Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>sizing service for a small shop
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Re: sizing service for a small shop
Lloyd wrote:

You actually DONT have two spaces left to add. You cant put any breakers in those slots opposite the main, in fact there should be a small red plastic tab inside there to prevent you from doing so. Not only is it not listed for it, but if I recall on the inside of the panel cover in the fine print it actually tells you not to. The reason has to do with heat on the main. those br mains put alot of heat out, probably why they burn up so much, add a few breakers next to them ... even more heat.. etc etc upgrade.

The two spaces I was referencing involve replacing the two single pole 20A breakers with 20/20 tandem breakers. As you stated, the blanks next to the main breaker are clearly stamped "do not use."

Ernie_Fergler
Re: sizing service for a small shop
Lloyd wrote:

Uprage the existing panel.
use an eaton cutler hammer type ch (classic) 200a main breaker 40 circuit panel
That bryant thats in there is garbage anyway and probably in mediocre condition at best anyhow. remember K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid)? why add a panel when the existing one is likely going to need to be replaced soon anyway? That will give you plenty of room to add a few 20 amp circuits on your bench or anywhere else in the house. A pro would cost you 800 - 1200 depending on what part of the country your in. (assuming the rest of the service in good condition) Update the grounding while your at it. Probably needs a ground rod and a waterpipe ground. Then any questions you have about running the 2 circuits yourself he can show you right there on the spot, and even give you a price for it so you know how much your saving.

edited to add
You actually DONT have two spaces left to add. You cant put any breakers in those slots opposite the main, in fact there should be a small red plastic tab inside there to prevent you from doing so. Not only is it not listed for it, but if I recall on the inside of the panel cover in the fine print it actually tells you not to. The reason has to do with heat on the main. those br mains put alot of heat out, probably why they burn up so much, add a few breakers next to them ... even more heat.. etc etc upgrade.

I too would seriously consider upgrading to a load center other than a Bryant.
Cutler Hammer CHs are a fine product indeed. I happen to be partial to Square D Homeline load centers. I can't justify the added cost of a Square D QO load center in a residential setting. Others can, and that is fine by me.
Remember upgrading a load center will also include using AFCIs in said load center. And more safety means more money, correct?

Re: sizing service for a small shop
Ernie_Fergler wrote:

I too would seriously consider upgrading to a load center other than a Bryant.
Cutler Hammer CHs are a fine product indeed. I happen to be partial to Square D Homeline load centers. I can't justify the added cost of a Square D QO load center in a residential setting. Others can, and that is fine by me.
Remember upgrading a load center will also include using AFCIs in said load center. And more safety means more money, correct?

Indeed it does, but the afci breakers are getting more and more affordable everyday, worth every cent, and may be required on instalation of a sub anyway, depending on the ahj. Theres no doubt upgradeing the service will cost more, but there are soooo many benefits, and it may be an inevitable conclusion anyway for two reasons; one its a bryant. Everyone in the trade knows exactly how reliable they are. Two if the op intends on making other additions and changes later... etc etc. My point is why have the nuisance of the sub? Besides changeing the panel would give you an opportunity to update the grounding, and as you said install afcis. All these things are good, being "forced" to make your home a better or safer place, while inconvienent, is still a good thing.

I should state that this is my opinion, as far as "code" it would be perfectly legal to add a sub. However the NEC is NOT a guide for a electrical work, its a MINIMUM standard.

As a certified Eaton Cutler Hammer Contractor, I won't hi-jack the thread and tell you all the advantages of Cutler Hammer over sqare D (Like the yuuuuge difference in warrantees or the silver plating on the busbar to prevent oxidation, or the options to have built in tvss, etc etc(in a toh forum no less)) but square d is still a very good second choice. ;)

I dont even acknowledge the new Bryant/westinghouse as even being a Cutler Hammer product its a westinghouse product that just so happens to have been bought by Eaton (same old garbage new package)

Re: sizing service for a small shop

After thinking about it, I dont think you can add a sub to that panel, I don't beleive that main breaker is rated for it. (about 90% certain it isn't) generally speaking when you backfeed a main breaker across a main lug panel the breaker you would typically use isn't series rated (rated to feed a sub panel) I dont think that panel is rated for twins either for that matter.

I been editing my post alot lately to add afterthoughts and I'm going to stop doing that. Truth is the double post is a good reflection of my usual thought process.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: sizing service for a small shop

The reason I suggest a sub panel is because the OP stated he wants to put a shop in the garage to work on the house. There are few places that get as many upgrades and changes as a shop and the sub will reduce costs later.

I do not disagree with the discussion about the main.
Jack

JLMCDANIEL
Re: sizing service for a small shop

Lloyd,
Got your visitor message but you aren't set up to receive PM's or visitor messages so I'll answer here. No problem, I agree with most of your well written and insightful posts and respect your opinion. I just wanted to point out that the OP was putting in a shop, his first, and considering the evolutions that shops go through it may be more cost effective to install a sub for later updates as newer equipment is added rather than having to constantly ruining from the main.
Jack

P.S. you might want to go to the "User CP" and update your profile to receive visitor messages and PM's.

Re: sizing service for a small shop
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

Lloyd,
Got your visitor message but you aren't set up to receive PM's or visitor messages so I'll answer here. No problem, I agree with most of your well written and insightful posts and respect your opinion. I just wanted to point out that the OP was putting in a shop, his first, and considering the evolutions that shops go through it may be more cost effective to install a sub for later updates as newer equipment is added rather than having to constantly ruining from the main.
Jack

P.S. you might want to go to the "User CP" and update your profile to receive visitor messages and PM's.

Thanks for the heads up, I didnt even know it was off.

Your point is valid, updateing the main will cost more.

Ernie_Fergler
Re: sizing service for a small shop
Lloyd wrote:

Indeed it does, but the afci breakers are getting more and more affordable everyday, worth every cent, and may be required on instalation of a sub anyway, depending on the ahj. Theres no doubt upgradeing the service will cost more, but there are soooo many benefits, and it may be an inevitable conclusion anyway for two reasons; one its a bryant. Everyone in the trade knows exactly how reliable they are. Two if the op intends on making other additions and changes later... etc etc. My point is why have the nuisance of the sub? Besides changeing the panel would give you an opportunity to update the grounding, and as you said install afcis. All these things are good, being "forced" to make your home a better or safer place, while inconvienent, is still a good thing.

I should state that this is my opinion, as far as "code" it would be perfectly legal to add a sub. However the NEC is NOT a guide for a electrical work, its a MINIMUM standard.

As a certified Eaton Cutler Hammer Contractor, I won't hi-jack the thread and tell you all the advantages of Cutler Hammer over sqare D (Like the yuuuuge difference in warrantees or the silver plating on the busbar to prevent oxidation, or the options to have built in tvss, etc etc(in a toh forum no less)) but square d is still a very good second choice. ;)

I dont even acknowledge the new Bryant/westinghouse as even being a Cutler Hammer product its a westinghouse product that just so happens to have been bought by Eaton (same old garbage new package)

Just curious, what exactly is a "certified Eaton Cutler Hammer Contractor"? Did you get a T_shirt with meal the day of the conference? Kidding of course.
In so far as as comparing brands, different horses for different courses. Agree to disagree.

kjwilde
Re: sizing service for a small shop

Cutler Hammer, Square D, whatever. For a residential application either is fine. I spec. a lot of Square D stuff, Q O of course but for residential, Home Line is just fine (that's what I put in my house).

As far as a adding a sub panel, I'd only do it for convenience of wiring. I added one in my garage addition/remodel only because it was easier to run one 60a circuit than a bunch of 20 and 15's. A small main lug panel is cheap. Of course I also upgraded my main as well as I was tapped out there. I was very lucky though as my service came in at the same place as my main panel was so the whole thing was very painless.

Hey Loyd, the industrial Square D stuff is great. Too bad their catalog is just abysmal. Their pricing ain't to hot either.

NEC
Re: sizing service for a small shop
kjwilde wrote:

Hey Loyd, the industrial Square D stuff is great. Too bad their catalog is just abysmal. Their pricing ain't to hot either.

You got that right. Two quotes between Siemens and SqD $1,000.00 to $1,650.00

Now who will I roll with?

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