my old sub panel has 3 single strand 4awg which is ran to my meter loop on a 50amp breaker. Someone had cut a leg on both ends so now I can only get 120. Its only a 4 space sub. When I tried to add a third breaker for some reason it wouldn't work. also how do I wire in the new wires in the new sub box from the main?

  • 1
    I take it you're wanting to run the replacement wiring underground? Feb 23, 2020 at 2:12
  • Why not pigtail the wire at both ends?
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 23, 2020 at 4:49
  • We'd need to see a photo of the inside of the subpanel. Why so small? Feb 23, 2020 at 5:46

1 Answer 1


Yes #6 wire would be fine on a 50 amp breaker. Today’s code requires 4 wire and you will need a grounding electrode at the the shop. I would verify that the original #4 is not serviceable prior to spending the $ on a new UF cable or putting in conduit and wires, over the years I have found several feeders like yours that were cut because the owner was afraid of 220/240v. Most don’t realize the voltage to ground is only 120v there is only 220/240 between the 2 hot’s. I had a friend do the same because he did not understand and realized his welder would not work and asked me to fix it, prior to that I wondered why someone would do this (I have seen it about 5 times) where there was no damage to the feeder.

  • I already bought the #6/3 but when I get my new sub box in the mail, I'm going to move the box closer and I might be able to use all 4 #4 about 2 inches were cut off of each end. The breaker busses are so loose in this old box I can't get a tight contact when I set the breaker. I can understand why you would need 4 wires this sub box has only 1 ground buss bar, my new one will have a neutral bar also. And thx Ed for your answer
    – ron long
    Feb 23, 2020 at 15:55
  • Sorry to say I made a lot of $$ because people were afraid of 2 -120 Volt lines.+
    – JACK
    Feb 23, 2020 at 17:11

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