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Thread: 6 AWG to 100 amp subpanel?

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member seattle_steve's Avatar
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    Default 6 AWG to 100 amp subpanel?

    I'm installing a sub-panel for a new addition. My load calc suggests a 50amp load for the sub-panel. So, I'm planning a 50amp feeder breaker in the main panel with #6 feeder wire to the sub-panel. But, the local retail stores don't carry (Siemens) panels smaller than 100amp. I checked with the local inspector (Seattle) and he said that it's common practice to feed a larger sub-panel (e.g., 100amp) from a smaller main feeder breaker/wire (e.g. 50amp, #6 wire).

    The problem is that the 100amp main breaker in the sub-panel I bought lists a wire gauge range of "4 - 3/0". I assume this means I cannot connect #6 wire to it? I don't want to size up the feeder wire/breaker, so what are my options? Are there 100amp sub-panels that will accept smaller wire? BTW, the inspector mentioned that I might run into this issue, but I didn't really follow his recommended solution. Best I could tell, he was suggesting shimming the wire somehow at the 100amp breaker/connecter. That doesn't seem right to me... Is there some sort of adapter available for this situation?

    Thanks.

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    DIY Senior Member Chad Schloss's Avatar
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    i just wired the same panel in my garage with 6/3 using the 100a siemens panel. worked for me.
    Last edited by Chad Schloss; 11-13-2011 at 11:56 AM.

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    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    I just wired the same panel in my garage with 6/3 using the 100a siemens panel. worked for me.
    Just because it works does not make it ok or a code compliant installation.

    You should splice a short piece of #4 onto the #6 and terminate the #4 on the breaker lugs.

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    DIY Junior Member seattle_steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    You should splice a short piece of #4 onto the #6 and terminate the #4 on the breaker lugs.
    Thanks Jim. By "splice" do you mean simply twist-with-wire-nut as you would with smaller gauge splices?

    Steve

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I think you need a panel without a main and infeed thru a 50 amp breaker.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    I think you need a panel without a main and infeed thru a 50 amp breaker.
    That would be good, but as long as the wire feeding the subpanel is protected to the size of the wire, it doesn't really matter.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seattle_steve View Post
    Thanks Jim. By "splice" do you mean simply twist-with-wire-nut as you would with smaller gauge splices? Steve
    Use a split bolt or a Polaris


    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    I think you need a panel without a main and infeed thru a 50 amp breaker.
    That would be backfed and that is what is being done with the 100 amp breaker
    What Jim said

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