1. Home

Discuss in my forum

What are Sub-panels?

Electrical Panels and Distribution

By

What are Sub-panels Used for?

Sub-panels are electrical panels, of a smaller size than the main service, that are used to extend a feed for multiple branch circuits to another area or building a great distance away from the main panel. A garage, out building, or room addition might be a place to put a sub-panel. The idea is to run a single set of feeder wires from the main panel, via a two-pole breaker, and extend them out to a sub-panel, which will feed multiple branch circuits in that area of your house, garage, or out building. From there, the sub panel connects to outlets, lighting and other loads via individual circuit breakers, just like your main panel in your home supplies.

Why Use a Sub-panel?

You see, it would become quite costly to run each and every circuit that you need from one end of the house to the other and then into a garage. By placing a sub-panel in the area where a majority of the wiring exists, you’ll cut down on the overall expense of the project, and when a breaker trips, you won’t have to walk all the way to the other side of the world to reset it.

How Are Sub-panels Connected?

Sub-panels require two hot wires connected to a double-pole breaker in your main panel. It also will need a neutral and ground wire extended to the sub-panel. Although you bond the neutral to the main panel, the sub-panel is not bonded with the green bonding screw.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.