I am considering converting my barn into a woodshop. It would require me upgrading the current wiring to handle the tools that would end up in the shop.

I have a very old farm house and the main house (not including additions) would only be accessible by one side. The driveway side of the house would need to be tunneled under in order to get into the main house basement. Then, I would need to trench back about 50 or so feet to the barn.

My question is; would it just be better to have a new direct line from the pole to the barn, or tackling this tedious way previously listed? Also, if the direct line would be easier/more feasible, does national grid charge a separate delivery fee or is it comparable cost-wise?

Also, if I was to do the dig version, would I need to upgrade to a 400 amp ( I am guessing?!) to be able to handle two 200 amp service panels?? If this is the case, I am guessing that should be factored into the over all cost of the dig option

2 Answers 2


Regardless of how much work it takes, if you are considering adding a large number of tools and a large load then a sub-panel would be the way to go.

With more information we could give you better advice.

Good luck!

  • 1
    The sub-panel is a relatively cheap investment in future flexibility.
    – keshlam
    Mar 22, 2016 at 1:00
  • He's not looking at a sub-panel or a single circuit, he's looking at whether to run to a new sub-panel or get a new separate service drop (which would have it's own panel).
    – TFK
    Mar 22, 2016 at 3:23
  • Utility companies will not add a second service drop to a single premises unless they are given a very compelling reason. The rule is one property, one drop. Then the owner takes it from there.
    – ArchonOSX
    Mar 28, 2016 at 19:44

If you have a separate service there is usually a fee for the 2nd meter. My power company wanted to charge higher rates for the shop because the loads were mostly inductive so I went with a 300/400 meter base that had 2ea 200 Amp breakers I fed the house with 1 and the shop with the second and only pay for 1 service at the lower residential rate. You will need to see if the transformer from the utility can handle the load, I got lucky as they charge for up sizing transformers in my area and the one on the pole was large enough.

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