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I have a 220v 15amp compressor and 220v 15amp pressure washer. I have an attached garage that doesn't have 220v service. My main panel is full. I've installed a sub panel in the garage.

Feeding it I have #6/3. At the main panel I have installed a subpanel and have one 60 amp 2 pole breaker for for the garage subpanel (essentially daisy chaining the panels). Being that my main panel is full I needed to make room on the main. There is a dual pole 30 amp breaker for our steam shower steam generator. I plan to move that circuit to the subpanel and install a 60 amp breaker dual pole to feed the sub.

So I have two subs daisy chained off the main: 60 amp dual pole breaker on main >>>>> sub 1(circuit 1: 30 amp 2 pole steam gen circuit 2: 60 amp breaker 2 pole to Garage sub) >>>>> sub 2(circuit 1: 15 amp dual pole for compressor circuit 2: 15 amp 2 pole for pressure washer).

My question is: Is the breaker for sub 1 off the main big enough? 60 amp is the biggest stab-lok NC breaker - going to 100 amp would require a NA breaker which is bigger in physical size and require some panel reconfiguring.

  • If you are in the U.S. You might want to read up on stab lock panels. They have a very bad reputation. I have read the ones in Canada did not have the same problems. Newer panels also can have more spaces since the limits on the number of breakers has changed and not so restricted. here is one of many links. – Ed Beal Sep 12 '16 at 21:58
  • Are you in the USA or Canada – ThreePhaseEel Sep 12 '16 at 22:17
  • Is it 6/3 copper cable? With a 4th bare ground included? – Tyson Sep 12 '16 at 23:41
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Using a 60 amp breaker is fine. The breaker serving a panel does not have to be larger than the total of the breakers in the panel; it has to be appropriately sized for the load. I doubt you'll be using the steam generator, compressor and pressure washer at the same time, so you'll be fine.

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REPLACE THIS PANEL (if it hasn't burned your house down already, that is)

Your mention of type NC and NA breakers means that you have a FPE Stab-Lok panel. This is bad news, because FPE breakers and panels pose a severe fire hazard, and thus should not remain in service under any circumstances.

As a result, you might as well just replace your entire main panel (or have an electrician do it for you if you are uncomfortable with or cannot do it yourself) instead of doing any rearranging. While the existing 60A breaker is technically not undersized for the load, it simply can't be counted on to do its job when called upon...

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