Adding 50amp 220 welder outlet to full panel.

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  #1  
Old 06-11-19, 10:43 AM
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Adding 50amp 220 welder outlet to full panel.

So my panel is full, and does not have a label, but its a siemens type panel and can accept tandem breakers.

Problem is I do not have any open spots and I would like to add a 50amp welder circuit. I have one 220v outlet directly below the panel which is a 20amp circuit (for table saw/wood tools).

If possible, I would like to change out the 30-20-20-30 breaker (see photos) to a 30-50-50-30, and run heavier wire from the 50amps down to the outlet box and change the outlet to a welder 50amp one (not sure what the outlet type is called), and then wire off of that (piggyback?) to a new outlet box with the 20amp outlet for my table saw (or go from panel to new box with welder outlet, then piggyback to the existing 20am 220v outlet). Doing this with the knowledge that I would not run the welder AND the table saw at the same time.

Is my thinking on this correct? My other option is to use tandem breakers on the bottom right of the panel to combine those 15amp circuits and free up 2 full spots to put a 50amp 2 pole breaker for a dedicated welder circuit.
Of course my third option is to pay an electrician between 400-600 bucks to do this or 1600ish to have a whole new panel put in.

 
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  #2  
Old 06-11-19, 12:00 PM
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You can't put a 20 amp receptacle on a 50 amp circuit. They both need to be on their own circuit.
You would be better off putting a double 60 amp breaker and installing a sub panel. Then within the sub panel you can install your 50 amp welder and 20 amp table saw breakers.

Or you could replace your entire panel with one that has more spaces.
 
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Old 06-11-19, 01:35 PM
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Time for a panel change. That is an outdated split bus panel with the bottom section (lighting and appliance section) being fed by a single 60 amp DP breaker. Putting an additional 50 amp load there will cause problems.
 
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Old 06-11-19, 03:31 PM
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Dang! I was worried someone would say that. haha. Ok so i'm still learning all of this, but I was thinking panel replacement would likely be the best choice (not for my bank account).

So does that mean my panel does not have a main off/on breaker (at least on the panel itself)? I was told by my inspector that the top breaker (which is 70amps) was the main off. but this seems unlikely. if not, then I would assume a main off switch would be near the meter on the outside of the house?
 
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Old 06-11-19, 03:42 PM
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There is no one MAIN breaker. There are 6 main breakers. The double one above the yellow circle shuts off the bottom half of the panel. The remaining five at the top shut off the rest of the large devices from the panel.
 
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Old 06-11-19, 03:43 PM
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The pic is cut off so can't see the top or the feeder wires to be sure but with a split bus the top breakers share the duty of a main disconnect. In your case it looks like there are 6 DP breakers which was the maximum allowed. Most likely there is no other shutoff and wires go from the top bus lugs to the meter base but look to be sure.
 
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Old 06-11-19, 04:22 PM
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Thank you for your replies!

Sorry for the cut off picture. I'll attach a pic of the full panel (its kind of a rats nest I think). So assuming its a split bus panel, could I use tandem breakers to add a 220v outlet to the bottom right side? Or would that be overloading that bottom part of the panel?

I had one electrician out to install some garage outlets for me and he said "their's plenty of room left on that panel". but another electrician that reviewed photos of the panel said it looks overloaded.
 
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Old 06-11-19, 04:26 PM
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this is a more complete pic of the panel.
 
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Old 06-11-19, 09:22 PM
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Yes, "their's plenty of room left on that panel" as you can physically convert those singles to tandems. Issue is of load. As I've said you've only got 60 amps feeding the bottom section. You can do a load calculation to verify but I don't think adding 50 amps (even intermittent welder) is a good thing.

Note for some of those old split bus panels you could swap breaker feeding the bottom section for something bigger. But without the model number or spec sheet it is unknown what will work (and be safe).
 
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Old 06-12-19, 07:16 AM
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Thank you. Yeah Ive been trying to figure out the panel model too but there are no markings that are visible.

I guess my next question is...Hire someone to replace the entire panel or do it myself? I'm pretty handy overall, and I understand some basic electrical projects (ie changing outlets, switches, wiring new outlet off another etc). I would also research the crap out of anything I did before just willy-nilly diving in.
But my basic understanding is...
1) make list of all circuits and label wires, buy breakers, new panel, etc
2) turn off everything
3) remove all of the circuits/wires, breakers, and pull the box
4) install new box and attach mains first, then go down the panel installing each circuit and breaker
5) have inspected (if keeping everything official, which i'd like to do) .

Is this the basic order of things?

what I'm unsure of is when wiring a circuit to the panel, neutrals go to the neutral bar (or whatever its called) and blacks go to the breaker....Do they have to be in any order or can all of the neutrals just be installed along the neutral bar anywhere (like if I got one out of order would it matter)??
 
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Old 06-12-19, 07:46 AM
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Issue with a DIY is that it sounds like you don't have a disconnect so the meter needs pulled. Only then can you start pulling things out. Almost all areas only allow the PoCo to swap the meter and a lot of them only allow an electrician to schedule a change.
 
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