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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am replacing my electric range with a gas one this week. I need to install a 15 or 20 amp outlet for it (the gas unit) and my kitchen circuits are already maxed out.

So I was wondering if i could take the 40 amp wires that go to the range now and make a small subpanel out of them in the attic where they drop down to the range. Then I could make a few more 20 amp circuits from there for my new range and maybe a microwave or fridge (which do not have dedicated circuits now).

I am also getting rid of my electric dryer and installing a gas one this week. So It would be nice to do the same thing with the 30amp circuit there for future needs.

Also, my main panel is extremely hard to wire to otherwise I would just eliminate those circuits and homerun whatever I needed. If I can use the 30 amp dryer and 40 range circuits for new 20 receptacle circuits for future needs that would be ideal. And if so what materials do i need?, mini breaker box like for a tub tub?

<edit> maybe one of these from Home Depot.

I could probably also find a spot where I can bring both the 30 and 40 amp wires to in the attic if this would be better than 2 separate boxes/"subpanels"

It looks like the range has 4 wires in the bundle (bottom of pic). 2 hot (black) a bare and a white? the range is only using the 3 insulated ones though.

This is what the range and dryer circuit breaker looks like:

 

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Butcher of wood and metal
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I don't believe you are able according to code install a subplanel in a place like a attic. easy access thing.
 

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I don't believe you are able according to code install a subplanel in a place like a attic. easy access thing.

There are no 'easy access' codes. Only access codes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There are no 'easy access' codes. Only access codes.
it is fairly easy to access (with a ladder). I guess the only thing would be that if the breaker tripped it would be hard to find for anybody but me.
 

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There are no 'easy access' codes. Only access codes.
NEC 2011 says that overcurrent devices need to be "readily accessible", and that occupants must have "ready access".

The inspectors around here wouldn't let you put a new subpanel with breakers in an attic, unless access was via permanent stairs (edit: or permanent ladder), fully lighted access through the attic with a floor (and guardrail if the attic had any areas of uncovered joists), and the panel was mounted vertically at a convenient height.

I have a semi-retired electrician acquaintance working up in Tahoe-Truckee. He told me (a couple years back) that it's a pretty careful code enforcement area.

The code makes sense. When a breaker trips, it needs to be found and reset by the average homeowner.
 

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480sparky said:
There are no 'easy access' codes. Only access codes.
True dat.

It looks like that is 4 wire SER that feeds the Range, so you could swing that into a small sub panel. Just have to remember you need a separate ground bar (split the white/neutral and the ground), and you are good to go. The dyer is fed with 10-3, so you could do the same, but I don't know that I would bother.
 

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it is fairly easy to access (with a ladder). I guess the only thing would be that if the breaker tripped it would be hard to find for anybody but me.
"Each occupant shall have ready access"...

NEC defines "Accessible, readily" - Capable of being reached quickly ... without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders"
 

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going_commando said:
True dat.

It looks like that is 4 wire SER that feeds the Range, so you could swing that into a small sub panel. Just have to remember you need a separate ground bar (split the white/neutral and the ground), and you are good to go. The dyer is fed with 10-3, so you could do the same, but I don't know that I would bother.
Sub panels are bonded here... But we're on '08..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
True dat.

It looks like that is 4 wire SER that feeds the Range, so you could swing that into a small sub panel. Just have to remember you need a separate ground bar (split the white/neutral and the ground), and you are good to go. The dyer is fed with 10-3, so you could do the same, but I don't know that I would bother.

Why does it need a ground bar? when they run 50 amp boxes for hot tubs they are never grounded to a bar.
 

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480sparky said:
Where in the '08 is that allowed?
I dunno... That's why I hire a sparky. Maybe it's a local amendment?
 

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I dunno... That's why I hire a sparky. Maybe it's a local amendment?
If it's a local amendment, then it's one that needs to be reviewed. Bonding subpanels creates shock hazards with parallel returns.
 
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