Need more power!

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  #1  
Old 02-19-07, 07:37 PM
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Need more power!

Hey all, quick question. I need to get 2 new circuits down in the basement, but my box is full. Where can I go from here? Possible to just add another mini box somehow? Oh, and also, would cerrowire be good for a basement? Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 02-19-07, 07:50 PM
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What size Main ckt breaker is your service?
What make is your panel?
Ckt breakers or fuses?
What type of appliances.. gas /elect?
What are the new ckts intentions?
 
  #3  
Old 02-19-07, 08:10 PM
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Hey lee, how ya doin. Ok I got the info for ya.

It is a
Siemens Energy Model # G2020B1100
do a google for it if u need specs 100 amp box
It is circuit breakers
The appliances that are currently on it are gas and electric.
The new circuits will currently be used for a bedroom and living room downstairs, in the future I would like to add more power to the rest of the basement as well.

I guess contractors here are getting cheap, brand new house built in Oct of last year, and all the circuits are full.

Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 02-19-07, 08:28 PM
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A 20-space panel is really being cheap.

Your two options are a new main panel or a small subpanel next to the existing main panel. The second of these options will be much cheaper.
 
  #5  
Old 02-19-07, 08:44 PM
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Hello,

As John says, they are cheap with the 20 ckt panel.
You may first want to look at enlarging that first. Call the original electrician.
Then if needed you can add a sub.
My reasoning for this ..Don't make a mess untill there is no option. bite the bullet now. I don't think you'll be sorry.

PS: You can't add power.only ckts. (for what you have)
 
  #6  
Old 02-19-07, 09:20 PM
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i will agree with Lee and John what they say about the breaker box

i am suprised that some cheap contractors still useing the "small " breaker box i did read the number what the OP gave us and i knew quickly that there is no more room and you cant use the twinner breaker at all

get that contractor back and deal with it or get new subfeed box next to it and have more room to work on it

Merci , Marc

p.s. for my standard run of mill i always put 30 space or more on breaker box 100 amp breaker box useally 30 space while 200 amp verison i go with 42 [ the max size the NEC will allow in usa but canadna have diffrent code ]
 
  #7  
Old 02-19-07, 09:49 PM
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Thanks for the replies all. I'm lookin for a quick cheap fix atm, overbudget on everything in the basement as it is. Would a subpanel work for what I need and be the cheapest/quickest?
 
  #8  
Old 02-20-07, 07:17 AM
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The subpanel is the least expensive solution, but it's only a good idea if you have enough power, both for now, and after the addition, and for the foreseeable future.

You seemed to say that you have 100 amps. Can you verify that? Is the size of the main breaker 100 amps?

100 amps is very small for today's modern homes. It would be sufficient only in a very small home, or for people who had very modest power needs. Most homes built today are built with 200-amp panels.

If you think 100 amps (24KW) is enough for as long as you're going to live there, then add the subpanel. Otherwise, you might be better off to upgrade the main panel to a 40-space panel and 200 amps. This, however, is going to be a lot more expensive than the subpanel.

Upgrading a main panel is virtually never a DIY job. Adding a subpanel is potentially a DIY job, but only for a relatively experienced DIYer and only with proper study. The former will cost you upwards of $1000, and the latter can be done for less than $100 (if DIY), so there is considerable motivation.

But upgrading the main panel gets you more power and more circuits. Adding the subpanel only gets you more circuits.
 
  #9  
Old 02-20-07, 03:54 PM
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Thanks again, I've decided to go with adding a subpanel into the basement. Hopefully everything works out bzzt
 
  #10  
Old 02-20-07, 06:38 PM
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Clarification.

My point was ONLY a panel upgrade, to a 30 ckt panel.
Down and dirty and inexspensive. Not an entire service upgrade.
Reveiw this option. Then see what you need for ckts. Instantly you added 10.
 
  #11  
Old 02-20-07, 08:37 PM
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ONLY a panel upgrade is not inexpensive.
 
  #12  
Old 02-20-07, 09:39 PM
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Just a quick thought, a good load calculation might be a good thing here. If you have ever had to replaced a BURNED panel its not pretty. Quick and dirty still needs to be smart.

And yes smoke detectors save lives.
 
  #13  
Old 02-21-07, 04:18 PM
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Question I missed something

Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
ONLY a panel upgrade is not inexpensive.

How do you figure? The old one out a new one in.
Go with the same brand, all the breakers are there.
What, a little material and the labor, permit and your done.

Where's the large expense?

I took this int acount: "brand new house built in Oct of last year"

#Quick and dirty still needs to be smart#
Is not what I wrote. "down and dirty" Never heard the exspresion?\

It means very safe, but quick and COST efective.
I would never advise unsafe.

Keep it in perspective! They will be going from a 100A 20 ckt panel to a 100A 30 ckt panel.

Tell me that they will be TAXING that 100 A service some how.
The contractor saved $30 (thirty, maybe less) by buying this panel.

So I stand with MY advice. I appreciate the input.

BUYER BEWARE. Research and make an informed decision.
 

Last edited by lectriclee; 02-21-07 at 04:36 PM. Reason: Add: everything below "large expense"
  #14  
Old 02-21-07, 04:43 PM
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#I'm lookin for a quick cheap fix atm#

With due respect (sorry i missed it earlier) This is usualy where the problems start.
 
  #15  
Old 02-21-07, 04:50 PM
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Yeah you guys are right. I really do need to review my thoughts. Just been under a lot of stress and wanted the quickest way, but I think thats actually more work for me. I better get these materials returned.

Thanks again
 
  #16  
Old 02-24-07, 08:55 PM
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Hey guys, everything is going well so far. I've ran all the electrical (6 outlets 3 lights) Insulated the walls, and am halfway through drywalling ceiling ( no fun by myself :*( ) I decided to go with the subpanel still, I appreciate all the input, just gonna have the meter pulled to do it. My question is, when I went to hardware store, I asked which kind of wire I wanted to run to subpanel, I was told 2-2 Aluminium wire. I've been reading around and seen a lot of arguements about aluminium. Any suggestion from you guys?
Thanks
 
  #17  
Old 02-24-07, 09:39 PM
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Hello Wicky

Why would you need the meter pulled to install that sub-panel that John suggested?


#2 aluminum is way over kill and would be good for 90 amps not really very practical if your service is only 100 amps. But cost wouldnt be much I suppose. Two 100 amp boxes fed with 100 amp cable isnt doing you much good without a bigger service. You could just feed the 100 amp sub #6 copper for hots and neutral and a#10 ground wire. This will give 55 amps and you would use a 60 amp double pole breaker. Most importantly though 2-2 al contains no equipment ground wire so is not allowed for the subpanel feed. You must have 4 wires...2 hots, one neutral and one equipment ground wire. The the ground and neutral must not be bonded in the sub-panel. Please go down to the local electrical supply or big box and get a book on what you are doing. There is more to this than is meeting your eye. Also the work you are doing would almost always require an electrical inspection from the local code people. Do yourself a favor and get them involved in your project they will keep it safe and point out any incorrect issues with your install.

Roger
 

Last edited by Roger; 02-24-07 at 10:44 PM.
  #18  
Old 02-25-07, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Hello Wicky

Why would you need the meter pulled to install that sub-panel that John suggested?
NFPA 70 E

But I am not sure that OSHA rules apply to a home owner doing work him/her self.
 
  #19  
Old 02-25-07, 06:47 PM
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If the meter is the only means for disconnect of the supply conductors then I would agree. 70 does indeed require compliance of qualified personnel working in a private single family dwelling. As long as you can secure lockout of the mains then the meter does not need to be pulled. Though I have not been in the trade as long as you I have never seen the meter of a single family dwelling pulled to install a sub-panel to the main disconnect or main panel and integral main breaker disconnect.
I too am mot sure about whether a homeowner would be required by 70 to have the meter pulled to install a subpanel load side of the main disconnect but in my experience this is not the case.

Roger
 
  #20  
Old 02-25-07, 07:07 PM
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Nfpa 70e

http://www.nfpa.org/freecodes/free_access_document.asp

90.1- states for commercial and residential. But refers only to "employees".


The whole thing here:http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=70E
 
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