I just moved into a small home (~1150sf) that currently has 150 amp service. The disconnect is outside by the meter (pictured). The meter is attached to the side of the carport, which I'm about to convert into a garage.

The sub panel is inside in the middle of the house (pictured). Though I have some room if I replace some of the breakers with doubles, she's pretty full.

I need significant power in the new garage. Here are the circuits I'd like to install in the new garage. Some of the items can be run on the same receptacle and few, if any, of the 220v tools will be run simultaneously:

  • 120v for A/C
  • 30a, 220v for table saw
  • 30a, 220v for plasma cutter
  • 60a, 220v for welder
  • (8) 120v receptacles for various woodworking tools

In every other house I've lived in, I've had room in my panel and have wired the circuits I've needed myself.

I guess I can run a sub panel to the garage from the sub in the house and then wire up the circuits, but since the disconnect is about 5' from the garage, I was wondering if there are other options.

Any advice? Thanks in advance.

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  • I moved into this 1100sf home with modest electrical draw from a 4000sf home with all of the modern accouterments and a 200 amp panel. Included in the service were all the additional circuits I'd like to install here. Adding up the total capacity of the breakers is not the way to determine the required disconnect size. I'm trying to figure out if I can either upgrade the disconnect box/area and run another sub from there or should I just do it from the existing sub panel. Aug 4, 2015 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


There is already over 200amps in circuit breakers. To add 60amps a new panel is needed and the entrance upgraded to at lease 200amps (300 is better).

  • 3
    There is no need to upgrade the service in order to add an additional panel or breakers. It is common and perfectly acceptable for the total amperage of the breakers to exceed (by quite a lot) the service size. Most branch circuits will never draw anything near their rated capacity.
    – friedo
    Aug 4, 2015 at 21:06
  • Especially if you're moving toward energy-efficient lighting and appliances and practices.
    – keshlam
    Aug 4, 2015 at 22:09
  • 1
    @John Braeking, the sum of the breakers in a panel is a completely meaningless number. Anyone with any electrical knowledge knows this, at least anyone who whould be answering electrical questions on the internet. Aug 4, 2015 at 23:44

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