Location of Breaker Panel

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Forum topic by AtlasRook posted 02-27-2017 06:25 PM 638 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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25 posts in 1574 days

02-27-2017 06:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question shop breaker

Working on putting the workshop together at the new house, the 3rd stall of the garage.

Background: Currently, there is only 1 circuit for the outlets in the garage. However the main breaker panel is right there in the garage also, so it wouldn’t be that hard to run some new circuits.

Question: should I, instead of just running a few new circuits, but a sub-panel in the garage and wire to that? Then all of the big tools are separated from the rest of the house (not sure if that’s a big plus or not). It would also, ideally, allow me to add more circuits as necessarily when needed (ie – when I want to add a 220 line for some bigger tool I don’t own yet).

6 replies so far

View DanK's profile


25 posts in 2719 days

#1 posted 02-27-2017 06:44 PM

A sub panel would let you power down the entire shop area preventing unauthorized users. Another thing to consider is do you have enough room amperage wise in your main panel? Might benefit more from upsizing the main than adding a sub.

View them700project's profile


115 posts in 1070 days

#2 posted 02-27-2017 09:27 PM

I would go with a sub panel if you are limited in space in the main panel and have the amperage you need for the shop. If you do not have 150 amps or more I would upsize to a 200 amp panel with plenty of room in it. Depending on what you run in the garage I would suggest sizing subpanel for Dust collector, lights/radio/battery chargers, table saw and compressor all running simultaneously

View klassenl's profile


185 posts in 2711 days

#3 posted 02-28-2017 03:21 AM

.... If you do not have 150 amps or more I would upsize to a 200 amp panel…

Don’t worry about upgrading your house panel. It will be fine. My shop/garage runs on 30 amps no problem. I also do not weld.

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

View Redoak49's profile


3330 posts in 2040 days

#4 posted 02-28-2017 12:09 PM

How much room do you have in your main panel? If you have lots of room, then no need for sub panel.

As mentioned, a sub panel is nice. I would run all my shop circuits on a sub panel and lights from the main panel.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5013 posts in 2545 days

#5 posted 02-28-2017 02:37 PM

Pretty much what’s already been said. If you have room in the existing panel, you can use it. But there are some advantages to having a separate sub panel for this.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View rwe2156's profile


2997 posts in 1533 days

#6 posted 02-28-2017 03:24 PM

A sub panel would let you power down the entire shop area preventing unauthorized users.
- DanK
This is an excellent point if there are children around!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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