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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2931
Experience:  29 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
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I own a an older home in Southern IL. The electrical service

Customer Question

I own a an older home in Southern IL. The electrical service entrance routes through a weather head on the roof of the garage to the outside meter base, then to a somewhat outdated service panel using push-on / push-off breakers on the inside garage wall.
All branch circuits are routed in a bundle from the attic into the panel in the garage - very messy, although probably meets code.
I am wondering if it would be possible to install a new main panel in the basement, and run the 200A feeder lines from the meter base to the main panel -- a run of about 50 or 60'. Hoping that some type of flexible conduit could be used, else would use rigid conduit. This would eliminate a lot of extra length on the branch circuits, and unnecessary routing into the garage. What diameter conduit would be required? Any other considerations?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
Hello.....my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!
1) How many amps is the existing service in the home? 200 amps?
2) Where is the existing main disconnect located at? Inside the main electrical panel or on the exterior at the meter socket or a separate disconnect switch?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Power company (Ameren) has confirmed that lines from pole will support 200A service, although existing panel is 100A. Before replacing the main panel, I am having a new meter base with an external 200A disconnect installed on the outside wall of the garage.
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the replies and confirmation.
1) Yes, if relocating the panel approximately 60 feet away, the National Electrical Code as well as your local electrical inspector will require a separate disconnect as close as possible to the service point of entry. An external built-in 200 amp main breaker located in the meter base is code compliant. I also recommend that the main panel be a 200 amp main breaker type and not a main lug type.
2) If relocating the main panel 60 feet away, a new 200 amp panel would be configured as a sub-panel. NEC recommends that the voltage drop be 3% or less. From the meter base extending out to the 200 amp rated sub-panel will need to be a 4 wire feeder circuit comprised of 2 hots, 1 neutral and 1 equipment ground.
In calculating the voltage drop using a 240 volt circuit @ 200 amps and 60 feet results in using 2/0 Copper for the 2 hots and 1 neutral and a 6 AWG Copper for the equipment grounding conductor. This results in a voltage drop of 1% or a loss of 2.3 volts. Therefore, code compliant.
3) Since upgrading to a 200 amp service you will also need to replace the existing ground rod and/or cold metal pipe water main ground connection using 4 AWG Copper.
4) Conduit size would be 1 1/2" diameter for EMT or 1 1/2" diameter Sch. 40 PVC gray electrical conduit on the interior of the home and 2" diameter Sch. 80 gray electrical PVC on the exterior (from the meter base to the inside penetration of the home). Sch. 40 PVC is not allowed on the exterior since it may be subject to damage near the meter base. EMT conduit will provide the best overall protection on the inside of the home for the Service Entrance conductors. Other forms of cable (SER) or flexible conduit (Greenfield) are another option, but I always recommend EMT conduit as the best choice.
5) If upgrading to a 200 amp service, you will also require a new weatherhead and riser mast. You will need to check with your local electrical inspector on the riser mast to confirm the size they require. Most inspectors will want a 2" or 2 1/2" diameter Rigid Metal Conduit as the riser mast for rigidity purposes.
Hope this helps………If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.
Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.
The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at: http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician ……….Thanks…………..Kevin!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK - I should have what I need, and no call is required - great information.
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
No problem, glad to assist.
If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.
Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.
Thanks........Kevin!
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.
Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

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