House has 100amp service. 100amp main panel inside home. 50amp sub panel in detached carport/laundry room coming from main panel. Can I run from the main outside at the meter to a new 100 amp panel in a detached workshop?

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    You probably can, but you will still only have 100 amps to use. More panels do not give you more power, only your power provider can do that,after upgrading service/panel/s.
    – crip659
    Sep 15, 2021 at 22:25

2 Answers 2


The meter is not a circuit breaker. So if you came straight off the meter, this wire would be "always-live" and totally unprotected by a circuit breaker. It could burn and burn, and nothing on earth would stop it!

So you need to run from the main panel, as you need to fit a circuit breaker, and that is where one will fit.

If you swapped out your meter pan for a meter-main with a 100A breaker, then yes, your plan would work. You could come off the 100A breaker and split to both the house and the workshop. However the wire to the workshop would need to be 100A rated (so the 100A meter-main breaker protects it).

If you run from the house panel, you can use any wire size you want, and any breaker size that will protect the wire.

Since your entire service size is 100A, you are allowed to use #2 AWG aluminum. Normally you'd need #1 AWG.


By code you can have another 100a panel at the garage. however with the recent code changes the main disconnect outside at the meter location usually a larger service is installed and each of the panels at the house and garage are sub panels

you can use a main breaker panel and pull the bonding screw or jumper. Feeding it from the outside service panel but your total is still only 100a if the service is 100A.

Having a “main” in the house may allow your service to be upgraded and the house fed with a 100 amp breaker and the shop with a 100, then you only have to upsize the wire from the meter to the service drop, and the wire from the panel to the garage.

Depending on your state and AHJ this can be an easy DIY , or complex job requiring electricians.

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