I recently purchased the lot next door in Lincoln County, Oregon. I’d like to build a shop now and someday build another house or let one of my kids do it.

Can I have a 4/0 service wire run from the transformer to a 400 amp single phase meter base on a pedestal at the front of the lot, come out of the meter base and split the service in 3 way boots in a pe20?

From there, I'd run 1/0 or 2/0 to a 200amp panel at the shop and when the day comes run from the pe20 to a 200amp panel at the future house. Can I also do this?

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    Those wire sizes are awfully small. Are you talking about overhead pole lines, or are you reading out of the wrong table? PE20s are generally used underground, not in pole lines. We use Table 310.15(B)(16) 75C column for sizing services and feeders, except no service or feeder needs to be larger than 83% of service size (e.g. 332A for 400A service, i.e. 600kcmil). 250 kcmil for the 200A feeders. All sizes aluminum; using copper in such large sizes accomplishes nothing. Mar 21, 2023 at 7:54
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    Who's your electric utility? Mar 21, 2023 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


You need to see if you can get a 3rd phase from your provider, to start. Running a house and a shop on single... Think about it a sec. You're eating dinner, the air is on, and the fridge kicks in... What do the light do? DIM.

You need to get 2|0 wire from the pole to the first junction. I’d run it to the shop also. Your house can use 2 of the 3 lines, say R&B. The shop R&W, with R&W&B where you need 3 phase. That leaves W&B for the 2nd house down the road, distributing the electrical load.

Every time a motor starts (table saw, air compressor, drill press, freezer) it pulls and can pop the main breaker if you have several at the same time.

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    No need for three phase. I have a house and shop on a single 320 A service and have never popped a main breaker. No problem starting the table saw while the air compressor and dust collector are running. No lights dimming when the AC is running and the fridge kicks in.
    – Mark
    Mar 22, 2023 at 1:37
  • Lucky you. I've seen it all over the US as well as the rest of the world, having grown up in the Air Force and served in the Navy and now living abroad for 20+ years. Mar 22, 2023 at 15:32

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