1 - 240 circuit to 2 - 120s?

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  #1  
Old 06-18-01, 10:09 AM
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Question

I have a full main electrical panel. It includes a 240 circuit for an electric clothes dryer that I no longer need.

Is it possible for me to pull out that 240 breaker and install 2 120 breakers?

Or is it possible to cut off the 240 outlet and use the wire to connect a new subpanel?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-18-01, 11:16 AM
Guy
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If it is a 3 conductor (black,red,white) plus ground cable, then yes, no problem. The white wire will be your neutral and the black and red will be your phases. Also make sure that the new sub panel keeps the neutral and ground seperate (there may be a brass colored screw to remove to do this). If it is only two conductors plus ground, you would need a new cable.

[Edited by Guy on 06-18-01 at 02:39]
 
  #3  
Old 06-18-01, 03:13 PM
Wgoodrich
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Guy is right but thought I might add a few requirements that may cause you problems. That sub panel must have 30" dedicated space on the wall with 36" clear approach. No large appliance or permenant structure may be in that 30" x 36" area. This sub panel must not be installed in a clothes closet or bathroom also.

If you opt to run the two 20 amp branch circuits from the main panel, you can. Just remove the old dryer feeders from the 30 amp 240 amp breaker and fold that unused circuit into the box away from the breakers. Then install your 2 new branch circuits and install 2 single pole 15 or 20 amp breakers in place of the old breaker. Match the new breaker's amp rating to the branch circuit conductor size that you install.

Good Luck

Wg
 
  #4  
Old 06-21-01, 05:05 AM
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Thank you for your help.

I prefer the idea of a subpanel.

The existing breaker for the 240 plug is 2 joined 30 amp breakers. Does that mean that I can have up to but no more than 60 amps in the subpanel?

The wire that goes to the 240 plug now is of the old type so I will replace it with 4 wire NM. What guage should I use?

The 36" clear approach is no problem. But how do I measure the 30" dedicated space? Does the center of the panel have to be in the center of the 30"? My HVAC may be within that area. This is all in a sizable unfinished area.

Thank you.
 
  #5  
Old 06-21-01, 06:45 AM
Guy
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That's right, up to 60 amps of 120 volt circuits. Since 120 volt circuits cannot exceed 20 amps apiece, you could create, say, four 15 amp circuits; two per side. If you are going to replace the wire feeding this panel, use #10 3 cond + ground. If the new sub panel is quite far from the main panel (Wg would know the "official" distance) then you might need to use bigger wire, like #8.
 
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