Subpanel - why do I want to?

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Old 03-24-06, 12:13 PM
vmweenie
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Subpanel - why do I want to?

Situation first, questions at the end.

Washer and dryer were in the "kitchen" (actually, the old summer kitchen, enclosed by the POs.) Distrbutor was out of 10/3 so I got 8/3 for the same price and ran that for for my dryer. Also home-ran 12/2 for the washer and etc. So now I have, in the corner of the kitchen, a length of 8/3 and a length of 12/3 (several feet each) curled up (sticking out through the floor/wall). As often happens during the renovation process, we decided we'd like to move the laundry upstairs (where it should be). There's also a length of 2" PVC sticking up through the floor (drain line).

Thought I'd build a chase in the corner with the outside wall on one side and a full-height cabinet end panel on the other (enclosing a counter depth refrig.) The "front wall" of the chase could be flush with the cabinet(s) but I'd like to recess it as much as possible.

So, while I was thinking about the junction boxes (which merely have to "accessible") to extend those two circuits, I thought "gee, maybe I have some excess capacity in that 8/3 - maybe I could put in a subpanel instead and maybe have another circuit available."

As I said, I don't *need* or even *really want* a sub but if I can have one I will - it would be nice to have the option for adding one later. . I'm not going to tear up the floor again to replace the 8/3 just so I can add a sub or anything like that.

So the questions -

1. Can I put a subpanel in the same chase with plumbing? I could easily make it TWO separate chambers of course.
2. Would that placement violate the "free space" requirements anyway?
3. With a thirty amp breaker for the dryer, does that really leave me with any excess capacity? (I have seen 8 gauge listed as both 40 and 50 ampacity and I don't have my own copy of the NEC).
4. Am I nuts or what?

Thanks.
 
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Old 03-24-06, 02:04 PM
bolide's Avatar
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>1. Can I put a subpanel in the same chase with plumbing?
>2. Would that placement violate the "free space" requirements anyway?

You need 3' wide, 3' deep (easiest to open it into the room), and clear from floor to ceiling.


> With a thirty amp breaker for the dryer, does that really leave me with any excess capacity?
Yes, about [email protected] (#8 is 40A @ 240V.)
 
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