I have an electrical panel in my garage with a single row of breakers 4 single 15A breakers installed and 4 blank spaces left. (pretty certain it is a sub-panel off the house) It has a sticker that says 70A max. Am I able to install a 50A 240v breaker in the spaces left over?

  • No master breaker in the panel?
    – bib
    Sep 7, 2016 at 20:30
  • 1
    Can you post a photo or two of the panel?
    – Tester101
    Sep 7, 2016 at 23:39
  • Is there a main breaker in this (sub)panel? Assuming it is a sub-panel, what's the breaker in the main panel rated for? If you can see it, what's the wire that runs between (should have a number like "4 AWG" printed on it, as well as "copper"/Cu or "Aluminum/Al")?
    – gregmac
    Sep 9, 2016 at 5:51
  • What loads are on the existing circuits, and what are you adding? Nov 8, 2016 at 23:22
  • 50 A 240 V is twelve kilowatts. What are you planning to power off of that, an electric car charger?
    – user
    Mar 16, 2017 at 10:58

2 Answers 2


There is not enough information to give a yes or no answer. The breaker that supplies this panel and the wire size would be needed to say if it would work. Can a 50 amp breaker be installed in a 70 amp panel yes. Can this be done if the total of all the breakers add up to more than the panel rating? Yes but the over current protective device (breaker) feeding the panel can not be more than 70 amps. One easy example would be for a heating and cooling sub panel lets say 60a of electric heat and a 30a AC unit total 90 amps but it is legal because only 1 load would be used at a time. So in short a 50 amp breaker can be used in a 70 amp panel but if your breaker feeding the panel or the wiring is not sufficient size it won't work.

  • Yes, as long as the breaker protecting the panel is sized for the panel then you can put anything up to the same size in the sub-panel.
    – ArchonOSX
    Oct 25, 2017 at 16:39

[sub-panel] has a sticker that says 70A max. Am I able to install a 50A 240v breaker?



Or at least, you need to check several other things before installing your 50A breaker.

The sticker is probably the manufacturer's maximum rating for the sub-panel itself.

What mostly counts is the gauge of wire from the main panel to the sub-panel. This might not be able to carry the full 70A safely.

The rating of the related breaker in the main panel is also a limiting factor.

240 V

USA or other 120V split-phase country

If the current panel contains only 120V breakers, you are unlikely to be able to provide 240V service there. You might need to replace a single-pole breaker in the main panel with a double pole breaker and run new 4-conductor cabling from there to the sub-panel.

If the sub-panel already provides 240V service, the voltage isn't an issue.

UK or other 230V country

The voltage isn't an issue.

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