wire size for 150 amp sub panel

k2highlandfarmJuly 15, 2010

I have 1 gauge copper wire for my 2 hot wires and 2 gauge copper for my neutral running 260 feet from my main 200 amp service panel to my barn. Is this enough for 150 amp service in the barn?

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Ron Natalie

Well that all depends. First off, it depends on the type of wire used. With something like THWN-2 you'd get 150A out of #1, for THWN you'd only get 130 and would need to size up to 1/0.
You might also want to consider sizing up for voltage drop issues. 150A over 260 feet on #1 will be almost 12 volts of drop.

As for the neutral, if you are relatively assured of no more than 115A of unbalanced load, OK.

Is this an existant installation? If it isn't and you're subject to the 2008 NEC, or you have other metalic paths between the buildings (water piping, phone, tv), then you also need to run a grounding conductor (#6 would appear to suffice).

Of course it goes without saying that you need a grounding system for the barn.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 12:33PM
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It is an existing installation. There are no other metallic paths between the buildings. There is a ground wire. It is either #6 or #4, I cannot remember. It is THWN-2. The bonding screw is not connected in the 100 amp subpanel that I want to upgrade to 150 and it is grounded to a six foot grounding rod at the subpanel. My plan is if the wire can handle it then I will replace the 100 amp panel with a 150 amp panel. Do you think I am good to go?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 1:27PM
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Most 200A panels will only accept up to a 125 branch circuit breaker.
A 150A "sub-panel" is an odd ball.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 1:55PM
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"...is grounded to a six foot grounding rod at the subpanel."

One rid is not enough unless you show its resistance is less than 25 ohms to earth.

Since doing the measurement involves driving another rod, and only one additional rod is required anyway, simply adding the second rod is usually the easiest solution.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 2:54PM
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