Changed out Microwave, now I need a dedicated circuit

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Old 10-03-17, 05:22 PM
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Changed out Microwave, now I need a dedicated circuit

TL;DR, the previous homeowner had the microwave wired directly to the circuit, it's not dedicated and is on the same circuit as the gas range, dishwasher, and garbage disposal. I need to add a dedicated circuit, but it looks like every circuit in my box is tandem. Two of them have white buttons on them that switch them off, but I don't know why they exist. There are also a couple that have double white wire, which I'm pretty sure is a no-no...help???
 
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Old 10-03-17, 06:02 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You are in trouble. Not much room for any more expansion there. You are right about the white wires. There can only be one to a hole.

The breakers with the buttons look like arc fault breakers and are probably feeding newer wired bedrooms.

Since that's a sub panel..... any chance of room in the main panel ?
 
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Old 10-03-17, 07:15 PM
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This is a subpanel? It's the only box I know of in the house. I don't even know where I would look for a main panel. I'm sorry, this is my first attempt at taking care of my house on my own and it seems the previous homeowners really just did not care about doing things to code. Thank you so much for your reply!
 
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Old 10-03-17, 08:07 PM
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I thought I saw a large grounding wire on the left bar and all the grounds were kept separate but now that I'm looking.... both bars are combination neutral/ground which means neutrals and grounds can go to either side.

I don't see any water service or ground rod connection to the panel.
 
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Old 10-03-17, 08:21 PM
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Re:

OK, I'm going to "draw" a picture to describe what I'm seeing, because it seems all out of order to me.
Let's pretend like this cave drawing is my garage. The big black cable that connects through the top of the box goes to some mystery outlet with no outlet (metal box) and originally I thought that might be where the "stuff" was leading. But it looks like there is a hole out the back of the box that feeds directly to my meter. I'm starting to wonder if a sub box was used as a main box? I've made several large upgrades to my HVAC (evap cooler to central air) within the last 2 years and it was all signed off by the city. I've read on old forums here that sometimes the ground is through the meter itself.
 
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Old 10-03-17, 08:25 PM
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FYI, this "job" is the reason I even found this problem. There is no plug installed for the over-the-range microwave that is supposed to have a dedicated circuit, it was pulled through the wall and they cut the plug off the old microwave and hard-wired it in...
 
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Old 10-03-17, 08:31 PM
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I'm starting to wonder if a sub box was used as a main box?
In the NEC there are no subpanels. There are just panel boards. Subpanel is slang for any panel after the first panel with a breaker or fuse.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-03-17 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 10-03-17, 08:47 PM
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That's a main panel. No SE cable there. That's copper in PVC pipe.
I just don't see any main grounds.
 
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