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Rick
Rick, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
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Experience:  10 yrs as a electrician. Have my own company.
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I have run 4/0 wire from a GE 200 amp Breaker Box to a GE PowerMark

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I have run 4/0 wire from a GE 200 amp Breaker Box to a GE PowerMark Gold TM 125 amp inside Breaker box. When I look at how to connect the 2 hot wires there are no lugs for them. I also purchased another 125 amp box of the same brand which is the same, whats up with this?

Sparky :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to answer any of your electrical questions.

Sparky :

Do you have a picture you can upload?

Sparky :

There are normally two lugs right at the top of the buss bars to connect to,

Customer:

Rick there are only the ground lugs on the left. When I look at the installation sheet I got it shows the lugs to be in the center as they should be but they are not here. Its dark in there now so no photo available at this time.

Sparky :

If there are no lugs there is usually a spot for a main breaker to go in and the wires would go into the breaker and serve as the disconnect. Anything like that?

Customer:

Yeah I got to double amp 125 breakers with the connections on the same side.

Sparky :

Ok, so can you use that?

Sparky :

Let me see if I can find a spec sheet

Customer:

which 1 would be considered the left and right? On the 200 amp box I have a left and right and I have color coated the wires to make sure I hook them up correctly. I am using 4/0 so I hope they fit.

Sparky :

Is there a reason why you are using such big wires for a 125A panel?

Customer:

Its a long pull, most of the locals have told me to use such and I already have it in the ground in PVC and covered.

Sparky :

I'm not sure what you mean by left and right. Is this a single phase system? What wires do you have. Colors?

Sparky :

I see. Well, the panel is not set up for that. Does the panel have lugs for smaller wires at the top of the buss bars, or is it set up to hook up straight to a breaker?

Customer:

Ok there is a double pole 125 amp Breaker, there are two connections one on top of the other on the same side. I using standard 4/0 wire black I just colored tape on each end so I would know which one was which. So in order to make sure I hook up correctly would the top part of the breaker be considered left and the bottom part considered right or what I am confused.

Sparky :

Ok as far as where the wires go, it's not going to make a difference. As long as the hot wires go on the breaker.

Customer:

I think this thing is set up to connect to the breaker I see no other way of doing it unless you have some advice. So your saying it doesn't matter how the wires are connect in the 125 panel as long as there connected to the breaker correct? In the 200 amp box that I am receving power from there are lugs in there a left and right plus the neutral.

Customer:

Ok Rick I appreciate your help.

Sparky :

Ok what you are going to have to do is get a disconnect. Go into that, then reduce the wire size from there and go into your breaker. Because of the distance you have to have some way to shut the power down from the panel. They also sell feed through lugs that would go in the place of the breaker, but the best thing you can do is go into a disconnect first, then to the panel. If something ever happens with that panel, you need to be able to shut it down from that location.

Sparky :

Correct, as long as the hots goto the breaker you're fine. Obviously the ground needs to go to the ground. The neutral to the neutral. If there is a bar that connects the ground to the neutral buss that needs to be removed since this is a sub panel

Sparky :

The way you know which is the ground is there is usually a piece of metal that is screwed to the back of the panel that you need to loosen and connect to the bar it is next to. By doing this you are bonding the ground to the box

Customer:

Wouldn't the other 200 amp box serve as a disconnect?

Sparky :

Because it is too far away, no. This would not be up to code. You did say it was far away and that is why the wire size is so big, right? or am I mistaken?

Sparky :

Basically, it needs to be withing sight of the subpanel

Customer:

Yeah but I have no code guidelines where I am. What size wire would You recommend for that

Sparky :

From the disconnect to the panel?

Customer:

yes

Sparky :

For 125A hold on just a sec.

Sparky :

#2

Customer:

ok I want to use Alum, as it is much cheaper.

Sparky :

Ok the size I gave you is for copper hold on a sec

Sparky :

1/0 but you need to make sure that the breaker is rated for aluminum wire.

Sparky :

It should say al on it

Customer:

ok . Thanks for the help, I'll give you a good rating.

Sparky :

Hol on just a sec

Sparky :

I'm looking at one more thing here

Customer:

ok

Sparky :

Ok just wanted to verify that was the proper size 1/0 is good for up to 135Amp so you are good to go thank you.

Customer:

Have a good evening.

Sparky :

You to

Rick and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
I hope everything went well. If you have any questions, don't hesitate. Thank you

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