Subpanel 1st-timer!!

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  #1  
Old 03-29-05, 06:37 PM
TSmith
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Subpanel 1st-timer!!

I've reviewed many of your answers to questions about installing sub panels and could not find my problem, believe it or not. So, here's my situation: I recently constructed a garage 80' from the main house. I've run 1 1/4" pvc conduit from the house panel to the sub-panel in the garage. I want to run my sub-panel off of an unused 60amp double-pole breaker. Problem is, I bought and installed 6-2 romex(one black, one white, one bare) Now, I realize I have installed the wrong wire. I have NO NEUTRAL!! I should have installed 6-3. So, can I just run a single #6 wire to serve as my neutral, or can I make my 6-2 work? Also, should both hot wires be coming out of the 60amp breaker, and the neutral feeding off the main panel's neutral bus? Once in the subpanel, connect both hot wires coming from the 60amp breaker to the hot bus, the ground to the neutral bus, and the single #6 neutral wire to the neutral bus. Right?? I'm in over my head!!! Help please.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-29-05, 08:27 PM
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You have a bigger problem than that. You can't run romex in conduit; you must use individual conductors. Luckily, you can use the wire in the conduit to pull the new conductors through. You need two hots (black) one neutral (white) and one ground. In a subpanel, you also need to keep the grounds and neutrals seperate as well as have proper grounding because this is a detached building. I'll defer to the code guys for the details...
 
  #3  
Old 03-29-05, 09:44 PM
TSmith
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I know, but...

Good advice for sure. However, this building won't be inspected, so I just figured I'd use the hot and neural wires in my 6-2 romex as the two hots, color the white one black on both ends. There's my 2 #6 hot lines right there. Then, I'd like to use the ground, or bare wire, as I would have done before... connecting it to the ground bus in the subpanel and in the panel in the house. Now all I need to do is run a #6 white wire for my neutral, connectiong it to the neural bus in both panels. What do yall think?
 
  #4  
Old 03-30-05, 03:54 AM
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You cannot use NM type cable in conduit, inspected or not. Conduit is NOT dry and the cable will rot.

You must replace the NM cable you installed and use individual conductors.
 
  #5  
Old 03-30-05, 06:57 AM
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You are in way over your head. You might wish to re-think the installation. I would recommend, before doing anything else, to read up on the installation of a 220 volt sub-panel. It's fairly straight forward, but it must be done correctly, and it looks like you are off to a shakey start. I would also strongly recommend getting a permit, at least this will give you a second look at the final install. Remember, the inspector is there to help.

There are lots of posts in this forum on sub-panels.
 
  #6  
Old 03-30-05, 07:29 AM
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I agree that you should get the permit, primarily for your own protection. Doing it right will only be slightly more cost and work than doing it wrong, and the result will be ever so much more satisfying.

If the cable you used is NM-B, it will probably fail within a few years.
 
  #7  
Old 03-30-05, 07:35 AM
TSmith
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I really appriciate your responses. This morning I had a conversation with an electrician, and he explained everything to me. Yall are right, I was off to a really bad start, but I think I've got it now. One more question... is it safe to use a "jumper" to connect both terminals on the hot bus if I only wanted 120v? I think I'm gonna go ahead and go with 240 capability and run 4 wires total, but would it be safe to use this jumper if I only run one hot to the subpanel for 120v? Also, I'm going to protect my outlets with GFCI outlets for a little added safety. Thanks again! P.S. I think I will get it inspected also.
 
  #8  
Old 03-30-05, 08:33 AM
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The jumper would be okay, except you won't have any place to connect it. Each lug is only rated for one wire.

If you only want half the power, then just put in half the breakers (only on one bus). This is a better solution than the jumper.
 
  #9  
Old 03-30-05, 08:35 AM
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GFCI protection is REQUIRED because this is a garage.
 
  #10  
Old 03-30-05, 01:01 PM
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Detached garage sub-panel.
Most if not all city's will require a disconnect installed inside the sub panel. Not just connecting the wires to the main lugs in the Sub.
And a ground rod.
You may need to have a floating neutral in the Sub.

That's something's to ask your city.
 
  #11  
Old 03-31-05, 02:07 AM
TSmith
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Yall won't believe this, but I was out there looking things over and making a list of what to buy, etc... and none other than the city inspector stops by unanounced. He asks, "are you planning on having electricity in this building?" I answer, "maybe". So, he says it will be inspected, and he starts naming all these things I must do to pass inspection.(it was long) Not only that, since this is an all metal building, there are other safeguards that are required. So, long story short, the inspector scared me into hiring an electrician to do the job. So, I'm gonna let the electrician figure all this out. But I just wanted to say thanks for all of your help. This site is one of only a few out there that really helps people.(believe me, I looked) Yall keep it up.
 
  #12  
Old 03-31-05, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by TSmith
Yall won't believe this, but I was out there looking things over and making a list of what to buy, etc... and none other than the city inspector stops by unanounced. He asks, "are you planning on having electricity in this building?" I answer, "maybe". So, he says it will be inspected, and he starts naming all these things I must do to pass inspection.(it was long) Not only that, since this is an all metal building, there are other safeguards that are required. So, long story short, the inspector scared me into hiring an electrician to do the job. So, I'm gonna let the electrician figure all this out. But I just wanted to say thanks for all of your help. This site is one of only a few out there that really helps people.(believe me, I looked) Yall keep it up.

Smart move!
 
  #13  
Old 03-31-05, 06:59 AM
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"A man has got to know his limitations."
-- Clint Eastwood playing Harry Callahan in Magnum Force
 
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