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Thread: Wring sub panel in pole barn

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Wring sub panel in pole barn

    Originally posted 04-14-2015 4:13 PM

    Want to wire barn with 50 amp 220 volt will use #6 copper or 4 aluminum (4 wires) where my problem is pole barn is on north side of house the eletrical service enters on that side. Next to meter socket is a box with 150 amp breaker it only has 2 lugs comming out for power to my house panel in basement. Would it be easer to add like a outside box for like a mobile home box then have a breaker in that box for the barn rather then wire it about another 40' to my existing panel which would make it about 150' than it would require heaver gauage wire. I am located in central Mi.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Kent, WA


    Originally posted 04-14-2015 6:36 PM

    What is easier is difficult to answer with what you've posted. There are many ways you can do this, and what is easy depends on if the building spaces are finished, or a lot of dirt is covered by concrete or asphalt (e.g. driveway, walkways), the lengths involved, and what equipment is available to you at low cost. Is 150A enough to cover both the house and barn, or do you need a larger service? You can do the following:

    Put a 50A breaker in your existing house panel, run it out the other side of the house, and buried out to the pole building.
    Tap off your 150A service and put a second service panel which feeds only the pole building. This panel would then have a feeder buried outside to the pole barn. You'd need to do a Service calc to make sure your existing 150A service wires are large enough for the calculated load.

    Replace your 150A disconnect with a 150A main breaker panel with feed through lugs. Put a 50A breaker in this panel to feed the pole barn (wires would take the same buried path as previous answer). You could also put additional breakers in this panel for separate outside items (e.g. an air conditioning compressor, or a power pole).

    Replace your 150A disconnect with a 150A main breaker panel, and that panel needs to accept double pole breakers of 125A. Install a 125A to feed the house, and a 50A to feed the barn. This will reduce the power available to the house by 25A. These types of panels are easier to find than feed through types so they are cheaper. But some only allow 100A branch breakers, and you'd probably need 125A.

    Replace your 150A disconnect with a 200A main breaker panel with feed through lugs. Again put a 50A breaker in this panel to feed the pole barn like the previous answer, but you'd probably need to upsize the wires to the house since they will now carry 200A and may also require larger Service wires.

    Replace your 150A disconnect with a 200A disconnect. Update the feeder to the house to 200A and put a 50A breaker in the house to feed the pole barn (this is just like option 1, but you now have more power available at the house to cover the barn load). May also require larger Service wires.

    There are probably even more choices.

    I don't understand the last part of your question -- in what case does a wire need to be made heavier, and which wire are you talking about?

    If the total length of the run to the barn is over 100', I'd consider going up a wire size. If it is 150' or more, I'd definitely go up a size. But that would be only if you really need 50A out there. If you think 40A would do it, then stay with the #6 copper or #4 aluminum (however, once you get into #4 and larger wires, you have different rules for box fill and the boxes all get much larger).
    Kent, WA

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