Is a bigger sub=panel the solution?


Old 09-29-11, 07:58 PM
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Is a bigger sub-panel the solution?

Hey Guys,

I'm about to renovate my basement, which was finished in the 70s and is need of a fresh start.

I want to add a few extra circuits, as the current space only has 2 branch circuits, one for lights and one for outlets.

In the new space I would like to add a dedicated line for an AV gear, and possibly a wine storage unit. In addition I will probably need two circuits for lighting and two for outlet space.

I curently have a 100A main and a 40A sub. The main panel is full, with one circuit doubled-up, and the sub is also full.

Would the sensible solution be to install a new and larger sub panel? What size panel can I feed from the 100A main panel? What are the brands to look for at HD or Lowes, and what are the approximate costs for a project like this as a DIY and contracted job?


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Old 09-29-11, 08:08 PM
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Installing a larger sub is probably less work than installing a new and larger panel. If you are not adding a significant load that may be the way to go.

I like Square D or Cutler-Hammer classic brown. Depending on the existing load you might be able to install a 60 amp or larger sub. Either of those should be more than enough for a basement.
Old 09-29-11, 08:18 PM
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If you don't need to upgrade your service to 200A, I would just install a bigger sub. Square D QO series and Siemens Copper buss are the two I like best.
Old 09-30-11, 07:28 AM
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I agree with the others, replace the sub. You can go as large as 100 amp on the sub panel off your main panel if you wish. A 100 amp main breaker panel is about $55 at the big boys.
Old 09-30-11, 03:47 PM
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You could also add a second sub next to the main panel and leave the existing 40A sub as-is. Just another option...
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