I'm installing wire (4/0-4/0-2/0-4) to an outbuilding. Because of the size of the wire, it has to bottom feed from the existing 200A panel, thus, no breaker on the upstream end other than the main breaker in the upstream panel.

Is it legal to connect the new wire to the bus bars before any inspection has been done? Because of the difficulty of bending the wire, I'd like to be able to connect it before finishing the downstream sub-panel. The main breaker would be off when doing all of that work. Once the sub-panel is installed and connected, the sub-panel would be turned off with its main disconnect and the main panel re-energized.

I don't want the inspector to show up and have it connected when it should not be.

  • Think the inspector wants to see the wires connected right. Think the real question is if you can turn the main breaker back on before inspection if the wires are connected. It is the proper wire connections they inspect for. Make sure you don't connect hot to neutral.
    – crip659
    Sep 3, 2022 at 18:43
  • I had to do an inplace panel replacement for my father-in-law and had the POCO pull the meter, I did the swap and the POCO was OK with energizing it bc it was essential for the home. I pulled a permit and when inspected, he had no issues with it being energized. But that was probably about 20 years ago, your mileage may vary. It also depends a lot upon the AHJ. I think you're pretty safe with your approach, but again, the AHJ has the final say. Sep 3, 2022 at 19:06
  • @crip659 LOL on the "don't connect the hot to the neutral"! Priceless! ROFL. But two more pieces of more serious advice: 1) be sure to use white code tape for the neutral, stupid requirement, because it's so obvious that it's the neutral, but I got snipped on that wiring my son's house. 2) don't forget the "goop" on the AL wires, it's important (NoAlox). Sep 3, 2022 at 19:10
  • 2
    Have you tried asking your local inspectors (AHJ)? They're usually pretty receptive to questions/calls Sep 3, 2022 at 19:23
  • @george You're saying even though the neutral has a big stripe running down it and is smaller than the hot legs, I need to wrap white tape around it??? Sep 3, 2022 at 19:40


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