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Old 06-15-2011, 09:00 AM   #16
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


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Originally Posted by 1texasguy View Post
thanks to everyone for input.



Question - why a 4 conductor feed to the house? And the bigger question that also shows my ignorance is what is the 4th one for and where does it connect?

The photo above shows what appears to be normal (3 conductor) 200A supply lines from the meter.

FYI - for those concerned, I will have my electrician do the hook-up - I am just doing the planning and getting the physical pieces in place at this time. I know my limitations.
It is my opinion that the service conductors leaving the meter and going underground to the house(three conductor) do not need a disconnect or OCPD until they reach the house at which point you would have a service disconnecting means and establish the grounding electrode system.

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Old 06-15-2011, 10:26 AM   #17
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


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To understand this better you have to know that there are service conductors and feeders.
Service conductors are not protected by a breaker
Feeder are protected by breaker.
In your picture the wires leaving the meter base are unprotected wires and go somewhere to a Service panel the is Labeled and Listed as Service Equipment. You do not have to carry a ground with these wires.
Feeders are connected to a breaker in a service panel and you have to carry the ground along with the three conductors. If the feeders go to a detached structure that structure will also require ground rods.

yes. and much thanks for the clarification on terminology.

here is the way I thought it would/should go:

service conductors from POCO to exterior meter on shop

3 wire feed from meter (this would be a service conductor) to interior main disconnect breaker panel in shop (backs up to the meter via 8" nipple) - grounding rod at the shop for the shop panel

3 wire feed from meter (this would be a service conductor) to interior main disconnect breaker panel in house which is a detached structure from the meter (75 foot underground run from meter to panel) - grounding rod at house for the house panel.

while it may be a good idea to add a disco between the meter and the house feed, most info I have read says it is likely not required.

I am confused on the "4 wire" terminology. Is the 4th wire the CU wire I will run from the panel to the ground rod? If so, I am clear. ANd if so, my understanding is I will just do a ground rod at each structure and connect at the panel for that structure.


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It is my opinion that the service conductors leaving the meter and going underground to the house(three conductor) do not need a disconnect or OCPD until they reach the house at which point you would have a service disconnecting means and establish the grounding electrode system.

yes, this was my thought also. Do you know if this would be a NEC allowance or is my local inspector going to make this call?

Last edited by 1texasguy; 06-15-2011 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:36 AM   #18
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


The 4th wire is a grounding conductor. It would go in the auxillary ground bar along with the conductor to the ground rods and the circuit grounding conductors.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:41 AM   #19
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


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The 4th wire is a grounding conductor. It would go in the auxillary ground bar along with the conductor to the ground rods and the circuit grounding conductors.

exellent Jim. That helps me greatly. I have referred to it as 3 wire and a grounding wire - I guess that makes 4. You just helped me double my knowledge. Thanks.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:08 PM   #20
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


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Originally Posted by 1texasguy View Post
I am confused on the "4 wire" terminology. Is the 4th wire the CU wire I will run from the panel to the ground rod? If so, I am clear. ANd if so, my understanding is I will just do a ground rod at each structure and connect at the panel for that structure.
The copper wire that goes from your panel to the ground rod is called the Grounding Electrode Conductor and is not part of a required 4 wire feed.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:17 PM   #21
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


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The copper wire that goes from your panel to the ground rod is called the Grounding Electrode Conductor and is not part of a required 4 wire feed.

then I'm confused again - lol. you guys are too kind trying to explain this to me. I'll try to google some pictures......maybe done in crayon.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:26 PM   #22
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


There is no required four wire "feed" from the electrical meter. Those are service conductors.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:34 PM   #23
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The internet can be a wonderful and frustrating thing at the same time while trying to explain such things.


Again, if we go back to the pic. This is not my pic, but this is the meter box I am using. I believe this pic shows only 2 sets of 3 conductors. I was expecting I was going to be able to wire it as shown with each set of 3 conductors going to it's respective main breaker panel - one in the same building as the meter and one in a detached structure. Is this incorrect or does the 4 wire come into play. Note - this is not a subpanel arrangement but each panel gets it's own feed irrespective of the other due to the configuration of the 320A meter.

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Old 06-15-2011, 01:48 PM   #24
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


Three wires only from the meter can.
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:57 PM   #25
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


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There is no required four wire "feed" from the electrical meter. Those are service conductors.
brric, I didn't say anything about a 4 wire feed from the meter. The OP has used the term 4 wire feed and the CU wire from the panel to the ground rod.
I was only trying to clear up the difference between the GEC and the grounding conductor in a four wire feed.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:05 PM   #26
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


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brric, I didn't say anything about a 4 wire feed from the meter. The OP has used the term 4 wire feed and the CU wire from the panel to the ground rod.
I was only trying to clear up the difference between the GEC and the grounding conductor in a four wire feed.
Understood.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:21 AM   #27
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


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There is no required four wire "feed" from the electrical meter. Those are service conductors.

gotcha and as I thought. So to clarify, you would only use a 4 wire on feeder lines.

So, if I run directly from the meter to the house, that would be a 3 wire as shown in the photo as it is still a service conductor.

If I were to put a disconnect between the meter and the house, the line between the disco and the house is considered a feeder line with a 4 wire requirement. Is that correct?
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:27 AM   #28
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


That is correct. No disco for house at the meter unless required by local jurisdictions.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:29 PM   #29
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320Amp double lug meter - (2) 200amp panels


Thanks again,

Clarification needed. When running the "hots" as shown in the pic above, does it matter if one set goes to the set of terminals on the left and the other on the right........or is it ok or beneficial (or harmful) to have one go left and one go right?
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:46 PM   #30
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Each pair of hot feeds must use a right and a left to ge 240volts.

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