Adding a subpanel to an unfinished basement

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  #1  
Old 01-19-12, 06:47 AM
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Adding a subpanel to an unfinished basement

I have a couple of questions regarding the said topic.

1. I have a 6/2 wire with ground pulled through my house and is in my basement utility room where I am looking to add a subpanel, say 50 amp. This wire is pulled like the rest, from my 200 amp main panel in the garage through the ceiling in my living room down to the basement. With this 6/2 wire already installed, is there any uses for it? Since it is already installed I would like to use it for a feeder cable from the main 200 amp breaker in the garage to a 50 amp subpanel in the basement I would install. I have been reading about the need for 6/3 wire to do this but the 6/2 is already installed. Can I wire the breaker with the 6/2??

2. If its possible, my understanding is that i would only be able to choose from a 120v option or 240v option.


3. Does this follow code?

4. If I can't do that, what is a use I can get out of that 6/2 wire, why is it there?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-19-12, 05:51 PM
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The nec only allows you to bond the neutral (grounded conductor) @ the first means of disconnect. Anywhere else you cannot bond the neutral conductor to the can (panel). The reason for this is you do not want parallel paths for neutral current. If you want to stay within code you would have to have a 6-3 w.g. That would have a insulated neutral conductor. There are a lot of sub-panels out there fed by a 3- conductor feed they were put in before the code change in 1990 but to stay within code i wouldnt recommend it. Don't have any recommendations for that 6-2. There is too many people that read these forums ready to scrutinize people @ the drop of a hat !!

Mod Note: A three wire feeder was not in compliance when the subpanel is in the same building as the main or service panel.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 01-20-12 at 01:01 PM. Reason: added note, spelling
  #3  
Old 01-19-12, 06:17 PM
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If all loads on the sub were 120v you could install a 120v only panel but since 120v panels are specialty items you'd probably have to convert a 240v panel to 120v or use only half the slots. The how to use a 240v panel for 120v has been covered here more then once and never seen a code problem mentioned.

My opinion I wouldn't install a panel just to use an unused cable. Do you have specific reasons that you need a subpanel in the basement?
 
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Old 01-19-12, 06:33 PM
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Interesting question, and topic!!! I’ll comment later!
 
  #5  
Old 01-19-12, 06:35 PM
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If I can't do that, what is a use I can get out of that 6/2 wire, why is it there?
You could perhaps use it for some supplemental electric heat, an air compressor or for an air conditioning circuit, but I think I'd pull it out if it isn't secured.
 
  #6  
Old 01-20-12, 11:42 AM
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I wouldn’t use it to power a sub.. If you want to serve other loads from it, then there is nothing stopping you from installing a junction box, and serving any 120v loads that will accept the limit of the circuit. You could also use it to serve a straight 240v load—such as a wall heater (As mentioned). So, you have options—with limits.
 
  #7  
Old 01-20-12, 01:37 PM
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moderator: could i ask where or what article in the nec you obtained this info? i believe the note you added was the same thing i wrote."if you want to stay within code you would have to have a 6-3 w.g." .
 

Last edited by fatbuoy; 01-20-12 at 02:38 PM.
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