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Old 04-13-2013, 08:20 AM   #1
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


Hello all,

I just pulled the permit to have my service buried and to change over to 200 amp. I have some questions about code and the best way to do things(cosmetically and to keep costs down) because of how my service is currently set up. We just bought house and are adding a small addition, a pool, a sub-panel(later this year)in my garage etc. I also want to add a few outlets, lights here and there, and finishing our basement will all require more circuits.

Current set up is (from meter) to a fusible 60 amp pullout box, to my main panel about 15' away in a bathroom. (I know current code does not allow a panel in a bathroom but I should be grandfathered in right?) All is located in our basement. The main panel is full and has a 100 amp main breaker.

Originally I was just going to get a 200 amp panel and replace the current 100 amp panel and then add a 200 amp disconnet where the 60 amp disconnect currently is. Problem is those 200 amp disconnects are ridiculously expensive.

Other option I was going to put the new 200 amp panel where the 60 amp disconnect is(which is where the service comes INTO the house) and then make the 100 amp panel the sub-panel. I don't really want to have two panels in the basement but this seems like a good option.

Other options I'm not sure about. Could I use the current 100 amp panel as a J-box and just make all connections terminate in the new 200 amp panel? Not sure of any advantages of this it would just keep all breakers in one panel.

I forgot to mention that I am *thinking* of rewiring the whole house in the future so putting the 200 amp panel directly where service comes into the house would also alleviate me having to have a disconnect means. I am not sure yet though if I will be doing this or not.

Hope I've explained things well. Thank you all for any help, guidance.

Ron
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:26 AM   #2
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


You will not be allowed to replace the bathroom panel. You MIGHT get away with refeeding it from a new 200A panel outside of the bathroom.

You can remove the guts of the bathroom panel and use it as a JBox. Remember, if you do this and run conduit between the two panels, any more than 9 current carrying conductors in the conduit will need to be derated.

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Old 04-13-2013, 08:46 AM   #3
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


Remember, if you do this and run conduit between the two panels, any more than 9 current carrying conductors in the conduit will need to be derated.[/QUOTE]

What if he's using TW?
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:49 AM   #4
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


Why would that make a difference?
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:50 AM   #5
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


Thanks K Buz. Instead of conduit could I use an open-style raceway? and if so would I still have to derate the conductors? After reading your post I'm more inclined to just put the new panel where service enters house and re-wire my whole house. It would be a good learning experience the way I see it!

One other option I forgot to mention is don't they make a meter/disconnect combo?

Thanks again,
Ron
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:56 AM   #6
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


I'm not sure what you mean by an open style raceway. But there are codes that have to be followed concerning bundling of cables.

They do make meter/main combos and they are popular in other parts of the country (not here in WI). Personally, I don't like them because it adds one more eyesore to the exterior.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


Typically the power company has a list of acceptable meter equipment. Check to see if a meter/main combo is on the list.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:19 AM   #8
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
Why. would that make a difference?
Table 310.15(B)(3)(a)
Derating starts at 4 conductors - (80%). TW has a 60C temperature rating... so any more than 3 conductors 14awg is no longer sufficient for 15amp, etc
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:59 AM   #9
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


If I go with using the current 100 amp panel as a J-box and terminate everything in the new 200 amp panel do I have to upgrade all my breakers to current code? I have just regular breakers no AFCI's or GFCI's.

Ron
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:21 PM   #10
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


Just had another thought. I don't actually *need* the new panel at this moment. Can I just have everything changed on the outside of the house(new meter for the underground 200 amp service) and leave everything as-is on the inside? That will give me time to think about how I want to go about putting in the new 200 amp panel.

Ron
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:54 AM   #11
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ren79eg View Post
Table 310.15(B)(3)(a)
Derating starts at 4 conductors - (80%). TW has a 60C temperature rating... so any more than 3 conductors 14awg is no longer sufficient for 15amp, etc
Is that Current Carrying conductors? Does that include the nuetral?
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:27 AM   #12
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rferoni View Post
Just had another thought. I don't actually *need* the new panel at this moment. Can I just have everything changed on the outside of the house(new meter for the underground 200 amp service) and leave everything as-is on the inside? That will give me time to think about how I want to go about putting in the new 200 amp panel.

Ron
You will need a 200 amp disconnect somewhere ..
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:13 PM   #13
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


Thank you all for the advice and information. What I would like to do after consulting this forum and others is put in the 200 amp panel where the service comes into the house(so I don't need the disconnect)and just make the existing 100 amp panel a sub-panel.

What I need to know now is if the inspector will allow this because the existing 100 amp panel is in a bathroom.

If allowed I think all I'll then have to do is run a separate ground from the new 200 amp panel to the sub-panel and isolate all grounds and neutrals in the sub panel.

Thanks again,
Ron
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:27 PM   #14
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


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Originally Posted by rferoni View Post
If allowed I think all I'll then have to do is run a separate ground from the new 200 amp panel to the sub-panel and isolate all grounds and neutrals in the sub panel.

Thanks again,
Ron
Is the meter on the back side of this bathroom? I was just curious how far they ran unfused conductors inside your dwelling.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:38 PM   #15
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Changing to 200 amp service, underground. Need guidance please!


They are fused. My service goes from meter to a 60 amp fused pullout to main panel. Info is in original post. As for your question no the meter is a good 15' away.

Ron


Last edited by rferoni; 04-14-2013 at 01:39 PM. Reason: added more info
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