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I have a sub panel that was from when the previous owners had a hot tub.

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I'm currently needing a 30 amp circuit for a mini split system and was wondering if I could just swap this 50 amp breaker and then run my 10/2 ** ( correction 10 gauge wire) ** in place of the 6 gauge wire that's currently in place?

I know I could run a sub panel from this panel or replace this with a small panel and have the advantage of expanding things in the future. However I can't see any scenario where I would ever need that.

** Update For Clarification ** The conduit and 6 gauge wire that was feeding the hot tub would remain in place just be capped and disconnected in the box. I would punch a new hole and run the new conduit and 10 gauge wire about 10 feet from here to the outside condenser.

  • How many wires are in the existing conduit, and what size and type (LFMC or LFNC) is it? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 22 at 1:07
  • Also, why do you want to run 10/2 (a cable) inside the flex whip? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 22 at 1:17
  • I updated the original post to add some clarification. My brain just automatically typed 10/2, you are correct I would not be running that through the conduit. 3 wires in the current 1 inch LFMC Conduit. However, I do not plan to reuse the the wires or that conduit. – Cwarbucks Jun 22 at 1:52
  • How do you plan to run the cable connecting the indoor and outdoor units BTW? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 22 at 2:37
  • through LFMC Conduit from the Condenser going straight up the house into an attic section. – Cwarbucks Jun 22 at 3:04
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You can do that. You will have to pigtail a piece of #10 cu to the #6 because the #6 won't fit into a 30 Amp breaker. I would replace the breaker in your main panel and do the pigtailing in there. Then replace this breaker box with a 30 Amp disconnect switch with separate neutral and grounding bars. This breaker is an old Challenger breaker and they have been known to be fire starters. I think it's a stabloc but I'm not sure. Hoping one of the big three will chime in if I'm wrong.

Ok we've got confirmation it's not a Stab-Loc. I'd still replace it with a disconnect.

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  • Nooope, it's not a Stab-Lok – ThreePhaseEel Jun 22 at 1:03
  • Also, they may have to replace the wiring in the flex whip due to needing space to route the control wiring between the two halves of the minisplit – ThreePhaseEel Jun 22 at 1:07
  • They could simply replace it with a BR230... – ThreePhaseEel Jun 22 at 1:14
  • I have space/capacity on my inside pane to add a 220/30 amp circuit and wire a disconnect for the condenser. I was just trying to see if I could use what was already in place instead of doing another run. – Cwarbucks Jun 22 at 2:05
  • You should have a 50 Amp breaker in your main panel for this circuit anyway. Just replace it with a 30 Amp breaker and use your #6 run from the panel to the disconnect. – JACK Jun 22 at 2:15
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You can reuse all the #6 wire and old conduit that you please to use.

There is no reason to rip out or change any wires (and some reason not to: future expansion.

ONE of the breakers needs to be 30A.

You need to change either the main-panel breaker to 30A, or the breaker in this mini-panel/disconnect switch. No need to change both. If you change the mini-panel breaker, then the run to the main panel needs to continue to be #6/8/whatever it is now.

That Challenger breaker must go. The panel is a keeper.

Challenger had the same kind of "faulty breaker" problem that Federal Pacific did. However unlike FPE, this panel bus design is tip-top, and in fact lives on today in the very popular Eaton BR line. Technically this busing requires a Type C breaker, but if you look at any BR breaker on the market, they are dual-listed Type BR Type C.

If your main panel is also a Challenger, same deal. The old breakers must go; Eaton BR is a listed substitute.

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