I am installing a subpanel in my woodshop. I need at the minimum a 30
A circuit. The run from subpanel to shop is less than 50 feet so
voltage drop is well within tolerance.
I was thinking of pulling either 6 or 8 gauge cable and I have two
1) Would you use 6 or 8 gauge or stick with 10 gauge?
2) Is 6 or 8 gauge a pain in the butt to work with at the main panel?
Also, any war stories on your panel installs would be appreciated.
I'd pull the 6 since it'll give you room to upgrade the service later just
by adding a new breaker in the main box. Use an appropriate sized subpanel
and you'll be good to go. 6 is not at all hard to work with in the box, on
Sorry, but war stories don't come until after you've started your project
and hit your first big snag - them's the rules.
On 30 Jun 2004 21:20:56 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Keith Bozek) wrote:
Here's some advice from someone (a DIYer) who has done this before:
1) The nature of your questions tells me that you need way more
knowlege than you currently posses if you want to do this job safely
and 'up to code'. If you are willing to invest the time to learn
about home wiring, the NEC, local codes, and whatnot, you can
accomplish the task of adding a subpanel safely. All it takes is some
time spent reading and learning, and you can save quite a bit of
money. Most libraries have a copy of the NEC (1999 or 2002) and it's
actually easy to read and understand. Be aware that connecting a
subpanel that is installed in the same structure as your main panel is
different than if the subpanel is to be installed in a seperate
2) GET A PERMIT! If you perform any substantial electrical
modifications to your home, and said modifications cause a fire, your
insurance company will absolutely look into whether or not the
modifications were done with the blessings of the local building code
people. If not, you can bet your sweet bippy the insurance company
will NOT honor your claim. Most jurisdictions allow you to perform
your own work as long as it is 'up to code'. This they determine by
inspecting your work. In my county, an electrical permit costs less
than $40.00. Cheap insurance.
3) I recently finished adding a subpanel in a newly built wall that
separates my three-car garage into a two-car garage and a workshop.
That panel is protected by a 60A breaker in the main panel. It is fed
by three 6ga wires (two hots and a neutral) and one 10ga equipment
ground. This panel contains two 220VAC circuits (table saw and dust
collector), one 15A lighting circuit, and one 20A outlet circuit.
4) If you want to learn how to do this stuff right, I'd suggest you
obtain a copy of the following:
a. Black & Decker's "The Complete Guide to Home Wiring" - ISBN
b. Practical Electrical Wiring, by Hartwell and Richter - ISBN
Lastly, seek out a retired electrician that you can hire to 'look over
your sholder'. I found a guy that charged me $25.00 per hour for his
advice. I only used three hours of his time, but it was invaluable in
answering questions that came up.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask away.
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