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Thread: Service entrance and a sub-panel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Everglades National Park/10,000 Islands

    Default Service entrance and a sub-panel

    I am building a house on "stilts" because of the flood zone requirements. There is a "store room" downstairs the will probably be turned into a shop in the future. The house will be fed underground (200 amp in 2" pvc) to a meter mounted outside the downstairs wall. The main service entrance panel (200 MCB/40 circuit) will be installed in the upstairs laundry room. A sub panel will be installed thru the wall (slight offset) from the meter on the inside of the store room.

    I have some basic questions before we do this....
    In stead of a true sub fed panel, to save feeder wiring, can I pull 200 amp wire the downstairs 125 amp panel and then pull to the 200 amp service upstairs? Would the wire size have to be upgraded or the mains derated?

    The way the house is designed (with limited access between floors because of the structural support systems), it makes it difficult to work between floors. Can #2 Romex be used between the meter and panels? How about for a sub feed off the main panel to feed down stairs? Do they even make romex that big?

    An unrelated question ... beside the downstair storeroom is a "porch area" that is partially covered by the house and partial cover by an upstairs roof and decking. The "under the house" section will have a drywalled ceiling, but open walls. The under the deck section will get wet by rain water dripping through the decking. ... I will have light and fans mounted in the drywall ceil fed by romex. For some spot lights under the deck, I will feed thru the drywall with romex and the come through a joist to the underdeck area to feed the flood lights and a couple of receptacles. Can I continue the romex exposed and un-piped the light/receptacles? The boxes will need to be waterproof I am sure. How (or can you) transition between romex and pvc?

    Thanks ...

  2. #2


    You probably need to talk to your inspector and utility company to confirm what you are doing.

    I question that you must spend so much money to build your home on stilts then power you home from a meter that is installed below the datum plane or flood level. This does not make sense to me. You may be missing something in these rules you are following.

    YOu must not have two main panels that are not grouped installed in teh same building. However they do make a panel that is 200 amp rated and is a feed through with lugs at the bottom that is controlled by the same main 200 amp breaker in the top of that box.

    Before you do anything you need to confirm your wiring may be installed below the datum plane [aka flood level] per local rules. The NEC requires you service and outlets to be installed above normal pool level of the water that may flood your home. Better check you plan wiht your inspector and utility company before you proceed.

    I would buy this 200 amp rated feed through panel. Then install the meter base outside then install a nipple through the wall from the meter base to the 200 amp main service rated feed through panel installed downstairs. Running 2/0 minimum copper sized service entrance conductors from teh meter base into the panel nearest point of entrance into the building at your main service rated panel. then I would install an SEC 4 wire aluminum 4/0 service entraance cable from the feed through lugs at the bottom of that first main service rated panel through the walls up to the 200 amp panel upstairs that then will be a slave panel of the main service rated panel downstairs.

    The second option would be install a condiut up the outside of your dwelling up to the 200 amp main service rated panel then install a 4 wire 4 awg copper Romex cable from that 200 amp main service rated panel upstairs to a 100 amp sub panel down stairs.

    Those are the two options I can think of that should match you needs.

    Just thinking


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