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I have natural gas for all main appliances except for our AC system.

However, there are breakers and outlets for all 240v appliances. They are unused and in the off position. Presumably if someone wanted say a gas oven/dryer/water heater etc they could then do that without issue.

My question is, while I never plan on getting anything but natural gas appliances, it is nice to know that I could go electric should I want to. So, that being said, am I able to use one of the existing 240v breakers to drop my own 240v plug in a place that doesn’t currently have one?

Let’s assume all proper calculations like wire size, expected draw, etc were all figured out. The question is simply can you have two separate leads on the same breaker going to two separate outlets? My gut tells me no, because I don’t see anything like that in the panel. But I’d like to ask.

Note: currently there is no more space in the panel, so that’s why I have this question.

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  • What amp rating is said circuit/breaker, and what sort of 240V appliance are we talking about here? Mar 8, 2021 at 3:02
  • You often have more then one 240v heater on a 240v circuit. So this depends on the draw of the device. You wouldn't run (2) 240 wires to the one breaker though. You'd have to make a junction box or feed from the other device (assuming load calculations allow it). Mar 8, 2021 at 3:20
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    A picture of the panel would be helpful - there may be some other things that can be done to help, and/or some problems you may not have realized. Mar 8, 2021 at 3:21
  • @ThreePhaseEel 50 amp, Tesla level 2 charger. It sounds like the better idea is one of the answers. Pull the leads off the breaker slot I want to use, cap and label them. Is there anything wrong with calling them inside the panel?
    – MZawg
    Mar 8, 2021 at 13:52
  • You'd have to check whether the breaker is rated to have 2 wires of your size under the single lug. In effect it's the same as adding a junction box in the middle of the line and serving 2 or more outlets.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Mar 8, 2021 at 15:35

3 Answers 3

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Disconnect the old run then hook up the new one

Since we're dealing with EVSE (a Tesla charger) here, we need to provide a dedicated branch circuit for that EVSE as per NEC 625.40:

625.40 Electric Vehicle Branch Circuit. Each outlet installed for the purpose of charging electric vehicles shall be supplied by an individual branch circuit. Each circuit shall have no other outlets.

As a result, you'll need to disconnect the old wires from the breaker you plan to use and cap them off inside the breaker box, then attach your new homerun to the breaker in question.

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I don't think there's a problem with 2 wires per terminal on a breaker, but if you are concerned about it AND they are currently unused, why not just remove them, cap them off, label where they go and attach your new circuits to the existing breakers? If you "double up" on the breakers the danger is if you DK where the other end of the cables are and if they are properly terminated (insulated), you'd be heating up cables that are now turned off.

If I were doing this...I just disconnect the existing wires, attach a label and hook up my new circuit to the existing breaker.

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    Depends on the breaker. Some are labeled for 2 wires per terminal. Some are labeled for 2 wires if they're copper. The rest are not, and are 1 per by default. Mar 8, 2021 at 21:22
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Panel usage calculation by amperage is typically maxed out if all the slots are filled.

Your busbar rating will be the baseline for how much you can handle. For example my utility meter and busbar are rated for 200 amps total @ 240V, I cant exceed what the meter is rated for nor the busbar/master breaker.

You need to document what each circuit is rated for in amperage, add them up until you get a total. If the total exceeds your current allotment determined by master breaker (mine is 200A), then you need to reconsider what you are going to add or remove to make up for the difference.

There is no rule I'm aware of that says you can't have two runs off of one breaker. There is a rule/electrical code I think that says you can't have more than 10 circuits/devices cascaded off of one breaker. That is what I discovered when asking about electrical things in my area.

Focus on staying within the amperage rating of your panel and the wires you intend to use, you'll be fine.

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  • Are you in Canada perchance? Also, your first line is not correct... Mar 8, 2021 at 12:40
  • Total breaker amperage in the panel often far exceeds the main breaker amperage because not everything is used all at the same time.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 8, 2021 at 12:44
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    What? No, that's not true. Panel amp usage has nothing whatsoever to do with panel spaces. It's like the old joke, "How can I be overdrawn? I still have checks in my checkbook!" We have an endless parade of people through here who are "out of spaces" yet still have plenty of provisionable ampacity. Especially true in all-gas houses; my all-gas house has tripped a main breaker once in 15 years (main breaker is 30A) but the smallest the power company will install is 100A. Mar 8, 2021 at 21:24
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    @Harper-ReinstateMonica Love your analogy, it's a classic. + for that and your comment! I agree with you completely of course. I don't think I've ever experienced a main breaker trip. Mar 8, 2021 at 22:29

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