I'm wanting to run a 30 amp 240v to my garage. Probably 30 ft to the attic from the breaker in the kitchen (1st floor),. 35 ft across the attic (which is above the second floor) and around 30-35 down to the garage (below the kitchen level). Unfortunately the garage is finished and located at ground level.

My breaker box is full so I either need to get a 100 amp panel with 32 slots (current is 24) or run a 50/60amp sub panel in the upstairs guest bedroom and change the dryer breaker from 30 to 50 or 60amps and run a low gauge (Probably 6/3 or 4/3) wire that will support 50 or 60 amps back to the panel in the kitchen.

Ideally I’m looking to put in a NEMA 14-30 connection or a NEMA 6-20 preferably the 14-30 unless this isnt possible

  1. Can I legally have a 60amp Breaker in a 100amp panel? One electrician told me that you shouldn't have a Breaker that is over half of you total output.

  2. If I cant put a 60amp Breaker and have to go with 50 can I still have two 30Amp breakers in the subpanel? Dryer is rated for 26amp max and the Car charger will do 24amps max so I would essentially not be able to run both at the same time (which is fine)

  3. I added the junction box to the new run from the dryer to the Sub-Panel to avoid pulling a new wire down to the dryer. Is this ok?

  4. My idea is to run the wires and essentially have a qualified electrician actually make the connection from the subpanel to the panel in the kitchen. Will electricians do this or will they only do it if they do the entire job?

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  • what is your question?
    – jsotola
    Jan 22, 2020 at 3:59
  • Ive already gone down a whole foot and I seem to not be able to drill further. Am I missing something obvious?
    – benji
    Jan 22, 2020 at 4:10
  • 1
    drilling into a post could be the problem ... the video is confusing ... difficult to visualize where the drill location is ... a diagram would help
    – jsotola
    Jan 22, 2020 at 4:15
  • I agree what is your question? On my 1930 farm house we needed an 18” inch bit to go from inside the living space to the crawl space it was at an angle , we have 4x 10 rough beams under this house. It took a 12’ bit with a 6” extension to get close then I pulled out a 3’ bit and broke through in a few seconds. That beam was under an original load bearing wall. But my son was close floor decking , toung and grove then new floating flooring on top. Old houses have true sized boards , not like today’s crap. Get a extension or a longer bit and you will make it through.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 22, 2020 at 5:17
  • 1
    You're probably drilling directly into a floor joist beneath the flooring. I would highly recommend that you discontinue drilling until you figure out how to safely do this or else you will compromise the integrity of your floor if you haven't already done so.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Jan 22, 2020 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


Don't paint yourself into a corner... again

"24 space full, 32 space will suffice"... A common theme on this forum is the size of subpanels. Having a full panel is a difficult, expensive and frustrating problem as you well know. Wouldn't it have been keen if it could have been avoided for the price of a couple latté's? Well, it is, and it can.

And this is why we bang the drum so very hard for large, large panels. If you have a full 24-space, don't even contemplate anything less than a 40. (40 is the maximum before panels start getting very pricey). If you go subpanel, I like to see 48+ spaces between the two (remember you'll lose at least 2 for the subpanel breaker), so I'd recommend another 18 or 24 in the bathroom and 12++ in the garage. Garage breakers tend to be 240V and they gobble up spaces 2 at a time.

As ThreePhaseEel says, "Go big or go home". This isn't lazy upselling, but knowledge of *just how preventable "running out of spaces" is.

Less-than-40-space panels are for builders. Your builder, in fact!

60A breakers in 100A panels are fine (#1)

Yeah, you can have a 60A breaker in a 100A panel. You can have a 100A breaker in a 100A panel (though at that point, thru lugs are just as good). Nobody cares how many panels you have or which loads are in which panel. They only care that the house has enough power provisioned to support all your loads, in the usual way that is calculated.

So the only question is whether your additional garage load will oversubscribe your 100A service. That would make this answer too broad, so I'll skip it.

You need more spaces, period. You're allowed to have them in 2 panels. Connecting both at full line current is perfectly versatile!

60 vs 50 (#2)

First, if you wire for 50A you have probably wired for 60A - because you're using either #6 copper or #4 aluminum cable. The only case where you're allowed 50A but not 60A is if you're running in conduit and you are using #8Cu/#6Al individual wires running 75 degrees C.

Nonetheless, I would just run the full 100A up to the laundry room sub; on #1Al wire (or #3Cu if your last name is Kennecott.) I recommend aluminum for feeder.

By the way, remember the working space required around a panel. You must have a box 30" wide by 36" deep by 78" high in front of your panel cleared of any stuff. (doesn't need to be centered). Hallways/walk-throughs are great places for this.

Splicing and Junction boxes in feeder. (#3)

Any splice has to be in a junction box, but it has an impact on usable wire size.

  • You can splice #8 or #6 cable in a common junction box of sufficient size (24 c.i. for #8 or 40 c.i. for #6, so a 4" square deep, or 4-11/16 square, respectively).
  • To splice #4 and up, you have to think about bending radius, and you need a pretty big box.

Having the electrician finish the job (#4)

Your intuition is correct; electricians don't like to finish somebody else's job. Further, when a novice enters a project, it is common enough for the novice to screw things up - example, the working area requirement for a subpanel. After red-flagging several problems, necessitating re-do of much of the work, the electrician will (gleefully) write up the whole project and expect you to pay it.

So there's a 2-prong strategy to using electricians well (that way).

First, do obsessive project review. Ask here about every detail and then -- you know the person who comes on here, we give feedback about a variety of factors on the project, and the person argues and self-justifies every suggestion? Be the opposite of that guy. Read postings 2-3 times and make sure you miss no detail. Ask, ask, ask. Listen, listen, listen. Do this iteratively.

Second, work in EMT conduit if able, oversize the conduit, and don't chintz out on access points. 2/3 of working in residential is physically breaching the building - pushing through deck plates, fishing to avoid disturbing too much drywall, that kinda thing. You know exactly what I mean. I really hate paying an electrician to do carpenter work.

  • 3
    I wish I could give you 10 up votes regarding panel size. The cost of larger panels comparatively is so small compared not only to smaller panels, but the entire electrical job. It's just plain penny wise and pound foolish to go with anything smaller than a 42 space main panel for a home, unless it's really tiny. Jan 23, 2020 at 0:37
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    Wow you have provided a lot of information!! Im mainly contemplating if I should just upgrade the panel or run a subpanel. Aesthetically upgrading the panel seems to make more sense but I need to see what the cost is going to be because im not comfortable with upgrading it myself. I feel like I could install a Sub Panel in the Bedroom behind the door but as you stated I may not be able to get an electrician to run the line for a DIY project. If my panel is updated im sure ill be able to visually see the routes that the wires take so running the last line shouldn't be terrible.
    – benji
    Jan 23, 2020 at 19:06

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