New 200A Service - Distance Between Meter and Panel?


Old 07-15-05, 09:33 AM
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New 200A Service - Distance Between Meter and Panel?

I am helping a friend install a new 200A service. The house is built on-slab. Does the new panel have to be located on an exterior wall as close to the meter as possible, or can we pass the conductors from the meter through the rim-joist separating the first and second floor to an interior wall location? Of course, all conductors would be enclosed in 2" NMC. Total wire length could be as much as 20' between meter and panel.

Thanks - BobP
Old 07-15-05, 12:28 PM
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The Code requires the unfused wiring between the meter and panel to be "as short as practical", although there is not maximum distance specified. Check with your local inspection department for their interpretation.

For you to have as much as 20' of wiring between the two would require a disconnect mounted near the panel. There would be no limit on the distance between the disconnect and the panel.

If you were to add the disconnect the breaker panel would be treated as a subpanel and require the grounds to be isolated from the neutral bar.
Old 07-15-05, 12:53 PM
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Thanks... Good recommendations. It's not absolutely necessary that
we locate the panel on an interior wall, so if the local inspector has any
mis-givings I think we'll just take the simple route and go back-to-back
through the exterior wall with the meter and panel.

Thanks again, BobP
Old 07-18-05, 05:47 PM
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where is the current panel? panel location is as much regional as anything - what is 'normal' practice in your area? Here in AZ it's quite common to put the panel outside next to the meter, but you'd never consider an outside box in my old Michigan neighborhood (if code would even allow, which it probably would not). Make it easy on yourself - if part of your upgrade is a significant relocation of the panel (eg, outside/inside) then get it approved in advance.

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