How to Plan Electrical Circuits for a Home

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

I am concerned that my panel is getting overloaded, I have a 100 amp sub panel fed from a 200 amp panel: Factors that Help Determine Electrical Load of an Electrical Panel.

Sub Panel for Electric Circuits

Electrical Question: I am concerned that my panel is getting overloaded.

I have a 100 amp sub panel fed from a 200 amp panel.

  • This is a new house and the sub panel will have the following load:
    • Electric Dryer 2 pole 240 volt 30 amp, water heater 2 pole 240 volt 30 amp, heat pump and air handler, one is 2 pole 240 volt 30 amp  and the other is 2 pole 240 volt 50 amp, the condenser outside is 2 pole 240 volt 40 amp.
    • There is also a washing machine, deep freeze, fridge and a small amount of lighting all on 1 pole 120 volt 20 amp circuit breakers respectively.
    • The remaining load on the house which is the kitchen, living, bedrooms, baths are out of the 200 amp panel. I’m worried that my sub panel may be a little close in max load.

What do you guys think?

This electrical question came from: Scott, from Graham,Texas.

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

Electrical Circuits for a Home Electric Panel

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Factors that Help Determine Electrical Load of an Electrical Panel

Sizing a Sub Panel for Electric Circuits

  • NOTE: This question begins with the fact that a sub panel has already been sized and installed, and now there is a valid concern about the panel becoming overloaded, and I totally agree that this will be the case.
  • The Total Connected Load of the Electric Panel
    • When planning out the electrical circuits and panels sizes it is good to try to save on long lengths of wire, however the whole project must be considered to make sure the loads are well supported to prevent and overloaded panel, and sometimes this may require either installing a larger sub panel or feeding the larger equipment from the main panel.
  • Specific Dedicated Circuits for Electric Appliances and Equipment
    • If the home is large then it is a good idea to install a sub panel near the kitchen because of the number of dedicated circuits, and the bathroom, bedroom circuit as well as some of the lighting circuits may be located in the panel too when the number of circuits and amperage will allow. However the larger equipment circuits are best fed from the main panel, such as the HVAC equipment.

More about Electrical Circuits and Panels

Residential Electrical Panel Load Calculator

  • Residential Electrical Load Calculator
    • The Electrical Load Calculator is a fully functional online and Interactive tool that will assist you with accurate panel load calculations.
    • The Residential Electrical Load Calculator is Pre-Loaded with electrical information for you to chose for typical electrical loads in the home.
    • General Electrical Load Requirements, Appliances and Motor Loads, Heating and Air Conditioning equipment.
    • Sizing Wire for a Panel: Voltage Drop Calculator

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