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Posted: 4/17/2016 6:01:21 PM EDT
I have a breaker box in my detached garage with 2 breakers. The left breaker powers the garage door, 2 light fixtures, and 2 outlets. The right breaker doesn't control anything that I know of as everything stays powered up when it's off. I want to add a power strip to each of my 2 work benches and protect them using the right breaker. Can anyone tell me which wire goes where in order to get power from the right breaker? The bottom wire is the incoming and top is outgoing.



Link Posted: 4/17/2016 6:58:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/17/2016 9:29:49 PM EDT by ss2nv]
Originally Posted By tn_popo:
I have a breaker box in my detached garage with 2 breakers. The left breaker powers the garage door, 2 light fixtures, and 2 outlets. The right breaker doesn't control anything that I know of as everything stays powered up when it's off. I want to add a power strip to each of my 2 work benches and protect them using the right breaker. Can anyone tell me which wire goes where in order to get power from the right breaker? The bottom wire is the incoming and top is outgoing.

<a href="http://s17.photobucket.com/user/BPike309/media/IMG_20160411_160522863_zpszritpecv.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b84/BPike309/IMG_20160411_160522863_zpszritpecv.jpg</a>

<a href="http://s17.photobucket.com/user/BPike309/media/IMG_20160411_160529274%202632146_zpsrn2d4env.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b84/BPike309/IMG_20160411_160529274%202632146_zpsrn2d4env.jpg</a>
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You will need to pull a 12 / 2 Romex (the yellow kind) from that breaker box to wherever you will want your outlets.  Be sure and use a "Romex Connector" where the new Romex enters the sub-panel.  The Romex will have one black, one white, and one bare copper conductor.  The black (hot wire) goes under the screw terminal on the bottom of the right breaker, the white (neutral wire) goes under the screw terminal on the bottom right with nothing under it (the one on the far right, not the breaker), and the bare (ground) wire goes where the other grounds are terminated.  Most importantly:  find the circuit breaker in your main panel in your house that feeds out to this sub-panel and turn it off.  Go buy a cheap voltage meter and check the tops of the breakers to make sure power is off before touching anything.  Also, it should be obvious to get the other end of this new wire terminated to your new outlets and all buttoned up before terminating to the sub-panel breaker.  If there is any doubt about doing any of this, call an electrician.

Edit:  My advice is solely for educational use.  If you are not a licensed electrician, then consult one.
Link Posted: 4/17/2016 9:09:40 PM EDT
Thanks ss2nv, I've already got the 12/2 Romex cable and connector. I'm not an electrician by any stretch of the imagination but I've installed outlets, switches, light fixtures, and ceiling fans many times with no issues.  I've just never wired into a breaker before.
Link Posted: 4/17/2016 9:21:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/17/2016 9:30:17 PM EDT by ss2nv]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tn_popo:
Thanks ss2nv, I've already got the 12/2 Romex cable and connector. I'm not an electrician by any stretch of the imagination but I've installed outlets, switches, light fixtures, and ceiling fans many times with no issues.  I've just never wired into a breaker before.
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Make sure that the bottom right screw terminal is the same as the top one.  What I mean is that the whole right bar is one big connection.  Neutral goes to ground.  

Edit:  My advice is solely for educational use.  If you are not a licensed electrician, then consult one.
Link Posted: 4/17/2016 11:48:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/18/2016 12:05:32 AM EDT by Lion]
On a different note, I assume this is a sub-panel connected to your main panel?  Looks like that green screw is a bonding screw bonding neutral to ground at this panel.  Unless this is the main panel neutral should be floating in the box.





Edit:




I keep thinking about this.  The more I look at the pic, either the panel is missing a ground bar OR that neutral bar is actually ground and neutral with the two two screws not being connected to the bottom two screws (unless that green screw is in place).  If that the case then the netural from service goes into one of those big lugs, and the ground from service goes into the other.  The neutral from each of the two circuites goes on the neutral side and the grounds go on the other and the green screw is removed.  Again, this is only is this is a sub panel off a main panel.  

 
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 12:24:05 AM EDT
yeah it appears to be an improperly bonded sub panel.

Should have a ground bar, though I don't see a place to mount it.

Does have an 4th large gauge screw, cant tell if that is connected to the neutral or what
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 8:24:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/18/2016 8:27:10 AM EDT by rjbergen]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Orion_Shall_Rise:
yeah it appears to be an improperly bonded sub panel.

Should have a ground bar, though I don't see a place to mount it.

Does have an 4th large gauge screw, cant tell if that is connected to the neutral or what
View Quote

Yup. If that's truly a sub panel off of your main panel, then it's incorrect as is and must be fixed before adding your new outlets.

On sub panels, the neutral and ground must be on separate bus bars. Maybe I just can't see that the bars are separated, but it appears the bus bar with 4 screws is one solid piece and contains both neutrals and grounds.

ETA: Looking at the first picture again, it is what I thought it was. It's incorrect for a sub panel. It's fine as a main panel, but I'm 99.999% sure that's going to be a sub panel.

Can you get us a make and model number for that box? It doesn't appear to have anywhere to install a ground bus bar, so hopefully there's a way to separate the only bus bar in there.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 3:34:01 PM EDT
It is a sub panel powering only the detached garage.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 5:25:19 PM EDT
It could have been put in before 4 wire sub panels were required either way its not hard to make it a 4 wire now. All the OP need to do is go to Lowes or any electrical supply and buy a universal ground bar and screw it to the case of the panel remove the bonding screw and move all the ground wires to the new bar and leave the neutrals where they are. If the OP where to read the label inside the panel it should tell him the part number for the ground bar kit for that unit.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 10:00:34 PM EDT
Make sure the breaker is off before you hit the screw with your screw driver
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 6:24:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 8:08:56 PM EDT by jacassc]
Setting it up as a sub-panel will now require 2 ground rods and a #6 GEC.(minimum size ran unprotected)

Make it a simple MWBC (Multi Wire Branch Circuit) by leaving the equipment grounding conductors landed on the terminal busbar with the green grounding screw bonding the busbar to the can. Remove and wirenut together the 3 neutral conductors (1ea- mwbc neutral, 1ea-existing branch ckt neutral, 1ea-future power strip neutral).

The 2 circuit breakers will serve as the NEC required disconnect for an outbuilding. FWIW....use of the required double pole or circuit breaker handle ties on a MWBC @ your main service entrance panel is your call.




Link Posted: 4/20/2016 12:01:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2016 12:24:48 AM EDT by Powderfinger]
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