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I am getting 400amp service to my property.

I would like:

  • 200amp feed to house
  • 100amp feed to shop
  • 50amp feed to well pump
  • 50amp feed to cistern pump

(all of these feeds will terminate in separate buildings)

My question: What class 320, form 2S, 400amp (max) meter base will I need to support the lines I want to run?

So in other words, I want to know what meter I need to buy in order to have 4 separate breakers; 200amp, 100amp, 50amp and 50amp to supply power to 4 separate places.

I think CU12L400CB might be the ticket - thoughts ?

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  • 3
    That will, in part, depend on your power provider, since any meter base you get has to suit what they want. See also: diy.stackexchange.com/q/192922/18078
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 15:03
  • they specify a class 320 form 2S meter, 400amp max service
    – Mike
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 15:42
  • 1
    At least my local Platt only stocks one 400A meter base/distro with dual 200A outputs, so that's probably the one to use. I bet your local electrical distributor is the same, they won't stock something your utility hates because they'll never sell them.
    – KMJ
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 16:18
  • I'm sure you have, but consider running the well & cistern pumps off of breakers in either the house or shop panels. That may be easier than getting a "really big" meter/main that'll support all these different panels. You could even daisy chain sub-panels from either house or shop if necessary. Of course, if they're all in different directions from the drop, that's impractical from a wire run standpoint...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 17:22
  • I think this might work : CU12L400CB
    – Mike
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 17:31

1 Answer 1

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My question: What class 320, form 2S, 400amp (max) meter base will I need to support the lines I want to run?

A "meter base" or "meter pan" is just a box for the meter. You go onward to a "main breaker" or a "main panel". In 400A service, you go onward to typically two 200A main breakers or panels.

You can get combinations or all-in-ones, however the utility is putting their meter on it, so it needs to be on their approved list. That can have a crippling impact on availability and price. It's often best to K.I.S.S. and get the simplest meter pan possible, and do "separates". Once you exit the meter pan, what service equipment you use is no business of the utility's, and any UL-listed equipment will suffice.

The other issue with combinations / all-in-ones is they will compromise your ability to do battery/solar with the house later, and that's becoming a big thing pretty fast due to California forcing electric car makers to enable it.

"Trailer panels" or "ranch panels" provide a 200A breaker, 8 breaker spaces, and then "thru lugs" to carry the entire 200A onward to some other place. They even make a 400A version of this, where it's a normal 200A ranch panel with an extra 200A breaker that only serves thru-lugs. So for instance you might use the solo 200A breaker for the house feed, then the 8-space panel to distribute circuits to other locations.

So you could feed from the meter to a 200A trailer panel and also a 200A disconnect/breaker. Or you could feed from the meter to the 400A version of the trailer panel.

Note that most trailer panels are also made with meter pan too, in fact, you linked one. However that beast costs $4000, which is beyond insane for the application. You only use that when you have to because an authority has their boot on your neck. Given the power company's "approved list" for all-in-ones, that's the problem with all-in-ones.

I would like:

  • 200amp feed to house
  • 100amp feed to shop
  • 50amp feed to well pump
  • 50amp feed to cistern pump

You seem to be going to pains to make them add up to exactly 400A. That's not how provisioning works.

See NEC Article 220 for full details, but you're doing Load Calculations on each of the devices involved, and then doing some factoring. The upshot is the breakers can sum to much more than 200A.

You might even wire it with 'full 200A' (not quite) to the shop, coming off the thru-lugs in the 8-space section. Then use 4 breaker spaces to support well and cistern. The Load Calculation in the shop must include those, since it comes out of the same 200A. But that could still give you practical 150A+ in the shop.

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