200 AMP service. Homeowner Attempt....

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Old 03-05-13, 08:52 PM
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200 AMP service. Homeowner Attempt....

Hi, I'm in need of some help on the electrical to my home. Northern Wyoming.


I am installing a 200 amp service. Here is my plan...


From the power pole, down with 4/0 4/0 4/0 aluminum URD USE XLP cable. This goes immediately into schedule 80 PVC and then 28 inches into the ground. Then direct bury for 24 feet. Then the wires go up schedule 80 into an outdoor Square D QO 200 amp meter socket with 8 spaces for the circuits for my shop.

Then the 4/0 cables plus a #4 THWN go down schedule 80 PVC 28 inches into the ground. This is direct bury for 70 feet to my house. The wires come up Sched 80 PVC into a Square D 200 amp circuit breaker exterior disconnect and head down (but not into the ground) Sched 80 PVC and through a wall into my basement. Still in PVC, the wires head 15 feet into a Square D 200 amp load center. This new panel will be grounded and bonded by 8 foot rods and cold water supply.

There will be 2 ground rods at the first meter socket/panel, and two between the exterior disconnect and my 30 space load center. Then i will re-energize my old 50 amp panel from the new one, and as the house gets re-wired, run all new wire to the new panel.


Do i have a good grasp on doing this project myself?


The #4 THWN wire is to separate the ground from the neutral from the meter to the house. Does this mean the new breaker box in my basement is to be treated as a sub panel and the meter/8 space breaker is the main panel?


thanks


For simplification, Power will come underground to the meter location at my shop, then go underground to the exterior disconnect on my house and then through a wall into my basement (4 feet below grade, 3 feet above grade) to the new house breaker box.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 03-05-13 at 09:48 PM. Reason: reformatted text.
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Old 03-05-13, 09:47 PM
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Welcome to the forums !

Best to use the website editor for posting. I couldn't find my glasses to read your text.

I'm not sure if you need a disconnect on the outside of your house. That service is already protected in your 8 circuit main panel. I'm assuming you'll be using one of the eight breaker locations as the 200A feed.

If you are talking about T'ing the service at your shop..... I don't think that's allowed.

Does this mean the new breaker box in my basement is to be treated as a sub panel and the meter/8 space breaker is the main panel?
Yes....that's the way it should be done.

I'll stop back when I come back online. I'm sure my partners will check in and offer their help.
 
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Old 03-05-13, 10:27 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

First of all, "All codes is local." IOW, everything depends on the regulations your local authority will require you to meet before they will issue you a permit for this work.

That said, the bond between the utility neutral and your GEC must be made at the first point of disconnect. That is the meter base and outside panel at your shop. That panel can be treated as a main panel, with neutrals and grounds combined. But unless you install a 200A breaker there for the feed to the house, it is not the main panel for the panel in the house, and does not make that panel a subpanel.

Before going on, why are you installing a 200A disconnect there? What is the combined load in your shop?

The 200A disconnect at the house is the MOPD for the new panel in the house. It makes the distribution panel a subpanel. At that outside box, you need to create the GEC for the house, with the two ground rods and the bond to your cold water inlet. From that disconnect, you should pull individual copper conductors through conduit to your distribution panel.

Since your distribution panel is a subpanel it does not have to have a MOPD. You will probably want to have a main breaker in it anyway, just so you can shut it off to work in it without having to go outside. Most importantly, though, because this is a subpanel, the grounds must be kept together and bonded to the box. The neutrals must be kept together separately and isolated from all paths to ground, including the box.

Reading a copy of Wiring Simplified before you proceed with this project will probably answer a lot of questions for you.

This is a large undertaking. Good luck with it!
 
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Old 03-06-13, 06:40 PM
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Then the wires go up schedule 80 into an outdoor Square D QO 200 amp meter socket with 8 spaces for the circuits for my shop.
Is there a 200 amp main breaker in this meter/panel combination? If so, I hope it also has 200 amp rated feed-thru lugs to feed the house. This would make it the main service panel.

Then the 4/0 cables plus a #4 THWN go down schedule 80 PVC 28 inches into the ground. This is direct bury for 70 feet to my house.
If the main service panel with 200 amp main breaker is at the shop at the meter location, you don't need #4 copper THWN as a ground along with your 4/0 aluminum conductors. A #6 copper THWN or #4 aluminum XHHW would meet the NEC requirement. I'd use the aluminum XHHW ground here.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 08:58 AM
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Yes, there is a 200 amp main breaker in this meter socket/ 8 circuit slot box. There are lugs at the bottom of the bus bars, for 4/0 wire...
What i still do not understand...
If i use the lugs attached to the bus bars at the bottom of the hot circuit busses to feed the house panel (so there is not a dedicated breaker except the main breaker), does it make the house panel a sub?

It makes more sense to me if electricity would run though the meter, then the 200a main breaker, then a dedicated breaker filling 2 of my 8 slots, then to feed the house distribution panel. Then it would be clearly a sub (right?).

But as it is now, electricity would run through the meter, then the 200a main breaker, down the bus bars and directly luged to 4/0 wires to feed the house panel. Is the house panel a sub in this situation, and it would require the 4th dedicated ground wire.

thanks for the advice, i appreciate it.


one last thing.... everyone else has specifically told me to use copper for the ground, you mentioned that properly sized AL would work?

Emac
 
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Old 03-08-13, 09:10 AM
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Aluminum cannot terminate within 18" of the earth.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 09:18 AM
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Thanks Nashkat,

I purchased the book, Wiring Simplified...

OK, a few questions...

#1: Do i need the 200 A MOPD exterior breaker at the house? It seems to me, the meter socket/ 8 space circuit (which has a main breaker) would shut down and protect all circuits directly after the meter. It would shut off power to my entire shop and house. Do i really need another for firefighter safety (or any other reason), if they can use the one on my shop only 70 feet away?

#2 The shop meter socket/ main with 8 circuit, has heavy lugs directly attached to the bottom of the hot bus bars. I would use these to run wire to feed the house. If i had no outside 200 amp disconnect breaker attached to the house, would the house panel be a sub? I mean, the only breaker that electricity would run though before it got to the house is the main, located at the meter/8 circuit.
OR, do i have to buy a 200 amp breaker, and install it in two of the slots of my meter/main/8 box? I believe this would make my house panel a classic sub panel... But i'm a first-timer....
Could you help with the grounding in these situations?...

There is a main 200 a breaker in the house panel, so i can work on circuits easily.

THANKS A BUNCH GUYS!!!
elmer
 
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Old 03-08-13, 09:22 AM
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Thanks PCBOSS,
Simple. got it. I can use AL 19+ inches away from the earth as a ground. Even to attach to my cold water supply? (with NOALOX)
 
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Old 03-08-13, 09:45 AM
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If the conductor is going to a buried electrode like a rod you would not use AL.

A panel at the house or shop would need a main if it had more than 6 circuits in it. Even with the breaker near the meter.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 06:33 PM
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one last thing.... everyone else has specifically told me to use copper for the ground, you mentioned that properly sized AL would work?
For the branch feeder, you don't need copper, aluminum is fine, but I missed one thing.

Then the 4/0 cables plus a #4 THWN go down schedule 80 PVC 28 inches into the ground. This is direct bury for 70 feet to my house.
I suggested using Type XHHW aluminum, but I missed that you are direct burying the feeder. I don't believe Type XHHW is rated for direct burial, but neither is Type THWN. The ground conductor should be of the same type as the other three conductors. This would be a good application for aluminum mobile home feeder direct burial wire.

Mobile Home Feeder
 
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Old 03-08-13, 06:36 PM
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But as it is now, electricity would run through the meter, then the 200a main breaker, down the bus bars and directly luged to 4/0 wires to feed the house panel. Is the house panel a sub in this situation, and it would require the 4th dedicated ground wire.
Yes, house panel is a subpanel and needs the 4 wire feeder.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 06:39 PM
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If the conductor is going to a buried electrode like a rod you would not use AL.
pcboss is exactly right. While I do suggest the ground conductor in the feeder be aluminum, I always recommend the grounding conductor going to the ground rod/rods be copper; either stranded or solid, I prefer bare stranded.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 06:43 PM
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Thanks CasualJoe!
Ok! I will change my wire selection for the ground as i have not purchased it yet. I have already purchased the 3, 4/0 AL wires in a triplex. So i will just get a comparable ground in # 4 AWG.

If i choose to schedule 40 counduit the underground section, instead of direct bury, would XHHW in #4 AL work? I hope i can fit this all in 2" conduit without problems. (I believe i heard it would be too hard to pull, but i can assemble one at a time using minimal glue to avoid damage)
 
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Old 03-08-13, 06:58 PM
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If i choose to schedule 40 counduit the underground section, instead of direct bury, would XHHW in #4 AL work? I hope i can fit this all in 2" conduit without problems. (I believe i heard it would be too hard to pull, but i can assemble one at a time using minimal glue to avoid damage)
If you decide to use conduit for the entire length, do yourself a huge favor and use conduit no smaller than 2 1/2". The 3-wire triplex type direct burial you have already purchased is sold from a reel and the 3 conductors have a wrap or twist to them to make for easier handling. You'll find that pulling that assembly into 2" conduit is really close to impossible.

Yes, if the entire length is in conduit. #4 XHHW aluminum will work just fine for the ground and will be a helluva lot cheaper than copper.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 07:23 PM
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Thanks CasualJoe, I think i got it, but just to be sure, lets review....

I broke my electrical project up in sections. the sections are numbered in order as you would see them from the POCO to my home.

#1 The wires from POCO to my Meter/Main. = Triplex 4/0 AL direct bury wire in 2 1/2 inch grey schedule 80 when above ground, and grey sched 40 below ground (25 feet). this connects to...

#2 The Meter/Main. = QO 200 amp meter socket with main breaker and 8 circuit spaces. The box itself and all 8 circuits are grounded to the ground/neutral bus. this connects to...

#3 The wires to the house. = Triples 4/0 AL direct bury wire, plus a #4 XHHW AL for the ground in 2.5 inch grey sched 80 when above ground, and grey sched 40 below ground (70 feet). These wires attach on the feed thu lugs on the bus bars of previously mentioned Meter/Main. these connect to...

#4 The sub panel for all the circuits of the house. = QO 200 Amp with 30 circuit spaces. The box itself is grounded to the ground bus which is connected to the #4 XHHW wire. The ground bus bar is also grounded by a #4 bare copper wire to two ground rods and my cold water line with a copper jumper across the H2O meter.

Thanks so much!
This website and its members have been a big help to me and my family.
emac

Mod Note: Please type directly into the dialogue boxes in the forum. If you really need to compose in another piece of software, please use a plain text editor or save as plain text to remove the formatting before pasting it into the forum.
 

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Old 03-08-13, 08:10 PM
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emac3141, please redo your post using the forum editor. All the useless formatting is making it difficult to read.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 08:22 PM
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#1: Do i need the 200 A MOPD exterior breaker at the house? It seems to me, the meter socket/ 8 space circuit (which has a main breaker) would shut down and protect all circuits directly after the meter. It would shut off power to my entire shop and house. Do i really need another for firefighter safety (or any other reason), if they can use the one on my shop only 70 feet away?
No. See more below.

#2 The shop meter socket/ main with 8 circuit, has heavy lugs directly attached to the bottom of the hot bus bars. I would use these to run wire to feed the house. If i had no outside 200 amp disconnect breaker attached to the house, would the house panel be a sub? I mean, the only breaker that electricity would run though before it got to the house is the main, located at the meter/8 circuit.
OR, do i have to buy a 200 amp breaker, and install it in two of the slots of my meter/main/8 box? I believe this would make my house panel a classic sub panel...
No. See more below.

But i'm a first-timer... Could you help with the grounding in these situations?...
At the first disconnect/service entrance, you need to create a Grounding Electrode Conductor (a GEC) and bond the utility supply neutral to it. This is where the feed from the meter enters the box with the 200A main.

The first choice for a GEC is a cold water inlet pipe, followed by any other buried metal pipe, such as a gas pipe. To add to those, or if you don't have either of those, you can drive two 8' copper ground rods at least 6' apart and connect - bond - those to each other and to the box and the utility neutral with a single length of #6 AWG copper connected to the rods with acorn nuts.

Inside that box, terminate the utility neutral and all of your GEC conductors to the single neutral/ground bus, and make sure that bus is bonded to the box. That box is now your main panel. Everything downstream from it is a sub.

There is a main 200 a breaker in the house panel, so i can work on circuits easily.
Good. There is also a 200A main breaker in your house panel so that you won't have to install one outside and because
Originally Posted by pcboss
A panel at the house or shop would need a main if it had more than 6 circuits in it.
From the shop to the house, pull an insulated ground with your two hots and your neutral. At the house, establish a separate GEC. Use the cold water pipe, the gas pipe and two driven ground rods, just as you did at the shop. Feed the conductors for those into your distribution panel.

Note: Mo bare conductors in conduit. Use either bare conductors outside conduit or insulated conductors in conduit.

Since the panel in your house is now a subpanel, you must isolate the neutrals. All of those need to be together on one bus that is not electrically connected to any path to ground, including the panel box. All of the grounds, including the EGC coming from the shop, any and all new GEC conductors, and all of your branch circuit EGCs, need to be together on a separate bus that is bonded to the panel box. You will probably have to buy the separate bus bar for this.

Post back as you have more questions.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 08:26 PM
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The conduit run needs to be complete from end to end before the conductors are pulled in. You do not slide and glue.

I have issues with the water line and rods coming from the house panel. They should originate at the meter main.
 
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