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Thread: Existing 200 amp Main Panel Adding 100 amp Sub Panel

  1. #1

    Default Existing 200 amp Main Panel Adding 100 amp Sub Panel

    I am wanting to install a new 100 amp subpanel to an existing 200amp main panel. I went to Home Depot and recently purchased a 100 amp panel that has a 100 main breaker already installed in that box. Is that ok to use as a subpanel? Also what gauge wire should I use to run to the sub? Do I ground the new sub or run the ground back to the main panel?

    I appreciate any help you can give me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Where do you intend to install the SUB?
    What additinal wiring are you installing? Reason for SUB?
    Different rules aply for the above and you may need a load calculation.

  3. #3

    Default reply

    Sub is being added because of new addition. New sub is going to be located directly behind the 200 amp service. New wire going through previous concrete foundation wall and new sub mounting to new studed wall for new addition. Basically back to back just two walls between them. Outside service was buried to house and upgraded to 400 service. New power reguirements is just going to be used to power can lights, recepts, water heater. nothing real crazy. 27 x 37 addition, two floors, two baths, two bedrooms and large family room.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Kent, WA


    Since this sub panel is feeding a different part of the same structure as the service, you have to run a 4 wire feeder. You didn't have to buy a main breaker panel, but there is nothing wrong with using it (it just cost you more).

    The next question is how many amps do you really need in that box. You can't have more than 100, but you are allowed to have less if you need less. Least inexpensive feeder will probably be 60A using #6 copper wire. If you want the full 100A, the size gets confusing. You can use #3 copper if individual wires if they have at least one H in the type, #2 copper if romex, and #4 SER or individual THHN wires if table 310.15(B)(6) is allowed in your area for this application. Since the subpanel will be close to the main, I'd try to run a 1.25" conduit if possible (PVC or flex metal) and use individual THHN wires.

    The 4th grounding wire doesn't have to be as large as the other wires. For a 60A feeder, it only has to be #10 copper. For 61A to 100A, it must be at least #8 copper. No ground rods will be needed for this panel. You will most likely need to buy an accessory grounding bar though, because with the 4 wire feed the neutral and grounding wire must be on separate busses. Also, do not install the green bonding screw into the neutral bus, as that must be electrically isolated form the chassis in this application. On your individual circuits, put the white and bare wires on their respective busses -- they can't share a common bus like in a main panel.
    Kent, WA

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