Although there is no limit to how many subpanels you can add to a circuit, you shouldn’t go over 160 amps when using a 200 amp main panel. To efficiently set up subpanels, always follow this guide.
How Many Sub Panels Can You Have on a 200 Amp Service
A subpanel is a basic service panel that distributes power to specific areas or residences within a structure. It’s a circuit breaker panel that also serves as a secondary circuit breaker. If you wish to install a subpanel in your home, you must first determine the exact quantity you require.
Everything will work as it should without overloading the subpanel this way. Take, for example, the main panel with 200 amps. If the total electrical demand is less than 160 amps, you can add as many subpanels as you require.
The electrical service may become overwhelmed if all of the circuitry was turned on at the same time. However, it is unlikely that all of the combined circuitry would be active at any given time.
Connection of a Subpanel
There will be four to twelve breaker positions in the subpanel. A 240V circuit breaker is provided from the main panel. The primary panel is referred to as the feeder breaker in this scenario. A feeder cable links a subpanel to the main panel during installation.
The feeder cable is made up of three wires. It comprises three insulated conductors and a copper ground wire. Two hot wires from the feeder cable must be connected to the lug on the hot bus bar in the subpanel. The neutral wire should be connected to a neutral bus bar. The copper grounding wire is then connected to the grounding bus bar.
The hot feeder wires are linked to the main panel’s 240V circuit breaker. The feeder cable connects the ground and neutral wires to the bus bars. The feeder breaker is then snapped into the open double slot within the main panel. The subpanel is now ready to receive additional circuits.
The Capacity of a Subpanel
Once a subpanel is installed, you may address two capacity issues. That is the amperage capacity of the subpanel must be appropriate for the circuit and region it will serve and because of the increased demand caused by the subpanels, the main service should be suitably scaled to supply the required power.
How to Determine Subpanel Loads
To establish the safe gross load on a subpanel, you must perform several computations. The overall load on the subpanel is represented by the circuit load. You’ll also need to know the subpanel’s coverage area as well as the appliances it serves. The steps of how to determine the loads for a subpanel are given below.
Step 1: Determine the Coverage Area of the Subpanel
To determine the coverage area of the subpanel, first, determine the square footage of each room. Multiplying the width and length yields the square footage. The square footage for each room can then be added together. Finally, use the following formula:
Total square footage x 3 watts = circuit load for basic lighting and receptacles
Step 2: Determine the Wattage of the Appliance
You’ll need the wattage of the appliance for this. After adding up the wattages of all the appliances, multiply by 0.75 for at least four. The largest load can be added to the total. The extra power is designed to compensate for the greater demand that large motors generate when they first startup.
Step 3: Calculate the Wattage of the Subpanel
Now is the time to determine the wattage of the subpanel. You use the following formula:
Adjusted load Equals total wattage (square footage plus appliance calculations) times 1.25.
The safety adjustment required by the National Electrical Code is represented by the adjusted load. On the feeder circuit, it acts as a voltage drop buffer.
Warning Signs of Overload
Some signs will help you to understand the condition of a subpanel circuit. Some of the most prominent ones are frequently tripped circuit breakers, dimming, blinking, or flickering lights, discolored or heated wall plates, regularly blown out fuses, electrical shocks, a burning odor emanating from wall switches or receptacles, and so on.
You’ll have to disconnect some subpanels if any of the above problems occur. When a circuit is overloaded, all of the appliances connected to it are at risk of being damaged.
For 200 Amp Service
Single-pole breakers have 40 to 42 slots on most 200-amp breaker panels, while double-pole breakers have 20 slots. Just because a 200 amp panel contains a lot of circuit breaker slots doesn’t imply you can use them all.
Your circuit breaker number is still determined by the amount of load you require and should not exceed the maximum amps for a 200 amp service. A 200-amp panel should never handle more than 160 amps at a time.
It’s crucial to remember that since individuals don’t utilize all circuits at the same time, they can have 300 or even 400 amps of breakers in a 200A panel. The number of circuit breakers you require is also determined by the electrical demands in your home. You must also know how much current capacity each breaker for each circuit must-have.
If you don’t have enough area to add more circuits to the main panel, adding sub panels to it can help you achieve a variety of different effects. While there is no limit to the number of sub panels that can be connected to a single circuit, the total amperage should not exceed 160 amps if the main panel is 200 amps as mentioned.