Garage Panel

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  #1  
Old 04-02-07, 08:40 AM
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Garage Panel

I am currently remodeling my house & plan on adding an attached garage in a few years. By the time I do that the interior will be completely done & very difficult to run any new wire for a sub-panel. My meter is on a pole in my yard & then the service runs over to the weatherhead on my house & into the main panel. Can I just come off my meter with another service cable run to the garage or do I have to run a sub-panel seeing as how the garage will be attached? I'd sort of have two main panels, one for the house & one for the garage. I realize I might have to upgrade some stuff, just wondering if this is at all doable. Trying to plan before the walls get closed in.

Thanks,
Dan
 
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  #2  
Old 04-02-07, 09:38 AM
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You would need to run a subpanel to the attached garage from the house main panel. The only way you can feed the garage directly from the meter is to install a meter-main combo base and convert your existing main panel to a subpanel. This option would be more expensive, but may be the way to go if your house main is inaccessible or already at capacity.

For maximum future expandability, I recommend that you run a 1-1/4" PVC conduit from the main panel to the planned location of the subpanel. The conduit is pretty inexpensive, and it allows you the flexibility of a large subpanel in the garage. You can run the conduit to an accessible location and cap it.

Edit: If you're also looking at labor costs, the meter-main option should be done by a professional. You can probably handle the subpanel option yourself.
 
  #3  
Old 04-02-07, 10:52 AM
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Could I run the cable to my basement & then just coil it up there until I go to install the subpanel, the garage will share a wall of the basement, & leave the main panel end unterminated inside the panel to prevent someone from accidentally turning on the breaker? Would it pass inspection this way?

I need to figure out what size sub panel I'll need.

Dan
 
  #4  
Old 04-02-07, 11:08 AM
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If one end of the cable is inside the main panel, even if not connected, then the other ends needs to be inside a junction box, attached to the wall or a ceiling joist or whatever.
 
  #5  
Old 04-02-07, 11:21 AM
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I assume this junction box can be temporary, so when I add the sub-panel I can get rid of the box?

Can you guys help me size my sub-panel too?

Here is what will most likely be in the garage. It'll be 3 areas, the garage/car area, my homebrewery & my wife's area to do whatever, probably scrapbooking or storage.

- 4500 watt boil kettle for my homebrewery used for only about 90 minutes straight whenever I brew.
- (2) garage door openers
- General lighting circuit, which I know recepticles will need to be GFCI. Probably just (6) florescent light fixtures total & a dozen or so recepticles for the whole garage structure. Would I need two GL circuits for this? I think probably.
- Clothes Washer which I believe I can put on a GL Circuit.
- Clothes Dryer


Thanks again,
Dan
 
  #6  
Old 04-02-07, 11:33 AM
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You need to supply more information.

Electric clothes dryer? I assume 240 volt 4500 watt boil kettle? Will you ever use them at the same time?

I would keep the lights separate from the receptacles.

I would run one circuit for lights. This could be 15 amp.

I would run one circuit, 20 amp, for the door openers.

I would run two 20 amp circuits for the general purpose receptacles. I would swap them so that every other receptacle is on the same circuit with the ones between on the other circuit.

I would run one circuit, 20 amp, for the washer.
 
  #7  
Old 04-02-07, 11:49 AM
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oops, sorry.

Yep, electric clothes dryer & 240V 4500 boil kettle. They could possibly be used at the same time, but what will happen if they do, just a tripped breaker? I can then just shut the dryer off until I'm done brewing, but will code see it that way?

That circuit layout sounds good. What sized subpanel do you think I would need for that? 60 Amp with #6 copper be big enough?
 
  #8  
Old 04-02-07, 11:59 AM
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Yes, the result would be a tripped breaker. However, that tripped breaker could ruin your beverage. What if you were both (all) in the house and didn't realize the breaker tripped? You might not realize it for half an hour or longer. Would that be good? Probably not.

What size circuit does the boil kettle need?

60 amps could be close, if you are drying clothes, making your beverage, and if the wife is trying to iron something. You might want to size for 100 amps. which would give you plenty of power.


And yes, the junction box that the wire temporarily terminates in can be temporary. When you run the wire properly the box can be removed.
 
  #9  
Old 04-03-07, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
Yes, the result would be a tripped breaker. However, that tripped breaker could ruin your beverage. What if you were both (all) in the house and didn't realize the breaker tripped? You might not realize it for half an hour or longer. Would that be good? Probably not.

What size circuit does the boil kettle need?

60 amps could be close, if you are drying clothes, making your beverage, and if the wife is trying to iron something. You might want to size for 100 amps. which would give you plenty of power.


And yes, the junction box that the wire temporarily terminates in can be temporary. When you run the wire properly the box can be removed.
Whenever I brew I am right there all the time, especially when boiling, it can flare up & boil over pretty easily causing a HUGE sticky mess. If I do leave it's only for a few second to use the bathroom or get a drink etc. not gone more than a minute or so. It's a single 4500 watt hot water heater element in the kettle, so a 30 Amp to be safe & that would allow me to use a 5500 if I ever need to upgrade it.

My worry on the sub-panel size is that my main panel might not handle a 100 Amp. It's a 200 Amp panel, 32 slots full out of 40. All electrical appliances except the furnace & that still may be. I'll try & run some panel calcs today to see if my main can handle a 100 amp sub.

Thanks for the help so far! I love this place!
Dan
 
  #10  
Old 04-03-07, 05:24 AM
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Whether you use a 60 amp sub panel or a 100 amp sub panel makes no difference to your main panel.
 
  #11  
Old 04-03-07, 06:05 AM
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I said that wrong. I should have said make sure my main panel can handle the additional loads of the garage. Lighting, dryer, kettle etc. I really need to double check my entire load demand. Might need help with that, I get sort of lost when I start figuring my dishwasher, water pump, etc. Could you help me with that real quick too?

Doing a quick calculation for the garage, I get ~72 Amps with everything running, kettle, dryer, door openers, etc.. Couldn't find a wattage requirement for the door openers, so I just used 100% of the circuit size of 2400, so that's probably overkill. If I cut the kettle or dryer it cuts it to only ~50 Amps, so I think a 60 Amp sub-panel will work ok.

Here's how I got it. Right?

Washer 920 watts
Dryer 5600
Kettle 5500
General Lighting (1000 sqft) 3000
Door Openers 1200

Total 16.2 kW or 67.5 amps

Drop the kettle = 10.7 kW or 44.6 amps.

EDIT: editted per John Nelson's info below, Thanks!
 

Last edited by Danno6102; 04-03-07 at 09:36 AM.
  #12  
Old 04-03-07, 08:17 AM
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A garage door opener uses about 5 amps at 120 volts. But it doesn't use it very long.
 
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