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Wiring Up My Shop!

Hi everyone, new guy here with a question. My electrical(200amp) comes from the street to my shop then goes to the house, the way it is now if I wire up the shop from this panel and need to turn the power off for any reason I have to turn it off at the street then it shuts the house down which I don't like, I would like to isolate the shop from the house, so would I need to add another panel like the one I have now or is there a sub panel or something I would use?, I don't want to spend money for nothing but I want to do it right don't need no disasters.. Thanks for any advice.. Art..
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Posted 2012-12-11T15:28:30+0000  by Art-A Art-A

Hello Art-A.  Welcome to the Community!


I am unsure why you have to cut power at the street for any reason.

The main panel has a main breaker to shut off house/shop poweras well as individual breakers to turn off each circuit.  Is the main panel out at the street?


If you don't want to run individual circuits off the main panel to the shop, then you certainly could install a sub-panel.

These are relatively inexpensive and would allow you to cut power to the shop either at the main panel, or at the sub-panel.  This is also done when there is some distance between the main panel and circuit locations.  Besides being more convenient, it is often cheaper to have one conduit run with thicker cable to the panel than runs for each circuit originating some distance away from where they are used.


Keep in mind that there are rules and codes on how to go about this.  A few minutes talking with your local building electrical inspector could save you lots of time and trouble.  If you are at all unsure about tackling a project like this, please let an electrician handle it for you.


Is this what you are looking for?  I will need more information about your house setup in order to provide more specific help.





Posted 2012-12-14T15:00:04+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

Thanks for the welcome and reply Newf....  Sorry guess I didn't explain too well, here's my panel in the shop, the two cables coming in at the bottom comes from the main panel /meter from the street, the top cables witch are hooked up to a master switch goes to the house, so, if I wire the shop from this panel I won't have a master switch to shut the shop down if I need to work on the electrics I would have to shut the house down also, I just thought it would be better to have a master switch for the shop instead of just shutting off each breaker, or am I just over thinking this?..Thanks.. Art..



Posted 2012-12-14T17:52:08+0000  by Art-A

Oops sorry, how do you post pics here??, can't edit my post either???..

Posted 2012-12-14T17:59:01+0000  by Art-A

Hey Art-A.


When working on either a reply or starting a thread, you will be typing in a box with a header at the top.  There is an icon of a tree you can click on that will allow you to paste pictures within your post.


As far as edits go, you should be able to click on the options button in the upper right corner of your, (and only your), posts that will have an edit function in the menu.


Let me post this picture for you here:




Give me a few minutes to think about this and I will be back soon.





Posted 2012-12-14T18:09:52+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

So, if I understand this right, I am looking at what is in essence a sub-panel in your shop that is just acting as a pass through to the house breaker panel.  It provides a switching function close to the home which code would normally require.  Otherwise it would not be needed since there apparently is a main load center out near the street which can switch all power off.  As long as the street main is on, this entire bus has power.


If your main concern is having one breaker/switch to shut down the shop power, then you would need another panel in the shop to accept power from this one and run individual circuits from there.  Otherwise, indeed you would be switching off multiple breakers on this panel in order to kill all shop power.  I don't even know if you can do that though, as normally any panel would have to include a master switch, precluding you from branching off this one.  Yes, this panel has a master switch out by the street, but that does not explain why this panel exists at all.


Keep in mind that there are rules and codes on how to go about this, and they will vary by local/municipal areas as well.  I do not see anything unsafe about this setup, though it is a bit unusual.  I encourage you to ask your local building electrical inspector to stop by and spend a few minutes going over options.  I know this could save you lots of time and trouble, since he or she will be the one signing off on the completed work.





Posted 2012-12-14T18:49:49+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
Yeah, that's pretty much what it is really, the shop is separate from the house so you would need a panel out there to run the circuits, they could have run the power to the house first then to the shop but the way things are laid out it would have been a hassle and cost more so we went the simple way, never gave it a thought about a master switch for the shop at the time. But I will take your advice and check with the inspector before going any farther, I do want to do it right.. Thanks for your time... Art
Posted 2012-12-15T02:33:26+0000  by Art-A

Hey Art-A


One thing you might want to ask the inspector is if he/she would sign-off on installing a 100 amp disconnect below the shop panel.  If this is OK it would save lots of $ on running new wire from the street main to this panel, and would allow you to use this lug box as a real breaker box.  I am assuming you could cut down the incoming conduit without damaging the wire and simply reconnect this lug box from the other side of the disconnect.


Just a thought.






Posted 2012-12-16T14:47:11+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

Hmmm, never thought about that thanks much I'll run it by him...

Posted 2012-12-17T00:29:41+0000  by Art-A
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