Considerations When Planning An Electrical Sub Panel
How do I 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
Electrical Question: I have two 150 amp service panels on separate feeds from the power company.
- 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 in 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.
More about Wiring a Sub Panel
Sub-Panel Electrical Wiring for the Home
Electrical sub-panel wiring considerations for the home complete with pictures. Careful planning for your Sub-Panel with immediate and future load considerations will help you understand how to size your Sub-Panel. This information will help as you consider a Sub-Panel and its size.
House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers
This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Electrical Panel Circuit Listing
Electric Circuit Listing
The size of the home electrical service panel is designed by calculating the square footage of the home and factoring in the code requirements for the electrical circuits that are required.
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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