Sub panel for detached garage

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Old 01-06-13, 02:30 PM
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Sub panel for detached garage

Mod Note: First two posts copied from older thread in to newer thread on same subject.


Microwave...duh! That makes sense, it has a range hood. Thank you.

Well, I should have done this before I posted, but I just went through and started flipping breakers. I found out what all of them were for except 2. These ones might be for exterior outlets or something, I'll have to check them later.

The bummer of the whole thing is, I flipped every breaker AND pulled all the fuses, and I still can't figure out how to kill the power to the garage! That really has me wondering what's up. There's definitely no fuse box or breaker box in the garage that I see. I'm really not sure what's going on. In fact, I can't tell what any of the fuses are for, either.

To give you an idea of how it's set up, this is an older house that had a master suite built onto it. The wiring for the garage, as far as I can tell, runs under the master suite and then underground to the garage. Where it comes out in the garage (through the block wall), it's the old fabric-covered wire and there are 2 separate cables coming in. I thought maybe it was on 2 separate breakers or fuses but I can't even figure out what's going on.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-06-13 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 01-06-13, 08:31 PM
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Someone may had improperly tapped the lugs in the panel and there is no way to turn off the power to the garage.
 
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Old 02-06-13, 05:21 PM
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Sub panel for detached garage

Alright, I was asking something along the lines of this a few weeks ago- Basically, to refresh, my fiancee and I bought a house and moved in in December. It has a detached garage and I could not figure out how it was wired in because none of the breakers in the main breaker box turned off power to the garage.

Well, tonight my suspicions were confirmed, I came home and just shut off the main breaker at the box and it cut the power to the garage. So, apparently, they ran the wiring for the garage directly off the main breaker somehow.

This being, I think I'd like to put a sub panel in the garage because A) I could actually have breakers IN the garage, and B) I could actually hook up a proper ground for the wiring in the garage, and of course C) because it doesn't really make sense for the garage to be wired as it is.

So, I'm kinda new to this sub panel business...I figure it can't be overly complicated, but what do I need outside of the obvious stuff like a box, etc? Is there anything else I need to know?
 
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Old 02-06-13, 05:31 PM
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You will need to determine if you even need a subpanel. It depends on what loads you will have. Usually you only need a single 20 amp circuit or a 20 amp multi-wire circuit if no 240 volt tools or equipment in the garage.

Edit: I've added your older posts that are relevant. If the master suite is detached you may need a subpanel there and power the garage from that subpanel. Does the suite have electric heat, stove, dryer, AC?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-06-13 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 02-07-13, 02:54 PM
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So you're saying just leave it wired off the main breaker in the box rather than hook up a sub panel with breakers? I would think that would be a bad idea.

BTW, this place has two separate wires running to the garage, both the older fabric covered type. Could I wire them together into the main lugs on the box?

Also the master suite is not detached....it's just an added on bedroom and bathroom.
 
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Old 02-07-13, 03:58 PM
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BTW, this place has two separate wires running to the garage, both the older fabric covered type. Could I wire them together into the main lugs on the box?
No. All wiring leaving a panel must be protected by a fuse or breaker.
 
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Old 02-07-13, 04:01 PM
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So you're saying just leave it wired off the main breaker in the box rather than hook up a sub panel with breakers? I would think that would be a bad idea.
Absolutely not. What I wrote was if the master suite is not attached to the house put it on a subpanel and feed the garage from one or more breakers in the subpanel.

I misread your post and was thinking the master suite was a part of a detached garage. You need to run new power to the garage. As I previously wrote:
You will need to determine if you even need a subpanel. It depends on what loads you will have. Usually you only need a single 20 amp circuit or a 20 amp multi-wire circuit if no 240 volt tools or equipment in the garage.
 
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Old 02-07-13, 04:10 PM
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Oh, yeah, I was wondering why you asked about that. Yeah, the master suite is attached to the house, the garage is not. It has wiring running underground to in (in conduit I guess?), and the wiring going to it consists of two older fabric-covered cables. When they enter the garage they just go to a junction box and split up into about 6 different circuits.
 
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Old 02-07-13, 04:15 PM
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it consists of two older fabric-covered cables
It is a code violation to have two power sources to a detached structure so even if you used what is there and connected to a breaker only one of the cables could be used. However I would question the safety of the cables since they may not even be rated for underground use and are probably 50+ years old. New power and abandoning the existing power is the best course in my opinion.
 
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Old 02-07-13, 06:33 PM
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Ah, lovely. The inspector never mentioned that.

Well, I wish I knew where the cables from the garage enter the house- I looked, but I can't really even tell what is wiring going to the master bedroom and what continues on to the garage.
 
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Old 02-07-13, 06:37 PM
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If your comfortable doing it remove the cover from the breaker box and give us a picture of the wiring inside. If you can see wires and cables going in give us a second picture far enough back we can see any cables coming out of it. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...-pictures.html
 
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