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I'll keep my issue short and sweet. I bought a 200A Square D panel for my home, from here, plan was to install a meter socket using 4/0, power company would finish install.

They told me if my main panel, is farther than 10 feet away, I need a Meter socket combo with disconnect. I ended up going with a Square D RC816F200C Homeline 200 Amp, it's installed on the outside of the house, my 4/0 now goes from this panel, to my Square D panel in the garage.

I'm getting hung up on if my panel in the garage, needs to be unbonded and treated like a subpanel, or if I can bond the panel, since it's plug on neutral ready and it would make things simple.

Appreciate any insight here.

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    PON and bonding have exactly no relationship. You can't bond that, as it's a sub-panel. But it does not make things any more complicated, at all, and bonding would not make it any simpler.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 8, 2023 at 11:59

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Your meter socket combo is your main panel, since it has a disconnect. Therefore, your garage panel is a subpanel and must not be neutral-ground bonded.

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I feel your pain. I myself can only eat vanilla ice cream, because I do not have a dog. Wait what? Those have nothing to do with each other!

"Bonding the panel" and "using plug-on-neutral" are not related in any way whatsoever. You can use plug-on-neutral no matter what.

It seems like your question is, "If I don't bond the panel, where do I put the grounds???" And the answer is an accessory ground bar. Peruse the panel labeling carefully and you'll see a table of approved accessories. One of them will specify accessory ground bars that fit 3-4 sites around the panel already drilled & tapped for it. You are welcome to populate any or all of them.

Then pull the neutral-ground bond and you're all set.

The main service wires from the utility (from meter to main panel are totally unfused - if you put a nail through them it will dead short at up to 2.4 megawatts, or nearly the impact force of the Vulcan main gun on the F-15 Eagle. That's why they require the main breaker to be very close to the meter pan.

That panel (I call that a ranch panel) is a fantastic choice, and you'll be glad you got it. The 8 breaker spaces are a great place for a generator interlock, solar, or outdoor circuits including EV charging.

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