Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image credit: electric doctor photos
Sub panels are an important part of your home’s electrical system and allow you to manage your home’s electricity usage more efficiently. You may be wondering what sub panels are, why you should have them in your home, and where you can install one.
A sub panel is a smaller version of the main breaker panel that serves as a secondary distribution point for electricity throughout a building. Installing a sub panel in your home can reduce the load on individual circuits by enabling you to switch off lighting or another secondary electrical device when it’s not being used.
So, what does a 100 amp sub panel mean? Subpanels are rated according to their capacity. This is the maximum amount of amperage it can safely handle. In most cases, a 100 amp sub panel will be able to handle 100 amps at 120 volts, which is 12,000 watts or 12 kilowatts of power.
Sub panels are not rated in kilowatts, but rather in amperes and volts. Additionally, it is not accurate to say that a 100 amp sub panel can be connected to circuits with up to 60 amps. The amperage rating of the sub panel should always be equal to or greater than the amperage rating of the circuit it is being connected to, not the other way around.
However, it is true that installing a 100 amp sub panel can give you more options for connecting multiple devices, as long as the total amperage of the devices does not exceed the amperage rating of the sub panel or the circuit it is connected to. Each device will only pull as much power as its rating allows, but it is important to ensure that the total amperage of all connected devices does not exceed the capacity of the sub panel or circuit.
In this guide, we will help you choose the right wire size for a 100 amp subpanel.
How does a 100 amp subpanel work?
The main breaker panel is the primary panel in your home, and the sub panel is its smaller counterpart. The sub panel is an essential part of your home’s electrical system as it allows you to manage your home’s electricity usage more efficiently.
The main breaker panel is connected to the sub panel, and any circuits controlled by the main breaker will also be controlled by the sub panel. In your home, the main breaker panel distributes electricity to the various areas of your home. The sub panel is a smaller version of this breaker panel that serves as a secondary distribution point for electricity throughout a building.
Why Install A 100 amps Sub Panel?
A 100 amp sub panel is for homeowners who have a lot of heavy-duty appliances or devices that need to be plugged in. It allows you to connect more than one circuit to the sub panel, and each circuit will only pull as much power as its rating allows.
For example, if you have a 30 amp circuit with multiple devices plugged in and it is drawing more power than it can handle, the breaker for that circuit will trip and shut off the power.
However, with a 100 amp sub panel, all of those devices can be connected to their own circuits so they won’t overload the main breaker box and cause any problems.
How To Wire A 100 Amp Sub Panel?
A 100 amp sub panel is a fairly simple piece of electrical equipment that has 4 terminals on it that are color-coded red/black/white/bare. The bare wire terminal is used for grounding purposes while the other three are used for connecting wires to the sub panel.
You can either connect these wires directly or use a wire connector, which will allow you to remove them without having to cut them off in case something needs servicing or replacing in the future.
To connect your wires directly, simply strip about 1 inch of insulation from each end of your wire and wrap them around each terminal on the sub panel according to its color code: red=black=white=bare (ground). If you want to use wire connectors instead, strip about 3 inches of insulation from each end of your wire and then crimp them onto the connector with a pair of pliers. You then simply plug your connector into the corresponding terminal on the sub panel.
Where to Install a 100 amp Sub Panel?
Sub panels are commonly installed in the garage, basement, or anywhere else in your house where there is a high amount of electricity. You may want to install a sub panel if you have an area of your house that uses a lot of electricity or if you have a high-end security system with a lot of sensors.
Sub panels are also necessary if you have solar panels or wind turbines for renewable energy. If you are installing a sub panel in an older home, it is important to know that the wires inside your walls are probably larger than the ones that were used when the house was built. An older house might have a sub panel with only a few circuits, but newer homes often have four or more circuits.
If you want to add circuits to your sub panel, you will probably need to upgrade your sub panel. This involves opening up the sub panel, removing the existing circuit breakers and wiring, and replacing them with new breakers.
How to install a sub panel?
The first thing you will need to do is find a location on your property to install your sub panel. You will want to make sure the area is large enough to fit the sub panel and that it is located away from trees, power lines, and other obstructions.
Once you have found a suitable location, you will want to mark the area out so you can know how big the sub panel should be. Take into consideration the distance between the sub panel and the main circuit breaker box.
This distance is specified in the National Electrical Code and must not be shorter than 10 feet. Once you have the sub panel location marked out, you can begin digging the hole for the sub panel. You will want to make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the sub panel you select. Once the sub panel is installed, you will connect the wires from the main circuit breaker box to the sub panel. You will also want to make sure you have the main circuit breaker turned off before proceeding.
Reasons Why should I choose the right size of wire for subpanel?
A sub panel is only as strong as the wiring that goes into it. If the wire is undersized, there is the potential for it to break down and catch on fire. In order to protect yourself, your family, and your investment, make sure you have the correct sized wire going into your sub panel. –
The sub panel itself is a very robust, heavy-duty enclosure, capable of withstanding a high amount of abuse. The breaker inside the sub panel is also able to handle much more current than a breaker inside your main panel.
Due to the fact that the sub panel is serving a smaller portion of the house, it can handle a much higher voltage than the main panel. This is why a sub panel can be wired directly to the utility meter without any transformers. – The size of the wires coming out of the sub panel are smaller than the wires going into the main panel. This is because the sub panel is serving a smaller area of the house and can therefore draw less current.
The wires going into the sub panel should be of a larger gauge than the ones coming out of the sub panel. This is because the sub panel is drawing more current than the main panel and must be wired with wires that are able to handle this higher current. –
The sub panel is on a different circuit from your main panel. If the sub panel gets overloaded or breaks down, it will not affect the main panel.
What type of wire is needed for a 100amp sub panel?
The gauge of the wire that is used to wire up a sub panel should be determined by the amount of current that will be flowing through it. The National Electrical Code dictates that for a 100 amp sub panel, you should use 10 gauge wire. The NEC also dictates that you should use a solid conductor wire.
The only exception is if you are installing a sub panel in an area where the temperature is going to be below freezing. In this case, the NEC states that it is acceptable to use 14 gauge wire.
What Size Wire Do I Need for a 100 Amp Sub Panel?
To feed a 100amp sub panel that is 200 feet away, you will need at least a 1 AWG copper wire or simply #3 copper wire. Alternatively, you can use 2/0 aluminum wires. These two wire sizes are enough to carry 100 amp throughout that distance.
What size of wire do I need for a 100 amp sub panel that is 400 ft away?
To feed a 100amp sub panel that is 400 feet away, you will need at least an 8 AWG copper wire. Alternatively, you can use 10 AWG aluminum wires. These two wire sizes are enough to carry 100 amp throughout that distance.
Is #2 aluminum good for 100 amp service?
Let’s say you have decided to use aluminum wire for your subpanel. #2 aluminum is the perfect size for this subpanel. It has the capacity to handle current to and from this subpanel. Also, it will minimize incidences of electric short circuit malfunctioning due to the use of bad wire.
Can 4 AWG handle 100 amps?
When it comes to choosing the right size of wires to use in a subpanel you may experiment with different sizes. and one of them may be 4 AWG. In as much as it may seem to be a desirable size, it is not capable of handling 100 amps. 4 AWG has the capacity of up to 80 amps. Since our focus is on the 100 amps subpanel, you will have to upgrade the wire size to #3.
Can I connect 2-gauge wire in a subpanel?
When it comes to choosing the best wires for your subpanels you should consider using a 2- gauge sheathed wire. This cable can have either one or two hot wires.
One of the wires should be ground and the other one should be neutral. However, each of these wires should be 2-gauge.
Ground wire size for 100 amp service
Still, when it comes to the ground wire for the subpanel, the issue of size will still arise. Just like for the case of the other wires, the size will always vary depending on the wire.
If you are using a copper wire to ground the subpanel, its size should be #4 AWG. If your choice is aluminum, then it should be #8 AWG.
Where to buy the right wires for a 100 amp subpanel
Other than the size, you should also consider the quality of the wire. A good wire will guarantee the performance and safety of the subpanel. And this is where the source matters. You should buy your sub panel wires from reputable manufacturers and suppliers.
If you are choosing to buy from China, then it will be advisable to use a sourcing agent. A sourcing agent such as ICRFQ will help you find the right wire and source it from a reputable manufacturer.
You should also consider the quality of the wires. You can always ask for an inspection report in case you want to make sure that it’s safe to use.
Now that you know everything about 100 amps wire sizes, you should be able to choose the right size and source. You should also make sure that you do not compromise on the quality of the wires.
If you want to find more Electronic Components Distributors, please check out the following articles:
- Everything You Need to Know About 555 Timer IC - December 4, 2023
- The Role of Electronic Distributors in the Evolution of Electric Vehicles - December 4, 2023
- IC Chips in IoT: Powering the Internet of Things Revolution - December 4, 2023