Determine if a Basement Needs an Additional Electric Subpanel

Basement Electrical Subpanels for Basement Finishing in Herriman, Utah

Hello everyone. Today, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about finishing your basement and what we look for when we are in a new basement finish. We’re in the mechanical room, and one thing that’s important to look at is the electrical panel. What we’re trying to determine when we’re looking at the panel is, are we going to need to have an additional sub-panel added to the existing panel? 

Is There Enough Space to Install Breakers for the Basement?

For this house, we have two available openings, and that is not enough to run a full basement, but some houses have 10 or so empty slots. It’s a good question, do we have enough space in there to install all the breakers for the basement? What we do when we’re doing that, is the first step is to have an electrical design completed with all the outlets and lights shown on there so that you can count up how many outlets and how many lights you have.

Then what we figure on is nine openings per 15 amp breaker, and lights count as half an opening. Then that will get you covered for all the general outlets and lighting in the general square footage of the living space of the basement. Moving on from there, we need to look at the kitchen, laundry room, and the bathroom, if those rooms are going to be part of the basement finish

What is the Kitchen Electrical Code?

By code, kitchens have to have two 20 amp breakers for your small appliances, such as a waffle maker and things like that. Then typically, in reality, a lot of kitchens need more than that though. They’re going to have those two for the small appliances, then we’re going to have one for the fridge, one for the microwave, and then another one for the stove. If it’s a gas stove, we can just put it on a 20 amp circuit. That will really make the kitchen a lot nicer, so you’re never tripping breakers or anything in the kitchen. We plan on about five for the kitchen. Code minimum is two.

Basement Subpanel Requirements

Then for the laundry room we’re going, if it’s a gas dryer, we don’t need to worry about this we can just put it on a 20 amp circuit so that it has enough for the starter to ignite the gas and run the motor. If it’s electric, we need to have at least a 30 amp breaker. It takes up two spots in the panel. Then for the kitchen, if it’s an electric stove, we’re going to need to have a 40 amp circuit, so that takes up two more spaces. Once we get all that figured out, then we have a really good idea of how many bays in the panel we’re going to need to occupy, and if we have enough. If not, then we add another panel, so we have a whole bunch of slots to put in more breakers.

Basement Finishing Resources for Salt Lake County

If you need help with finishing your basement, we’d love to talk to you. You can reach out to us on our request a project consultation page. We have cost guides and cost calculators for basement finishing and also, for home remodeling. Head on over to our website and we’d love to chat with you. Thanks. Have a great day.


Have you wondered what it costs to finish a basement in Salt Lake and Utah Counties?  Our basement finishing cost guide will give you everything you need to know.

  • Pricing for 1000 and 1500 square foot basement finishes
  • Pricing to include a bathroom, a kitchen, or open square footage
  • Pricing for Basic, Average, and Luxury Level Finishes
  • Basement walkout entrance pricing
  • Real project costs for basements we have finished
  • How to avoid the most costly mistakes while finishing a basement




Download the basement finishing cost guide

Download our FREE basement finishing cost guide. Inside we go over everything you’ll want to know.

  • Pricing calculation for any sized basement
  • Pricing to include a bathroom, a kitchen, a laundry room, or open square footage
  • Basement walkout entrance pricing
  • How to avoid the most costly mistakes while finishing a basement