adding a subpanel

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  #1  
Old 05-15-13, 09:46 PM
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adding a subpanel

Greeting everyone! First time poster here.
I am converting my gas range to an electric cooktop and an electric wall oven. they require 40A and 30A separate breakers respectively. My current 200A panelboard has no more space for the two breakers. I plan to replace my 30A dryer breaker by a 100A breaker, and move the 30A dryer breaker to the subpanel to. Please see the attached pic. I plan to use AWG 4 to connect hookup the subpanel.
Does this plan sound safe? I looked up the NEC code, but could not find instruction or provisions about adding subpanel. Can anyone point out which section(s) I should look into?
I live in PG county in MD.
thanks a lot.
 
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Old 05-16-13, 12:47 AM
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Number 4 copper conductors are only good for 85 amperes. You need a minimum of #3 copper conductors. I would likely use #2 copper.

There is no such thing as a "sub-panel" in the NEC.
 
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Old 05-16-13, 06:35 AM
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Don't forget that you'll need 4 wires (hot/hot/neutral/ground) and the neutral and ground bars should be isolated in the subpanel.

Typically, it's recommended that the larger draw appliances be put in your main panel and smaller ones on your subpanel. It'll give you more expansion capability in the future. Also, if you end up connecting a lighting circuit in your subpanel down the road, you may see more momentary dimming when the high-draw appliances switch on. Not required though.

I would also get a larger subpanel (number of spaces) than you think you need. There's always a need for another circuit
 
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Old 05-16-13, 06:19 PM
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I think before I bought all that wire, a panel, and moved all those circuits.... I'd seriously consider picking up some twin or tandem breakers for those lighting circuits to free up room for the two new breakers in the main panel. If all you anticipate adding is this appliance, I mean. It would depend on how much the new location would clutter up my house and if I'd save much wire distance.

That's just me though, and I'm lazy.
 
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Old 05-16-13, 06:19 PM
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thank you folks for your kind suggestions. I'm inspired, and will look into arranging the small breakers to the subpanel and leaving the big ones in the main panel.
If I move these big breaker into the main panel, would that be overloading the main?
Though I kinda know what I am doing, I wanted to hire a electrician to do it and pull the permit and get it inspected, but really odd, talked with some, they say they would do it for me by code, but they don't want to apply permit for me. darn.. finally found one, and made appointment to come into my house to check, but no show (What the heck).
I might just have to DIY. Looks like economy really is going well, and every electrician gets their plenty jobs lined up...
 
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Old 05-16-13, 06:37 PM
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If I move these big breaker into the main panel, would that be overloading the main?

My current 200A panelboard has no more space for the two breakers.
Two answers: 1) Extremely unlikely. 2) If it will, then it doesn't matter where you add them. It's time to upgrade to a 400A service.

I wanted to hire a electrician to do it and pull the permit and get it inspected, but really odd, talked with some, they say they would do it for me by code, but they don't want to apply permit for me.
If you're asking them to pull a permit and stand for inspection on work that you'll be doing, you'll probably never find one. No small job like yours is worth losing a license for.

I might just have to DIY... I live in PG county in MD.
We can advise you through doing that. Let us know when PG County has issued you a permit to do the work.
 
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Old 05-16-13, 07:32 PM
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thank you for the advice. I don't understand why they would lose their license for my work. probably the job is too small and not worth it.
PG county really really sucks. To apply for a permit, one would most likely spend a whole day in county office. I had talked to someone in the office, they say I cannot apply for the permit, because they require master electrician to apply, but they don't want to do it....what the heck? the county permit staff would not even want to hear out my plan. sucks.
 
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Old 05-16-13, 07:57 PM
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I can think of half-a-dozen master electricians licensed to work in PG county who could do your job in a day or less.

I don't know of any who would agree to do the job if you were going to do any part of it yourself. That's the part that might cost them their license.

Walk into the county permit office with a written plan in your hand. Wait until you get to sit doen with a reviewer.
 
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Old 05-17-13, 05:55 PM
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I think before I bought all that wire, a panel, and moved all those circuits.... I'd seriously consider picking up some twin or tandem breakers for those lighting circuits to free up room for the two new breakers in the main panel.
This is a viable option IF, and only IF, the main panel will accept tandem breakers, many won't.
 
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Old 05-17-13, 05:59 PM
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I wanted to hire a electrician to do it and pull the permit and get it inspected, but really odd, talked with some, they say they would do it for me by code, but they don't want to apply permit for me.
That's not odd at all. They'll do the job for you, but won't cover you to do the work on their permit. That's just smart electricians who don't want to lose their license.
 
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Old 05-17-13, 07:24 PM
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maybe i didn't make it clear. I want them to do all the work, not some part and then i will take over.
I didn't pay attention, and just noticed that my panelboard listed the company which installed it. I setup an apt with them for someone coming in to have an estimate. Hopefully they charge reasonable. otherwise, I will just follow the twin breaker avenue. I checked, my panelboard seems to allow twin breakers.
Thanks everyone again for the good suggestions.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 06:48 PM
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Some update on this. I had a guy coming in today. He evaluated the work, and Below is the list of work. I am not sure about the cost, so I'd like to hear some your pros' opinion about a fair price for the work. Thanks.

1. pull an electric permit, do the work below and get it inspected by the Prince George County Permit office.

2. add the following dedicated circuits:
One 240V dedicated circuit, 40A for an oven
One 240V dedicated circuit, 40A for a cooktop
One 120V dedicated circuit, 20A for a range hood
One 120v wall plug for countertop (may be branched from existing wiring)

3. The panelboard has a 200A main breaker but has no spaces for new breakers, so needs to replace some 15 A breakers by using a few tandem breakers to make some space for the new breakers.
no clean up or patching walls is needed as I am in the remodeling process.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 09:03 PM
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I'd like to hear some your pros' opinion about a fair price for the work.
The fair price for this work, for the electrician giving you an estimate, is the price he or she puts on the estimate.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 09:26 PM
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that'd depend on fair to which side though. The reason I did not disclose the estimate was that I just want to know the "market value" and don't want anyone to have something to "anchor"...
I was advised to have at least three quotes, but I'm tired of doing this. If the "market value" is close to the estimate, I will just jump in.
 
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Old 05-24-13, 05:07 AM
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We cannot tell anyone what a contractors costs for labor, insurance, salaries and other costs of doing business are and whether the price is fair.
 
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Old 05-24-13, 05:41 AM
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Not to mention one cannot know the cost of materials without knowing all the details. If it were that easy to come up with a "market value", then why not just print off this thread and fax it off to 2 more electricians for an estimate? Sure would be a lot easier than making appointments with guys to come look, no?
 
  #17  
Old 05-24-13, 01:13 PM
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I have decided to use tandem breakers and carry on by myself. I will post update as I progress.
 
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Old 05-24-13, 02:14 PM
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Excellent. There are great minds waiting to help. Well, at least _some_ of them are. The way you described it the PG county is being bypassed. I'm with you; give em hell! I would not expect cheers for deciding to disobey the law. At least not on this forum. Better that you ask than jury-rig something yourself.
 
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Old 05-24-13, 05:04 PM
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I have decided to use tandem breakers and carry on by myself. I will post update as I progress.
Have you established yet that your panel will accept tandem breakers (some won't)? This was brought up earlier in the thread, but you didn't provide a manufacturer's name or catalog number of your panel.
 
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