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Electrical Wire and Cable

How to Convert a Circuit to be Used for a Sub-Panel

Can I use a 220 volt cable to power a sub-panel? How to Convert a 220 Volt Circuit Cable for a Sub-Panel.

Home Electrical Wiring Video

Hooking Up a Generator to the House Panel
Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit
for Backup Power

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Converting a 220 Volt Circuit Cable for a Sub-Panel
Electrical Question:Can I use a 220 volt cable to power a sub-panel?

I have an old 220 volt circuit that went to an electric range. We have since switched to Natural Gas. My question is can I reroute the 220 volt cable to the basement and use it for the power to a sub-panel? I only have one receptacle in the basement.

Thanks for the info.

This electrical wiring question came from: Buck, from Emmett, Idaho.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Buck.

How to Install a Sub Panel Using an Existing Circuit

Application: Electrical Wiring for a Panel.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This electrical project is best performed by a Certified Electrician or a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
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.
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.

Sub Panels Require a 4-Wire Feeder Cable with a Separate Dedicated Neutral

120/240 Volt Circuits A typical sub panel that will be used to supply power for 120 volt circuits. Typical 120 volt circuits may be receptacle outlets, lighting, smoke detectors, or any other 3-wire 120 volt device.

Circuit Disconnect for 240 Volt Equipment

240 Volt Circuits A Dedicated Neutral wire conductor is not required for 240 volt circuits for equipment that does not require a neutral. Typical 240 volt equipment may be a hot water heater, air compressor, welder, or any 3-wire 240 volt equipment. The circuit amperage requirements must be within the range of the amperage rating of the cable to be used for the circuit.

The total connected load of the circuits that would be added to a sub-panel must be 80% of the amperage rating of the cable supplying power to the sub-panel.

More about Electrical Wiring for Panels and Circuits

Basic House Wiring Circuits

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.
Home Electrical Circuits

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.

Electrical Circuit Breakers

Home Electrical Circuit Breakers

A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.

Electrical Wiring Codes
Electrical Code

Home Electrical Codes

Electrical Code Directory covering methods of electrical circuit wiring and electric panels.

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Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

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Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book
Great for any Home Wiring Project.
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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
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Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
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Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

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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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “How to Convert a Circuit to be Used for a Sub-Panel”
  1. Chuck1963 says:

    We have a 220 volt dryer service that we are not using . I am setting up a wood shop in the same building ,can I split the 220 volt service in to a sub panel box & supply my wood working tools with 110 volts ?

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Chuck,
    If the 220 volt dryer circuit is a 3-wire with a ground then yes you can use the circuit for a sub feed. The 3-wire circuit will have a separate insulated white neutral wire which is required for 120 volt circuits.
    If the 220 volt circuit does not have a separate neutral wire then no, you cannot use the circuit for a sub panel.