portable sub panel

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-15-19, 05:03 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
portable sub panel

I am looking to build a subpanel with 6, 15 amp 120 volt circuits. Each circuit in the box would have a breaker and a pair of outlets. My main panel, in the garage, is 200 amps. The difference here is I want the subpanel to be movable around my garage. I would also prefer to have it connect to the main panel via a receptacle of some sort, so I can disconnect it when not in use. Is this possible? What sort of connection and cable would I need to use? I am hoping for a 20 foot cable, to be able to set the box in various spots in the garage.
Thanks for any thoughts on this.
Steve
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-15-19, 05:17 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 52,668
Received 340 Votes on 318 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

I have a sound rental company and have many boxes/panels like that for power distribution.

You could build your box on wheels with a wire rack right on it to roll the wire up. The wire you use to connect it depends on the anticipated connected load. Obviously the higher the load..... the bigger the cable, the connectors and the cost. That panel will be considered a sub panel. I would recommend 6-4 SOOW or SJO rubber cable. The link illustrates that cable. Shop around..... you could find bargains on a bulk piece.
6-4 rubber cable

The plug would be something like...... 120/240v 60A plug
A matching receptacle would be used at the panel on a 2P60A breaker.

This may be a little large for your application. You could look into 8-4 rubber cable with a 50A plug and receptacle. The cable will deliver 120/240v to your subpanel so that three circuits will be on each leg of power.
 
  #3  
Old 09-15-19, 07:02 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,646
Received 19 Votes on 18 Posts
My only change to Pete's plan would be to use a 50A twist-lock plug and receptacle so you don't have to worry about accidentally pulling out the cord.

But that said, while the concept is fine, I wonder if you really need a moveable subpanel? I'd definitely consider some 15/20A receptacles around your shop with extension cords readily available either from the walls or retractable ceiling mounted ones. That's probably the way I would do it... (though not really knowing your requirements).

Good luck!
 
Furd voted this post useful.
  #4  
Old 09-16-19, 07:27 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Pete and Zorfdt,
Thanks for all that! This gives me a start. Last question: Is there readily-available breaker box that will accommodate both breakers and outlets? Here is my idea of what it may look like. Pete, if you're in the audio business long enough you may recognize these, for which I need the power. One breaker for each stacker.

If the custom breaker box doesn't exist then I can just use a pair of 3-gang boxes for the receptacles, and frame the whole thing together and mount on a small furniture dolly, with space for the cable, as suggested.
 

Last edited by Steve_in_DE; 09-16-19 at 08:25 AM.
  #5  
Old 09-16-19, 11:43 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,482
Received 25 Votes on 19 Posts
Circuit breaker panels are not "listed" for having additional holes cut into them for receptacles so that idea is out. You could use a general-purpose pull and splice box of sufficient size along with pushbutton auxiliary circuit breakers and single receptacles.
 
  #6  
Old 09-17-19, 09:40 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,646
Received 19 Votes on 18 Posts
There are prebuilt power distribution boxes that do what you want. For example:
https://www.globalindustrial.com/p/e...i-power-center
But you can get them in almost any size and configuration.

For the home-built route, I usually see a piece of 3/4" plywood used as a backing, where the breaker panel is bolted to, then a collection of 4" square boxes with GFI (or regular) receptacles, with nipples (conduit) connecting them to the panel and screwed to the plywood. (I can't find a picture, but I can sketch it if my description isn't clear enough)
 
  #7  
Old 09-17-19, 11:13 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Zorfdt,
So then something (very) roughly, like this?
 
  #8  
Old 09-18-19, 09:57 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,646
Received 19 Votes on 18 Posts
Very close. 4x4 boxes on short nipples (but giving enough space for the panel cover to not interfere.
 
Attached Images  
  #9  
Old 09-26-19, 10:45 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for that. I will get on it and report back when it's built.
I will take a trip to home depot and get:
- a 60 amp 220v breaker,
- a few feet of 6 gauge wire to run from the breaker,
- a 60amp 220v outlet and connector to be mounted nearby the main box,
- 20 feet or so of SOOW cable,
- and everything it takes to build the box you've drawn, including (6) 15 amp 120v breakers for the receptacles.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: