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Thread: 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

  1. #1

    Default 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

    I am adding a 60 Amp sub panel in my attached garage to run a few tools. Currently there is only 1 15 Amp circuit feeding the garage and is over taxed and I need to be careful what I turn on .

    The main service is on fuses and had a hard time finding a double buss block for the panel.
    The new panel has no main shut off and my plan is to put in 2 15 amp circuits, 1 for lights and 1 for plugs.
    I am also putting in a 20 amp twist plug for a heater.
    I have purchased NMD 90 #6 - 3 for the feed. I have read on a previous post that a nipple through the foundation is Ok. Does the cable need to be in a pipe to the sub panel?
    Can I use NMD 90 (Romex) in the garage ? Currently there is both Romex and Bx.
    I also read " not " to strap the ground to neutral as this is still in the same structure.

    Thoughts comments are welcome!!
    I am in Brampton , Ontario
    Regards,
    John

  2. #2
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    I.B.Woodworker

    Default Re: 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

    When i put in the sub panel to my shop.. I went with a certified electrician as I upgraded the main panel in the house from 100 to 200amps.

    If you have that old of a house that the panel is breakers, then I would want to double check many other items with that main. What is the size of that original panel? Are any of the connecting wires aluminium?

    At the least, I would not do anything without taking out a ESA permit, and then all these questions you should direct to the inspector as that is all covered with your permit. He is the one who will be either passing or failing your install, so it doesn't really matter what we on the forum think.

    As to your question. You can run romex if you are putting it behind a stud wall. If you are surface mounting it, you will need to run it in conduit. It is questionable if you are allowed to run PVC conduit on a connected garage. And you will need to read up on the thermal rating for the wire that you have to know what size conduit to use.

    BX you can strap straight to the wall. I am curious what sort of heater that you are going to use that takes a 20amp twist plug? Most of the shop heaters that I have seen take a 6-30R plug.
    Matt

    People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

    Hi Matt, thanks for your response. I added a couple of notes.
    Quote Originally Posted by matt.mackinnon View Post
    When i put in the sub panel to my shop.. I went with a certified electrician as I upgraded the main panel in the house from 100 to 200amps.

    If you have that old of a house that the panel is breakers, then I would want to double check many other items with that main. What is the size of that original panel? Are any of the connecting wires aluminium?

    ##The panel is 100 amp and yes all of the original wiring is aluminum. All switches and plugs have been changed and I do retighten connections everytime the cover is off of the panel. I am fully aware of the known issues of aluminum wiring installs and have corrected many deficiancies over the years. An upgrade to 200 amp service is not an option at this time.

    At the least, I would not do anything without taking out a ESA permit, and then all these questions you should direct to the inspector as that is all covered with your permit. He is the one who will be either passing or failing your install, so it doesn't really matter what we on the forum think.

    ###I plan to get a permit and am currently reading the modified code book. Not sure why PVC would not be allowed. Still investigating this.

    As to your question. You can run romex if you are putting it behind a stud wall. If you are surface mounting it, you will need to run it in conduit. It is questionable if you are allowed to run PVC conduit on a connected garage. And you will need to read up on the thermal rating for the wire that you have to know what size conduit to use.

    BX you can strap straight to the wall. I am curious what sort of heater that you are going to use that takes a 20amp twist plug? Most of the shop heaters that I have seen take a 6-30R plug.
    ##I checked the heater today and it is a 240v 20 amp rated at 4800 watts max.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by matt.mackinnon View Post
    As to your question. You can run romex if you are putting it behind a stud wall. If you are surface mounting it, you will need to run it in conduit. It is questionable if you are allowed to run PVC conduit on a connected garage. And you will need to read up on the thermal rating for the wire that you have to know what size conduit to use.
    I had no problem with my inspector approving the use of PVC conduit in my attached garage for my 60A subpanel, in fact he recommended that I do that! I found the ESA inspector to be very helpful, but first I did a thorough reading of "Electrical Code Simplified" which is the yellow book on Ontario Electrical Code you can find at your local home depot.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

    what do you mean when you say you need to be careful what you turn on? I'm currently in the midst of getting tools for a modest shop. it's a garage in a rental, and as far as I can tell there is only one circuit, probably the same 15 amps as yours, feeing it. I have more or less assumed that I would only be running one tool at a time with a couple of lights, and my DC would need to be hooked up to an extension cord and plugged into a different circuit in the main house. might be a pain but otherwise I will probably trip the breaker constantly, and the downstairs tenant would tire of my resetting pretty quickly I think! I really hope I'm not setting up in a space that I won't be able to do much...

    how much would it cost to have a sub-panel installed, or at least another circuit run out there? It's a detached garage and currently the electrical running to it is just in a piece of flexible conduit that's exposed to the elements.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

    I'm going to parallel this topic real quick....but those who have done a 60A sub panel, did the inspector say anything about using 6/3? A well seasoned electrician at work advised me that I would be better off running 4/3 to the garage when I hook up a 60A sub panel this spring. The run would be about 25 feet.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by kookie_guy View Post
    A well seasoned electrician at work advised me that I would be better off running 4/3 to the garage when I hook up a 60A sub panel this spring. The run would be about 25 feet.
    Depends on how much expansion you plan to do in the future, or whether you're going to be using several very large power tools running simultaneously or arc welder frequently. For that short a distance, I'm not sure I'd trouble myself with anything larger than 6/3 for the 60 A sub panel unless the wiring run is *not* going to be accessible later on without a lot of trouble. For the average small shop, 60A sub panel and 6/3 cable feed is more than adequate.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    Depends on how much expansion you plan to do in the future, or whether you're going to be using several very large power tools running simultaneously or arc welder frequently. For that short a distance, I'm not sure I'd trouble myself with anything larger than 6/3 for the 60 A sub panel unless the wiring run is *not* going to be accessible later on without a lot of trouble. For the average small shop, 60A sub panel and 6/3 cable feed is more than adequate.
    Just what I needed to hear. And no, I will not be running anything crazy. Will save some money and go 6/3

  9. #9

    Default Re: 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

    My distance is about 25 feet maximum. I need to drill out of the basement and run up the inside wall. (very dry location) I will only be using 1 tool at a time and have a 240v 20 amp heater. There are a few lights and regular 15 amp plugs in the garage now wired with #12 bx cable.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

    My scenario was nearly identical to John's.

    I bought a 100amp rated panel by Siemens, but the panel is fed by a 60amp breaker in the main panel. The main feed wire to the sub-panel is armored 1/2 only because I had a deal I couldn't refuse. It runs through a basement/garage wall, coming out just above the garage's foundation wall, and then, surface mounted to the panel which is mounted at a height specified by the book. The inspector told me 6/2 would have been just fine.

    Since stud spacing didn't work for me, I attached 1/2" plywood to the studs and the sub-panel to the plywood. All connections and wires are neatly run and clearly marked. That includes labels on actual outlets.

    All wiring from the sub-panel is 12/2.

    I installed the following outlets, each on a separate circuit:

    110V, 15 Amp * 1 (lights and a quart heater)
    110V, 20 Amp * 2 (portable power tools)
    220V, 15 Amp * 2 (DC and TS)

    All wall mounted wires are in metal conduits, 1/2"

    Things I would have done differently:

    1. 20amp breakers for 220v, instead of 15amp
    2. use one or two space saver breakers, instead of regular 2-pole ones for 220V, because I have now one space left, but need two

    As for the 60amp feed to the sub-panel, I see no reason to go higher, unless welding is in the cards. I met a woodworking pro with an impressive workshop and he said his shop is wired with 60 amps.
    In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 60 Amp Sub Panel in Attached Garage

    Matt raised a few good questions. Do yourself a favour John, go and get yourself a proper installation electrician to sort this out for you.
    If you want you can get a copy of the code simplified to break down the rules in layman's terms.
    I would get an electrician who knows this type of thing. At least get one that can guide you if you want to do the work.
    If you are going to run cable underground it has to be rated as such, like Teck or NMDU ( I believe). And if you do there are rules governing the depth and what type of material the cable has to
    be buried in, mechanical protection for the cable, etc. Either that or run it in conduit, which is what I did. I just got mine in (60 amp) and got most of the rough-in finished.
    The issue with sub panels as far as the neutral goes is that if the new panel has the neutral grounded then remove it.
    Dan
    Last edited by danpower; 02-26-2012 at 09:00 PM.

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