Electrical Wiring in the Home/Basement Sub Panel Dispute


Sub Panel 1
Sub Panel 1  
Sub Panel 2
Sub Panel 2  
QUESTION: Hi Robert. I am finishing my basement and I am at the electrical stage. I purchased a sub panel a few years ago in anticipation of getting to this point in the construction stage. I attached a pic of the sub panel I purchased. An electrician friend of mine indicated that the panel is insufficient whereas the electrician in Home Depot (he's also an electrician) said what I have is just fine. Can you referee on this one? Thanks.

ANSWER: Why is it insufficient?
What are you planning?
There is more to a sub-panel than a second box.
If used properly any equipment is acceptable though it may not serve your purposes.
What about permit and inspections?
Have you asked the authority having jurisdiction?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Robert. Thanks for the response. I'm not doing anything special. I just want to put the new circuits down there close to the outlets and fixtures rather than having to go upstairs. I take it from your response and my own limited knowledge that what I have will do the job just as I suspected.

ANSWER: Welcome.
Keep in mind you will have a time getting breakers suitable for the panel.
Though many will cross-fit, the listing of the equipment calls for breakers rated to work with the panel.
Since Murray is gone, it may be difficult to get proper "listed" breakers. That may be what your friend was talking about, especially if he is as compulsive as I am.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Understood. If I opt to go with a new box, what manufacturer do you recommend? Thanks.

They are all pretty much the same.
I use Siemens a lot because that is what a lot of local suppliers stock.
I would suggest finding out what line your local electrical supply houses carry and buy a manufacturer that is available from more than one. That way you will be able to special-order components that are compatible if you need something.
The way business works anymore, longevity to this point does not guarantee availability, even in the near future.
Siemens is about 4 times larger at $75 billion worldwide than Eaton [cutler hammer] at $20 billion, so it may well outlast Eaton as a separate entity. Schneider [square D] is also about 20+ billion worldwide.
Good luck
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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