Shed owners often consider opting for a source of power when they want to use electric appliances in their sheds.
These appliances consume high/low amounts of power as their composition differs. Now, can a 30 amps sub panel do the job?
You can use a 30 amps sub-panel for your shed as it supplies enough electricity to light up the bulbs. Also, it allows you to use any electric appliances at your convenience.
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How Many Amps Does a Shed Sub Panel Need?
A shed sub panel needs 60 amps and 240 volts to supply adequate electricity to the bulbs and other electric appliances.
Your sub panel often serves as a means of transferring power from the main circuit breaker panel to its target location.
The shed sub panel can handle up to 90 amps and 240 volts. However, you must calculate the number of watts it contains.
The reason for this is pretty simple! Knowing your sub panel’s wattage lets you control the power your electric appliances will consume. To do this, multiply the number of amps and the number of volts.
Suppose your shed sub-panel runs 30 amps and 120 volts. You have 30 amps×120 volts, which will give you 3,600 watts.
Hence, the appliances you want to use in your shed must not exceed 3,600 watts.
Since your sub-panel feeds on power directly from the main circuit breaker panel, you shouldn’t exceed its amperage.
Let me break it down into bits! If your main circuit breaker panel uses 200A, your sub panel must use 160A.
The reason is that the number of amperage from the main circuit breaker must exceed the sub-panel to avoid disastrous outcomes.
Furthermore, the sub-panel is another way of reducing the main circuit breaker panel’s load as it’s the power supply’s heart.
For instance, the load increases if your main circuit breaker panel handles an adequate power supply to all your appliances.
And this adversely affects the lifespan of your main circuit breaker as many appliances consume different amounts of electricity which might be too much for your main circuit breaker to handle.
So when half of the power moves to your sub-panel, the load reduces and limits the number of appliances it can handle.
Nonetheless, your sub-panel can handle less than 90 amps, depending on how you want to utilize it to serve your purpose.
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Wiring a 30 Amp Sub Panel in a Shed
Wiring a 30 amp sub panel in a shed is no easy feat as it requires technical knowledge, utmost caution, and high-quality tools.
Wiring is extremely crucial as it is a means of connecting the main circuit breaker panel and the sub-panel.
To wire a 30 amp sub panel, you must use a 10-gauge, three-conductor cable. The cable for this wiring usually contains two hot wires, which are red and black.
Also, it contains a white neutral wire and a bare ground wire which may appear green.
The hot wires(red and black) are in charge of transmitting electricity from the main circuit breaker to the sub-panel.
Meanwhile, the neutral and ground wires don’t transmit electricity but ensure your safety when handling the cable.
Locate the lugs on the bus bars for each wire to wire your 30 amp sub panel in your shed. The hot wires(red and black) move to the hot buses, usually brass.
On the other hand, the white neutral wire moves to the chrome neutral bus. Lastly, the ground wire moves to the ground bus.
You must use two adjacent slots inside the main panel to establish a 30 amp double pole breaker.
Afterward, attach the red wire to one of the breakers, connect the black wire to another, and tighten the breakers.
Furthermore, attach the white neutral wire to the neutral bus and connect the ground wire to the ground bus. Ensure to turn off your main panel before you proceed with wiring.
Remember not to touch the hot bus bars with your hands or tool, as the main panel is always full of power.
Even when you turn it off, so it’s best to exercise caution as the wiring process is dangerous.
However, it’s best to consult a professional to assist you in avoiding risking your life with little to no experience in this field.
How Can I Install a 30 Amp Sub Panel in a Shed?
Installing a 30 amp sub panel is a tedious process that requires patience, prior knowledge, and proper preparation.
Plus, you need certain materials and tools to install a 30 amp sub panel in your shed. Now, what are these materials and tools?
Let’s find out in the table below.
|Sub panel||Voltage tester|
|Breakers for new circuits||Hammer|
|Cable clamps or staples||Lineman’s pliers|
|Appropriate cables for connection||Long nose pliers|
The following are the steps you can take to install your 30 amp sub panel in your shed.
#1. Step 1
The first step is to mount your sub-panel, leaving a one-foot distance between it and the main circuit breaker panel.
Ensure to deduce the distance the wires must travel in the sub panel. Further, after drilling, slip the wires via the slug and clasp the cable.
#2. Step 2
Strategize four routes for four wires from the main circuit breaker panel. These wires include the neutral, the ground, and two hot wires.
Peel off the sheathing and clasp the cable after removing the slug. En route, the white ground and neutral wires carefully attach to their bus bars.
#3. Step 3
Measure, cut, and peel off the hot wires. Then attach these wires to a feeder breaker and tighten the breaker steadily in place.
#4. Step 4
Reel feeder wires into the sub panel, cut and peel them and attach them to the terminals.
Afterward, connect the hot wires to the bus bars for hot wires and the neutral wire to the central neutral terminal.
Meanwhile, the ground wire goes to the bus bar for ground wires.
#5. Step 5
Run the cable for new circuits through the sub panel and fasten the cable. Reel wires all around the perimeter of each circuit.
Attach the ground wire to the ground bus bar. From here, the hot wires go to the circuit breaker, while neutral and ground wires go to their respective busbars.
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Can I Ground a 30 Amp Sub Panel in Shed?
You can ground the 30 amp sub panel in your shed as it requires a ground wire and other essential wires for electrical connection.
Now, what does it mean to ground your 30 amp sub panel? When you purchase a 10 gauge three connector cable, it usually contains four wires.
These wires fall into two categories; that is grounded and ungrounded wires. The grounded wires consist of neutral and ground wires.
Meanwhile, the ungrounded wires consist of red and black hot wires. The grounded wires procure a low resistance route for current to travel to the transformer in case of a ground fault.
Grounding your 30 amp sub panel prevents ground wires from carrying returning neutral current during normal function.
30 amp sub panel is one of the best options for your shed as it supplies adequate power to meet your needs.
Furthermore, it’s best to seek the expertise of a professional to assist you in wiring and installing the sub-panel in your shed.