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# Main Service Panels and new Shop Panel

#1
04-19-07, 11:30 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 28
Main Service Panels and new Shop Panel

I currently have (2) GE PowerMark Gold Load Centers TLM20DC with a main rating of 120/240VAC 1 Phase 3 wire 200 Amp Max. I am looking at building a 40x60 shop and want to run power to it from one, or both of the load centers.

I added up the Amp values of all of the breakers and they total more than the max load of the panel. The left panel total is 600a and the right panel is 705a. Can someone explain this to me please.

There are several unused spots in each panel. How much load can I draw from each panel? Do the load centers need to be "balanced" or can I draw more from one side?

Do I have to get the power for the shop from one of these load centers or can I get an electrician to pull the power from the meter and run it to a breaker box in the shop?

The shop will be about 40 ft from the meter/load centers. I will need some 220v 30a power in the shop for an A/C unit and/or air compressor plus a lot of 110v for lights and power tools and a car lift.

Thank you.
Shamu Don

#2
04-19-07, 11:37 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
> want to run power to it from one, or both

You would run power from one of the panels.

> The left panel total is 600a and the right panel is 705a. Can someone
> explain this to me please.

The sum of the breakers is meaningless as it would be impossible for every circuit in your home to be at maximum capacity. What is important is the actual load on your panels which is calculated using a "demand load calculation". This calculation tells you how much load your home currently has and how much more you can add to the panel. The panels do not need to be balanced.

> can I get an electrician to pull the power from the meter and run it to a
> breaker box in the shop?

Depends on how your meter, main panel(s), and subpanel(s) are configured. An electrician could tell by looking at your current setup.

#3
04-19-07, 11:43 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
To expand on what Ben has stated:

A circuit breaker controls the maximum amount of current that can be pulled through it. All general purpose 120 volt branch circuits in a house are 15 or 20 amps, but rarely do they even come close to having that amount of current pulled through them.

You need to figure out if one of your existing panels is a main panel and one a sub panel, or if both are sub panels, or if they are both considered a main panel. If one is a sub panel and the other a main panel, then you will want to pull power for your sub panel from the main panel.

You can only run one circuit to an outbuilding.

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