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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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Hello and thank in advance for your help! I recently started

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Hello and thank in advance for your help!

I recently started some extensive DIY at our new family home and got a shock (pun) when I looked at the fuse panels.. It seems like I may have some code violations that I'd like to fix along with adding additional circuits for a storage shed I recently built.

The main panel has a 90amp breaker which feeds a 70amp homeline 'sub panel' about 1 foot from it with a cutler and hammer 80amp breaker and no ground bar, which feeds a 'sub panel' in our detached garage which contains 20, 30 and 50amp breakers and a ground bar (unsure where grounded..).

I have run 2" (plastic) pipe underground to the new storage shed and would like to tap into the 70amp homeline subpanel for the power. My questions are three or four fold:

1. Can I swap out the 80amp breaker for a 30/50/50/30 quad breaker and use the two 30amp circuits for the shed (I can lose the 50amp breaker in the garage as we have removed the hot tub which it fed)

2. If I am right with my assertions in question 1, should the 30amp feed go directly to a sub panel in the shed or can I add a ground bar to the 70amp subbox and run the 30amps directly to outlets?

AssuredElectrical :

Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

AssuredElectrical :

On the first question of removing an 80 a DP and replace with a Quad 30/50, that is fine.

Customer: Ok
AssuredElectrical :

On the second question, not sure what you are asking there? On the 30 amp feed, you cannot go to receptacles, standard duplex receptacles are only rated for 15 or 20 a breakers.

Customer: So maybe I should use 20/50/50/20?
AssuredElectrical :

Not sure what you need to power at the shed?

AssuredElectrical :

That determines what you need.

Customer: 15amp bench saw, air compressor etc
AssuredElectrical :

Sounds like a working shop area, seems you need a bit more than 20 amp feeder to me, but I dont know all your equipment and how often 2 pieces will operate at the same time?

AssuredElectrical :

If you have a panel, I would use it myself with as large a feed as the budget allows.

Customer: My issue is that my main panel is full and the sub panel is only a small one which can only accept one quad breaker. If I could get a 50/50/50/50, that would be great, but the highest I can find is a 30/50/50/30. My plan was to put all lighting and computers on one 20/30 circuit and all tools on the other. I'm thinking I should probably run the two 30 amp feeders from the sub panel by the main to a new sub panel in the shed, yes? Could you suggest one at Home Depot?
AssuredElectrical :

You could run a 30 amp 240 circuit to the panel .

AssuredElectrical :

Or a 50 amp 240 , the quad would allow either

AssuredElectrical :

You run a 240 volt feed, then use the single pole breakers at the panel to power receptacles etc.

AssuredElectrical :

When adding a panel in a separate structure, the below is the wiring format. 4 wire power and additional ground rods at the new panel.

Full Size Image

AssuredElectrical :

You could run 30 amp now and later you could upgrade with little work with the conduit in place.

Customer: Great image. The existing sub panel has no ground, so should I use only a grounding rod for the new panel or try and fish a ground wire all the way back to the main circuit board ground?
AssuredElectrical :

I understood that you had 2" conduit in place?

AssuredElectrical :

If you have the conduit, run another wire fro the ground. That is required today for separate structures along with the ground rod. Both are required.

Customer: Yes, from the sub to the shed, from the main to the existing sub, the connection is full of wires and I can't see how it routes behind the wall.
Customer: I'll take a better look now and see if it's possible (sounds like it needs to be..)
AssuredElectrical :

Ok, add a ground wire from the sub to the shed. At least the shed will be up to date.

AssuredElectrical :

Probably the sub was added years ago under the old codes.

Customer: Ok! Thanks so much for your help! Now off to Home Depot..
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