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Old 03-13-2012, 10:32 AM   #1
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200 Amp panel


Hello All,

First post, working on a complete bare-stud remodel of my home, so I will try to be descriptive enough. I have a 150 Amp service to the house (which I might upgrade later) with a meter socket and breakers outside. I am running into the house (more than 10') to a 125 Amp 20 space ML. I have too many 15 and 20 Amp circuits now for the panel and need to change it out. The house is rather sprawling, so the rather than tie rooms together in a confusing way, I broke the circuits down per minimum requirements... almost none of them are near capacity. I am going to run the big stuff back out to the exterior panel/service however I still need more space in my interior panel. What I REALLY need is just a 40 circuit 125 Amp GE panel but I don't think those exist because (guessing) *most* 40 circuit scenarios need more amps.

What I wanted to do was upgrade to a 40 space panel (only been able to find a 200-Amp). I realize I am still limited outside by the service and have already run 4/0 aluminum. I know I am not going to go anywhere near the 200 Amp capacity, I just need the space. Is this ok? Any reason I shouldn't use a 200 Amp MB panel?

Thanks!


Last edited by gmyers; 03-13-2012 at 10:34 AM. Reason: Apparently I can't spell...
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:17 AM   #2
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200 Amp panel


You can use a 200 amp breaker panel with a 200 amp main and a 125 amp breaker supplying it. You will have to run 4 #2 copper wires. You just have to check with the manufacture of your panel to find out if it will allow a 125amp double pole breaker. And a lot of times panels are limited to 100 amps per branch on the bus. Meaning if you have a 100 amp double pole breaker you can't have one on the same branch from it.

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Old 03-13-2012, 11:33 AM   #3
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200 Amp panel


I think I am "ok" on the service regarding the "100 amp double pole breaker". My main concern is am I doing something "wrong" to go ahead and put in the 200 Amp MB/ML and feed it from a 100 Amp breaker on the meter socket. I realize I won't get 200 Amp to my MB/ML and if I ever get to the point of tripping the 100 Amp, then I can revisit upgrading the service.

Also, I thought 4/0 aluminum was right for 200 Amp. Am I wrong?

Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:43 AM   #4
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200 Amp panel


I would get the 200 amp MB panel in a spot where it would be easy to switch everything over to the new panel if you decide to upgrade. I would feed the 200 amp panel with the largest breaker size that the existing panel would allow.

Yes 4/0 is good for 200 amps.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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200 Amp panel


Better make sure that your 100 amp breaker will accept 4/0 conductors.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:01 PM   #6
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200 Amp panel


I just changed out my GE panel for a Cuttler Hammer,100 30 circuits 30 spaces,the panel was $89.00 it comes with quite a few breakers.
There is no comparing the two,there is so much room i the new panel.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:05 PM   #7
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200 Amp panel


Fair enough...
I'm still working this through...

Here's what I am still working through. I had planned on running 2 x ACs and 2 x stoves back to the service (socket + breakers outside) along with the line to indoor panel, feeding 2 dryers off the indoor panel. I need to put a panel with more space/circuits in and it appears as if my best option is 200 Amp 40/40. Assuming I run the correct lines (4/0 and for the 220's), if I *do* need to upgrade my service in the future, wouldn't I simply have to have new socket with a shutoff outside (since the panel is more than 10') and in the mean time, I can work off of the 200 Amp panel (fed from a 100 Amp breaker)?

I really want to do this right so I don't have to tear out this panel/wire again. I was misguided a bit into getting the first panel because the electrician misunderstood what I wanted to do. I realize that the ideal scenario would be new service/panel all at once but that's not really feasible. Am I understanding though correctly that using a 200 Amp MB panel with a 100 Amp breaker from the service simply means that I will trip the 100 Amp at the service if I overload, but that it is NOT a safety issue and that later I can upgrade to a larger service as long as I use the correct feed wire?

Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:12 PM   #8
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200 Amp panel


Have you performed a load calculation to make sure your service is large enough for 2 stoves, 2 dryers, 2 AC units along with the rest of the house?
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:20 PM   #9
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200 Amp panel


I'm sure that it is not.... hence the misguided part (not all master electricians are master listeners). I kind of got what he thought I should get (if it was his house) and not what I should have gotten. He meant well, so I'm not too upset... he just seriously underestimates other people's knowledge.

I'm 70% through a major remodel and have done everything else up to code (or better) and then realized I was running full speed into a brick wall. I know that actual load will not exceed the existing service because I know both the immediate and near term use cases, so I am not worried about that. Technically, right now I am running off of a 60-Amp breaker deeding a 125 Amp panel. I do know that I am setting myself up for a service upgrade, no questions asked and THAT is what should have happened in the beginning.

Oops...

Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:28 PM   #10
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200 Amp panel


Ravenworks brings up another point that I don't understand... With GE I seem to be limited to a 125 20/20 or I have to jump to a 200. Yet, other manufacturers have different ones (Ex. 100 30 circuits 30 spaces). What gives? Am i just looking under the wrong rock?

Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:44 PM   #11
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200 Amp panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
Ravenworks brings up another point that I don't understand... With GE I seem to be limited to a 125 20/20 or I have to jump to a 200. Yet, other manufacturers have different ones (Ex. 100 30 circuits 30 spaces). What gives? Am i just looking under the wrong rock?

Thanks!
The reason I put the 100 Amp panel in now instead of upgrading to a 200 is that I plan on putting an addition and a garage on, when I do build I will put the new 200 panel in the garage and change the 100 to a sub panel.
Make a long story short,I was limited to the 20 spaces and hated that.
BTW that panel that I have is capable of running 150 Amp with changing the main breaker out,Eaton told me that,however you have to watch because the other one like it is only rated for 125 Max,both come with a 100 Amp main in them.


Last edited by Ravenworks; 03-13-2012 at 09:54 PM.
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