200 amp service upgrade
Hi, I need to upgrade my electrical main service to 200 amp, well not need, but it is highly recommended. there is #6 wire going from the disconnect to the main breaker panel, which is 150 amp, and that is not a large enough wire. My choices are upgrade just the wire to the right size, or redo it all for 200 amp, which is what I am wanting to do. My house does not have the proper grounds and such, and this will allow me to install a new electric furnace and A/C unit.
I have done about everything with residential electrical work, accept for upgrading new service.
My meter sits on the west side of my garage, I want to install a disconnect on the inside of the garage, run the proper wiring to the current panel, and call it good for now.
If I understand the code correctly, the breaker panel, in my situation is actually considered a sub-panel. So that means not bonding the neutral and ground, and running a ground wire as well from the disconnect to the panel.
I am thinking of using 2/0 cu THHN for the connections from the meter to the disconnect. then 2 #4 ground wires from the disconnect to 2 different ground rods that are at least 6 feet apart. The ground rods will be completely berried, they would be in my back yard where the kids play.
I have not decided on what wire to run from the disconnect to the breaker panel yet though. I have two options for running it. Up to the attic and down the wall, over in to the old basement, and over to the breaker box. Or down from the disconnect, run it between the joists the garage wall is sitting on, through the crawl space, and in to the old basement to the breaker box. Well there is a third option, run it down under the garage floor, through the basement wall, through the old basement wall and to the breaker box. this would actually be the shortest route, but it involves breaking up concrete.
Option one is the longest, and there is already a 2 inch pvc pipe in the wall that was installed for running stuff between the basement and attic, nothing is ran through it currently. If I go this option, I believe that 2/0 cu THHN is my only option because of the 2 inch pvc pipe, which means conduit the whole way, correct?
Option 2 looks like I could use 4/0 al SER or 2/0 Cu THHN in conduit.
I do not like the idea of running conduit all the way to the breaker panel, I think the current location is even against code, because there is very little clearance on the top and the one side, but because I am not changing it, I do not need to meet any new codes concerning it. I have considered running the THHN in conduit to the basement, and switching to SER. I know it is thick, but it should be easier to maneuver around the existing stuff in the basement to the breaker box. Then I run in to the problem if the box's main breaker will fit the 4/- al SER wires. it is an older Square-D QO box. Later on I will be putting in a new 200 amp breaker box. I figured if I put the connection from the THHN to SER about the location I want the new box to go, I would be able to connect the THHN directly to the new box, and sell the SER. The reason I am not changing boxes now is because I would have to do a lot more work, and the permit would cost a lot more, they charge based on the number of breakers you install in it. In my area, I can change the box over after the upgrade has been approved, and not need a permit for it, because it is considered a sub-panel.
Oh, I am going to install a whole house surge protector as well with the upgrade. Are there any disconnects with one built in?
Any comments are appreciated. Are there other wire options I should look at? I think the crawl space route is my top pick. Anything else to look out for?