New Garage--200A service, what size panel?

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Old 05-31-09, 04:19 PM
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New Garage--200A service, what size panel?

Hi all,

I'm building a new, detached garage, that will have it's own electrical service.

I have installed in floor heat tubing, and plan to heat using a microelectric boiler with off peak power.

My service entrance is a double gang (two meter face box) 200amp service from the pole.

I will only need about 10 20 amp circuits for general use, and one 50 amp dedicated service for the boiler for off peak use.

So my question, I can't remember if I need to have a service panel rated for 200 amps if I only need 100 amps of service for the structure. In other words, if I have 200 amps coming in at the meter, can I still use a 100 amp breaker panel, and a 50 amp breaker panel for the heater ( a separate box ), or do I have to have a breaker panel rated for 200 amps?

Just to clarify, one meter will be for regular service, and one will be for the off peak heater, both will get a 200 amp supply from the utility company.

Thanks,

Boris
 
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Old 06-01-09, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BorisMD View Post
I can't remember if I need to have a service panel rated for 200 amps if I only need 100 amps of service for the structure. In other words, if I have 200 amps coming in at the meter, can I still use a 100 amp breaker panel, and a 50 amp breaker panel for the heater ( a separate box ), or do I have to have a breaker panel rated for 200 amps?
The main breaker is what sets the size of the service. So, if you have a 100A main breaker in the panel, then that is a 100A service which can use 100A wires, 100A box, conduit, etc.

The rating of the meter means that you can pull up to 200A through the meter without causing damage, however the meter itself does not actually limit the current -- only the main breaker can do that.

It sounds like what you will end up with is a 150A service split between a 100A panel for general use in the garage and a 50A panel for the off-peak heater.
 
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Old 06-01-09, 10:09 AM
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Thanks Ben, just what I needed to hear.

Now, one other question, do garages now need GFCI protection on all circuits that are not lighting circuits?

Also, do you know if the electric boiler circuit would need GFCI or AFCI protection?

Regards,

Boris
 
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Old 06-01-09, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by BorisMD View Post
Now, one other question, do garages now need GFCI protection on all circuits that are not lighting circuits?
All 15A and 20A 120V circuits require GFCI in the garage, including lighting and overhead door openers. The lighting requirement may only apply to fluorescent lights -- someone else may be able to verify if they have a code book handy.

Also, do you know if the electric boiler circuit would need GFCI or AFCI protection?
No GFCI or AFCI required.
 
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Old 06-01-09, 10:48 AM
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Again, just what I needed to know.

Now I can return that 200 amp set that came with a bunch of non-GFCI breakers and get what I really need.

Regards,

Boris
 
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Old 06-01-09, 12:10 PM
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Just an additional note that GFCI receptacles are quite a bit cheaper than GFCI breakers -- about $10 versus $30. I only use GFCI breakers when really necessary and opt to use a GFCI receptacle with LOAD protection wired as the first device on the circuit for probably 90% of GFCI circuits.
 
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Old 06-01-09, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
All 15A and 20A 120V circuits require GFCI in the garage, including lighting and overhead door openers. The lighting requirement may only apply to fluorescent lights -- someone else may be able to verify if they have a code book handy.
Ibpooks { Ben } .,

It will cover all luminaires regaurdless of what type it is.

I don't have the excat number with me a moment but I do recall it do cover it all.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 06-02-09, 09:02 PM
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All receptacles in a garage/out building require GFCI protection as per 210.8(A)(2). Unless the lights are cord connected to 120 volt, 15 or 20 amp receptacles, they do not require GFCI protection.

If I am wrong on this please provide a code reference so that I may be better informed.
 
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Old 06-03-09, 05:06 AM
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Thanks for the info. I was planning on using ceiling receptacles for florescent fixtures that plug in. So I guess I'll need GFCI protection on those circuits.

Regards,

Boris
 
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Old 06-03-09, 03:54 PM
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I suggest feeding the ceiling receptacles off the load side of the GFCI receptacle that is accessable from the floor. That way if it trips you do not need a ladder to reset it.
 
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Old 06-03-09, 06:08 PM
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Yeah, I was thinking I might just use a GFCI breaker -- more expensive, but I think they are more durable than receptacles. I've had to replace a receptacle in my outdoor location before, and it was a real pain.

Regards,

Boris
 
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Old 06-04-09, 07:41 PM
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Okay, stupid follow up question--

I was at home depot, looking at the panels, and they have "Load Centers" and "Main Lugs", not all the load centers had main breakers.

I'm looking to do this with low cost in mind, and from what I saw, the least expensive was the SquareD Homeline series. They had a 125Amp Load center, for around $40. It looked like I would almost be best off to just buy two of those (one for the peak, and one for the off peak) instead of a smaller 50 - 100 Amp load center.

I'm assuming both panels need the main breaker since each panel gets power from it's own meter.

Also, I'm assuming that I can get away with only one grounding system for both panels (I usually do two rods for the system). I'm not sure how I will run the copper from one load center to the other, though. I suspect that if it's legal, I will just run a length of copper from one ground/neutral bus over to the other ground/neutral bus.

And, since these aren't a main panel and a subpanel, I won't be removing the bonding bar between the ground and neutral.

Regards,

Boris
 
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Old 06-04-09, 08:27 PM
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Hey BorisMD! I just noticed your from Lake Elmo. Howdy neighbor!!

There are many ways that you can run off peak. If you haven't, I would talk to the folks at the POCO to see what options you have for controlling the off peak panel. (they will need to switch it on and off) All ones we have installed go from First meter>main panel>feeder off breaker in main panel>second meter with contactor>Off peak panel.

No matter what both panels will have to be bonded together.
 
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Old 06-06-09, 09:02 AM
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Hi Tolyn!

Grab your tools and come on over :-)

Seriously, I'm having trouble getting someone from Xcel energy who knows the real answer.

Someone said I needed a two gang meter face -- one for regular service, and one for off peak. I picked one up at Viking for ~$400! I'd much rather get a plain single meter face at Home Depot for $100.

Anyway, I want to get my panel installed this weekend. What panel do you recommend? Like I said in my earlier post, I think I can do fine with a lower amperage main, and then what to use for the off peak?

Regards,

Boris
 
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Old 06-07-09, 07:55 PM
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Ok, here is what the Xcel energy website says:

"A duplex meter socket is required. Next to your regular meter, we will install an off-peak meter that records the time and amount of electricity used.
A separate service panel must be installed for equipment that will be connected to the Limited Off-Peak meter. If you select to control your own load, you will be required to provide a load-break switch or circuit breaker that allows us to operate remote control equipment from the power source."

So it looks like the double meter socket is required.

They go on to say this:

"Xcel Energy recommends that the customer install an automatic control (at customerís expense) to turn equipment connected to the Limited Off-Peak meter on and off automatically to coincide with the on/off-peak periods."

So, any idea what type of automatic control they are talking about? I was looking at the Intermatic EH40 electronic water heater timer. My microboiler will be a 50amp draw at 240v. This timer is rated at 30 amps / pole -- will that work?

Here's a link to the timer page:

Electronic Water Heater Timers | Intermatic, Inc.

Thanks,

Boris
 
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