Subpanel vs. Separate Lines


Old 03-03-05, 02:18 PM
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Subpanel vs. Separate Lines

I am redoing the wiring in an old 2 story house.
What would be better and why:
Run a 40 or 50 amp 240v line to a subpanel on the second story,
or run separate line for each circuit directly from the main panel.

Also, if the subpanel option, Can I use 6/3 Romex or does it have to be in conduit?
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Old 03-03-05, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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The answer to the question about a subpanel vs individual runs depends on how many runs are planning on.

As for the conduit vs. cable, that answer depends on local codes. Some areas require conduit. The NEC does not.
Old 03-03-05, 02:28 PM
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Number of Runs

There will be 9 separate runs, or a subpanel.
Thanks for the quick response.
Old 03-03-05, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Advantages of a subpanel:
  • A subpanel may make it easier to run the wiring.
  • A subpanel may create less voltage drop.
  • A subpanel saves space in your main panel for future use.
  • A subpanel allows local shutoff without going back to the main panel.
  • A subpanel probably makes it easier to add a new circuit to the second floor later.
Advantages of individual circuits:
  • You don't need to find a legal place to put the subpanel.
  • The subpanel partitions the power (e.g., you may run out of power in the subpanel while you still have power available in the service).
  • A subpanel requires more technical expertise to install.
  • A subpanel may increase costs (compute it both ways).
If you use the subpanel, you can feed it with 6/3 NM-B (assuming your city allows NM-B at all). If you use 6/3, you can use a 60-amp breaker in the main.

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