What Is The Easiest Way To Install An Electrical Panel?
Installing an Electrical Panel: Can I feed a second sub-panel from the one I currently have in my home?
Electrical Panel Installation
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.
Installing an Electrical Sub Panel
Application: Installing an Electrical Sub Panel.
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by 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. Working in an electric panel is dangerous due to arc flash hazards and the possibility of electric shock.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring, and electrical panel should be done according to local and national electrical codes, with a permit and be inspected.
Planning to Install a Sub Panel
The following is an example that describes how installing a sub panel requires careful planning before the project can begin, and the considerations which must be given about the existing electrical panel and the future circuits that will be installed.
- Electrical Circuit Load
- 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.
Selecting the Type of Electrical 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.
- 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.
More about Wiring an Electrical Panel
- 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.
- 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.
- Home Wiring
- Home Electrical Wiring
- Basic Home Wiring Diagrams with Pictures
Home Electrical Safety
Electrical Safety Articles covering several topics of home electrical safety and Do-It-Yourself Electrical Safety.
Electrical Panel Codes
Home Electrical Codes
Electrical Code Directory covering electrical wiring for electrical service panels.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
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
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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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