How to properly add a divisional electrical panel?


How to properly add a divisional electrical panel


What is a divisional electrical panel?

The electrical panel is a compulsory installation in any room with electricity. For individuals, it is located in the Technical Housing Gaine. It must meet the NF C 15-100 standard, but also be adapted to the needs of the inhabitants. Thus, it sometimes happens that it is no longer sufficient to ensure a secure current distribution in a dwelling.


Construction of an extension or arrangement of an attic or a garage: an additional box allows an annex to have its own electrical panel. Contact the IZI by EDF account managers, who can put you in touch with a professional specializing in this type of installation.

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As he will be able to explain to you, this box makes it possible to limit the number of wires to be pulled in order to adapt the existing electrical network to the arrival of new circuits. It is also the best way to have circuit breakers close at hand so that you can turn them off or reset them when you are in the new room. The divisional electrical panel is an additional piece of equipment, so it usually only contains one row. The latter will be able to accommodate up to 8 circuits, more than enough to provide lighting for a garage or the equipment of the attic transformed into a bedroom.


The 3 rules for properly adding a divisional electrical panel

Adding a divisional panel requires a solid knowledge of electricity. Here are the 3 rules to absolutely respect:


Make a secure connection

To properly add a divisional electrical panel, you must begin by completing the main electrical panel with a divisional circuit breaker. This protection device will make it possible to establish the link to the divisional cabinet. The latter then works like a classic table. The phase and the neutral coming from the main distribution board will be connected to the differential switch of the row, itself connected to its branch circuit breakers thanks to a horizontal comb.


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Choose a suitable branch circuit breaker

The second rule, to properly add a divisional electrical panel, is to associate it with the correct circuit breaker. The latter, located in the main switchboard, must have a sufficient rating to withstand the needs of the circuits included in the divisional cabinet. The following values   are recommended:


  • 10 A or 16 A circuit breaker: for lighting ;

  • 16 A or 20 A device: for the outlet circuits;

  • 20 A and 32 A device: for specialized circuits (hotplates, charging station for an electric vehicle).

To choose the divisional protection circuit breaker, it is necessary to follow these values   or to add up the consumption of the future circuits.

Choose the right section for the connection

The wires used to connect the two panels will be different depending on the rating of the main switchboard protection branch circuit breaker and the length between the two boxes. It is therefore advisable to opt for drivers respecting the following figures:


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For a 16A circuit breaker

  • Section of the connection 2.5 mm² for a maximum length of 16 m;

  • Section of the link 4 mm² for a maximum length of 25 m;

  • Section of the link 6 mm² for a maximum length of 37 m;

  • Section of the link 10 mm² for a maximum length of 62 m.

For a 20A circuit breaker

  • Section of the connection 2.5 mm² for a maximum length of 12 m;

  • Section of the link 4 mm² for a maximum length of 20 m;

  • Section of the link 6 mm² for a maximum length of 30 m;

  • Section of the link 10 mm² for a maximum length of 50 m.

For a 25A circuit breaker

  • Cross-section of the connection 2.5 mm²: prohibited;

  • Section of the link 4 mm² for a maximum length of 16 m;

  • Section of the link 6 mm² for a maximum length of 24 m;

  • Section of the link 10 mm² for a maximum length of 40 m:


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For a 32A circuit breaker

  • Cross-section of the connection 2.5 mm²: prohibited;

  • Cross-section of the link 4 mm²: prohibited;

  • Section of the link 6 mm² for a maximum length of 19 m;

  • Section of the link 10 mm² for a maximum length of 31 m.


Before intervening, your electrician will take care to cut off the power supply to your home using the General Primary Switching Device. He will then choose the different electrical elements according to the part to be connected.


For example, if you want to add a switchboard 10 meters from the main switchboard for powering an office, then a light and 5 outlets will be sufficient. Computer, printer or laptop charger, the devices that will be connected do not require a large consumption of electricity, a 16 A branch circuit breaker will suffice. A wire section of 2.5 mm² will therefore be recommended. On the other hand, for the installation of a garage where to connect a plancha, you will need a 32 A protection circuit breaker adapted to this type of greedy device.

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Suppose that the distance between the two tables is 20 meters, then you will have to choose conductors with a cross-section of 10 mm².

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