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200 Meter Feeding Two 200 Amp Panels

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[#1] Posted: 01/23/2007 - 11:30:11 AM
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Under any condition is this allowed?

There is only one meter to the home with a "CL200" id - this is 200 amp correct?

There are two, 200 amp panels feeding the home.

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200 Meter Feeding Two 200 Amp Panels
[#2] Posted: 01/23/2007 - 3:57:47 PM
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Randy,

I've been confused by this in the past, too. It's sort of like the recent masthead-distance-above-the-roof thread. My local utility company allows for potentially 400-amps to pass through a cl200 meter base---I suppose 'cause they've never had trouble with the set-up in the past.

Around here, I sometimes see old, round, typically 60-amp meters connected to SE cables rated for 100 amps and 100-amp panels. I called the utility once to ask why they would allow this and practically got laughed at.

Pretty much a non-answer, I know. But I think the utility company's ultimately who issues the stamp of approval.

John

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200 Meter Feeding Two 200 Amp Panels
[#3] Posted: 01/23/2007 - 4:40:16 PM
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I think it has to do with the "CL" continuous load. In a residential installation it would be hard to immagine drawing a combined continous load of more than 200amps. Most of these double 200amp (400amp) services that I see are more for the additional breaker spaces than for additional loads.
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200 Meter Feeding Two 200 Amp Panels
[#4] Posted: 01/23/2007 - 11:34:17 PM
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Quote:Originally posted by randynavarro

Under any condition is this allowed?

There is only one meter to the home with a "CL200" id - this is 200 amp correct?

There are two, 200 amp panels feeding the home.


Well, practically speaking, it isn't going to hurt anything. How big was the house and how was it appointed? What sort of load do you think it's really going to draw?

I'm not in my office right now, so I don't have access to any of my reference materials, but I believe that class 200 meters are calibrated at about 30 amps. The farther they stray from that test calibration, the less accurate they become, but we're talking a minute amount of error. If the meter is particularly old, with a jewel bearing, there's a risk that it could spin too fast and jump to one of the magnets. But even then, you'd still have power, the meter would just stop metering.

Bottom line: there should probably be a class 320 meter there, but it's no big deal. If the utility doesn't care no one else ought to.

I'd be more concerned about the service wires and how they're connected.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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200 Meter Feeding Two 200 Amp Panels
[#5] Posted: 01/25/2007 - 07:55:46 AM
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The meter rating is not a limiting factor in the service capacity of the dwelling. It should not be considered when trying to determine service amperage.
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200 Meter Feeding Two 200 Amp Panels
[#6] Posted: 01/25/2007 - 09:05:46 AM
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Quote:How big was the house and how was it appointed? What sort of load do you think it's really going to draw?

Big place with a detached garage and studio, however all appliances and heat are gas. No, the residence will never draw near its capacity.
Quote:Bottom line: there should probably be a class 320 meter there, but it's no big deal If the utility doesn't care no one else ought to.

I agree. I didn't make an issue of it.
Quote:I'd be more concerned about the service wires and how they're connected.

Can you explain further? Its an underground feed - can't see the service wires from the street.


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200 Meter Feeding Two 200 Amp Panels
[#7] Posted: 01/25/2007 - 2:41:49 PM
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Quote:Originally posted by randynavarro
Quote:I'd be more concerned about the service wires and how they're connected.

Can you explain further? Its an underground feed - can't see the service wires from the street.


A 400-amp service with a 200-amp meter isn't necessarily a defect in itself. It is, however, a red flag that might point you toward a defect. Because it's atypical, it might hint that the 2nd panel was bootlegged in. If so, the panel's service wires might not be properly connected inside the meter base.

There's usually no way for you to know, because the meter base has a utility seal on it and you shouldn't be poking around in there anyway.

If this were a new installation with a shiny signed sticker from the city inspector, I probably wouldn't question it.

If this were an older installation and it looked as if the second 200-amp panel was added after the rest of the service equipment, I'd tell them to have an electrician open up the meter can and confirm that the service wire connections were properly made up. I might even tell them to have the power company come out and confirm that the service is adequate.

I know it's hard to believe, but sometimes people bootleg these things.

One other thing, because I'm sure you want to know, the underground wires from the transformer to the meter are called laterals, not service wires.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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200 Meter Feeding Two 200 Amp Panels
[#8] Posted: 01/25/2007 - 3:31:42 PM
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Thanks for the explanation Jim. Makes great sense.

The house is 3 years old, so none of the bootleg or butcher issues should be an . . . issue.

And, thanks for the reminder on the "service wires" vs. "lateral" thing. I got caught in my own attempt at balancing technical vs. plain language for the lay-person / homebuyer. I don't think I've written "laterals" in a report for a while. Don't know if thats good or bad but at least the clients understand it.

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200 Meter Feeding Two 200 Amp Panels
[#9] Posted: 02/16/2007 - 07:01:25 AM
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Hello All,

I do quite a few 320/400 Meter installations and we use (2) 200A panels all the time. Typically I see 200CL meter inserts in 100A meter enclosures, 200A meter enclosures and have seen them in 400A meter enclosures.

As jim has stated what you need to be aware of is the installation of a newer looking electrical panel setup and notice that the meter setup may have no changed....then be sure to always take a closer look at the service....slow down and see if someone did an upgrade without permits and even contacting the POCO to begin with.

Sad to say....I consult to many AHJ's and you would be surprised....

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200 Meter Feeding Two 200 Amp Panels
[#10] Posted: 02/22/2007 - 1:30:10 PM
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Quote:Originally posted by PAbernathy

Hello All,
I do quite a few 320/400 Meter installations and we use (2) 200A panels all the time. Typically I see 200CL meter inserts in 100A meter enclosures, 200A meter enclosures and have seen them in 400A meter enclosures.

I've tried to get some clarity on the size of the meter base before. . perhaps you can help.

On older homes, the smaller circular meter bases are still in use (the same diameter as the meter). The meters themselves are CL200.

Does the small circular meter mean 100 amp or less?

How does one know what these smaller bases are rated for?

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200 Meter Feeding Two 200 Amp Panels
[#11] Posted: 03/07/2007 - 5:50:50 PM
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Randy,

Sorry it took me some time to see this...i don't visit often unless you guys really need me and always feel free to give me a call as my phone is open for you guys as well.

I suggest you visit www.theelectricalguru.com and watch my online video on sizing a service as it may assist you as I made that for a brief explanation but when sizing a service i would suggest the meter enclosure be thrown out IF you have other good information like the SE Conductor size, Panel Rating of the enclosure, and OCPD of the main panelboard and only use the meter enclosure for possible confirmation to what the others have lead you to.

Usually what you have in the smaller round meter enclosures are generally 60A but in a short post war time you saw some reound at 100A but again for a HI since you can't get into the meter enclosure I would give this advice to HI's in that the meter is only to aid in a final conclussion and never used to actually size the service.

Hope I explained that to you alright...if not please give me a call and i can explain it better but what I am saying is since the POCO can do what they want in most cases it makes it VERY hard to use the meter.....however i will say as long as you see a 200CL meter insert in a 200A panel or less it would generally be fine as well...BUT again don't rely on the CL information for much as it can be misleading......watch my video...

   
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