Adding Circuits to a Sub-Panel
How can I add more circuits to a sub panel? I want to add four more circuits to my electric panel box. How to Add Circuits to a Panel and Determine the Number of Circuits That Can be Added to a Sub Panel.
Installing Electric Circuits for a Sub Panel
Electrical Question: How can I add more circuits to a sub panel?
I have a 60 amp breaker panel in a small 8oo square foot house with a natural gas furnace and natural gas water heater. I want to add four more circuits for a dryer, dishwasher, and two 15 amp circuits. There are nine open spots left in the electric panel. If I add these four circuits will I still be within code for a 60 amp panel?
Background: Tom, who is a Handyman from Ottawa, Ontario Canada.
Additional Comments: Very Informative!
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Tom.
How to Add Circuits to a Sub Panel
Skill Level: Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians pouch of hand tools, voltage tester and protective safety gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the make and model of the sub-panel and the condition of the existing electrical circuit breakers and the wiring methods.
Precaution: For safety the main circuit breaker should be turned off or any other disconnect means that would turn off the power to the panel before replacing a circuit breaker, however turning off the main circuit breaker may not turn off the power to all of the areas of the sub-panel components and wiring. This is an extensive project that requires experience and should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Notice: Making changes to electric sub-panel or electric circuits should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected. Geographical Application: All areas of the World and all Foreign and Domestic Electrical Systems.
Determine the Number of Circuits that Can be Added to the Sub Panel
The Space Capacity of a Sub Panel
- For Example: The capacity of allowed circuits for a 60 amp sub panel is not just based on the available openings for circuit breakers.
- The stated Maximum Amperage Rating of a sub-panel does not mean that the sub-panel has been wired for the stated rating, therefore the actual feeder circuit supplying the power should be verified.
- The sub-panel must be load tested or verified to see if it has the available amperage capacity for additional circuits.
Determine the Proposed Circuit Loads for a Sub Panel
The Amperage Capacity of a Sub Panel
- Identify the existing circuits: What they are being used for.
- What is the amount of Current Load of these existing circuits: The type of equipment that is being used.
- Identify the proposed amperage load: Does the sub panel have enough additional load capacity.
- IMPORTANT: Plan the additional circuits so the sub panel will not become overloaded to the point of exceeding the capacity of the feeder circuit.
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