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I am in Belize Central America having a small home built. I have done my own wiring back in the states on two homes I built, however I have never installed ser cables.
Here in Belize the meter is at the road and about 60 feet from the house. I will bury conduit in which the cables will run through. Here the soil is damp even though the outside temperature is mostly in the high 80s so the soil stays rather cool. I measured from the meter to the house, which is on stilts 10 feet off the ground and total length of cable needed from meter at the road to inside the house where the load center will be is 95 feet. I read the NEC and I find that I can use 4-4-4-6 however the guy at the electric store said I need to use 2-2-2-6 (copper wires ) which I think is too big of wires. Now our home will have of course outlets in the rooms, a total of 4 ceiling lights/fans, a refrigerator, gas kitchen range, no dishwasher, no disposal, no furnace, counter top microwave, lights in kitchen and both verandas, will have a clothes washing machine no dryer, for hot water will have a small on demand electric water heater under the kitchen sink, a smaller unit under the bath sink which will supply sink and shower, will have four small AC units mounted in the wall, one for each bedroom (3) and one for the living room. These AC units will be small ones thinking about 9,000 BTU and 110volt units. This will be all of the electrical items we will have, of course a TV and house hold appliances in the kitchen, a computer, and that is it. I added up the circuits I need and the number is (4) one for each AC unit, (2) one for each hot water on demand unit, (1) for the refrigerator, (1) for the washing machine, (2) for the kitchen, (1) for the bathroom and then (5) more for lights and outlets and verandas. There are no plans for any future additions. This is a small 960 SF house. I need to know what size cable I need to buy to run from the meter to the load center. Thanks. PS//// thanks for all the help. here in Belize advice I take with a grain of sand! Now one more thing. the store is out of #6 wire the ground wire! UGH it will be 2-4 weeks to get it UGH.... they have 20 feet and that is all. SOOOOOO would it be okay to run the #6 from the ground in the breaker panel in the house to a copper 8 foot long ground rod? I can get a ground rod. This way i can run the #4 wires and get this project completed. Thanks so much!!

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    If you are in conduit, don't buy a cable (SER) buy individual wet-rated wires (XHW, THW, etc - something with a W in the code) – Ecnerwal Sep 13 '16 at 12:36
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    I agree on the feeder uf or conduit not both except where it exits the ground. + Do they use the NEC in Belize? they may have local requirements that are tougher. – Ed Beal Sep 13 '16 at 13:07
  • they do not use the NEC here I am not sure what they use as ANYONE seems to be an electrician if you talk to them! – FG Ross Sep 13 '16 at 18:07
  • I would strongly suggest buying the appropriate length of #4 for the ground if the store is out of #6 for the ground, rather than using a ground rod as "ground." – Ecnerwal Sep 17 '16 at 16:02
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If (as you imply with the A/C) the service is 120/240 USA-style then 95 feet of 4 Ga copper would be 2.5% drop at 100 amps and thus within the 3% drop even at full load. If it was 120V-only (I don't know that any country actually does that?) then you'd probably want bigger wire.

Speculating: Local advice may have to do with less-robust supply to the meter than we are used to in the USA, if there is already significant drop on the way to the meter, you may want to minimize the drop from the meter, as you might not have 240V to start with...

Your A/C units would be better if 240V (same power, half the current, 1/4 the percentage voltage drop) if you have a choice. Likewise the water heaters.

Lights should be trivial if you have no objection to and can get LED units.

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  • they have 220 V here and I can run 220 for the AC units. doing that they would everyone agree 4-4-4-6 is all i need ? and running individual #4 wire instead of ser will be cheaper here. – FG Ross Sep 13 '16 at 18:09
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    Individual wires also pull into conduit much easier. Cable in conduit is an expletive, to put it delicately. Conduit is more damage-resistant than cable, and not infrequently the cost of wires + conduit is less than the cost of cable (not always, but often.) – Ecnerwal Sep 13 '16 at 18:28

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