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Old November 13th, 2002, 10:18 AM
mbrumer mbrumer is offline
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Location: Bellevue, WA
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Default Shutoff for 200 amp panel


I have a 320amp service to my home that is split into 2 200amp panels - 1 for my house and 1 for my shop. The 320 amp meter base (not located near the panels) will contain 2 200amp breakers so I can shut off the panel 100% if needed. I am trying to create a solution to easily shut down my entire shop panel (and thus all tools/circuits) for safety reasons.

I do understand I can already do this from both the meter base (too far and outside) or from the main 200 amp breaker in the shop panel (too much chance of leaving this on - I also understand I can put in a pilot light, but my paranoia says this may burn out). Oh, did I say I have 3 little kids that are always trying to 'play' like daddy - even though the shop is often locked itself. Yep, paranoid dad looking to over engineer a simple problem

I am trying to do the above with one of two models:

- A remote solution - having some sort of control to shut off the panel at the main door to the shop rather than at the panel itself. This is about 25 feet away and on the opposite wall from the panel. My current ideas here are either a shunt trip breaker with keyed switch at the door (can be turned off at the door, reset only by going to the panel - expensive) or a contactor with keyed switch at the door (VERY VERY expensive - how much does a small car cost these days ).

- An adjacent solution - adding a second box/panel with either a 200 amp breaker or safety switch that will be a clearly visible indicator of the panel being on or off. These two solutions are much less money than the remote solutions and the most straight forward. They can also both by key locked for safety.

My questions:
- Does anyone have any other ideas to suggest?
- Does anyone have input on the above 4 ideas? Pros/cons?

Any other input for a paranoid, safety conscious dad?

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Old November 13th, 2002, 05:05 PM
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Wgoodrich Wgoodrich is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 7,451

YOu could wire the 325 double lug meter remote then run three wire service entrance conductors to each building. NO disconnects or main service panels are required at the meter base. The main service disconnect form and main service overcurrent device must be located either outside or nearest point of entrance inside each bulding as separate services.

Then at the shop install your main service rated 200 amp panel at the entrance door using a locked dead front panel door to keep the kids out.

YOu could install your panel on the other end of the garage as a sub panel in this shop and install a 200 amp main service rated disconnect that can be locked off by a pad lock in that shop also if your like.

I would trust a locked of main panel door shutting off the panel in the shop at the entrance door or a locked off main service disconnect located at the entrance to the shop shutting down the 200 amp sub panel in the shop before I would trust a relay. At least when you throw the main switch and lock the panel you know it can not be tampered with.

You could install two 200 amp main service rated panels at the meter base creating your service there and running to the two buildings as common services from those to 200 amp weather proof disconnects at the meter base location. Then you could look out your window of your home and see the 200 amp weather proof disconnect with its power arm shut and locked in the off position.

Hope one of the above ideas help

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