Whats the best way to do this service entrance...

Old 09-02-17, 08:02 PM
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Red face Whats the best way to do this service entrance...

It's been many years but in the military I was an electrician (lineman) but haven't kept up with the codes. I installed a new 200A service in a house with an outside meter/200A breaker disconnect combination. I installed the ground rods and ground wiring correctly running back to the meter box that has the 200A breaker. The ground bonds to the neutral at the breaker in the meter box. After this is the part that I am undecided...

Right now I have a three conductor 4/0 Al SER cable running out of the back of the meter through a wall into the bottom of the recessed main panel in the garage. The total length is approximately 5 feet. A friend of mine who is still a practicing electrician told me that I have to run a four conductor SER cable to keep the ground and neutral separate in the main panel since it is not the first disconnect means. He also was unsure about running through the wall without protection.

Question 1, I am believing this is a correct statement that I need to keep them separate. Correct?

Question 2, If it is required to keep the neutral and ground separate, is it acceptable to pull in a separate ground wire and leave the existing three 4/0 Al or is it required to be a bundled cable?

Question 3, Is it allowed to run the SER through an interior wall like this since it is after an over current protection device? I do have access to the inside of the wall on one side of the wall and can install metal 'screw blocks' also.

Question 4, If I need mechanical protection in the wall can I use PVC or does it need to be metal? If metal, do I need to bond the two connections with another ground?

Question 5, If I use the PVC or metal, is it acceptable to use 2/0 copper separate conductors? (non bundled)

I know it is a lot of questions. It is hard to find the answers on the internet. I will ask a local inspector soon but wanted to get the take here first. Thank you for taking your time to read.
Old 09-02-17, 08:36 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Your disconnect outside is now considered the main panel. Everything after that is a sub panel and requires a separate ground and neutral. That means that you need to have two bars in the inside box.... one attached directly to the metal box for the grounds and the insulated bar for neutral.

The ground does need to be contained within the same cable as the hots and neutral requiring 4 wire cable. You can use SER thru the wall. You can also use a conduit system with 4 separate wires. The SER needs to be run so it's protected and fastened where visible but it doesn't need to be contained.
Old 09-03-17, 07:14 AM
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Perfect! Looks like I have a little reworking to do.


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