Hooking Up a New Circuit


Connecting a new circuit is no more difficult than most other wiring projects. You'll spend most of your time running cable from the new service to the service panel.

Make sure that adding a new circuit does not overload your electrical system. Talk with an inspector or an electrician about your plans. If the service panel cannot accept another circuit, install a subpanel. If your system cannot accommodate a new circuit, have an electrician install a new service panel.

If there is an available slot for a new circuit breaker in your service panel, you can add a breaker there. If not you may be able to replace a regular circuit breaker with a tandem breaker.


About 2 hours to make connections for a new circuit once cable has been run

Flashlight, hammer, screwdriver, strippers, lineman's pliers, long-nose pliers, voltage tester

Figuring loads on circuits, stripping sheathing, and wire insulation, connecting wires to terminals

Install boxes for the new service and run cable from the boxes to the service panel.

New circuit breaker and cable

Step 1

Shut off the main breaker and remove the panel's cover. Remove a knockout slug from the side of the cover.

Step 2

Run cable to the box, adding at least 2 feet extra for wiring work within the service panel. Strip enough sheathing from the cable to allow wires to travel most of the way around the panel. Slide the wires through the knockout hole and clamp the cable in place.

Step 3

Route the wires so they skirt the perimeter of the panel and stay far away from hot bus bars. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from the neutral wire and connect it to the neutral bus bar. Connect the ground wire to the ground bus bar.

Step 4

Bend the hot wire into position along the side of the panel, cut it to length, and strip 1/2 inch of insulation. Poke it into the breaker and tighten the setscrew.

Step 5

Slide one end of the breaker under the hot bus bar and push the breaker until it snaps into place and aligns with the surrounding breakers. Twist out a knockout slot in the service panel's cover and replace the cover.

Comments (1)
bridgebro6 wrote:

my dryer has no power at the outlet

12/2/2009 04:45:08 PM Report Abuse
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