Skip to Content

400 Amp Service With 2 200 Panel: Explained!

Our articles, products and services are for informational purposes. We recommend to use caution and seek the advice of qualified professionals.

Having a 400 amp service might cause issues at times. With these issues arising a secondary panel or subpanel is required. Connecting the sub-panels to the main panel can be confusing. And that is totally fine. 

Is 400 amp service with 2 200 panels the right choice?

Options generally come between 400 amp service with 1 200 panels and 2 200 panels. Here the right choice is 400 amp service with 1 200 panel, not with 2 200 panels. It is because of the higher overall installation costs and other installation factors.

Of course, there is more to connecting a subpanel. It might seem tricky but we can assure you that we’ve tried our best to guide you. 

What are you waiting for? Get those tools out and start drilling holes into the wall for your 200 panels.  

Why You Shouldn’t Install 400 Amp Service with 2 200 Panels

When using this method, a heavier wire must be used between the main panel and sub-panel. There are some situations where it is necessary to use the same type of wire. To bring electrical service from an electrical meter to the main panel. 

This could result in an increase in installation costs, both in terms of materials and labor.

Costs may be slightly higher if you need to install two main service panels with separate disconnects. There is a price difference between disconnect panels and subpanels. Another factor that could raise costs is maintaining two different service lines.

It’s important to remember that these are national averages, not local ones. An additional cost may be imposed when installing the product. Costs can skyrocket if you don’t meet local or utility requirements.

If you know the procedure to install a subpanel in a garage then this will be a piece of cake.

What If You Install 400 Amp Service with 2 200 Panels

When the main panel has reached its maximum capacity for circuit breakers, two 200 panels are usually installed. Subpanels are common in places where access to the main panel is difficult. Such as an apartment on the second floor or a workshop with specific power needs.

Sub-panels in detached parts or difficult-to-reach parts of the building like a workshop can, on the other hand, make sense. You should consider installing a sub-panel for your home’s second-floor rental apartment if you have the space. 

When branch circuit runs are quite long, the payments in copper wire alone are substantial.

If you’re worried between 400 amp panels vs 2 200 amp panels, that really depends on the size of your home. 

Also, an important thing to know is a sub panel 200 amp can feed 3 sub panels.

Connecting Process of the Sub Panels 

Here we’ve shown you how to connect two 200 amp panels easily.

The first 200 amp panel will be the main breaker box and load center. The second one will feed to the house. You will have to connect a 200 amp sub panel from a 200 amp main panel.  

A feeder cable is typically run to the subpanel from the main panel. This happens when a subpanel is installed by an electrician. Typically, this is a three-wire cable with three insulated conductors and a bare copper ground conductor. In order to meet the subpanel’s amperage requirements, the cable must be of the correct size.

For 200-amp sub-panel In the case of underground service, a minimum of 1.5 inches of schedule 40 or 80 PVC conduit is required for copper wire or #4/0 AWG for aluminum and copper-clad wire. You will also require a 250 kcmil-gauge copper wire. Be sure to have the proper wire size of 200 amp.

Here we are recommending some copper wire. These are the best in the market:

Product 1
Product 2

Make sure that the feeder cable has two hot wires. And one neutral wire, and one bare copper grounding wire. All connected to the lugs on each of the hot bus bars in your subpanel. These lugs are just like the 400 amp meter base with lugs. 

Attach wires to a circuit breaker. Then link the hot feeder wires to it, before connecting the neutral and ground wires from it to the respective bus bars in the main control panel. As the last step, an electrician connects the main service panel feeder breaker to an open double slot.

Keep in mind that both the panels will need a grounding conductor. Although every building is allowed one grounding conductor. One zero copper ground is stranded and shielded which according to code is legitimate. 

Bring the 1-0 which is oversized for a 400 amp service into one 200 amp panel and take that ground and bring it over to the other panel. One main grounding electrode in the building but each of the panels has neutral bonding to the case. 

When you have a main breaker that switches left to right you can mount the box up or down it even writes lines both up and down. If your box is a flush mount box. It’s supposed to have a square d connector. 

Because of this, you don’t have to punch all the holes, you can just slide your wire into the square and it will hold on nicely. And that’s about it, but always install the panels properly as a lot could go wrong if installed incorrectly.  

Be Sure To Check This Before Installing

Check with the local electrical codes before installing a 200-amp main panel and a 200-amp sub-panel. If a residence has a 400 Amp service, local codes may impose additional requirements or outright ban this type of installation.

It is necessary for each panel to have a service line that connects to the main panel. For this type of installation to be allowed by the local codes, your meter should have two lugs.

There are two hot connections and two neutral on the service side of a two-lug meter base. This enables the two separate service lines to be safely attached to the meter base and to meet some electrical codes.

Also, check whether your circuit breaker is tripping or not before starting all the procedures. 

FAQs

Question: Is having two main panels okay?

Answer: That is correct. The main electrical drop should cater for both panels, and each panel must have its own utility meter. All NEC codes should be followed. Contact the local government to see if any local codes exist.

Question: What is the maximum amount of wattage that a 400 amp service can handle?

Answer: This service is recommended for electric heat loads exceeding 20,000 watts.

Question: Is it possible to have two electrical panels right next to each other? 

Answer: The working space has a depth of 36 inches in total. There must be a 30 inches wide space between the working spaces, or the width of the panel, whichever is bigger, in order to accommodate the panel. The panel, on the other hand, is not necessary to be centered on the working space.

Conclusion 

If you have read this far we hope you aren’t confused about whether a 400 amp service with 2 200 panels is for you. Connecting two sub-panels will help extend the wires from the main panel to any part of the home that is too far away from the main panel. 

But be careful since you’re working with electricity!