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looking to add a 60 amp breaker like this one to my main service disconnect so I can install an electric car charger right next to it. My panel for the rest of the house is a lot farther away and in the basement so this would save a lot of money.

I found some similar questions like this one and looked at the resources they linked. It seems like it should be allowed but wanted to confirm for my specific panel. The wording “Suitable Only For Use As Service Equipment Only single pole circuit breakers rated greater than 30 amps may be used to comply with Lighting and Appliance Panelboard requirements.” on the panel is throwing me off. Not sure if that means additional breakers should not be added.

Attached are some photos of my panels! I’m also located in Portland Oregon. Not sure how much codes might differ between states. Thanks so much for the help!

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    Adding another breaker should be okay. The 60 amp breaker might be more want than need. Adding 60 amps before doing a load calculation not good idea. Most EVs can do quite well with only 20 or 30 amp charging, but long commutes/taxi/delivery drivers might need higher charging.
    – crip659
    Jan 27 at 19:08
  • awesome, thanks for the response @crip659! The load calculation is to confirm i wouldn’t be going over 200 amps on the whole house, right? Jan 27 at 21:40
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    Yes. It is to prove you have extra power unused. The charging amount needed will depend on how the EV is used/miles travelled per day. Most people will be quite happy at 20 amps. 60 amps usually only needed for heavy use, driving all/most of the day or more than one EV charging together. Check your driving habits and the amount of time to charge, most people have 10 to 12 hours to charge and do not need to charge in a couple of hours.
    – crip659
    Jan 27 at 21:51
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact The label saying greater than 30 amps is a bit concerning, if OP does not need more. I know EVs can usually be setup to use less power than the breaker allows.
    – crip659
    Jan 28 at 0:12
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    What I think that is trying to say is: This is for service equipment. So use this small panel for big stuff - double breakers - HVAC, subpanels, etc. mostly. And if you really want to use single breakers, only the big stuff - > 30A (which is unusual for single breakers). No ordinary 15A or 20A receptacle/lighting circuits. Which is actually quite restrictive, because one relatively common setup might be to have the HVAC nearby and the "main" panel inside the house, and HVAC outside now requires a 15A or 20A (not sure if 20A required or 15A is OK) circuit nearby, and this won't do that. Jan 28 at 0:31

2 Answers 2

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This thing you're looking at is a garden variety "trailer/ranch panel". It has your meter, your main breaker, 8 breaker spaces past your main breaker, and "thru lugs" to go onward to what you thought was your main panel lol, but is actually a subpanel.

This is the perfect setup for what you want to do.

For all practical purposes, the 8 breaker spaces are part of the indoor panel, as far as the Load Calculation is concerned. There are complications if you want to do solar, and we have tricks for that, but for EV charging it's exactly the same as if it's plugged into your regular indoor panel.

Don't overload the panel.

Since you are going 60A, you are talking a hardwired charge station that typically can be set to any ampacity / breaker from 15A to 60A. You can do that if you don't have panel capacity for 60A. Your other option is to use a Load Management/EVEMS system, which is a ~$300 power meter that gets added to certain specific wall units - Wallbox, Emporia, Tesla, or Elmac. It allows max charge rate and auto-adjusts current downward as necessary to prevent panel overload.

Note that despite what you may have heard, #6 Romex/NM/UF is not 60 amp wire!!! Most charge stations take a maximum #6 wire, but if you want to use full capacity, you must use higher quality wire such as MC cable, SER cable, or individual THHN wires in conduit. I recommend EMT conduit - hard to initially learn but super easy to adjust, correct and reuse. PVC is a nightmare for novices because it is solvent welded - that won't ever come apart!

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It seems you will be allowed 20 or 30 amp double pole(240v) breakers(from comment).

This is usually plenty for EVs for most people.

If you do heavy driving all day you might want a 60 amp breaker.

A load calculation should be done to see how much extra amps you have available for your house.

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