I've seen a similar question in several other posts but the answers seem to include several caveats and differences of opinion. I'd really appreciate some thoughts on my situation and any recommendations you may have:
Situation & Question: I'm installing a subpanel in my yard. I've already run 1.5" electrical conduit (underground) before we installed pavers and am now preparing to pull the wires. My specific question is what gauge wire I should use.
- Subpanel: 100 amp Square D, 6 breaker/12 circuit: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D-Homeline-100-Amp-6-Space-12-Circuit-Outdoor-Main-Lug-Load-Center-HOM612L100RBCP-HOM612L100RBCP/100143240
- Distance: ~80ft
- Location: California
- Loads on subpanel: 100amp breaker at main. Subpanel will power yard lights, bbq island, and workshop/shed (160sq ft with basic contractors table saw, drill press, etc.).
Current Logic: For a 100amp panel, it looks like this would typically require 3 AWG THWN wire (seems that SER isn't rated for use in conduit and I've seen 3AWG (all references to wire are copper) recommended on this forum elsewhere). With that said, the NEC 120% rule seems to apply here and considering I'm almost at 100ft, it looks like the wire needs to be rated for 120AMPs. Based on the ampacity charts I've found, I'll need 1AWG (rated for 130amps) wire for this.
Bottom line, cost is not too different so I really just want to do the best possible job on this project. I really appreciate your advice, guidance and thoughts!