Need to add a 240v circuit

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Old 05-27-18, 06:53 PM
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Need to add a 240v circuit

Hi, I need to add a 240V outlet in the basement next to the breaker box for a new electric dryer.
I think this is fairly straightforward to do. There is currently a main panel and a sub panel. However although the sub panel has 8 unused twistouts, when I open the panel cover there are no more breaker slots.
Does anyone know if it's possible to add more slots to the sub panel? If so, what parts should I look for?
Thanks
 
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Old 05-27-18, 07:14 PM
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You are going to need to switch the panel out to get more spaces. You also need to install a larger feeder or feed the dryer from the other panel .
 
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Old 05-27-18, 07:18 PM
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Panel covers often are made to fit more than one model number is why there are eight KOs. Best course of action is to replace it with a new panel. A 12 space 100 amp main lug panel would be a good choice. What size breaker is feeding it?
 
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Old 05-27-18, 07:46 PM
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I'm not sure. I'm gradually going through and figuring out how to repair/update various things in my wife's house and this is the first time I've looked at the panels. All the labels either seem incorrect or have faded away. I'll have to go through some process of elimination to see what breaker is feeding what circuits around the house.
If a new sub panel is required, I may just have to get a professional in because I have not worked on breakers before.
 
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Old 05-27-18, 07:57 PM
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It may make sense to change the main panel to a larger one and abandon the subpanel.
 
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Old 05-27-18, 08:31 PM
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I took a closer look at the main panel. It is a Bryant 12-20 (i think that means 12 poles and 20 circuits) and looks like all slots are full.
The main breaker is 100A, but it looks like the sub panel is also connected to the main breaker (two sets of wires going into it). Is it meant to be wired that way?
As a workaround, can I save space on the sub panel by replacing one of the existing double pole 240V/30A breakers with two tandem 30A breakers and using breaker ties (e.g., as seen on https://diy.stackexchange.com/questi...0-240v-circuit)
 
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Old 05-27-18, 08:40 PM
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but it looks like the sub panel is also connected to the main breaker (two sets of wires going into it). Is it meant to be wired that way?
NO. It is a code violation because you can not doubel lug unless specifically allowed by the manufacturer and that is rare plus you probably have a violation of the tap rule even if allowed.

Bryant panels are obsolete so you may want to consider changing the main panel and doing away with the subpanel. You may also need to upgrade to a 200 amp service. You need to do a load calc to determine that.
 
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Old 05-27-18, 08:48 PM
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tap rule?

PS. not surprised by the double-lugging. I'm discovering so many shortcuts by the previous owner.
 
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Old 05-27-18, 08:57 PM
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Old 05-27-18, 09:29 PM
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Looks like you have an issue with a mwbc on a tandem breaker on the bottom right of the panel. This could overload the neutral with 2X the current it can safely carry.
 
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Old 05-27-18, 09:29 PM
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Any views on using two tandem breakers instead of double poles?
 
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Old 05-27-18, 09:31 PM
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Your panel may not be listed for use with a quad . You would also need to tie the outer handles together somehow.
 
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Old 05-27-18, 09:44 PM
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Had to Google mwbc just now. How did you notice that? Because the red and black are from the same wire, sharing a neutral? Good spot. Thanks.
So many issues...
 
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Old 05-27-18, 09:52 PM
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Red and black on a tandem are not normal so it stuck out.
 
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Old 05-28-18, 07:55 PM
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The subpanel was just a waste and it doesn't even have a ground bar. I'd replace the whole mess with a 30 circuit 100 amp panel. What is the load like? Is 100 amps enough or do you need a 200 amp service?
 
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Old 05-28-18, 08:16 PM
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Other than add the electric dryer, I don't think I'm going to be adding or changing too much more on the electrical side. Just trying to get the house in decent shape so we can use it short term and then sell it on.
Checked all the breakers today to figure out what's what. The two 30A breakers in the sub panels are for two split AC units. All the other circuits maze all through the house. Also turns out that one of the 40A circuits in the main panel is for a steambath unit that we've never used, so I'm planning to put a 30A in that slot and run my dryer outlet from there.
Even to replace the sub panel with something more usable, I assume I'll have to call the power company to disconnect the mains from the meter since the sub is double tapping the 100A main breaker?
 
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Old 05-28-18, 09:48 PM
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The double tap and inadequately fused line to the subpanel is a fire risk and needs to be fixed regardless of what else you do.
 
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Old 05-29-18, 09:56 AM
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I don't think I'm going to be adding or changing too much more on the electrical side. Just trying to get the house in decent shape so we can use it short term and then sell it on.

All the more reason to replace the whole mess with a new modern 30 circuit panel with a compliant installation. You should get your money back when you do eventually sell.
 
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