I have an outside main disconnect of 200 amp and a inside main panel in the garage. The disconnect panel outside also has 8 or 10 breaker slots in it: four are occupied by double breakers for sub-panels, one has a breaker for an exterior pool sub-panel in it, and one is used for a second floor bonus room sub-panel that has been switched off and disconnected.

What I would like to do is add a NEMA 14-50 outlet outside for an EV charging station. The main panel in the garage (closest to the location) is full.

My thought was to add a 50 amp breaker to the main disconnect panel and wire the outlet directly in. My question is can this be done, or does the main disconnect panel have to feed sub-panels only?

The wire run would be in PVC up into the attic space and down in front of the garage. I could place a sub-panel if needed above the outlet location.

I have been reading through the 2014 edition of the NFPA 70 but have yet to find an answer regarding criteria on what can be wired directly into the main disconnect panel.

2 Answers 2


You may feed a 14-50 outlet directly from your main panel since there are unused breaker slots available. Use the correct breaker of course, and correct conductor type/size for the load. Do not forget voltage drop and temperature ratings when choosing cable.

You do not need to add another sub-panel for a single outlet.

Do not expect the code book to tell you what you can do. It's there to tell you what you can't.


Just to clarify on the panel, there is no rule on what can go in one, i.e., a main panel doesn't have to just feed subpanels. Many homes only have a single panel.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.