Is It Worth It To Install A Subpanel?


When you replace a circuit breaker box in a facility or home as part of a remodel, you may find that the breaker box location no longer serves the building well. But moving the circuit breaker box is not easy; in fact, the rewiring that this would require (to make all the wiring in the home go to the new box location) could be too expensive given the remodel budget. One option is to leave the main breaker box where it is and to add subpanels at other points in the building. But this means setting aside more space and adding more wiring. Is adding the subpanel worth it, instead of moving the main panel?

It Won't Increase the Amount of Available Power

First, that subpanel won't increase the amount of power you have; it will just change the location of some of the breaker switches. So you're not changing your overall available power. All you're doing is moving some switches to another area and running wiring to those new panels. Think of it as breaker redistribution instead of addition.

It Will Let You Reset Breakers on the Spot

However, that move can make it easier to reset breaker switches if they trip. In a large building, this is very helpful as it saves you a lot of travel time. If you trip a circuit breaker when using some equipment once, a walk to the far end of the building and back won't waste much time. But if it happens a lot, as can happen with both industrial and home-use tools, repeated trips to the breaker box can become annoying. This is especially true if the project you're working on needs constant monitoring or takes a lot of time to put on hold while you fix the circuit. A subpanel placed in each area where circuit tripping is likely to happen cuts down that travel time.

It Allows for More Convenient Wiring

If the remodeling includes additions to the building, a subpanel may actually save you money. Adding new space requires wiring that space and running wires to a breaker box. If the addition is on the other side of the building, running the wiring all the way across the building can be very expensive. Instead, adding a subpanel is much easier and likely to be cheaper.

Should you install a subpanel, you'll be able to start using it fairly quickly. Make sure the switches are clearly labeled, both with the number of amps and the specific location that the switch controls.

For more information, contact a circuit breakers supplier.


16 March 2021

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