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200 amp service upgrade

Posted by mbaldwin (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 12, 13 at 11:53

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?

Thanks,
Michael


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

Your analysis looks good. You need to consult with the power company on what requirements they have for the meter / meter pan for the upgraded service.


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

Thanks for the feadback. The town will provide the meter can, I think he called it. I am assuming it is the same as the meter pan, or the meter socket. Not quite sure, I am not up on the technical terms.

Does the disconnect at the meter need to be fused? Home Depot has a GE� 200 Amp 240-Volt Non-Fuse Indoor Safety Switch, Model # �TGN3324 for $184, or a GE� 200 amp 240-Volt Fusible Outdoor General-Duty Safety Switch, Model # �TG4324R for $294. As it is going to be inside the garage, I would rather go with the less expenssive option if it will work. I have not found anything saying either way.

thanks,
Michael


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

The disconnect itself doesn't need to be overcurrent protected, BUT you must protect the feeder (the wiring from the disconnect to your panel), so yes, you'll need to put overcurrent protection there.


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

Thanks, that is what I was thinking. I will have to do some checking around, $300 for a fused disconnect seems high to me. Maybe it isn't, but sure seems it. Not sure if there are any electrical supply places around me, I guess that is what I get for living in the middle of no where.

Any models I should look for, or stay away from"? I tend to use Square-D for work, but not against any recommendations

Thanks,
Michael


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

Yeah, the 200A fused disconnectors can be a little large and expensive. You should see the 400A one that is ahead of my transfer switch on my house.

Square D is fine. So is Eaton/Cutler-Hammer, GE, Siemens etc..


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

i am sure the 400A is large, the 200A is large enough, at least from the dimentions given. I have not layed my hands on it yet.

I am also considering instaling a 200A 12 spot 24 circuit panel and feed the sub off a 125A breaker, and move the large draw appliances to the 200A panel. That would be a lot more work, because of the way things are layed out here, but it is an option I am tossing around as well.

this would be easier if the town let me move the meter location.

Michael


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

The other option would be to see if there is an option for a meter base with a OCD/disconnect in it.


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

I think I found an option I can live with now. HD has a 200A trailer home panel. It has the 200A main breaker, and also has feed through lugs on it. It is about a 3rd of the cost of the 200A disconnect.

Thanks,
Michael


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

Yeah, I was going to suggest it might be easier just to put in the smallest 200A panel you could find. By the way, just to stave off any other comments, the RV/Maufacturered Home SquareD panel is listed as a regular panel.


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

The panel I found was the Siemens� 200 Amp 8-Space 16-Circuit Outdoor Main Breaker Trailer Panel Model PW0816B1200TC. Do you happen to know the model of the Square-D one? My current panel is a QO, and I have some HomeLine breakers left over from my last house. Seems simpler to keep everythig the same. I might put a 220V outlet in my garage if I have the panel to do it, better to run my dust collector, and hopefully my new jointer. I was avoiding a small panel cause the largest breakers I could find to power the sub were 125A or so, but if they have feed through lugs, that is no longer a concern.


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

Homeline breakers will not fit a QO panel.


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

yep, I know that, sorry maybe I was not quite clear. I was basically stating I have stuff for a QO and HomeLine panel, so if there is a rv/mobile home panel made in one of those styles I would prefer it over what I already found.

Michael


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

They make RV panels in both HOM and QO lines. I assumed you were using the HOMELINE one because Home Despot has it listed on their website.


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RE: 200 amp service upgrade

Yep, I think I found them. I think I am going to go with the QO line though. I can get it from Menards for $129, which is less than HD, or anywhere else for that matter. I think this is the right model, Model Number: QO1816M200FTRB.

Michael


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