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What Is The Easiest Way To Install An Electrical Panel?
©Copyright Dave Rongey - Summary:
How to Install an Electrical Sub Panel: Determine the Size of the Sub Panel, Common Methods for Installing an Electric Panel, Amperage Capacity and Breaker Space, Locating the New Sub Panel, Installing the Wiring, Conduit or Service Cable, Wiring in Existing Circuits.
Guide to Installing an Electrical Sub Panel
Electrical Question: Can I feed a second sub-panel from the one I currently have in my home?
- I have one in my basement for the for the whole house, but would like one sub-panel for each floor.
- If so, what is the best and easiest way to go about this?
Background: Scott, a Handyman from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Scott.
How to Install an Electrical Sub Panel into a Home
Application: Adding a Sub Panel.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor, Not Recommended for Homeowners.
Tools Required: Electricians pouch of hand tools and the various power tools necessary for installing the sub-panel.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type and size of the panel and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing electrical wiring within the immediate area that may interfere with the installation of the sub panel should be identified and turned OFF and Tagged if necessary. Working in an electric panel is dangerous due to arc flash hazards and the possibility of electric shock.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring and a sub-panel should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Determine the Size of the Electrical Panel
- When adding an electrical panel it is important to identify the loads or circuits that the panel will be providing power for.
- This will determine the amperage size of the panel and the number of circuit breaker spaces that will be required.
Common Methods for Installing an Electric Panel
- Amperage Capacity and Breaker Space
Make sure the existing panel that will be used to feed the new panel has enough electrical capacity and physical space for the additional sub-panel.
- Locating the New Sub Panel
The new sub panel must be installed in an approved location and have the required working space.
- Installing the Wiring
The method used for installing the wiring will depend on the layout of the home, the type of construction, where the existing panel is in relation to the proposed sub-panel.
- Conduit or Service Cable
The wiring to the proposed sub panel must be protected by either installing the cable inside a protected space or walls, or a conduit may need to be installed to connect the two panels together and individual wires will be pulled through the conduit.
- Sizing the Sub Panel
The size of the sub panel will depend on the electrical circuits that will be connected and the intended loads that will be placed on the panels.
- Wiring in Existing Circuits
Circuits that will be connected to the sub panel must be identified so they may be disconnected from the existing panel and then reconnected to the sub panel.
- Planning the Sub Panel Project
As you can see, installing an electrical panel involves a lot of planning and factors to be consider, especially when the new sub panel will be providing power to areas such as the kitchen where there may be several circuits.
All electrical projects such as this require a permit and inspections and should not be done by unqualified individuals. Electrical projects of this level are best performed by a licensed electrical contractor.
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Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.