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Electrical Wire and Cable


Wire Size for a Home Electrical Service Panel

How to Size Wire for an Electrical Service Panel: What kind of wires do I need to get power to my home?


Wiring an Electrical Service Panel
Electrical Question: What kind of wires do I need to get power to my home?

Project #1: Underground Electrical Service to a New Home

This Electrical Panel question came from: Bill, a Homeowner from Saratoga, California.

Project #2: Electrical Service to a Mobile Home

This electrical wiring question came from Madison, in Vidalia, Georgia.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring questions Bill and Vidalia.

How to Size Wire for an Electrical Service Panel

main electric panel

Application: Installing a Main Electric Service Panel
Skill Level: Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Electricians pouch of hand tools and the various power tools necessary for the specific method of electrical service installation.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type of panel, the location, and available access to the project area.
Precaution: This is an extensive project. Working in an electric panel has possible electric arc flash hazards and should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Notice: Installing an Electrical Service Panel should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Planning an Electrical Service for a Home

In the projects mentioned above there are factors that will determine the type and size of the electrical service to the home, first let’s start with the basics:

The Electrical Service

Terminology and Clarification

Overhead or Underground Service

Factors for Sizing the Electrical Service

Residential Electrical Load Calculator

  • Electrical Load Calculator

    • The Electrical Load Calculator is a fully functional online and Interactive tool that will assist you with accurate panel load calculations.
    • The Residential Electrical Load Calculator is Pre-Loaded with electrical information for you to chose for typical electrical loads in the home.
    • General Electrical Load Requirements, Appliances and Motor Loads, Heating and Air Conditioning equipment.
    • Sizing Wire for a Panel: Voltage Drop Calculator

More about the Home Electrical Service Panel

home-electrical-circuits


» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.


  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.





Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.



More articles about Main Electrical Service Panel and Home Electrical Wiring:
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Wire Size for a Home Electrical Service Panel”
  1. rich says:

    I recently had to go into my 200 amp service panel and noticed that water was coming in through the main service cable. I had that leak fixed, but I noticed that the ground bus and two breakers were corroded. I replaced the breakers. Must I also replace the ground bus? There were no service interruptions and all seems to be doing fine.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Rich,
      Water corrosion inside a panel can cause extensive damage to the electrical components, so it was good to have the leak repaired and the circuit breakers replaced.
      The ground system of the main service panel is extremely important and must not be compromised. Therefore, if the ground bus has been corroded then it should be cleaned and repaired, or replaced.
      VERY IMPORTANT: The ground system of a panel should never be serviced or disconnected while the main electric service power is on. All methods and components of the ground system must conform to applicable electrical codes and compatible with the electric service panel. This work is best performed by a qualified electrician or licensed electrical contractor.
      Be Safe,
      Dave

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