New 400A service


Old 11-16-05, 05:42 AM
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New 400A service

After talking to my electric company, I find that my only choice is to move from 200A service to 400A service. My plan is to keep my 150A panel intact and add a 200A panel. I have 4 questions:
1) If I mount the new meter box opposite of the new panel, can I run both fee lines into the new panel, one for the new panel, and then route the other out of the new panel and over to the old panel?
2) Are parallel panels, both feed from the meter, wired as sub-panels or as main service panels?
3) If the new 400A meter base dose not provide for multiple connections for the lines to the service panels, are adapter commonly available?
4) Where can I find info on how to make a strong enough attach for the cable that supports the service drop from the pole?. (I am moving the meter about 4' from its current location.)

Thanks in advance,
Ken Lilja
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Old 11-16-05, 08:13 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Dry Side of Washington State
Posts: 738
No offense intended, but it sounds like you're inexperienced doing electric work. Suggest you get quotes from elec contractors. Are homeowners allowed to do this type of electric work where you live?

Last edited by mattison; 11-16-05 at 10:25 AM. Reason: No need to quote the entire post above.
Old 11-16-05, 10:22 AM
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I have done allot of research and have not yet found any restrictions on homeowner construction of their own property. Any work performed by the homeowner must have a permit, meet code, and pass inspection. You are even allowed to design your own home, up to 4000 sq. ft. without an architect or engineer. The county permit documents specifically mentions owner electrical work. I did wire a workshop in my basement, permitted, to
code and inspected. Yes this new project is quite a step up from that work.
I guess that I have a different mind set than most.
Once I have done a project under supervision, I can do it again. However, I can do it a thousand times and still I am require to have the instructions or approved data on my toolbox or no more than a few feet away. The flip side is that I am an instructor of aviation maintenance and am allowed by the FAA to teach on subjects that I have little to no experience in. I guess that
I see the inspector as my "supervision"
I prefer not to pay an Electrician if possible. Then again, allot of people maintain their own airplane because my services are too expensive.
Old 11-16-05, 11:02 AM
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By the way, no offense taken.
Maybe what I need is the equivalent of what we in aviation call an “owner assisted inspection”. The owner does most of the work under the supervision of the mechanic and the mechanic inspects the work, completes the required inspection (100 hour or annual) and returns the aircraft to service. Saves the owner some money and now he is better educated
about his airplane.
Ken Lilja
Old 11-16-05, 11:41 AM
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Im not sure where you are located, different power companies have different meter bases but, all 400 amp bases I have wired up have lugs rated for 2 conductors. If your's does, you could have 2 seperate main panels. 1 existing, and the new proposed one. It sounds like they will be in 2 seperate places. If thats the case, once your unfused conductors enter the house, they must go to a disconnnect as close as possible in the house ****Disclaimer-a very gray area. The code is not specific on the number of feet allowable in a house but USUALLY 3-5 feet. Your inspector will make that call. You may also have to have a disconnect in side for the cable that will feed your second panel (because the 2nd panel is a ways from where the wire will enter) code dictates that your mains must be grouped together.

Last edited by StevenP; 11-16-05 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Original clear as mud, edited not much better
Old 11-16-05, 03:49 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 937
Just curious....
Isn't 400 amps serious overkill for a singly family house
I think your service company is pulling your leg, unless you have electric heat, a hot tub, central air, electric stove, work shop, and outbuildings.
(Well, on second thought, maybe it's not overkill...)

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