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sub panel

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  • sub panel

    When does it become worth installing a sub panel, and what is the rule of thumb for the branch circuits fed from the sub. I have two circuits feeding my shop. One dp 20 for the wire welder/table saw , and one sp 20 with several receps. I usually run a baseboard heater in the winter as needed. This is a 120 volt unit powered by the above metnioned 20 amp circuit. I've only popped a breaker once but wonder if feeding to a sub would make more sense. Currently my entire basement length is exposed for remodeling, so now would be the time to change it. I was considering a 50 amp sub panel. I just upgraded to 200 amp main service, so there are lots of breakers to extend another dedicated circuit for the heater . Will the sub provide a better soluion? I'm just thinking that perhaps all those long runs could be eliminated. This would also make a stick or tig unit more likely in the future. The small shop area is the back of an attached garage and is about 60 feet from the main panel. I also have a 100 amp square d sub panel left over from the main service upgrade. I'd use this for the sub.

  • #2
    If you can afford the cable the best thing would be to go ahead and feed 100 amps to the panel. You never know what you might aquire someday. As for the heater a dedicated 20 amp ckt is just enough overkill to make sense.

    Thermal Arc 185-TSW
    Millermatic Challenger 172
    Atlas Craftsman 12 by 24 Lathe
    Esab PCM-875
    Wholesale Tool Mill-Drill


    • #3
      I think a sub is almost always a good investment, enables add ons without much effort and allows for some dedicated circuits for specialty tools. It also sends the power down a large wire even if you are only pulling 20A, sometimes a thing when distance is a factor although 60 ft isn't a lot. If I was planning on adding a larger welder at some point, maybe an air comp I would also opt for a larger wire, 90 or 100 amps.


      • #4
        I will reuctantly agree. That dang copper is still so stinkin' expensive!


        • #5
          You could use aluminum, number 2 quad assembly. I think copper has went down substantially too.