My home had 2 additions before I bought it without any electrical
upgrades. The addition in question is my bedroom (2nd floor) /garage
(ground level). It all runs into one 15A breaker in the main panel and
in the summer when I want to run my window AC unit and air compressor
(or other tool) at the same time, the breaker trips and cuts off all
power to both rooms.
I want to have a secondary breaker panel installed in the garage so I
can 1) seperate the garage & bedroom circuits, 2) run more wire for
more outlets, eliminating the need for extension cords all over the
floor and 3) have the option to create a couple 240v runs (or greater)
for larger tools if/when I acquire them.
What should this cost (ballpark figure)?
- the garage is attached to the main part of the house
- the line from the electrical pole connects initially to the garage,
but runs to the meter mounted on the main part of the house.
- the current panel cannot be upgraded as it was walled in and moving
that wall involves moving plumbing as well. not something i want to
- all i need is the breaker box installed and hooked into the meter. i
can do the rest.
I believe that you have to connect the sub-panel through a breaker on
the main panel.
At best it means running a new cable from your main box to the
sub-panel in the garage.
If your main panel is not up to capacity you may be able to add a new
main panel at the garage , and wire the existing box as a sub-panel of
the new service.
Call a couple of electricians in your area for quotes.
I agree with Marks..., you don't usually run a second panel from the meter,
in a situation like yours. If your current , service is of adequate size for
the building, which should be determined by a professional, not just someone
taking a WAG, you would run a feeder off of the main panel to the sub.
Although the existing main panel is full, it may be possible to use splits,
or half sized breakers to accommodate the two needed spaces to feed a sub
panel, again, talk to a professional
You need to determine the capacity of the existing service panel and
the service entrance from the utility. If the existing service is less
then 200 Amps then it needs to be upgraded. If the existing service is
"walled in" as you say then I would install a new 200 Amp service and
refeed the existing service panel (making it a sub-panel) from the new
service. A service panel upgrade in California runs about $1500. The
cost for installing a sub-panel is dependent on the length of the run
and how difficult it is to run the wiring. I would call a few local
electricians and get estimates. They are usually free. You'll also
get an idea of what you can and cannot do.
How can you say he needs 200A service when you don't even know if he has
gas appliances or electric? I did a load analysis of my house when I moved
in and it was only about 70A. The existing service was 60A (fuses), and I
needed to expand it, so I put in 150A. If it had been a 100A fusebox, I
would have probably left it alone. 200A would have doubled the cost of the
materials and was totally unnecessary. If I had an electric range and
electric water heater, I might have gone to 200A.
I agree, I'm constantly seeing these posts demanding that EVERY house NEEDS
at least 200 amps, with absolutely no information to base it on. Have
someone that knows what they're talking about, do a load calculation to make
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