When adding a sub panel to your 200 amp service, there are several factors you need to take into account. These include the number of breakers, wire size and circuit load.
Additionally, the capacity of your panel will determine how many subpanels can be connected to it. This is essential when undertaking home improvements such as installing a pool or home theatre system.
Number of Breakers
Most residential electrical panels include a certain number of breakers for safety. These breakers help prevent overloads and keep circuits from tripping and resulting in fires in your home. The maximum number allowed per panel depends on its rating.
Manufacturers rate their panels and restrict the number of electrical circuit breakers they will accept based on this rating, helping you stay compliant when installing new equipment and upgrades in your home.
Your main circuit breaker is the device that controls how much power your service panel can supply to your entire house. This double-pole device connects to two 120v service wires and supplies both hot bus bars that run down through the panel.
The circuit breaker also regulates the individual branch circuits that power your appliances and lighting throughout your home. These branch circuits include lights, plugs, outlets and switches located throughout different rooms.
Ideally, your electric system should have at least two 120-volt circuits and one 240-volt circuit to guarantee enough capacity for all of your equipment.
You may want multiple breaker boxes for your 200 amp service, but the combined amperage of all breakers in each box should not exceed twice its rated capacity. That means no more than a few 100 amp breakers should be located within one box, or an array of smaller breakers totalling less than 200 amps should be present.
If you need more than one 100 amp breaker in a 200 amp service, look for smaller breakers that can be placed opposite each other and clip onto the same bus stabs shared by your main breaker and its breakers. This helps save on wire costs while keeping your breakers from tripping or burning up.
That is why it is always wise to consult an electrician prior to upgrading or expanding your electrical system. He can accurately calculate how many breakers are necessary and select appropriate breaker sizes for each circuit.
Before installing a sub panel, it is essential to determine the appropriate wire size. Doing so can prevent damage, overheating and electrical fires in your home and family members. Furthermore, having the correct size ensures your safety as well as that of others in the vicinity.
To determine the proper wire size for a 200 amp service, refer to either NEC or local codes. If you are unfamiliar with these, hiring an experienced electrician is recommended; they’ll be able to size your wire according to both national and local regulations, plus ensure all necessary permits are obtained for the project.
A 200 amp service is ideal for commercial applications like offices with several air conditioning units and large radiators, as well as server rooms running multiple PCs simultaneously. It may also be suitable for home use if you don’t have any high-powered appliances that consume a lot of current.
One common error homeowners make is using a wire that is too small for their task. This could lead to performance issues and electrical fires, potentially endangering both the homeowner’s life and property.
For optimal wire performance, opt for larger wire sizes like 2/0 copper or 4/0 aluminum. Doing so helps avoid overheating and resistance buildup that could eventually cause wire failure.
Additionally, higher wire gauge can reduce voltage drop. This is especially beneficial for long runs so be sure to take this into consideration when selecting your wire size.
One factor that may influence the wire size you select is the distance between your service entrance and electrical meter base. Long runs of wire often experience voltage drops of around 3%; however, this can be easily mitigated by increasing the wire gauge.
For instance, if you need to run 100 feet from your sub panel, 3/0 copper wire is suitable. But if the distance is 200 feet, an even larger wire should be used in order to account for voltage drops and ensure your wires remain safe at their intended levels.
Circuit load refers to the total number of receptacles and light fixtures that require electricity in order to operate. This includes light bulbs, television sets, washers, dryers, electric hot water heaters and other appliances.
To determine your home’s electrical load, examine its main components – wire, conduit, meter and panel. This will let you know whether 200 amp service is necessary for your residence or if 100 amps will do just fine.
In general, a 100-amp service is sufficient for small homes with gas heating or homes without many electronics. On the other hand, larger residences that require central air conditioning or other electronic appliances may need at least 200-amps.
Calculating your electrical load requires first determining the watts of lights and appliances in your home, then adding up their volts and amps. This gives you the total wattage of all loads at your residence – used to determine service panel size and number of breakers required.
Typically, 200-amp services can support up to 24,000 or 48,000 watts of electrical load simultaneously. This is because 200 amp services feature double pole breaker breakers which allow both 120 and 240 volts to flow through one switch.
If your home uses more than a certain number of outlets or lights, it is recommended that the electrical load be distributed across multiple breakers. Doing this will prevent frequent trips of the breaker in your house.
The maximum watts that can be loaded onto a single breaker is typically 19200, so if your load exceeds this figure, be sure to shut off the breaker immediately. Overloading a breaker could result in an electrical fire.
You can overload a breaker by running a space heater on the receptacle or using too many high-wattage lights in one receptacle. Doing so may cause the breaker to trip and your appliances will cease functioning properly.
Additionally, if you are running a generator or large electric tankless water heater from the same receptacle or breaker, make sure there is more than one outlet or light fixture drawing power from that same breaker. Doing this will guarantee enough capacity to keep your home running when needed most.
Sub Panel Capacity
One of the most crucial elements in your electrical system is your main panel. Here you’ll find breakers and wires that distribute power throughout your home, as well as where all individual switches and outlets are connected.
However, your main panel may not have enough capacity to support all of your devices and appliances. Sub panels are secondary circuit breakers that draw power from the main panel and use it to supply necessary electricity for small appliances and devices.
They have a specific capacity and usually run at 100 amps. Although often used for light loads, these outlets can be expanded as needed to support heavier demands from larger homes and appliances.
The total load that can be supported by a subpanel depends on its size, the wattage of electricity used and any equipment or devices it will support. Furthermore, you must adjust the wattage accordingly for voltage drop that occurs when electricity travels over long wire runs.
For instance, if your shop uses plenty of power tools, investing in a subpanel that supports 240 volts could be an advantageous upgrade to add extra capacity. On the other hand, 200 amp service is perfect for modern homes that utilize multiple computers, electric car chargers, and other appliances requiring high amounts of electricity.
As a general guideline, most new construction homes in Ontario are built with 200 amp service. This minimum requirement meets Ontario Building Code requirements and makes for an ideal choice for any modern home.
On a 200 amp service, you can install as many subpanels as desired; however, make sure the total load does not exceed 160 amps. This limit serves as a safety measure and helps avoid overloading the main panel and needing to contact an electrician for assistance.
If you plan to add additional breaker boxes or have a large number of circuits in your home, installing subpanels on your 200 amp service may be necessary. Be sure to do this with the help of an experienced professional who can guarantee safe and correct installation.