Adding 200A panel to new shop.

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Old 04-05-15, 08:52 PM
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Adding 200A panel to new shop.

Wondering if I can piggy back onto the same lugs that run out of the bottom of my "mobile home" service panel feeding the house (which is not a mobile home) with the wires feeding my new 200A panel that I am putting in my shop. Or do I need to install a 200A breaker in the MH service panel and come off the side. Thanks!
 
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Old 04-06-15, 04:21 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Why do you need a 200 amp panel in your shop? What amperage service do you have to the meter base presently? What is the main protection amperage of the disconnect? If you have a dislocated shop, as I do, it is usually best to have it separately metered, due to overcrowding of the house panel. If you need 200 amps, then definitely separately meter and feed it from the POCO. I have an adequate shop, but being dislocated from the house by quite a distance it is separately metered and fed. I only have a 100 amp box and have barely scratched the surface of its capacity running 50 amp welder, table saw, radial arm, drill press, miter saw, lathe, planer, joiner, you name it. Remember, you won't be running everything at one time, so little constant power use.
 
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Old 04-06-15, 07:43 AM
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Thanks Chandler, maybe I don't need to go so big. I was just thinking why limit myself. I really don't want to go to a separate meter as the local PUD has like a $35 base price per month. I was really hoping I could just tap into my existing Mobile Home service panel.
 
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Old 04-06-15, 09:24 AM
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I was really hoping I could just tap into my existing Mobile Home service panel.
Wondering if I can piggy back onto the same lugs that run out of the bottom of my "mobile home" service panel feeding the house (which is not a mobile home) with the wires feeding my new 200A panel that I am putting in my shop.
If by "piggy back" you mean put two wires in one lug, no, you cannot do that. If you mean change the lugs to double barrel lugs then yes, you could do that. Assuming the MH panel has a 200 amp main breaker, you still would need to run 200 amp wiring (4-wire) to the shop, but you wouldn't have 200 amps available as the home also has an unknown current draw protected by the same 200 amp main breaker. A better option would be to install a 60 or 100 amp branch breaker in the MH panel and run a 60 or 100 amp feeder to the shop. Still, the total load of both home and shop cannot exceed 200 amps.
 
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Old 04-06-15, 03:53 PM
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Your existing panel MAY have what are called "feed-through" lugs at the opposite end of the bus bars from the main circuit breaker. If it does, you may use these lugs to feed to the new panel in the shop. However, as Joe pointed out you would need to use conductors capable of carrying the full 200 amperes.

Another possibility if you have the feed-through lugs but no place to add a two-pole circuit breaker for the shop is to add a separate fused cut-out switch or single unit two-pole circuit breaker enclosure (rated for outdoors) and feed this new CB from the feed-through lugs and then from this new CB to the shop with more appropriately sized conductors.

Pictures of what you have now with the cover removed might help.

BTW, what PUD services your location?
 
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Old 04-06-15, 07:53 PM
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Your existing panel MAY have what are called "feed-through" lugs at the opposite end of the bus bars from the main circuit breaker.
Furd, because of incomplete information, I had assumed the home was already being fed from feed-through lugs. You are right, some pictures would help tremendously.
 
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Old 04-06-15, 10:37 PM
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I will pull the cover and get a photo of the service panel tomorrow. Not positive how to upload it on this forum but I can try and play around with it. As far as Double barrel lugs, good idea! And as far as PUD, Okanogan County PUD#1.
 
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Old 04-06-15, 10:53 PM
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Old 04-06-15, 10:57 PM
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You can [not] piggy-back the wires off of your service lugs [deleted] its a NO-NO!!! In other words you [confusing text deleted] "may" NOT because [when] piggy backing [...] the wires are never really secured properly in there and if a single thread of wire moves (vibration, expansion, act of God, etc) then the whole thing can be loose in there, leading to arcing and all other manner of unpleasantness. Plus you are going to be potentially sending more than 200 amps through one or both end tips of that service wire, which is going to eventually cause a problem of some kind, such as overheating -> melting. Here's hoping that you have a cutoff before the MH panel. I like the idea of a breaker to feed your subpanel, since it gives you a cutoff and you can even pull the breaker for added safety when servicing the subpanel. I also would recommend 100 amps for the subpanel, instead of the full 200 amps, otherwise you may start tripping your main breaker and eventually have to replace it due to damage. Also if the breaker fails to trip and you start pulling in excess of 200 amps through there it could get ugly.
 

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Old 04-07-15, 08:05 AM
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Plus you are going to be potentially sending more than 200 amps through one or both end tips of that service wire
This isn't service wiring, but two branch feeders. 200 amps won't be sent through anything, the power will be drawn through the feeders according to the loads. Once again, we don't yet know for sure, but IF there is a 200 amp main breaker in the MH panel, the total current drawn through both feeders will be limited to 200 amps.

There is such a thing as a single barrel lug that is designed for up to two conductors of the same size, but I rarely see them.
 
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Old 04-07-15, 09:45 AM
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So here is my service panel, I am leaning towards moving one of the small breakers over to the other buss and then fitting in a large breaker feeding the new sub in the shop. Also a photo of the new shop, 3000 sqft, that is why I was thinking of going so big originally with 200A panel but could get by with smaller.

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Old 04-07-15, 08:06 PM
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The main breaker is just 200 amps. You don't have 200 amps available to use for the shop. I wouldn't try to use a breaker larger than 100 to 125 amps depending on the load in the home. I am not even sure you can get a 200 amp branch breaker to fit that panel.

Maybe I am missing it, but I only see 3 wires going to the home.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 05:01 AM
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With a "carport" of that size and dislocation, I still advocate a separate POCO drop, BUT, as CJ says, a 100 amp breaker run to a sub panel in the barn would suffice.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 07:44 AM
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With a "carport" of that size and dislocation, I still advocate a separate POCO drop
Chandler, I would agree IF the OP really needs a full 200 amps because he can't get it from the existing service feeding the home. That is also IF the power company will give him another drop, some won't in a residential setting. It appears to me from the picture that much of the building will house farm type equipment and in those equipment storage areas probably only lights will be needed. I really haven't heard any reasons from the OP to justify needing a 200 amp service.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 08:33 AM
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Hey guys, thanks for the input. Yes, mostly lighting and receptacles. Yet, I will likely wire in welding recept., 30A for motorhome, but he biggy is for possible electric furnace. (Yes, not real efficient but I have access to picking one up cheap and I won't be using it that often.) My first thought was a 100A sub but my contractor building the shop/barn suggested that I go bigger, yet he is not an electrician and suggested I talk with one about options. That lead me here.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 08:38 AM
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biggy is for possible electric furnace.
How big? A 10 KW furnace needs a 60A 2P breaker. A 20 KW furnace typically uses two 60A 2P breakers. Electric heat might mean you need a 200 amp service, but you cannot get 200 amps from the existing service. Maybe an option would be to upgrade the existing service to 400 amps.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 01:58 PM
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....but based on the price of doing that you could basically burn piles of cash to heat the barn and end up ahead financially. It would probably be a better option to get a heat pump and run it off a 100A feeder from the current main if you really need electric heat instead of propane, wood, etc.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 04:11 PM
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From what I see in the picture the building is missing the entire end. I don't think it is possible to heat that building no matter what fuel you use or the amount of fuel. Even with the end closed you need a goodly amount of insulation in the walls and ceiling to keep the cost of heating anywhere near reasonable.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 06:52 PM
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Furd, the building is not finished. It will be enclosed and insulated when finished.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 06:59 PM
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Ibpooks, I thought about a heat pump system but I really don't plan on spending a great deal of time in there. I will on occasion work on equipment or projects but I don't plan on being out there all the time so I was thinking that a furnace that I could kick on for a few hours while I was working would be sufficient. I thought about propane as well and I do have it for a stand alone fireplace in the house, but it is cheaper her to use electricity instead of propane. You know, power straight off the dams and all.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 07:44 PM
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I thought about propane as well and I do have it for a stand alone fireplace in the house, but it is cheaper her to use electricity instead of propane.
You still haven't told us about loads, but from this statement I am guessing you also have electric heat at the house. This would mean there may not be any more than 100 amps available from the single 200 amp service to use at the new shop.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 08:24 PM
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Well in the house I have a heat pump system with electric as the auxiliary heat source. Also have electric water heater and electric dryer.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 09:03 PM
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Do a load calculation for your house. Here is one. You can run a search for others. http://www.docstoc.com/docs/97696973...lt-Enterprises Post your results.
 
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Old 04-09-15, 01:29 AM
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Since you only want to heat the building when you are working there you cannot use the standardized method (Manual J) for calculating the size of the heat source. You will need a source that is significantly larger than would be used for continuous heating in order to bring the temperature up quickly and that will use a significant amount of "fuel", be it propane, oil, electricity or even wood while it is operating. You may need some sort of air recirculation from the roof area back to the ground area in order to keep the temperature relatively even throughout the building.

Some fifty years ago we (my daddy, brothers and I ) were able to heat the leaky two-car garage with a roughly 50,000 BTUs/hour oil-fired "pot" burner stove. It could be in the thirties in the garage and within an hour of lighting that stove it was probably in the mid sixties or warmer. We probably were overfiring the stove as there were times that the sides were a dull red it was so hot. I'm making a purely uneducated guess here but I think you would need at least 400,000 BTUs/Hour to warm that barn after a few days of your winter weather, even with a lot of insulation in the building. That large of an electric heater would require something like 120 kilowatts of power or about 500 amperes at 240 volts. I'm pretty sure the PUD would balk at that kind of intermittent load.

The option would be to go with a much smaller heater and then maintain a minimum temperature throughout the heating months that would allow a recovery to working temperatures in a couple of hours of raising the thermostat. Even that would be expensive to operate.

Give me some details about the size of the building and your expected winter low temperatures and maybe I can come up with a better guesstimate.
 
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Old 04-09-15, 09:26 AM
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Well in the house I have a heat pump system with electric as the auxiliary heat source. Also have electric water heater and electric dryer.
You don't seem to understand loads. What is the KW of auxiliiary electric heat? All you have at the service is a total of 200 amps and the majority of it is for the house. You don't have a lot left for the shop.
 
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Old 04-09-15, 10:37 AM
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Joe pointed out:
You don't have a lot left for the shop.
Which is why I suggested you do a load calculation for the house. Till you do that this thread can't address power to the barn. For now we are spinning our wheels.
 
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Old 04-09-15, 07:42 PM
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Sounds like I need to have a separate service from the power company.
 
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Old 04-09-15, 07:45 PM
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Or increase your present service. As stated earlier they may not allow a second service. If they do your monthly cost for two services may be more then a single larger services because base fees would double.
 
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Old 04-09-15, 10:17 PM
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Sounds to me like I better get an electrician over here to talk over options.
 
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Old 04-10-15, 12:31 AM
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Are you sure that fuel oil or wood pellet or cow manure or the neighbors lawn ornaments wouldn't be cheaper. It seems hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of electricity being cheapst way to heat that space.
 
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Old 04-10-15, 05:58 PM
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Probably cheaper but it would be a pain to deal with. I would rather walk in and click the thermostat up and watch the power meter spin into high gear. Again, cheaper electricity here. Less than 1/2 of what I paid at my old place on the west coast.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 02:21 AM
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Using electric heat for the shop is going to send you way over the 2,000kW/hours per month for basic rate and the overage is going to cost about 46% more per kWh. Your maximum service at this rate, (rate 2) is 600 amperes. and that might be close. There may also be certain minimums over and above the basic $35 a month service charge.

It's your money.

https://www.okanoganpud.org/electric/rates/residential
 
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Old 04-11-15, 08:11 AM
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Topstoy notice Furd is in the same state you are in and probaly pays about the same as you do for electric so his observations are very relevant to your situation.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 08:41 AM
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Ray, I paid more than double when living on the west side of the state. So it varies depending where you live here.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 10:54 AM
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Ray, the cost of power in Washington state is all over the map. It depends if it is an investor owned utility or a publicly owned utility and it also depends on whether the utility owns its generation facilities or buys power with long term contracts or a mix of long and short term contracts.

I get my power from Snohomish County PUD (Public Utility District) and their owned generation is at best five percent of their load. They have long term contracts with Bonneville Power Administration (a federal government agency) as well as a few investor-owned facilities and also buying power on an as-needed basis on the open market. The average cost for residential service is about ten cents per kilowatt hour.

Seattle City Light, which owns facilities generating about sixty percent of their load, recently raised their residential rate to about ten cents per kilowatt hour.

Puget Sound Energy, a privately held company that mostly serves the Puget Sound area in western Washington has a fairly complicated rate structure but for an "average" home probably works out to around twelve or thirteen cents per kilowatt hour. PSE has about an even mix of self generated power and purchased power.

Topstoy is served by the Okanogan PUD and has very low rates, a bit over four cents a kilowatt hour for up to 2,000 kWh per month (assuming he is on their rate schedule number 2) and if he uses over 2,000 kWh in a month the cost for the overage is about six and a third cents per kWh. So you can see that he has some of the lowest cost power in the entire country. I know very little about Okanogan PUD and do not know where they get their power. One thing that I notice is that they impose a $35 base charge, something my PUD does not do, and that would skew the per kilowatt hour rate upward if factored into the total cost.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 06:02 PM
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Furd, Well said! That is why I was leaning towards am electric heater/furnace for my occasional use. If I had a business and was planning on spending many a hour in the shop every day, I would likely look into a heat bump system as I have in the house. I just want something that I can crank on when I go out there for a few hours.
 
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Old 04-12-15, 03:17 AM
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For your current usage I would recommend infrared radiant heaters. Infrared does not heat the air, only objects, including people. They are quick to warm you up and therefore don't use as much power as an air heater. The downside is that the individual units are a bit pricey.
 
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