200A or 400A service to shop?


Old 08-01-06, 01:59 PM
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200A or 400A service to shop?

Hey guys, I'm building a shop for my work and enjoyment. We are in the drawings stage right now. An RFI has been sent up the chain to Nevada Power, but thought y'all might have some more experienced insight we can banter about.

This will have its own service. The poles are very near where the shop will be built. Service around here now is overhead, but I was going to put this underground anyway.

What I'm now finding out is that despite the lines and other transformers being on the poles now, they are going to require my primaries to come underground and then to a transformer onsite and then underground again to my service entrance, which I was planning on putting only 20' from the bloody pole to start with. Thoughts? More info is coming on this.

Also, based on this information, and 3-phase being too expensive, I have no problem spending the extra money for a 400A panel and cables, but what will be the approximate difference in cost for the associated new transformer? Any experience there? I know I can live with 200A, but now's the time to put in more if I even THINK I might want it, especially since it will have an apartment on the side and there is no natural gas service here (may put propane in later, too, but that's another story.)
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Old 08-01-06, 04:01 PM
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The pad mount transformer is normal (in my area, anyway) for underground installation. The transformers on the pole are probably for a 3 phase service nearby, and they will be pulling a primary to your pad mount transformer, as they can't use one of the 3 phase secondaries for yours. One question...what in the world would you ever need a 400 amp service for? I understand planning for the future, but I doubt you could run enough equipment at the same time to compromise a 200 amp service. Of course, I understand it could depending on the size of equipment you use, and if it is a commercial concern. More coming? We'll wait. Good luck.
Old 08-01-06, 04:33 PM
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I am with Chandler. I can not imagine you needing a 400 amp service for a shop that you say is "for my work and enjoyment".
What kind of shop is it? What is the load to be installed. I have a wood working shop that has a lot of equipment that has a
panel fed by a 60 amp breaker.
Old 08-01-06, 11:01 PM
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Well, I'm also a weldor and want to dabble in some machinery like lathes, mills, and ironworkers. Plus, it will also be used for vehicle repair (with a car mechanic, car lift, and the works, plus feed my RV home and whatever I put nearby on that side of the lot.

I completely agree that I can make 200A work. But for what is probably very little extra cost (assuming the transformer isn't much more expensive) I'm certainly willing to consider the 400A panel. I probably have enough scrap wire to make the run anyway being so close to the pole.

There is no three phase for at least several poles that I can see, and the preliminary inquiry at the PoCo says it's much further than that, but they are going to make sure. I can see two primaries on the poles around here that the residential transformers (also on the poles) are being fed from.

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