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Old 10-01-2011, 01:23 PM   #1
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


Hello, I am looking to hook up a 200 amp panel to my shop I just had built. I have a 400 amp service at the meter on the house and already have 180 feet of 4-0,4-0, 2-0 aluminum wire which is enough to get to the shop. It looks like the same size wire feeds the meter from the transformer. An electrician told me that the size wire I have may not be adequate enough and may only accomodate a 180 amp panel and the main breaker for those are very expensive. I would hate to have to buy different wire. Is my wire size adequate? Thanks for any help.-----------------Steve

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Old 10-01-2011, 01:46 PM   #2
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


You do not have enough conductors to install a sub panel. You need 4 conductors: 2 hots, neutral and ground.

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Old 10-01-2011, 01:50 PM   #3
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


Are you coming off the house panel or the meter base?
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:50 PM   #4
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


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Are you coming off the house panel or the meter base?
Code05,

Based on his question it sounds like he wants to install a 200 amp breaker in the 400 amp house panel and run feeders out to the shop. For that he will need 4 conductors.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:33 PM   #5
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


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Code05,

Based on his question it sounds like he wants to install a 200 amp breaker in the 400 amp house panel and run feeders out to the shop. For that he will need 4 conductors.
That is true.

But he if had upgraded the service with a 400 amp drop and meter, and the house has only a 200 amp panel: you could come out of the meter and run to the garage with a 3 wire service.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:03 PM   #6
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


Yes I am coming off the meter base. Below the meter there are 2 additional open lugs that you tighten with an allen wrench for the hots and 1 for the neutral. This is where the 200 amp panel for the house is also connected. An electrician told me that he would just pop the meter to turn off the power to these connections but I noticed there is a red lever on the meter mount that would turn off the power to these connections as well. I figure the grounding would be done at the panel in the shop with a grounding rod. I also heard the sheet metal of the building needs to be grounded as well. If anyone has insights about how this ground should be done please share them. One other thing that I forgot. Do I need an outdoor type circuit breaker panel even though it is going inside the pole building. I ask this because my builder said the wiring needs to be in conduit in a pole building.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:34 PM   #7
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


but I noticed there is a red lever on the meter mount that would turn off the power to these connections as well.


if this is actually inside the meter enclosure, it will not turn the power off, but rather on. so the meter can be removed without breaking the load on the house. commonly called a 'bypass'
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:57 PM   #8
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


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Originally Posted by stevo1213 View Post
I figure the grounding would be done at the panel in the shop with a grounding rod. I also heard the sheet metal of the building needs to be grounded as well. If anyone has insights about how this ground should be done please share them.
The issue is bonding, not grounding. Of course you will need two ground rods and any other connections required by code (water, concrete, etc.) depending on what the building has, but the bonding of the equipment grounding bus to the system neutral is the real issue, and that's why you would have needed a 4-wire feed if you weren't coming directly off the meter base. The sheet metal of the building should be bonded to the grounding bus of the panel you install. If you mount the panel on the sheet metal, or run metallic conduit that is secured to the sheet metal, that will take care of it. Otherwise, connect a #4 copper jumper from the panel's grounding bus to the sheet metal.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:27 PM   #9
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


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The issue is bonding, not grounding. Of course you will need two ground rods and any other connections required by code (water, concrete, etc.) depending on what the building has, but the bonding of the equipment grounding bus to the system neutral is the real issue, and that's why you would have needed a 4-wire feed if you weren't coming directly off the meter base. The sheet metal of the building should be bonded to the grounding bus of the panel you install. If you mount the panel on the sheet metal, or run metallic conduit that is secured to the sheet metal, that will take care of it. Otherwise, connect a #4 copper jumper from the panel's grounding bus to the sheet metal.
Yes IMO, but not necessarily required.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:32 PM   #10
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


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Originally Posted by stevo1213 View Post
Yes I am coming off the meter base. Below the meter there are 2 additional open lugs that you tighten with an allen wrench for the hots and 1 for the neutral. This is where the 200 amp panel for the house is also connected. An electrician told me that he would just pop the meter to turn off the power to these connections but I noticed there is a red lever on the meter mount that would turn off the power to these connections as well. I figure the grounding would be done at the panel in the shop with a grounding rod. I also heard the sheet metal of the building needs to be grounded as well. If anyone has insights about how this ground should be done please share them. One other thing that I forgot. Do I need an outdoor type circuit breaker panel even though it is going inside the pole building. I ask this because my builder said the wiring needs to be in conduit in a pole building.

Thanks for any help.
Yes you need an exterior/3R panel. There are alternatives to using all conduit.

UF cable and conduit sleeves only for where the UF needs protected.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:41 PM   #11
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


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Yes IMO, but not necessarily required.
Depends on if it's "likely to become energized" or not. I would say that if he has any wire running along it or any fixtures attached to it, it needs to be bonded.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:49 AM   #12
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


Thanks for the info guys. Does anyone know if running the 4-0,4-0,2-0 aluminum wire 170 to 180 feet an issue as far as being adequate enough to run another 200 amp panel in the shop or would the inspector ding me and make me install a smaller main breaker in the new panel ?
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:38 AM   #13
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


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Thanks for the info guys. Does anyone know if running the 4-0,4-0,2-0 aluminum wire 170 to 180 feet an issue as far as being adequate enough to run another 200 amp panel in the shop or would the inspector ding me and make me install a smaller main breaker in the new panel ?
What is the type wire you have? Direct burial or conduit?
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:16 AM   #14
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


It is the bundled direct burial type but most of it will be in 2inch conduit. Can I put the 8 foot grounding rods in the trench on each side of the wire conduit next to the building? You can only get down about 2 feet before you start running into rock and I figured the grounding rods could go into the on each side of the conduit as long as they were 6 inches apart.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:45 AM   #15
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Hooking 200 amp service to pole builiding from 400 amp service at meter


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Originally Posted by stevo1213 View Post
It is the bundled direct burial type but most of it will be in 2inch conduit. Can I put the 8 foot grounding rods in the trench on each side of the wire conduit next to the building? You can only get down about 2 feet before you start running into rock and I figured the grounding rods could go into the on each side of the conduit as long as they were 6 inches apart.
Here is what the code says:

Quote:
250.53(G) Rod and Pipe Electrodes. The electrode shall be installed
such that at least 2.44 m (8 ft) of length is in contact
with the soil. It shall be driven to a depth of not less than
2.44 m (8 ft) except that, where rock bottom is encountered,
the electrode shall be driven at an oblique angle not
to exceed 45 degrees from the vertical or, where rock bottom
is encountered at an angle up to 45 degrees, the electrode shall
be permitted to be buried in a trench that is at least 750 mm
(30 in.) deep.
The upper end of the electrode shall be flush
with or below ground level unless the above ground end and
the grounding electrode conductor attachment are protected
against physical damage as specified in 250.10.
Your spacing is 6 feet, not 6 inches.

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