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200 amp to 400 amp service upgrade with backup ng generator

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  • 200 amp to 400 amp service upgrade with backup ng generator

    I presently have a 200 amp service and have been approved for an upgrade to 400 amps. We are renovating our full sized basement inorder to house our Son in law,daughter and our 2 grand daughters. Alot of demo will be needed inorder to plumb, wire and frame rooms. A complete new kitchen,bathroom,laundry,bedrooms etc. are planned. A Square D Qo 200 amp panel exists. What are my options regarding using this panel in conjunction with the new 400 amp panel. I will be installing a 17,000 watt Ng. stand by generator and need to interface. I prefer to use manual transfer switching. I am experienced in residential wiring and prefer to do this work on my own as allow by the state of Washington. I realise the 200 amp panel would be wired as a protected sub panel but this is my 1st generator addition. I also plan a generator install at another of our properties. Thank You! Tedban

  • #2
    Re: 200 amp to 400 amp service upgrade with backup ng generator

    I guess I am not really understanding your question,
    On the 200 amp panel, if you want you could use it as sub panel and use it for your "critical" needs put a 200 amp manual transfer switch between it and the main box, that way it can be feed off of either the generator or the grid, and make a easy system that way. the cost of 200 amp switch will be costly but a 400 amp would really set one back some.

    Why do you need 400 amps, are you going all electric heat?
    Have you had your needs analyzed by a qualified electrician or electrical engineer?


    Your transfer switch must be sized to the size of the grid size of power, not the generator, one needs the generator properly protected, for the amps it is designed for, as your box will be bigger than the generator capacity. but if you watch it it will power most everything one needs.

    I have a manual transfer switch on my farm, on the main distribution pole, between the house the garage, and the barn, and the well, that way I can power any of the buildings or well from the generators, if needed. (that way if I need the milker in the barn or cooler, it can be powered, or the house or even the garage, and the well),
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 200 amp to 400 amp service upgrade with backup ng generator

      This is a job where you really do need a very good licensed electrician and go for one with a Master's license.

      Please do yourself a huge favor and call in the help of a good electrical contractor that has experience with small standby generators. There are ready (factory) made special breaker panels with 2 main breakers in them. They have a special mechanical interlock so only one can be on. Both can also be off but there's no way both can be on at once. This prevents back feeding a super dangerous condition you MUST avoid.

      Refer your electrician to this web site but please let him work with selection and installation.
      http://www.reliancecontrols.com/Prod...pl=pl&f=TTV&c=

      I don't want to put you down, but seriously this is not a DIY task. You have loads of things to discuss and also think about this as a long term investment. You really should discuss installation of a few battery powered emergency lights while you're at it.

      Above all else SAFETY must come first. You can help some and thus save some of the labor cost, but let the electrician do all the final connections and testing. Your insurance company will most likely demand only a licensed contractor install it and in many cases they will also demand a state/county inspection too.

      HINT: Ask generator service centers in your area about recommended or bad electrical contractors to contact.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 200 amp to 400 amp service upgrade with backup ng generator

        I would not install a 400 amp panel, as they are expensive. I would install a 320 amp meter base, connect 2 disconnects and install a new 200 amp panel to feed the basement. I would take the loads you to feed with the generator to a small sub panel.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 200 amp to 400 amp service upgrade with backup ng generator

          when we install a 400 amp service we use a 400 amp meter can and two 200 amp square d pannels with two feeder wires ( 4/0) wire out of the meter can one for each pannel if you get the right gen. set up the transfer switch also has a sub pannel for the gen cirs.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 200 amp to 400 amp service upgrade with backup ng generator

            I have determined that generator backup is too complicated for me. I would like to continue with the service upgrade to 400 amps. Im not certain how to proceed. The increase in service is needed due to the installation of a complete new living quarters in our basement which includes washer,dryer,range, 2 1500 watt wall heaters, 2 refrigerators,freezer,garbage disposal,dishwasher,microwave,countertop gfci run, 2 circuits exterior lights recepts and under cabinet lighting. I presently have a Square D Homeline 30 3 wire panel having all spaces filled. To allow for the increase in service i plan to purchase a panel with 400 main and use the present 200 amp panel as a sub. Is this my best or wisest choice? Thanks to all! Tedban

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 200 amp to 400 amp service upgrade with backup ng generator

              this is jsut an opinion, I would put in a sub panel off the current panel and wire it up,

              I have a farm, I have it wired for a 200 amp panel (actually the first thing is the transfer switch for the generator it goes to), from that point it distributed to the rest of the farm, the house the barn which serves as a shop and has a walk in cooler and walk in freezer, a number of 240 volt machines, a meat cutting room, a small milking room, there are two chest freezers, and a refrigerator, and a small electric hot water heater, the garage has a wood shop in it, many 240 tools and many 120 volt tools as well, at one time I ran a small professional cabinet shop out of the building, it has a upright freezer in it, as well,
              there is the well, the chicken houses (one a brooder house) has a brooder of a 1000 watt, actually there are two plus heat lamps, the electric tank heaters, 1500 watt, some times up to three of them, and the house has another chest freezer, refrigerator, and electric dryer, and we have a whole house AC, (and we did have a electric range up until a few years ago)

              now why did I tell you all of that, that is a lot of electrical use on a cold winter day or a fair amount if I have the walk in cooler and freezer going an a hot summer day, and the AC as well,

              easly as much as your two families well use, is my guess,

              now you many have seen I have a 200 amp transfer switch, and most of the buildings either have a 100 amp or a 200 amp service in them.

              but I have never pulled more than 12 kw max, which is about 50 amps, on the demand meter,

              OK and the power company only has transformers for my place rated at 15 kw, and have never taxed them to capacity,

              So the truth is my power capacity is only about 65 amps @230 volts, and I have yet to have a brown down or any trouble,
              now my SIL who is a licenced electrician thinks I should have bigger transformer and I would tend to agree with him but as of yet I have yet to have a problem,

              Like I suggested I would get a electrician in and get a profresional opinion on how to add to your service, and if you need a amperage up grade or basically jsut more spaces for breakers,

              but I personally do not think you would have any problem by putting in a 100 amp breaker and feeding a sub panel to power your basement, If you have a electronic meter more than likely it is registering the demand currently. (you could go and see what your using now).

              the other choice I would see, is (depending on how you want to deal with the utilities and payments) is to put a panel in the basement and meter it separately or sub meter it off the first meter. that way that "apartment" would be able to keep separate for records or other needs.


              I really think you need some one qualified to come in and help you on your decision, IF your putting in a whole new service and meter, and such you will need an inspection to get it hooked up to the power company, so you may as well get a qualified electrician in and get you on the right track, (I do not know they may recommend upping the service, to 400 amps), but then you will have the piece of mind of a profresional that has seen the location and done a true survey of the power needs, and given you a real recommendation as to how to proceed,
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
              attributed to Samuel Johnson
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 200 amp to 400 amp service upgrade with backup ng generator

                I have one question. DO you want seperate meters so that your son in law pays his share of the electric bill? This plays into the fray. I assume not however since you propose to put in a generator that will "I assume" will be for both of you. As far as what would I do? I would opt for a 400AMP meter pan with one meter, connect up your present 200A service to it, and add a second 200A panel for your son in law. I would carefully determine which circuits you want on the generator (17000 watts) put them in a separate panel and feed that panel from one of the 200A panels which conatins a transfer switch to the generator. That would be the easiest way.

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