage and cabling for a sub-panel used in a basement, garage and other locations.
Planning any Electrical Sub-Panel Must Include a 4-Wire System
- The first serves my lighting and service outlets including 220 circuits for my range and dryer.
- The second has 2 60 AMP circuits and 2 50 amp circuits for resistance heating used several years ago.
- I also have circuits for my water heater and Air Conditioning and Heat Pump.The house was originally all electric.
- Since I converted to gas several years ago, the two 50 amp circuits and one 60 amp have no electrical load. These four circuits are all set up with a ground return cabling (i.e. two hots and a ground, no neutral).
- Can I use the spare 60 amp cabling to feed a 60 amp sub-panel in my basement to service my circuits down stairs including some additional service outlets.
- I would have to connect the ground and neutral bars in the panel to utilize the heavy cable back to the main panel. The ground for the two main panels are connected at the panels.
- The wiring is 6 AWG aluminum.
Background: Bob, a Homeowner from Fairfax county, Virginia
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Bob.
How to Plan for a Sub Panel Installation
Planning the right amperage and cabling for a sub-panel used in a basement, garage and other locations
- Panels supplying 240 volts that are fed from the main electrical panel require a 4-wire feeder consisting of two hots, one neutral and a ground.
- All wires must be sized for the intended loads and the circuit breaker must be properly sized to provide protection for the size and type of the wire or cable.
- The neutral and the ground must be separately terminated and not bonded together at any sub-panel or the proposed electrical panels you wish to add.
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