Sub-panel Or Dedicated 100amp Service - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:38 PM   #1
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Sub-panel or dedicated 100amp service


Long time lurker here. I am looking to build a detached garage/workshop. My property is narrow but pretty deep, so the garage will be ~100' from the back of the house and ~120' from the current meter.

I would like to have electricity for lighting, power tools (table saw, miter saw, heavy duty drills, shop vac, etc), but also a window AC and maybe a hydraulic lift (maxjax). But other than the AC, lighting, and charging tool batteries, I would not expect any of these to be used at the same time since I work alone.

The home (built in 2009 but we've been there only a few months) currently has 200amp service and a 100amp sub-panel on the second floor (which by the way is awesome! - no more running down two floors to the basement for any minor thing). The second floor panel services the electric dryer, but beyond that, just typical wiring for bedrooms.


1) Can the garage just have a sub-panel (a second one) from the main 200-amp service or do I need a dedicated 100amp service with a separate meter?

2) If not, do they split off the line coming from the street right before the meter to a new meter by the garage?
2a) Would this wire be cheaper to run than one after the meter (looks thinner)?

3) Other than the central AC, dryer, and double wall ovens, the house runs on gas (heat, hot water, stove), but am I still risking overloading the 200amps with a sub-panel on a summer day?

4) If the answer comes down to money, what would you guess the premium to be for the pricier/better option (presumably a dedicated 100amp service)?

Thanks guys!



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Old 09-08-2012, 10:08 PM   #2
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You can do a demand load calculation to see what size service your house needs.

Some power companies will not allow two meters on one property. If they do the second meter is charged the higher commerical rate.


Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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