Need advice for a combination service electrical entrance

rlrobinhoodApril 21, 2011

Hi all,

First post !!

Anyways, I live in the country and have an old farm house with 70A service. I am going to upgrade to 200A service and am currently in the planning phase. I have an electrician friend that is going to help me, but is currently out of the country till this summer. So, I thought I'd get most of the planning out of the way while he's gone and educate myself in the process.

So, to start things out.... I have my house, a detached garage/shop, and would like the ability to add some outdoor cirtuits in future (ie yard light, maybe a pond pump, maybe christmas lights, etc...). I'm currently not blowing any circuits and my load calculations indicate that I'm probably just under 70A usage right now, at the max. But, I'd still like to build out.

With this being said, I figure I'll put a pole mount combination meter base. I'd like to have a 200A main disconnect which would feed two 200A breakers (one for the house, one for the shop), and the ability to add some other outdoor circuits down the road. I'll be re-running new/upgraded feeders for the house and the shop to support this additional amperage.

But, I cannot find combination meter base (I have no preference if the meter is separate) that will support the main 200A disconnect with the two 200A sub-breakers. Why is this and what am I missing?

I know the response I'll probably recieve is that I wouldn't be able to fully utilize the 200A in both the house and shop at the same time, and I recognize this. But I also don't want to limit myself and the main 200A disconnect should protect me anyway. I also know a response may be, "What in the heck would you need 200A in the shop for?" And again, I'd rather over build than under build. In the shop I have welders, plasma cutters, iron workers, etc. Also, I feed four grain bin dryers from it as well.

So, help me out. Can you suggest a product or, am I missing the boat here?

Thanks a million.

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Ron Natalie

First question, did you contact the power company. Most of the ones I've dealt with have a single page as to what they expect for a meter base. Some don't care, some have specific things in mind.

Why are you wrapped around having a combination?
I don't know why you can't find a combination. SquareD makes a combo with 8 spaces in both QO and HOMELINE. GE makes them as well.

No problem with running 200A both places, just means you spend a little more on the bigger wiring in the feeders.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 10:27AM
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Good luck finding a plug in 200A breaker to fit a combo panel. Use a 400A meter base and two 200A disconnects instead.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 10:30AM
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Ron Natalie

The QO 2P 200A breaker takes four slots but will fit into their combo panel.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 12:27PM
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The QO 2P 200A breaker takes four slots but will fit into their combo panel.
I believe you will find the mfg limits any breaker attached to the bus to 100 or 125A.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 1:39PM
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