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rjarrett001 02-13-2008 02:15 PM

Panel or subpanel
I'm getting ready to run electricity to my outbuilding. It is already wired, I've just got to supply the juice. Here is my question. Would it be better to run a subpanel from the house panel or install a panel and drop power straight from the pole? I have a 200 amp panel with 3 empty slots for breakers, or could also use tandem breakers. The building is about 100' from the panel, so what gauge wire would I need for the subpanel?
Randy J.

P.S. Thanks for the info on the roofing situation it was very useful. I read posts just about every night, but I'm just a DIY'er. I try to leave the advise to the pros.

kok328 02-13-2008 05:19 PM

Given an option, I'd come off the pole directly to the outbuilding. Of course the utility company will want to meter this connection.
Regarding your AWG question, we'd have to know what amp sub-panel you have/propose in the outbuilding.

rjarrett001 02-13-2008 06:30 PM

I was planning on a 60 AMP subpanel. I have more amperage than that in the shop, but I can't see ever pulling that amount at one time.

Parrothead 02-13-2008 07:35 PM

Installing a separate service for the outbuilding would be more expense and hassle that it's worth, IMHO. You're talking about an additional monthly fee just for having the meter there, whether you use any juice in the building or not. I suggest burying some feeders from your main panel. for 60 amp you'd need # 6 copper wire, (2 hots and a neutral) and you'll have to drive a couple ground rods as well. If you decide that you're going to do this yourself, PLEASE at least consult with an electrician to make sure you get it right, and also have it inspected. The electrical inspector is your friend, and only is there to help keep you from burning your house down.

Also , if you're going to bury the feeders, make sure you call digger's hotline before you trench. It'll save you money, not to mention your life.

triple D 02-13-2008 08:07 PM

dont forget your ground....
You also have to carry a ground as well as your two hots and a neutral. When you put in your sub panel, make sure it has a ground bar kit and the neutral is floating(disconnected from all grounds) It will need to have a main breaker in it. Probably cheapest to get a #2urd wire and a #6 u.s.e. The urd is two hots and a neut, the use is a single for your ground, you will need to put 3 or 4 rings of green tape on both ends of this one, and white tape on your neutral. And like he said two ground rods and some #6 copper on them at least 8ft apart,(check your local code, could be further) Good luck.....

rjarrett001 02-14-2008 05:22 PM

Thanks for the info. That makes my decision for me, and I will have an inspector come out when I get done. I have more respect (fear) for electricity than I do for my table saw, or even (please don't repeat this) my wife.

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