I am going to be building a larger garage. I am looking to put a 200amp service in the building. I had the power company come out and check my feeder lines and confirm that I had sufficient service for this. For my plan they say everything is okay on their side. They will be replacing my meter with a new one when I begin this project and with that I have to have a disconnect/breaker under the meter can. They also said that with the meter I can run the 200 amp service in the house and the 200 amp service in the garage off this can.

So what I am trying to figure out (since there were not much help) is what type of disconnect/breaker box can I use below the meter can to feed both buildings? I would prefer to have a breaker set up one for each (house & garage) but not necessary. Main goal is to be able to run 4/0-4/0-4/0-2/0 to both service panels. I dot particularly want to have the meter can, a disconnect, then two other boxes mounted on this pole.

I hope all this makes sense. Any help would be appreciated.

If you have an item/part number that would be amazing. I have a Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Menards close.

Again, thanks for the help.

  • Who do you have for a power company? Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 11:47
  • 2
    You may also consider contacting a couple of local electrical supply places instead of just the big-box stores. You may get good advice there, you'll find a better selection and, surprisingly, you may just find a better price. (Also, excellent first question! Other than your locale, I think you've likely provided all the necessary info to get a good answer).
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 12:47
  • Yeah, big-box stores are disasters. I've never seen them recommend a good product. The real electrical supplies troll them for talent and hire away anyone good. And by the way, we're not a shopping or product-reco site. Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 14:58
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica Your answer provided excellent advice without being a shopping or product recommendation. You simply provided the correct term for the OP to search for which is, I think, what he was asking. (i.e. your comment about shopping didn't seem to be necessary).
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


Well, you didn't say what your service is. Whether it's 320 Class service (400A; 320A continuous) or whether it'll be 200A. Your breaker requirements will be slightly different depending.

But what you're looking for is straightforward enough: It's called a Meter-main. Some of them are simply a meter and a main breaker - in separate compartments so the power company can stick their seal on their side.

Some of them get more sophisticated, and give you a meter, a main breaker and 2-8 breaker spaces on the downline side of the main breaker.

For a Class 320 service, I'm not sure how meter-mains handle it; I've never seen a 400A breaker; they usually provision 400A service by splitting it to two 200A main panels. So sadly, you may wind up with 3 boxes in that case. Think about if you want any power here at this location; if so, look at a meter-main with extra spaces for one of the circuits.

Fork it

If your service is 200A, there is nothing wrong with fitting dual lugs (or splitting with Polaris connectors) and sending full 200A to both house and shop that they effectively share. The split is after the main breaker, of course.

By the way, your wire only has to handle 83% of the breakered value, so only 166A. 4/0 Aluminum will be just fine. (DO NOT use copper for long feeder like this; it's a total waste of money and the lugs on both ends are aluminum, so you'll create a dissimilar metal problem.) What's even sadder is when people spend a fortune on copper, and then chintz out on conduit, ground wires or panel spaces. 2 years later, they're back going "panel is full" and the photo shows they could have fit a much larger panel for $40 more, and they wasted $700 on copper feeder. Talk about false economies!

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    Some Class 320 meter-mains use a single 400A breaker, either by itself or feeding a 400A LC interior; however, the more common configuration at the moment has 2 200A main breakers in the meter-main instead, often with one of them feeding a 200A LC interior Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 20:54

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