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Another electrical question (trying hard to fry myself...)

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by cbbr, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    If I were to run a second breaker box, is there any reason not to simply tap it into the Service Wire Lugs in my current box? The reason that I ask is it looks like the easiest way to tap in to the current box.
     
  2. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    You need to get a qualified electrician to look at it. Usually the wires from the main line are sized just big enough to safely power the box that is in the house. Tapping in a second box on wires that aren't rated for the current can burn your house down. To make matters worse, if the house should burn and the investigation shows that it was started by wiring that was installed without a permit, the insurance company can deny your claim... :eek:
     
  3. broc944

    broc944 1/2 ton status

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    Are you talking about the lugs that connect the main feed to the house from the street? If that is what you are talking about then I would not advice it for several reasons, and most of them deal with safety. I have the little plastic card that says I know what I am doing. (well most of the time anyway):D .
     
  4. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Post a photo of yer box, dude! :wink1:
     
  5. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    That's exactly what I am talking about. I thought that it may be safe to tap into the (after turning off the electricity of course) and run a second box.

    Don I need to charge the camera and I will shoot a pic. Basically its a big 200a box and all of the breaker slots are full. There are two 20a breakers, one high left and one low right, that run to the shop now. I really need more juice out there including a 220v receptacle. Moving 1/2 of the box to get two slots to put a 60a is a PITA, so of course I'm looking for an easier way.
     
  6. broc944

    broc944 1/2 ton status

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    If this is truly the case the only way you are going to turn the power off is to pull the meter, the only people that can do that is the power company, at least that is the way it is in this state.
     
  7. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I'm sure that its the same here. I wonder if I did all of the grunt work, what an electriian would charge to hook it up? It looks like a straight forward pull wire/hook up to box job.
     
  8. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Could ya not pull one off the 20 high and the 20 low from both sides and get 220 and a neutral?
     
  9. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    That's not quite up to code. :doah: The breakers for each leg have to be tied together so that if one leg overloads, it forces both breakers to trip... :rolleyes:
     
  10. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    No you're not allowed to tap offthose wires without some sort of overcurrent protection. That's what the 60A breaker would be. Take the dead front (the part that covers all the breakers) off your existing panel, so that you are looking at all the wires and breakers. Then take a pic and post it. Most likely, you can move one circuit so that you can have two adjacent breakers. Take that picture, and post it and we can tell you what to do.
     
  11. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    As I understand it, to do it correctly, I need to move stuff around untl I have two breakers together and then put in one 60a double to run to the second box. Then I can run whatever I need (220 or 110) in the secnd box as long as I don't run more than 60a at a time. Right?
     
  12. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Right. Yowill pull the wires from the high left breaker, and low right breaker, you've got two spaces. So, now you need to get them next to each other. So now you would need to move the circuit right above the low right breaker up to the spot vacated on the upper left. Now you aught to have two empty breakers, one on top of the other. There are other ways, but if you posted a pic, then we can really get down to business.
     
  13. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    The current breakers for the shop are the ones pointed out. They are both 20a breakers. My thought is to get them on the same side and low left by moving some stuff over.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Is that how your panel sits, sideways like that? You want to take off the dead front and look at the breakers on either side of the two you pointed out. Hard to tell by your pic, 'cause it's so small, but from what I can tell, the two you have pointed out are on different phases, which is good. So now, like I was saying, look at the breakers on either side of the ones you have pointed out, are they 20A? For $hits & grins, lets say you want to use that lower breaker as part of your new feed to the garage. Is the breaker to the right or left of it a 20A single pole breaker? One of them is? Good. You are goung to take that wire that is landed on that breaker, and swap it with the one landed on the breaker on the top right. Make sure the two breakers have the same interupting rating (20A) otherwise you will have to swap the breakers as well as the wires. Now after the swap, your two breakers feeding the garage should be right next tot each other. When you are ready to add the panel in the garage, you will remove those two 20A breakers, and install a 60A 2-pole breaker. If you want your two pole breaker all the way to the left, on the bottom, you'll need to do the swap a bit different.

    Duh, I just figured out that I could click on your pic to make it bigger.

    OK, first, swap the wire from the top breaker with the arrow, with the wire at the breaker all the way on the bottom left, marked 'whirlpool'. Now swap the wire from the bottom breaker with the arrow, with the one marked 'kitchen outlets'. You might have to add some wire if they are not long enough to reach their new spots. Use yellow wirenuts to add the extension wire, I like the hard plastic ones, they give a better 'feel' to let you know you have a good splice. You need to use at LEAST #12 AWG wire. DO NOT go digging through your blazer electrical junk for butt splices, these have no place on line voltage house wiring. Just as wirenuts have no place anywherew on a vehicle. But anyway, now your two breakers that feed the shop should be right next to each other, bottom left, and you can use that spot for the 2-pole 60A. Now, while you have that cover off, trace both of your wires that go to the shop from their breaker, to where they enter the panel. Do they go into conduit? Probably not, but if they do, you might be in luck and have a raceway out to the garage already. If they are just romex, which is likely, then you'll have to run cable out to the new panel.

    This should give you plenty to do for now, once you get that cover off, snap another photo. Then post up with your next question.

    FWIW, see those breakers where there are two small handles in one space, those are piggyback breakers and they let you put two circuits in one breaker space, it's another way to add circuits to an already full panel. But that's a whole other lesson.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2006
  15. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    mofugly, click on the pic, its a link to a bigger picture
     
  16. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Yeah, I typed that whole first paragraph before I figured that out. Dee-de-deee
     
  17. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I moved the breakers - had to move a few, but there was plany of wire. THey are now next to eachother -

    [​IMG]

    Here is a full size pic of the box with the cover off -

    [​IMG]

    My plan is to get the wire, 3 looks like overkill, but should do the trick, a 60a breaker and run it to a second box in the shop. Lowes has 60a boxes and 100a boxes in kits with breakers, so that will probably be the way I go.

    Suggestions?
     
  18. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    All you need is three #6 wires (two hots and a neutral) and a #8 ground as long as it is copper, #3 is overkill. This is assuming you are using a 60 amp breaker in the main panel to feed it.

    Another thing to watch for is, in the new panel you buy, it will come with a green bonding screw that can be installed in the neutral bus to bond the neutral and ground together. Do NOT install this screw, just run a separate ground wire, and buy the separate ground bus for the panel. Then when you install your new circuits, keep the ground and neutral conductors separate.

    Let me know if this is not clear and I can take a picture of my subpanel to show you what I mean and explain it a little better.
     
  19. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    I guess the jumper cables I have going to my sub panel are not up to code??? Actually, they are running from my neighbors meter to my sub panel. She is pissed aboot the $800.00 electric bills, but my pool stays nice.
     
  20. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Why do ya do that?

    Do ya need to drive a ground rod into the earth to hook up at the 60 amp box?
     

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