What Size/Type Cable for 200A Service?

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Old 11-03-09, 03:53 PM
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What Size/Type Cable for 200A Service?

I will be replacing my main panel. Service is 200A. I think for the new location the existing wiring from the meter to the current panel will be too short. There are no markings on the current wiring. The length of the run will only be about 6' and it will run through a 2" offset. I've seen online everything from 1/0 to 4/0 Cu and 2/0 to 4/0 Aluminum. Existing wiring is aluminum. So what size/type wiring do I need?
 
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Old 11-03-09, 04:04 PM
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If it's aluminum then 4/0 should do the trick.
 
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Old 11-03-09, 04:30 PM
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Most case 4/0 Al { 120mm˛} will cover majorty of the time if you go with copper route then the size will be 2/0 {70mm˛} that will meet either requirement.

That is sized for 200 amp service conductors.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 11-03-09, 04:38 PM
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Is there a recommendation for either? Seems to me that 2/0 copper is smaller and therefore easier to work, no? I am also aware of the oxidation, etc issues with aluminum. I also know copper is pricier.

As a side question, anybody have a decent layman's primer on cable types - SE vs SER vs THHN, etc and their uses?

thanks
 
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Old 11-03-09, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by crokett View Post
Is there a recommendation for either? Seems to me that 2/0 copper is smaller and therefore easier to work, no? I am also aware of the oxidation, etc issues with aluminum. I also know copper is pricier.

As a side question, anybody have a decent layman's primer on cable types - SE vs SER vs THHN, etc and their uses?

thanks
Not really the biggest diffrence is the price however let me fill you in the rest of details you are looking for.,

Ok with Copper it genrally more expensive than Alum verison useally from 2X to 4X depending on where you get it and type of conductor.

I useally don't have any major issue with alum conductors as long you do it right here a quick run down what you do it properly
Do not let the conductor have pinholes in the insuaiting materal once you get pinhole it will corroded no question it will take time but it will show up.

Second thing yeah most termations you will need antioxideation paste and yes there are avabile at any big box store for couple bucks { you only need small tube not the big containtor unless you will be working tons of alum conductor like myself }

Third thing the alum is softer than copper so alum will bend little more easier than copper just don't go too crazy with bends.

The SE cable is common in some area { some area may not allowed depending on the local requirement ]

The SE is used from the meter socket to first disconnection source like load centre or outdoor main disconnection switch but from there you will have to switch over to SER as I will mention a moment.

The SER is typically four conductor it will have two hot conductor and netural plus bare grounding conductor that is common used from the first disconnection source like outdoor main breaker to indoor load center or all subpanel useage { the code is pretty strict it no longer use 3 conductor feeder }

Both items above useally don't need conduit unless you use for protection that about it.

Now for THHN/THWN that useally found with mostaly with copper conductors but it will show up in Alum verison but most case it will be XLPE { becarefull some may not allow XPLE indoor useage if don't have other marking espcally with URD that useally is most common cupit }

That item it is mantory in the conduit it can be either plastic or steel or some case alum conduit { I will just stay away from Alum conduit }


BTW with 4/0's you will need two inch conduit that is the smallest size you can use on this one.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 11-03-09, 05:33 PM
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Thanks for the explanation. I will go with the 4/0 Aluminum. I will be running it through a 2" offset.
 
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Old 11-04-09, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by crokett View Post
Thanks for the explanation. I will go with the 4/0 Aluminum. I will be running it through a 2" offset.
I've been doing it for some years and if it was me I would go with the copper. Being it's only 6' run the cost isn't that great & you don't have to worry about oxidation compound but again I will still put some on the copper. 4/0 Aluminum is alot light but to me it isn't easier to bend all the time. Also you will have to torque down Aluminum wire in the lugs pretty close to spec. You have to remember the insulation on the Aluminum is thicker than the THHN that you will get with the copper. Again, either wire will work for you.

Jim
 
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Old 11-04-09, 06:43 AM
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Assuming I go with copper, do I need 2/0 or 4/0? I know about the issues torquing down the aluminum. OTH, what is there now is aluminum and it has worked fine for 30 years.
 
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Old 11-04-09, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by crokett View Post
Assuming I go with copper, do I need 2/0 or 4/0? I know about the issues torquing down the aluminum. OTH, what is there now is aluminum and it has worked fine for 30 years.
2/0 Copper - 4/0 aluminum

Thanks!
Jim

 
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Old 11-04-09, 07:54 AM
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Do you intend to route three 0000 conductors thru a 2" "offset" nipple ?
 
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Old 11-04-09, 07:59 AM
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just to clarify:

the conductor sizes provided are for a residential service. If this is commercial, the answers would be different.

granted, most here are dealing with resi services but...
 
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Old 11-04-09, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by PATTBAA View Post
Do you intend to route three 0000 conductors thru a 2" "offset" nipple ?

Yes. Is that a problem? The existing is aluminum, I assume 4/0 and it would fit with room to spare. The inspector was out to do a consult last week and said either a straight 2" nipple or 2" offset. I already had the offset but may just get a straight nipple. I can move the panel closer to the meter base and it will make routing it a little easier.

Yes this is for residential.
 
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Old 11-04-09, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by crokett View Post
Yes. Is that a problem? The existing is aluminum, I assume 4/0 and it would fit with room to spare. The inspector was out to do a consult last week and said either a straight 2" nipple or 2" offset. I already had the offset but may just get a straight nipple. I can move the panel closer to the meter base and it will make routing it a little easier.

Yes this is for residential.
What you have set up now you will be OK with either wire. The copper or aluminum.
Jim

 
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Old 11-05-09, 07:51 AM
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Ok, one more question. The existing wiring from the meter to the panel is 4/0 aluminum, 2 black hots and a gray colored neutral, all sheathed as one cable. Lowes/HD have 2/0 copper but it is sheathed with a neutral and ground. I don't need the ground - in the new panel the neutral and ground are bonded. I just want the 2 hots and neutral. I called a couple electrical places but they don't seem to have what I want, unless I am asking for the wrong thing. I can get 2/0 copper, but it is black. Can I tape one of the legs white, or should I be asking for different cable?
 
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Old 11-05-09, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by crokett View Post
Ok, one more question. The existing wiring from the meter to the panel is 4/0 aluminum, 2 black hots and a gray colored neutral, all sheathed as one cable. Lowes/HD have 2/0 copper but it is sheathed with a neutral and ground. I don't need the ground - in the new panel the neutral and ground are bonded. I just want the 2 hots and neutral. I called a couple electrical places but they don't seem to have what I want, unless I am asking for the wrong thing. I can get 2/0 copper, but it is black. Can I tape one of the legs white, or should I be asking for different cable?
You'll have 2- blacks for your hots and for your neutral you can use a black but make sure you tape both ends with white tape.

Thanks!
Jim

 
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Old 11-08-09, 07:16 AM
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Thanks for all your help and not telling me I should have an electrician do this. I had one - a buddy who used to work for his dad, except the buddy has been out-of-pocket dealing with family stuff and I have to get this done. Anyhoo, the existing setup is 4/0 aluminum from the meter base to the panel. 2 black hots and braided bare ground. The new panel the run is longer so I will use 2/0 copper, 2 black hots and taped white neutral. Unless my understanding is flawed, that neutral/ground is a current carrying conductor, no? And wasn't the existing supposed to be insulated?
 
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Old 11-08-09, 09:03 AM
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If this is in the conduit { plastic or steel } from the meter socket to the load centre you should have inslualted netural conductor the only time you can run bare conductor if it was a service disconnection outside like right below the meter socket then after that you have to run 4 conductor but as your situation the main breaker is inside if I am reading this right.


Let me get a photo what the SE cable look like




This cable is legit most area unless you have main breaker right below the meter socket then you will have to use SER or 4 conductor cable or 4 conductor in conduit.

Anyway the code do allowed to remarked the larger conductor like your example above one of the conductor can be remarked to white due the size of conductor the code do allow to remarked as long it is above #6 or part of cable assambly.

Now you mention electrician some of serious DIY can able replace the service entrance cable plus the load center as long they understand the codes { I know they will check the regulations before they tackle it } however some local code may not allow the DIYer to do the service changeover it have to be done by electrician.

And what more once you ask the POCO to cut the lateral or overhead drop off when you do upgrading many time they will not hook up until it have be inspected by electrical inspector to approve it before it can be reengerized { turn on power }


Merci.
Marc
 
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Old 11-08-09, 02:52 PM
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The work will be inspected. I checked before I got into this whether I can do it not being licensed. I also had the inspector out for a consult. I have a good handle on what I need to do, I was just wondering why the current install from the meter to the main panel is 2 hots and a bare current-carrying conductor (neutral). Like I said, as I understand it, that conductor is carrying current and should be insulated. I am going to run 3 lengths of 2/0 and remark one white.
 
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