Wire size for 200 amp service


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Old 01-13-04, 06:58 AM
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Wire size for 200 amp service

Greetings!

I'm getting closer and closer to having my home and need to find out a few more details..

The home has 200 amp service, the panel is on the back corner, I want the meter on the front corner (so the meter reader doesn't have to go around). This makes about a 35' foot horizontal run (and probably another 8' vertically on each side), for a total of 51'.

I don't want any voltage drop from this (if it can be avoided).

What wire size (copper) do I need?
Should I run it under/through the slab in conduit or above the slab along the perimeter wall? (crawlspace).

I want to build a garage later, and fit it with 100 amp service. Should I size my meter panel for 300 amp (is 300a even available?), and run a 200amp breaker to the inside panel, or just use a 200 amp, and get the power company to drop another service line for the 100 amp service?

As for the feeder line, overhead or below ground? If it's overhead, it's going to run over the driveway. Which might put it in the way for me to put up a carport in front of the garage.
 
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Old 01-13-04, 08:08 AM
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How big is your house and what are the major electrical loads (do you have electric heat and appliances). You may have an issue with separating the existing panel from the meter. Who is doing the electrical work? If they have planned on making the panel a main and connecting the meter on the outside of the wall opposite the panel then you will have to change the panel from a main to a subpanel and install a main panel adjacent to the meter. You could install a "trailer" panel which has a meter socket, a 200A main, some spaces for some breakers and some lugs to hook up the conductors going to the subpanel. I think you could get by with 2/0 THHN Cu conductors, although you may need 3/0 conductors because you are wiring a "circuit" instead of a service.
 
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Old 01-13-04, 08:33 AM
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The home is 2400 sq feet.
Major loads from the home are heat pump, water heater, washer/dryer and related kitchen appliances, except the stove/cooktop, which is gas.

The garage would have at a minimum, full lighting, air compressor and welding machine plus a complement of floor mounted and handheld power tools

As far as I know right now, it will be using a trailer panel (200 amp, 18' pole, $260 cash and carry!). Even if it runs overhead directly to the interior panel instead of going through the pole, it will need to feed from the front corner to keep the line from going over a structure (the garage, when built).

Cost on materials isn't my main concern, as I only plan on doing this once, but I am trying to save some funds by doing the labor work myself.
 
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Old 01-13-04, 08:46 AM
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I'm assuming your backup heat (if you have it in Florida) is electric heat strips. You probably need to perform a load calculation to size your service. Without the garage (welder, etc.) you could probably get by with a 200A service, but I'm thinking you may need to go with a 400A service. You would use a 400A meter socket and put a 200A panel on either side. From there, you would feed your subpanels (200A in house, 100A (?) in garage).

Do you have an electrical permit? Perhaps you need to hire a local electrical company to come out and give you some advice.
 
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Old 01-13-04, 08:55 AM
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If you want to use copper wires that 50ft will cost you a bundle. I paid $100 for only 20 ft (3 cables, 3-0 I believe). And these are not the kind of cables that you want to push/pull over long distances of conduit...

AL is cheaper, but is more prone to failures and difficult to bend.
 
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Old 01-13-04, 08:58 AM
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trinitro is right. Another reason to make the meter reader walk around to the back of the house.
 
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Old 01-13-04, 10:14 AM
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If they aren't in your area now, they will be soon. Electric meters with wireless transmitters are coming.

When installed, the meter reader drives through your neighborhood and reads your meter from the truck, without even stopping. This works if nthe meter is around back or even inside your house.

Don't fret on the meter location. Very soon it won't matter.
 
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Old 01-14-04, 07:47 AM
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Hhhm.. that's something to ask about, though I doubt we'll get that advanced anytime soon. I'd like to have one of the digital meters, that reads out exactly how much power you're using at any given time.
 
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Old 01-14-04, 08:18 AM
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You should probably call your power company. In my area they are the ones to determine meter placement and overhead or underground.

As far as how to run the cable, unless you are under the slab or surrounded by 2 inches of concrete, or remain outside of the building, you would need a disconnect next to the meter and feed your panel as a sub. The Code requires the run between the meter and panel to be as short as practical once it enters the building.
 
 

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