Basement wiring


Old 03-13-06, 01:00 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1
Basement wiring

I am preparing to wire my basement before finishing with drywall. My house was built 2 years ago and I have 200 amp service. The problem is that every circuit breaker slot in my breaker box has been used to supply other circuits in my house. I am sure that I don't have that much load on the service (no pool/hottub etc... just standard stuff).

I have a Square D Homeline breaker box and have looked at tandem breakers, however the breaker box does not accept them. So the way I see it would be to either:
1. Install a subpanel, or
2. Double tap circuits onto already existing breakers (which I think is against code and I am not willing to do).

Unless anyone has other ideas, I think I have no option but to put in a subpanel (I need about 6 15 amp circuits). I have researched this some, and am comfortable installing it myself. My current breaker box is in the basement and the new subpanel would either be right next to the old one or ~20 feet away, I haven't decided yet. I plan on using a 100 amp box with #4 wire.

The only part I am unsure about is the grounding of the subpanel. Can anyone provide any more detail on this?

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Old 03-13-06, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
A small 60-amp nearby subpanel is easy and cheap. Buy one with twice as many spaces as you think you need. I'm not quite sure why you think you need 100 amps. If you do want 100 amps, check with your inspector to see if he'll allow #4 (some will, some won't).

The equipment grounding conductor between the panels is all the grounding the subpanel needs. Make sure you isolate the neutral and grounding bars in the subpanel (i.e., throw away the green screw that comes with the subpanel, and buy and install a separate grounding bar kit if the subpanel does not come with one).
Old 03-13-06, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
If you haven't already wired anything yet, I recommend 20 amp circuits, at least for the receptacles. Running 20 amp circuits instead of 15 amp circuits is the same amount of work, minimal additional cost, but 33 percent more power per circuit.

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