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Electrical Panel Sizes and Circuit Wiring

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

We have installed a 100 amp breaker box in a new work shop, what size breakers do I attach the main lines to in the 200amp box…

Electrical Panel Wiring and Circuit Breaker Size
Background: Roland, a Handyman from San Antonio

Question: At our ranch we have a 200amp panel box and we have installed a 100 amp breaker box in a new work shop, what size breakers do I attach the main lines to in the 200amp box?

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Roland.

The rating of the 100 amp panel is just that, it is a maximum amperage rating. So my question to you is what size wire did you install to this 100 amp panel? Did you install wire sized to support a circuit rated at 100 amps? If so then the circuit breaker size must be 100 amps. Keep this in mind: the circuit breaker size is determined by the smallest wire size in that circuit. Ideally the wire sizes should in fact be all the same size unless there is a junction where copper and aluminum wire types are spliced. The other determining factor is the insulation type which is rated for many things including temperature. So I cannot give you an answer unless I know about all the missing information about the wires that were installed.

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