200 Amp service ?


Old 07-27-05, 01:06 AM
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200 Amp service ?

Was adding some branch circuits and noticed my 200 amp service is fed with 4 Ga wires. Is this correct? The main breaker is 2 200 amp brekers ganged together.

4GA wire would only carry 100 amps. Am I really confused as usual or does 200 amp mean both legs added together?

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Old 07-27-05, 06:32 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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#4 triplex used to be pretty standard for a typical service drop.

The amperage of a breaker is what it will trip at. A 200 amp breaker will trip (in time) around 200 amps. It doesn't matter which leg is carrying the 200 amps....it could be all on one side and none on the other.

They are not precision devices.

Breakers should protect what's below them (i.e.-the load they are looking at), not the wires coming to them. I imagine the wire is sized more to the capacity of your transformer than your breaker.

On the other hand, if you are experiencing excessive dimming of lights when a large appliance cuts in, or you have motors that have trouble starting, this could be causing a voltage drop.
Old 07-27-05, 07:53 AM
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The requirements for utility-owned wires are generally less, because such wires are generally outside and pose less of a risk if they should get hot.
Old 07-27-05, 09:49 AM
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are the 4 ga wires the service drop or are they the feeders from the weatherhead and meter to the main breaker? I ask this because typically one cannot read the service feeders while looking in the main panel.
Old 07-27-05, 02:07 PM
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Scott they are the feeders, it is an underground system. They come from the meter box to the service panel.

Old 07-27-05, 02:40 PM
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Are you sure they are 4 gauge and not 4/0 gauge? Actual #4 is a little bigger than a 1/4" diameter whereas #4/0 is about 5/8" diameter.
Old 07-28-05, 03:26 PM
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Yes they are 4 Ga not 4/0. Thats why I am asking that seems way to small to me, but this was done by a licenced contractor and passed inspection.

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