SOLVED: Wire Size For 100-Amp Subpanel 200 Feet Away: Overviews

During the expansion of the electrical system in modern residences, running wires to subpanels is one of the tasks that homeowners must handle. Once it comes to running wires, people have to take quite a few factors into account and nothing is more important than the wire size. If the size of wire is unsuitable, a wide range of issues would emerge and put the entire system at risk. Thus, topics such as wire size for 100-amp subpanel 200 feet away capture the interest of homeowners.

Rundowns Of The Size Of Wires For Subpanels

So you intend to set up a 100-amp subpanel 200 feet away from the main panel but don’t know which size of wire is good? Then this article is exactly what you need at the moment. Down below is all the information that you should keep in mind to choose the right wire for your project.

Wire Size: A Summary 

Once it comes to wire size, people nowadays rely on the standards of AWG (American Wire Gauge) to classify wires on the market. In case you don’t know, the AWG size is inversely proportional to the diameter: the larger the AWG size, the smaller the diameter. At the moment, common AWG sizes of wires for use in the electrical system of households include 2, 6, 8, 12, 14, etc. Needless to say, wires that feature different AWG sizes would have different ampere ratings which require a lot of attention from homeowners.

Ideal Sizes Of Wires For 100-Amp Subpanels

In general, while running wires to subpanels, people may choose between copper wires and aluminum wires. If you elect to incorporate copper wires into your project, it’s strongly recommended that you stick to ones that have an AWG size of #4. On the other hand, if you go for aluminum wires, you should prioritize ones with an AWG size of #2. Noteworthily, in times of need, you could even select wires that have lower sizes/ thicker diameters than necessary though you have to pay more money.

Note: Price increases and decreases from time to time but on average, aluminum wires cost a bit less than their copper counterparts. Still, it’s worth pointing out that copper is superior to aluminum in terms of longevity. If your wallet is kind of tight, you would be able to save a couple of bucks by using aluminum wires. If you have money to spend and hate replacing the wires, choose copper wires.

Connecting Wires To Subpanels: Runthrough

In the beginning, you have to run a feeder cable from the main panel to the subpanel. Next, proceed to connect two hot wires of the feeder cable to the lugs of the hot bus bar in the subpanel. Repeat the process for the neutral wire and the grounding wire to get all wires connected to their associated bus bars. Last but not least, it’s essential to install a grounding electrode system in order to stabilize the voltage of the electrical system.

When To Call In The Pros

Must-Know Tips for Installing an Electrical Subpanel | Better Homes & Gardens

All in all, with the right tools and skills, you should have an easy time setting up subpanels in your house. That being said, electricity is dangerous so if you lack confidence, you need to think about calling the professionals.

Of course, getting assistance from the pros incurs a couple of expenses but in exchange, you could reduce the risk of system failures. The last thing you want to do is to damage the electrical system of your house as you install subpanels which leads to expensive repair bills. Also, by contracting the pros for the installation, you would save a lot of time and effort. That is by all accounts a big plus if you happen to have a tight schedule on your hand.


How to wire a subpanel - YouTube

Do I need to update the main service before setting up subpanels?

In the case that your main service possesses a rating of 200 amperes and above, there is no need to update it. However, if the rating of your main service happens to be lower than 200 amperes (100 amperes, 60 amperes, etc), you must consider updating it. The cost of updating the main service ranges from $2,000 to $4,000, depending on the labor, setting, rating, … It’s a good idea to consult with a qualified electrician to make a wise decision.

What kind of advantage do subpanels provide?

Via subpanels, homeowners could separate the electrical system of their house into areas which ease management. Additionally, when the space for breakers on the main panel depletes, people should be able to get more by setting up subpanels. The installation of subpanels also facilitates wire routing: there is no need to run multiple wires from the main panel if you have subpanels. You only need to run one wire to each of the subpanels then run as many wires as you want from subpanels to nearby circuits.

How many breakers can I put in a 100-amp subpanel?

Essentially, the number of breakers that a 100-amp subpanel can accommodate depends on its space. For your information, today’s subpanels with a rating of 100 amperes carry anywhere between 4 and 12 slots for breakers. As long as your subpanels still have free slots, feel free to add breakers but you need to give the load some thought. If you neglect the load while expanding the circuits, the breakers of subpanels would trip from time to time.

Do subpanels have any maintenance requirements? 

To keep subpanels in working order, you must avoid opening them unless it’s absolutely necessary. The more often you open the subpanels, the higher the odds of compromises caused by bugs, moisture, dirt, … Furthermore, it’s strongly recommended that you check the subpanels periodically for signs of damages and conduct repair if needed. Finally, you have to consider picking up covers for the subpanels to minimize exposure.

What is the life expectancy of subpanels?

Everything fails one day but generally speaking, subpanels would last for a long time if people look after them. Assuming that you don’t mess up the installation and perform proper maintenance, decades could pass before you need to replace your subpanels.


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