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How to install a subpanel / How to install main lug
Indoor subpanels are not weathertight. They are generally mounted between 2x4 studs. Install 1/2"-5/8" from wall so final install will be flush with sheetrock.

Outdoor subpanels can be used indoors or outdoors. Rated Nema 3R water-tight, outdoor panels are 'weather resistant' but not 'waterproof.'
Locate 12" above anticipated snowfall. Best in sheltered, shaded area when possible. Never locate panel where equipment (forklift, lawn mower) can impact panel. Outdoor panels should be bonded to ground wire that is connected to nearby ground rod when required by code. Never touch or work on outdoor electric while standing on bare soil or wet surface... stand on dry 2x4s or plywood. Wear dry clothes. Turn off power to subpanel. Use non-contact voltage tester to determine if power is present. Outlets installed outdoor must have gfci protection.

Basic installation
Attach subpanel and wiring firmly to structure.
Subpanel must have cover. Cover must fit flat against the panel, and door remain shut to avoid fire hazard.
Attach wires to subpanel with wire clamp or conduit so wires cannot move ... wires and conduit must be attached to structure so they cannot pull loose.

240 volt breakers must be double-pole breaker with connected switches, and cannot be 2 separate single-pole breakers, unless the breaker switches are connected together. Each side of 30 amp double breaker is 30 amp (not 15 amp each).

3-phase panels are made for 3-pole breakers and 3-phase commercial application. Single phase 120-240 volt breakers, single-pole and double-pole, will fit into 3-phase panels. How to wire 3-phase

Buy indoor 120-240 volt:
100 amp 6 space
100 amp 8-space
125 amp 8-space
125 amp 8-space
125 amp 8-space
200 amp 20 space
Subpanels at Amazon
Main lug
Up to 100 amps

Buy outdoor/ from my affiliate links: 120-240 Volt

70 amp 2-space
60-100-200 amp 2-space
125 amp 8-space

Subpanels at Amazon
Up to 125 amps

120-240 Volt with breakers

Buy main load center:
200 amp 30 space HOM
125 amp 12 space
Intermatic T30000R5
Outdoor subpanels with space for breaker, timer, switches, outlets/ 120-240 Volt. Flush mount, widths vary.
60-125 amp panels w/o timer
60-125 amp with timers
With freeze protection
3-phase subpanel
3-phase subpanel
Not residential
24 space 125 amp
24 space 125 amp
NOT residential
3-pole breakers
3-phase Wiring
single-pole breaker
1" wide Push down breaker
Plug-in breakers
Buy single-pole:
Siemens 15-60 amp

Single-pole tandem breaker
Tandem breakers

Buy QO breaker
20 amp Square D
double-pole breaker
QP type
2" wide Push down breaker
Plug-in breakers
Fits residential panels
Fits subpanels above
Buy double-pole:
Siemens 15-125 amp
Square D 30 amp breaker

Double pole GFCI
breaker base

Breaker base
60 amp 4 breaker
125 amp 8 breaker

124TP2608A 4 breaker spaces
124T2530A 8 breaker spaces
Use only 600 volt wire.
Lamp cord, extension cords are not rated 600 volt.
Use copper wire only. Aluminum wire is fire risk and should be avoided or installed by professional.

30 amp breaker use 10 gauge /

10-2 gauge/ 30 amp
10-3/ 30 amp
Southwire electric tools
Yellow 12 gauge 20 amp

Yellow/ #12 gauge wire for 20 amp
with ground
12-2 gauge/ 20 amp
12-3/ 20 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
Rolls of stranded wire
White 14 gauge 15 amp

White/ #14 gauge wire for 15 amp
with ground
14-2 gauge/ 15 amp
14-3/ 15 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
armored cable
Armored cable
Southwire armored cable cutter
Southwire armored cable cutter
Rolls of stranded wire

Stranded wire
stranded wire
Rolls of stranded wire
50-60 amp breaker use 6 gauge /
6-2 wire
6-2 wire
Southwire electric tools
NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
40-50 amp breaker use 8 gauge /
6-2 wire
8-2 wire
Southwire electric tools
NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
Copper ground wire
Use same size as other wire in circuit

12 gauge copper ground wire
Ground wire
Green ground wire
Ground pigtails
Ground rods/ ground clamps at Amazon

End cutting nippers at Amazon

When removing insulation from wire, do NOT score or put cuts on surface of copper wire. Doing so increases resistances on wire and creates weak point.
Buy tools:
Wire strippers at Amazon
Linesman pliers
Utility knife at Amazon
Electrical testers
Wire size and motors/ 120-240 volt
The longer the wire must travel, the larger the wire must be to handle same amp load.
This is especially important when calculating wire and breaker size for shop tools used inside a detached structure.
Motor wire size and distance
Figure volts amps watts
Installing subpanel
See larger
60 amp Subpanel / with 240Volt  and 120Volt
Use with both 240Volt and 120Volt breakers
1) 60-150 Amp breaker replaces any 240 breaker in main box near top of box

2) Two Hot wires connect to 60-150 Amp breaker in main breaker box. Either hot wire can connect to either hot busbar inside subpanel.

3) Neutral connects to Neutral busbar so subpanel can power 120 and 240 breakers.

4) Ground wire connects to Ground busbar. Ground busbar can be purchased separately.

If Subpanel located at another structure, for example  garage several hundred feet away, might be cheaper to use ground rod located outside other structure. If structure is farther than 140', then wire gauge increases from #6 to #4. Consult local electrician for correct gauge.

See wire size chart
Electrical formulas
Main lug wiring Main breaker wires are HOT when main breaker is OFF
Main breaker wires are HOT when main breaker is OFF unless meter is pulled
How to pull meter
Install subpanel for Tankless electric
Larger image
150 amp subpanel/ with 240Volt and 120Volt
150 amp breaker uses #2/0 wire
Neutral wire needed only if subpanel has 120Volt breakers/ or GFCI
Ground wire required for all installations
If panel will not have 120Volt circuits, then neutral wire not needed.
Separate ground busbar not needed since ground wires can connect to neutral busbar

Subpanel shown here is for installing while-house tankless electric water heater
How to wire Tankless water heater
240 volt subpanel 240 Volt subpanel does not need Neutral wire
Neutral wire needed for 120Volt breakers, but not 240Volt
2 Hot wires arrive from breaker, and connect to Hot lugs
This will energize both hot busbars
Connect ground wire to silver busbar.

Wires going to Load connect to 240Volt breakers
When connecting ground wires to ground busbar, keep wires along edge of box.

Wires cannot be put over the top of breakers or busbars
Wires cannot lay over the breakers or busbars.
Wires can lay over top of other wires, but not at point where wires connect to busbars.
Lay all wires to sides of box
240Volt GFCI Neutral wire needed in 240Volt subpanel when installing 2-pole GFCI breaker
240V GFCI has white wire. This wire must be connected to neutral busbar
Wires going to Load connect to breaker in usual way, except there are 3 connection screws on 240 Volt GFCI
Connect neutral going to Load to center screw on breaker... if Load has neutral wire available
Connect Hot leads going to Load to other two screws on breaker (either wire to either screw)
General rule/ Load neutral not required: The Load Neutral does not have to be connected to center pole on breaker.
Buy from my affiliate links:
Single pole GFCI at Amazon
GFCI breakers at Amazon
Double pole GFCI/ choose 15 to 60 amp/ at Amazon

How to wire GFCI
120 volt main lug subpanel 120Volt subpanel illustration/ ... install jumper over top of neutral busbar
1 Hot wire arrives from breaker
Add jumper wire between Hot lugs
This will energize both hot busbars so each breaker slot will work.

Ground bar must be installed so Neutrals and grounds are separate

Terminal ground bar at Amazon
Ground bar with attachment screws
How to change 120 volt subpanel into 240 volt subpanel
main lug with GFCI
Larger image
120Volt subpanel with GFCI breaker 
Neutral wire required for GFCI breaker
Neutral wire required for GFCI outlet
Do not put 2 GFCI on same circuit

Single pole GFCI/ choose 15 to 30 amp/ at Amazon

How to wire GFCI

Terminal ground bar Install separate ground bar
Main lugs and subpanel etc often do not have separate ground bar.
Good electric practice requires separate busbars for ground wires and neutral wires.
Install ground bar
If subpanel is 240volt then separate ground busbar not needed. And ground wires can attach to busbar where neutral wires attach
Terminal ground bar at Amazon
Ground bar with attachment screws
Ground bars at Amazon
Do not bond (connect) Neutral and ground together inside main lug, or subpanel. Why?
Answer: Resistance on the ground wire.
The purpose of the ground wire is to offer a continuous resistance-free route for electricity to reach ground (earth).
Inside main breaker box, the Neutral and ground are bonded together because the ground busbar is directly connected to the ground rod.
If you bond the ground and Neutral together inside a subpanel, it would be same as connecting the ground wire and Neutral wire at each light fixture or using ground wire for the Neutral. It would function of course, but add resistance to the ground. It would increase risk of fire and electrocution in event of a short.

Grid transformers that supply power to each home have a neutral that is connected to ground. Every pole in the grid has a neutral that is connected to ground. Every main breaker box should have a neutral bonded to ground busbar that is connected to ground rod. Some older main breaker boxes use same busbar for both Neutral and ground, but codes have changed to help avoid hazards.
So whenever there is a ground rod nearby, the neutral and ground are connected together.
This mean if your subpanel is located outside or in a separate building where local codes require the box to be bonded to ground wire that is connected to ground rod, then you can bond the ground and Neutral busbars together.
So proximity of the ground rod is the guideline for bonding neutral and ground.

Larger image

Put electric meter on Subpanel

New and used electric meters
How to install electric meter on water heater
How to get electric service
Wires connect to subpanel
Larger image  
Square D 60 amp/ 6-space/ Subpanel with 6 gauge wire
Replace any 240V breaker with new breaker
Or remove two 120V breakers to make room for new breaker.

Normally, each 240V breaker serves 1 appliance.
For example stove has 240V breaker. Water heater has separate 240V breaker. Air conditioner another 240V breaker.
240V appliances cannot be 'doubled-up' on a single 240 breaker. Each needs separate breaker.
If there are no extra slots in breaker box, add a Tandem breaker. Also you can double-up two lightly used 120Volt circuits.

Terminal ground bar at Amazon
Main lugs (subpanels) at Amazon

How to replace circuit breaker
wire size chart Wire size chart for distances up to 50 feet

See rating chart with more sizes
Rating chart with temperature, long length

Select correct breaker and wire size
Wire diameter, weight, resistance

Wire color
Black-black or Red-black is preferred for Hot wires

White wire should be used for neutral wire only.
If white wire carries power, then wrap black tape around wire to indicate that it carries voltage, and is not a neutral wire.

Green or bare copper for ground.
Green or bare copper for ground can never be used to carry voltage

Load center subpanel Choosing subpanel /or main lug
Amp rating of panel
Number of breaker spaces
With Door / No door
Weathertight or indoor (example shows indoor panel)

Availability of breakers:
Square D uses Square D breakers, etc
Siemens uses Siemens breakers

Main lugs at Amazon
Siemens 125 amp/ 8 space at Amazon
Siemens 125 amp/ 12 space at Amazon
100 amp 6-8 space/ indoor and outdoor
125 amp 8-12 space/ indoor and outdoor

Terminal ground bar at Amazon
Copper ground rod
Ground rod clamp
See larger Example subpanel with 6 breaker slots

See larger
Subpanel with 6 slots.
This panel accommodates three 240Volt breakers
-or- six 120Volt breakers

See amp - wire rating chart
Color-code for household wires

Subpanels available with or without timer(s)
4-8 spaces to mount circuit breakers
2-5 spaces to mount switches and GFCI outlets
Outdoor Subpanels with timers
Can be used for any subpanel purpose located outdoor
Subpanels available with or without timer(s)

Control centers and parts

Digital control centers and I-wave

Freeze control centers and parts
Intermatic control center wiring
            120Volt                 240Volt              120-240Volt    
How to wire Intermatic control center breaker busbar
124t2530a breaker base
Larger image
4 or 8 space breaker busbar
Can be used for any subpanel

Intermatic breaker bases:
124TP2608A 4 breaker spaces
124T2530A 8 breaker spaces at Amazon
Service disconnect

Buy disconnect from my affiliate links:
200 amp Circuit Breaker Enclosures
60-100-200 Amp outdoor service disconnect at Amazon
200 amp outdoor breaker enclosure
60 amp indoor flush mount breaker enclosure

Meter box to install meter
Once meter box is installed, the electric company installs their meter.
Or if you are installing a meter for rental property attached through your house voltage, you can install your own meter

Ground busbars at Amazon
Copper ground rod
Ground rod clamp
Ground rod driver

Bond solar panel to ground wire that is connected to ground rod
Bond outdoor panels to ground rod
All phone, satellite, pool equipment, solar systems and electric panels must be grounded. Check local electric codes.
What does this mean? Bonding is the connection of metal to a ground wire that is in turn connected to a ground rod driven into the earth to a depth that meets local codes for grounding. Drive ground rod 8-10 feet into soil as per local code. Bond #6-8 bare copper wire to ground rod and to solar panels and pipes on roof.
Do NOT ground electric system to water pipes. Ground must be connected to ground rod. Stray current corrosion can cause pipes to deteriorate. Uncertain bond to ground because of plastic pipes.

Subpanels installed outdoors or in distant buildings should have a separate ground rod ... local codes vary. For example, outdoor pool equipment should have a separate ground rod. Satellite dish or antenna should have ground rod.
All ground rods should be wired together if possible to give best protection from lightning and power surge.
Ground rod and clamps at Amazon
Bonding lugs

Why you need ground
Ground loop
safety switch Safety switch
Install safety switch next to any electric appliance
HVAC requires safety switch or pull-out so service technician knows power is OFF
Tankless electric requires safety switch when breaker box is not in clear sight line
Machine tools generally require safety switch.
Use fused or non-fused safety switches.
Having two fuses, or fuse and breaker, or 2 breakers on same line is not a problem... as shown in illustrations above for wiring subpanels
Note: having 2 GFCI on same line will cause GFCI to trip

Safety switch

How to wire safety switch

How to save hot water with mixing valve/ applies to any tank-type water heater
Pro and con with mixing valve
9-ways to save with water heater
Electric box knock out
Larger image
Installation illustrations

Buy tapered drill/ step drill bit for any size hole
Step drill bits at Amazon
Neiko tapered drill bit 1/4"-1-3/8 holes

tapered drill bit
linesman pliers

front cutting pliers
Utility knife
Electric tools

Linesman pliers

Wire strippers at Amazon

Crescent-brand end cutting nipper at Amazon
End cutting nippers at Amazon

Utility knife at Amazon<

Photo shows typical residential breaker-types
Example circuit breakers
Tandem circuit breakers give 2 separate circuits for 1 slot
Tandem is for two-120Volt circuits because it pulls power from one of the how busbars. Tandem is not for 240V.
Best practice: Use tandem breaker for two circuits that do not pull high amperage. For example, choose hallway lights and a bedroom for the two circuits, but not higher amp loads like dedicated microwave circuit and a 1/2+ Hp attic fan.

Single-pole 20 amp breakers
Double-pole 208-240Volt breakers

Buy single-pole:
Siemens 15-60 amp
single-pole tandem breaker

Buy double-pole:
Siemens 15-60 amp
Circuit breaker
Push-down type breaker
Attach wires very tight
Only copper wire under screw
No wire insulation under screw

Double-pole breakers
Double-pole 208-240Volt breakers must have connected switches so both legs are turned on-off at same time.
It is not code to use two separate single-pole breakers for 208-240 volt circuits
Push-down breaker
Notch on breaker sits against rail or cleat
Rotate breaker down to busbar
Push breaker down over vertical busbar

BR type 1" wide breakers are usually used for residential applications
Available local box store
Buy circuit breakers:
Siemens circuit breakers at Amazon
Siemens single-pole 15-60 amp
Single-pole tandem breaker
Siemens two-pole 15-125 amp

Larger image

Hook on breaker
Either hooks or snaps over round rod
Rotate breaker down to busbar
Snap breaker down over bar

Instructions for replacing circuit breaker
: Turn off electricity > > remove wire from breaker > pull old breaker off busbar > grab switch and rock breaker back-forth > if needed, use screwdriver between breakers to gently pry up breaker > rotate out > remove other end of breaker off cleat or bar or metal rod > buy matching brand breaker > check busbar for damage > install new breaker onto cleat or bar > rotate breaker down to busbar > push new breaker firmly onto busbar > re-attach wire > tighten screw very tight against copper wire

How to replace circuit breaker

 Review basic 120Volt and 240Volt
Ordinary Main panel for home has 120 volt and 240 volt circuits.
This is called single-phase electric power. Phasing is determined by the power company.

Each 120 volt circuit can include up to 12 outlets, and supply power to lights inside a room.
- Generally each 120 volt circuit sends power to one area of home. The Hot and neutral and ground wires leave breaker box and travel to first junction box inside a room. From junction box, the wires split off and travel to each individual box, jumping from box to box until the final box is reached. So each box will have 1 black hot wire, 1 white neutral wire, and 1 ground wire that connect back to main breaker box.
- Some circuit breakers are dedicated to 1 specific appliance. For example the kitchen microwave is usually wired to 1 circuit breaker and no other outlets or lights are connected to that breaker. This is because microwave draws so much amperage. That is called dedicated circuit, and dedicated breaker.

Each 240 volt circuit is usually dedicated to one appliance. For example electric water heater is connected to 1 240 volt breaker. The electric dryer is connected to another 240 volt breaker. The heat/AC is connected to another 240 volt circuit breaker, and so on.

See inside main breaker box
How to replace circuit breaker
Basic water heater circuit
Figure volts amps watts for electric water heater
Additional links
Electricity leaves power plant What is 3-phase electric: power plant to end user
Basic house wiring

Cutler Hammer C25BUB230A

How to twist wire
Compare box timers
Compare box timers

How to wire Dayton OFF-delay timer
3-phase timer
3-phase timer

Troubleshoot electric water heater

Leaking water heater

How to wire Cooper 277

Electricity from pole to breaker box

How to wire off-peak water heater

Troubleshoot electric water heater
Compare all water heater timers
color code household wire
How to wire 240Volt outlets

Low hot water pressure
Raise TP lever
How to test and replace TP valve
Gas and electric water heaters Support the economy:
Buy water heaters from my associate links:

50 gallon Gas water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon gas water heaters at Amazon
50 gallon Electric water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon electric water heaters at Amazon
Hybrid / heat pump/ water heaters at Amazon

How to install gas water heater
How to install electric water heater
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater
Point of use water heaters
Troubleshoot Gas valves with manuals
Icon gas valve

How to replace water heater element Waste King disposal
How to wire tankless electric

Install point of use water heater
Titan tankless

Contactors/ relays
Install and troubleshoot garbage disposal Waste King disposal
Programmable timers

Woods timers
surge protection
Anode rods anode rods
Recirculation system

Tankless recirculation
Point of use water heater
Type 1 and type 2 surge protection surge protection
Industrial electric

Industrial supplies

Tools and home improvement

Home and garden

Hayward pool
Pentair pool

Southwire electric

Black and Decker

Irwin Hand tools
Klein hand tools
Fluke electrical testing
Dremel hobby tools

Campbell Hausfeld air powered
Tekton automotive

Powerbuilt automotive
Saws and saw blades
box timers Resource:
Compare box timers
DPDT timers
Control water heater w/ Z-wave
Intermatic control centers Resource:
Intermatic control centers: and parts
Digital control centers and parts
Tork control centers and parts
All control centers and parts
programmable timer Resource:
Programmable timers
Countdown timers
Off delay timers
On delay timers
Timer modules
Din rail
Twin & one-shot
Low voltage power packs Recirculation systems
Enter Amazon from my links

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