200 Amp power distribution options

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Old 12-27-17, 03:23 PM
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200 Amp power distribution options

Hello everyone,
I'm glad to be here, hopeful to get some advice! I and my family recently moved to a rural acreage, and I have a 200A service disconnect below my meter. I want to install a sub panel in a near by outbuilding, and I don't want to have to run an underground line clear from my house (which is where the main circuit breaker panel is located). My plan was to somehow split the single phase 200A power after the service disconnect between my home and a new smaller 200A exterior panel at the pole(with an 50-70A underground feeder to my outbuilding, an RV hookup, and maybe a 20A outlet).

Does anyone have an economical solution for splitting the power after the service disconnect? The wire is 4/0 aluminum.

Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas and are staying warm!

Farmer Ben
 
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Old 12-27-17, 04:32 PM
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I take it that the existing 200A disconnect panel does not have an additional space for a second disconnect switch.
 
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Old 12-27-17, 05:27 PM
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Do you have a picture of the service at the meter? Services need to be grouped.
 
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Old 12-27-17, 05:50 PM
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I think there would be, but I still need to go from just two load conductors to four. Unless there is some sort of disconnect switch with two lugs per input conductor that I've never seen before?
 
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Old 12-27-17, 06:00 PM
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I can try for an actual picture in the morning, but here's a diagram of the set up. I didn't show the neutral/ground buss. There isn't anything else in the box. The bottom of the box for the service disconnect is about thirty inches above the ground.
Thanks!
 
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Last edited by farmerben; 12-27-17 at 06:04 PM. Reason: clarifying
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Old 12-27-17, 06:11 PM
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What you want to do is called a feeder tap. Since it will be longer than 10' you'll need the full 200A sized feeders to the new panel also. That's about my limit of knowledge as I don't do these, but hopefully it helps you in your research.
 
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Old 12-27-17, 06:25 PM
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That makes sense when I just reading about feeder taps online just now, but I'm not going more than 10 feet, actually I'm planning on mounting my new panel on the same pole, so it would only have about a foot to go.
I appreciate the help.

Ben
 
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Old 12-27-17, 06:32 PM
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If less than 10', the new feeders from the tap can be sized to the main breaker in the new panel.
 
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Old 12-27-17, 07:15 PM
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Get two hole lugs for the meter socket. Feed another disconnect on the pole for the outbuilding.
 
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Old 12-27-17, 07:40 PM
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You have a few options:
1) Change out the existing disconnect for a panel with feed through lugs. I have done this quite a few times and it works well for running additional feeders.
2) Intercept the 200 amp feeder going tot he house and install the same 200 amp panel with feed through lugs.
3) Tap off the existing feeder and mount an additional disconnect next to the the existing 200 amp disconnect. This could be done with double lugs, split bolt connectors, or piercing connectors.

Note: the outbuilding will also need to have a disconnect/panel installed on/in it. You may only have one feed to a building.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 05:30 PM
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Thanks guys- this is very helpful information. Out of curiosity, do you all have a favorite place online where you shop for electrical stuff, or do you just go to the local home improvement store?
 
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Old 12-28-17, 06:31 PM
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Most contractors will use supply houses for their materials.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 06:48 PM
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I do mostly commercial work so I usually go to a supply house because I know they have everything I need.

For personal things or if I happen to be working on a house, the local home store (Menard's, Home Depot in my area) will carry most of what I need.
 
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Old 12-31-17, 11:31 AM
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1) Change out the existing disconnect for a panel with feed through lugs. I have done this quite a few times and it works well for running additional feeders.

This was my first thought and the only option I'd even consider.
 
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Old 11-12-18, 08:22 PM
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Update

I forgot to finish this thread, I ended up finding a nice home line exterior panel with feed through lugs. I rerouted the feed from the service disconnect to the new panel and spliced the house feed with new wires out the bottom of the new panel. Did a new ground for the box. Seems to be working well. Thanks for everyone's help. Additional question though... If I ever want to run another 200amp service, do I need a new/additional meter? Or is there some way to have more than 200amps through a meter with distribution to more than 4 200amp feeders? (2 separate 200amp services, but only one meter).
 
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Old 11-14-18, 01:44 PM
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Glad the project went well. For your future expansion questions, it depends on if you're just adding additional panels or actually adding electrical load.

If you just want to add more panels for example another pole barn, but only modest load (basic lighting, hand tools) you can split your existing 200A service as many times as you want.

If you're adding big electrical load like electrical heaters, hot tub, etc then the next step up would be to have your 200A pedestal service upgraded to 400A with a 400A meter which can then immediately split into two 200A panels for further distribution. This basically gives you two 200A "main" panels, which is allowed as long as they are grouped together. On rural properties it's pretty common to set a couple poles or 4x6s about 8 feet apart with a couple 2x8 run between to provide enough space to mount the meter and distribution panels all next to each other.
 
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