Can You Feed Two Panels From One Meter? (Find Out Now!)
Are you wanting to know if it is possible to feed two panels from one meter? If so, then we are going to show you exactly what that looks like, and what your options are.
Feeding two panels from one meter is acceptable, as long as the meter is rated for the amount of power that both panels will be using. For example, a meter that is rated for 400 amps to pass through it, can power two separate 200 amp panels.
There are many reasons you may want to have two panels, to feed electricity to two separate positions. Whether it be for a guest house, pool house, or some other reason. If there is any doubt about how much electricity can pass through your meter, you will need to contact your utility company to confirm.
This type of service is known as a split service or parallel service. The codes should allow for this type of configuration, however, you will still need to check with your city codes to make sure.
What is the Total Load of the Two Panels?
The most important factor in this situation is the total load that will be carried by the two panels. Most meters can run up to 400 amps. As long as the amps or total load of the two panels is under, or equal to the amount of electricity being sent to the meter, you should be fine.
You will need to calculate how much electrical load your home uses, and how much the second panel will be using. To get this number, you should know how much your appliances and lights will be using. Once you have those numbers, you will have a good idea if the two numbers together, will exceed the total load capacity of the service going to the meter.
Every breaker has a certain amount of electrical load. To calculate these numbers you need to use a formula. You will take the total calculated load, from the number of appliances and lights, and divide it by the maximum recommended load, to get a percentage.
Call the Utility Company to Confirm Calculations
Once you have made these calculations, you may need to call the utility company to confirm that your service will be able to handle it. If you find that you need more than what your current service provides, you may need to have more work done.
The utility company can also provide more electricity based on what you are needing to have done. This is something that you will need to discuss with the utility company, before making any final decisions. They may need to install a new meter based on how much electricity you are using.
In most cases, you would not need more electricity. Unless you are running some type of business that calls for more. Commercial services are different from residential and use different meters and services.
Splitting a 200 Amp Service
Are you wondering if you can split a 200 amp service, by having one-panel control 100 amps, and the second panel controlling 100 amps? If this is the case, then there a few things you will need to consider.
The total load calculations come into play here. You may have your small home running on 100 amps, through a 200 amp service, but the load you pull could be more than the 100 amp s. In this case, splitting the panel with a second 100 amps may not be possible.
Make sure you have all of the correct calculations before you decided to split a service. You may need a professional to help you with this. You will most likely be splitting the service, by adding a sub-panel, that will be feeding a different location.
What is a Sub Panel?
When running two panels, you will most likely have the main panel and a sub-panel. The main panel will be located close to the meter and will feed into the sub-panel. Only in rare cases would you have two main panels.
Having two main panels may not be allowed in your area, so check with the codes first. In the case of having two main panels, the meter would have a double lug, that feeds the two main panels. Having a sub-panel is the most common way to have one-meter feeding two panels.
Double Tap Electric Meter
To double-tap an electric meter for two main panels, you need to have the correct double lugs. You can not jam two conductors into a single lug, that is built for just one. This is going to be a code violation.
As long as the meter has double lugs, that is rated for two different conductors, it should be legal. You may not even need two main panels, you would probably need one main panel and a sub-panel.
Every city has different rules and codes for what is allowed. Consult a licensed electrician to find out exactly what options are available for you in your city.
Check Your Local Codes
Even if you think something may work, it doesn’t mean it will be up to code. Every city has different rules, what may work in one city, may not be allowed in another. You will need to check the codes, to find out if what you are wanting to be done is going to be allowed.
You should consult an electrician, as well as the utility company, to find out exactly what kind of service you are having done. The electrician will be able to check the codes for you and will provide you with the exact answer you are looking for.
Meeting All of the Requirements
As long as you meet all of the requirements discussed in this article, you should be on your way to having one meter feed two panels. You may want to get a second opinion as well. One electrician may say that it is legal, while another may find out that it is not.
It is not that uncommon for electricians to make mistakes, or not follow the codes exactly. This can be a big problem when you have to have your home inspected. You may have the work done, just to have the utility company come in and say that it is not done correctly.
When making big decisions that can cost you money, always make sure that every requirement is met. You should be completely sure that the information you have is correct to your best knowledge. This will save you time, headaches, and money.
How can you tell how big your service panel is?
A panel’s total amperage is usually printed on the main circuit breaker. The main circuit breaker controls all of the circuits in the panel. If this number is not printed on the panel, you can add up the total number of breakers and amps.
Can you have two main panels?
There are situations where having two main panels is acceptable. You will have to have two lugs coming from the meter to run two main panels. You cannot run two conductors from one lug, that is made for one conductor. Contact a licensed electrician if you have any further questions.
I'm a writer that is passionate about home improvements, remodeling, and renovating. I enjoy learning new skills and techniques and sharing them with others.
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