enter image description hereThis is a picture of my main breaker coming off pole. It’s actually mounted on the pole. The top is main power supply, the wires taped on the bottom are what use to go to an old trailer house. I moved a camper to the property and ran the current connected with to a 50amp sub panel to connect the camper. I’m wanting to wire a shed/man cave with the existing wiring that was used to power trailer house so I was wondering if I can switch that to 200 amp service instead of the current 100 and if there was a breaker that had 4 spots for wires coming out. 2 for the 50amp camper and 2 for the shed. I would add a sub panel in the shed for everything else’s. I’m planning to have a washer and dryer in the shed as well as a/c and heat. Where I live in rural Oklahoma, electric company said do it all myself with no particular codes, but I want to make sure I don’t have a chance of fire or shock. Can anyone point me in the right direction? All help is appreciated.

Also I was told to just put the wires in same slot as others but didn’t think that was safe and they wouldn’t fit anyway they are too thick.

  • Please add a picture of the label on the inside of the panel so people know the brand/model of panel. That will help guide answers.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 4, 2023 at 18:04
  • I am guessing that to get 200amps, you will need the power company to change the transformer first. Breakers are there to protect the wire from heating/burning up, so a 200 amp breaker will need much larger wires. You will need to figure out if you really need more power, a camper and shed/man cave usually does not need much, unless complete electric heat(usually bad cost choice). That picture looks like a main disconnect than a proper panel.
    – crip659
    Mar 4, 2023 at 18:11
  • I’ll do that later this afternoon when I get home. I hope it’s still there this panel is very old. Thank you.
    – Martin
    Mar 4, 2023 at 18:12
  • It definitely is the main disconnect for the previous trailer house. Would I still get the 100 amps at shed if I have 50 amp breaker already going to camper?
    – Martin
    Mar 4, 2023 at 18:16
  • A 100A breaker and a 30A fuse. That's "interesting"...
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 4, 2023 at 18:21

2 Answers 2

  • Can you upgrade service to 200A - ask your power company. There will be associated costs.

If you split off from a 200A breaker you'd have to use 200A rated wiring from that breaker to smaller sub-panels. That's ludicrously wasteful and expensive. There's a better way: A "ranch panel" so called - 200A main and a few spaces to run 50A or 100A or whatever you actually need to other locations, all in a handy outdoor-rated panel, sometimes even with the meter socket included. A new meter socket may well be one of the costs you'll have to bear if upgrading to 200A service from 100A service.

Ranch panel image from dkhardware.com

Then you can use approriate wire/cable for 50A, 100A etc. from the panel at the pole to each building you want to serve.


Any main breaker panel will suffice

All you need here is an outdoor (NEMA 3R rated) panel with a main breaker and a few breaker spaces. Your power comes into the main breaker, then goes out to the various buildings you want to power.

Normally we recommend a "Ranch Panel" which has a 200A main breaker, 8 breaker spaces for 4 feeders to outbuildings, then "thru lugs" to carry full 200A to the main building. However I have an intuition that you are cost-conscious, and the existing wire to the abandoned trailer house will never carry 200A anyway. Therefore a regular old panel will suffice.

Harper's suggestion: phase 1

I would do this: I would choose a 200A main-breaker panel. Since your electric service right now is 100A, I would install a 100A breaker* in a normal breaker position, with a tie-down kit. I would wire the utility power into that 100A breaker and just completely ignore the 200A breaker. Take care to label the 100A breaker "MAIN BREAKER" since that will not be obvious.

Then, a 50A breaker goes off to the camper stand, straightforward stuff.

Now, how do you power the shed? Since the wire to the shed is 100A rated, all we really need to do is connect to the breaker bus. How do do that for free? Another 100A breaker costs money. So do subfeed lug kits. But look! That unused 200A breaker has two lugs on it, and they directly connect to the bus! (via a 200A breaker that will never trip). So there you go - connect the shed to the 200A breaker. "That was easy"

Harper's suggestion: Phase 2

When you get to the happy? miserable? day that 200A service is actually required for your needs... What now? Costly new equipment? NOPE.

Remember when we previously flipped the direction of the 100A and 200A breakers? We flip them back to normal. Now, you attach your 200A (4/0 cable) service entrance wiring to the 200A main breaker. The shed wiring then moves to the 100A breaker. The camper wiring remains on the 50A breaker. Zero cost except for the new 4/0 wire to the weatherhead.

* Normally I wouldn't recommend Square D QO as it is the most costly panel on the market. However, in your case, your picture appears to be showing us a totally free Square D "QO" 100A breaker you can use. QO is very good stuff, and it's probably fine.

  • Is a tie down kit the same as a hold down kit? Does this panel seem good? SN Series 200 Amp 8-Space 16-Circuit Outdoor Main Breaker Plug-On Neutral Load Center. Will my current breaker be compatible with this SN panel? @Harper
    – Martin
    Mar 5, 2023 at 4:22
  • @Martin Yes, tie-down = hold-down. Your current breaker is only compatible with Square D QO panels like I said. If you mean this panel that's actually a fantastic option, since it is a ranch panel. But it will do my trick too. Mar 5, 2023 at 6:47
  • I just noticed I can get a square d panel for only 11 bucks more so might as well do that. My question is the square d homeline essentially the same as the regular square d? If so, then I can use the current 100amp breaker I already have. Homeline 200 Amp 8-Space 16-Circuit Outdoor Main Breaker Load Center with Feed-Thru Lug @Harper
    – Martin
    Mar 6, 2023 at 3:22
  • @Martin A list of words you cut and paste doesn't tell me which product it is, as those words could describe several models. But it sounds right. I think Siemens is better made, but they're all safe and legal. If you're thinking about generator interlocks Siemens is a better choice, if you foresee upgrading to a smart panel better Square D. Mar 6, 2023 at 4:38
  • sorry I’m not sure of how too add a link in the comments.
    – Martin
    Mar 6, 2023 at 15:44

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