Add hot tub subpanel

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Old 09-01-17, 12:44 PM
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Add hot tub subpanel

I am in the process of adding a 50A sub-panel (GFCI) for hot tub to my main house panel. It is an older panel, Challenger SB10(20-20)CT Mod. 3 in the house. When I looked in the panel, it doesn't look like one can readily "tap" into it to add a sub-panel, please see attached image. Interestingly the panel doesn't even have a main breaker in the panel itself but does have on out at the meter. Any ideas as to the best way of adding said sub-panel in this scenario? Thank you in advance for any feedback.
 
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Old 09-01-17, 12:47 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Other might be able to answer based on the name of the panel alone but I could benefit from a picture taken from further away.
 
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Old 09-01-17, 12:50 PM
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If your main circuit breaker is at the meter then THAT is your "main" (more properly, service), panel. The electricians will need to see several more pictures of your installation to properly advice you. Both close-up and from enough distance to see how things are connected.
 
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Old 09-01-17, 12:56 PM
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You normally wouldn't tap into the panel feeder to add a subpanel, although that can sometimes be done. The usual way of adding a 50A subpanel would be to install a 50A double-pole breaker in the panel and feed the subpanel from that. If your panel has two open slots this is a relatively easy thing to do. If you don't have the open slots the project becomes more complicated.

If your panel by the meter has open slots that may be a better spot to feed the subpanel.
 
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Old 09-01-17, 01:38 PM
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Thank you for the quick replies! It makes a lot more sense to add a breaker at the main service panel, thank you for that! After opening the panel there is an open slot for another breaker but now I'm concerned with the state of the main service panel. Please have a look at the attached picture, it appears to me that there has been some serious heat issues with the insulator melting. Should this be replaced?
 
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Old 09-01-17, 03:36 PM
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I agree, that looks nasty!

You MAY ( I don't know for certain) be able to have those bus bars alone be replaced (not a DIY job) and that would/should be significantly less expensive than a panel replacement.
 
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Old 09-01-17, 04:04 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Good thing you checked now. It wouldn't have been much longer until that breaker completely fried.

I never had much luck getting replacement bus bars. It is possible although they may have to be ordered. As an electrician.... I will usually change the entire unit.
 
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Old 09-03-17, 05:30 PM
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Any equipment with the Challenger name is obsolete and no longer available. Although the Eaton/Cutler-Hammer BR series breakers can be used in Challenger equipment and are identical to the old Challenger breakers, the old equipment and/or parts for it are no longer available.
 
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