1

I'm planning to upgrade my service to 200A and install a new main panel. I'll be posting a few other questions, but wanted to start with the meter pan. How can I tell if the meter pan is rated for 100A or 200A? See pictures below, this meter was installed in 1979, PSE&G territory. It is a Milbank enclosure, but I can't find any other markings on the outside. I've asked PSE&G about a service upgrade to 200A and here is what they replied:

Existing PS facilities are adequate. There is no cost required to proceed. Service is available from Transformer #116. PS inspection is required.

Which suggests to me that the underground wires are already sufficient for 200A, but maybe I'm misinterpreting what they wrote.

I recently had Tesla solar and a Powerwall installed, and they used a Tesla Backup Switch. Since PSE&G has not approved the Backup Switch behind their meter, they installed a separate meter pan for their Backup Switch (see pictures below). They ran 4/0 Aluminum from the old PSE&G meter pan to the new Backup Switch meter pan. I can still get permits under the 2017 NEC for a few months.

How do I figure out if the existing PSE&G meter pan is capable of 200A service? Thanks!

Existing Meter Pan Detail of Existing Meter Pan Meter and Tesla Backup Switch

1 Answer 1

2

If it can't be positively identified, it is not rated for anything and would need to be replaced. Have you checked the back of the deadfront cover for a label? Also if the utility supplied it, they may know what it is.

The service entrance wiring (from service lateral to main breaker) must also be rated for 200A, so must be 4/0 aluminum or 2/0 copper. The Tesla to old main panel wiring is not anywhere near 4/0. You also need to look at the service lateral to meter wiring, if any.

I don't know what's more clever - the Tesla disconnect intended to sit under a meter, or the idea of a second meter pan in series to accommodate it! But it's getting pretty crowded out there. I would look for options to consolidate that down to 1-2 boxes. For instance a meter-main that is solar-ready, to replace the meter, could eliminate the right side box. A meter-main is also a big help with DIY repairs if you're into that, since you can fully de-energize the breaker panel.

I would also try to replace the panel interconnects with EMT or RMC conduit. It really ties the grounds together, removing necessity for ground straps.

1
  • Great suggestion to look for the label inside. I realized that since the utility hasn't changed out the meter and tagged the cabinet, I could take the cover of carefully. Right in there was a tag that read "Maximum Rating: 200 AMP CONT 600 VAC", so that should be fine. And since Tesla already ran 4/0 Al to it, I don't have to touch the meter pan. I'll ask PSE&G to pull the meter once I'm ready to do the work and everything downstream of the meter pan would be de-energized (once I shutdown the Powerwall and Solar). Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 14:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.