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How to Plan Electrical Circuits for the Home

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Factors that Help Determine Electrical Load of an Electrical Panel: Electrical Circuits for an Electrical Panel, The Total Connected Electrical Load, Specific Dedicated Circuits for Electric Appliances and Equipment.

Sizing a Sub Panel for Electric Circuits

Electrical Question: I have a 100 amp sub panel fed from a 200 amp panel.

  • This is a new house and the sub panel will have the following load:
    • Electric Dryer 2 pole 240 volt 30 amp, water heater 2 pole 240 volt 30 amp, heat pump and air handler, one is 2 pole 240 volt 30 ampĀ  and the other is 2 pole 240 volt 50 amp, the condenser outside is 2 pole 240 volt 40 amp.
    • There is also a washing machine, deep freeze, fridge and a small amount of lighting all on 1 pole 120 volt 20 amp circuit breakers respectively.
    • The remaining load on the house which is the kitchen, living, bedrooms, baths are out of the 200 amp panel.I’m kinda worried that my sub panel may be a little close in max load.

What do you guys think?

This electrical question came from: Scott, from Graham, Texas.

Dave the Electrician’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Scott.

Electrical Circuits for an Electrical Panel

  • NOTE: This question begins with the fact that a sub panel has already been sized and installed, and now there is a valid concern about the panel becoming overloaded, and I totally agree that this will be the case.

Factors that Help Determine Electrical Load of an Electrical Panel

  • The Total Connected Load of the Electric Panel
    • When planning out the electrical circuits and panels sizes it is good to try to save on long lengths of wire, however the whole project must be considered to make sure the loads are well supported to prevent and overloaded panel, and sometimes this may require either installing a larger sub panel or feeding the larger equipment from the main panel.
  • Specific Dedicated Circuits for Electric Appliances and Equipment
    • If the home is large then it is a good idea to install a sub panel near the kitchen because of the number of dedicated circuits, and the bathroom, bedroom circuit as well as some of the lighting circuits may be located in the panel too when the number of circuits and amperage will allow. However the larger equipment circuits are best fed from the main panel, such as the HVAC equipment.

Basic House Wiring Circuits

  • House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers

  • Discover the most common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.

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Heat Pump Circuit


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