At present, the 200 amp service is the standard for most homes. Unless your house is quite big or has an integrated heating system. Many people nowadays are switching to a 200 amp service or thinking to upgrade, chances are you might be one of them too.
No matter, the reason while installing a 200 amp service many necessary components are needed. The ground wire is one of them. Now you might be having trouble figuring out “What size ground wire for 200 amp service do i need?”
It is because there are various options and, it can even vary from place to place. So, do not worry this article will help you choose the right ground wire for your 200amp service.
The 200amp Service Wire Size
For many who are not acquainted with amp, it is the base unit that is used to measure the volume of electricity. For an old house with 30 amp service, it would mean the service can provide 30 amp of electricity and not more.
So upgrading to a higher amp service means that you can run more electrical appliances in your house. Nowadays, modern houses have a good number of appliances and also have good heating systems. So, it is essential to have a standard amp service installed.
When upgrading to a better amp service there are plenty of things to consider aside from ground wires. There is the neutral wire, the neutral wire is what helps complete the circuit. In simple terms without these wires your electrical panel is useless.
The neutral wire has a size requirement too like the other wires. The neutral wire size for 200 amp service is #2/0 if you are using copper wires. The copper wires have better conductivity, are flexible and long-lasting. So, if you do not want much trouble with your service, copper wires are the safest bet.
If you want to use alternatives like copper-clad aluminum which is a little cheaper, then the neutral wire size is #4/0. There is also aluminum cable which we will not recommend because they heat up pretty quickly and to counter that you would need a thicker gauge of wires.
The hot wires should be the same size as the neutral wires. It is because they are part of the same circuit. So, if you use #2/0 copper wires for your neutral, it would be the same for your hot wires. If it is copper-clad aluminum, it would be #4/0.
Ground Wires for 200 amp Service
Now ground wires are part of every electrical service, they provide a safe passage for excessive electricity. Power surges are more common than you think, they can be caused by a number of things. Natural reasons like lightning or equipment malfunctions like transformers can easily trigger them.
When these power surges do happen, the excess electricity can short circuit your electrical appliances or can even harm you. You might lose your precious appliances and most of the time, damages from the short circuits are not backed up by warranties.
However, the most important thing is the harm that can come to you and your family. Direct confrontation with power surges can cause severe burns and nerve damage. It can even be fatal to young children and sometimes to adults even. So, ground wires are a necessity when it comes to electrical panels.
The ground wires take that excessive electricity from power surges and guide them to the ground rods. The earth is the biggest storage of negative charges, so positive charges are attracted to it. The ground wire just acts as the medium and redirects.
So, the ground wires will be the only connection between your 200 amp electrical service and the ground rods. Ground rods are buried deep into the earth and there are generally two of them. They are made from copper or galvanized steel. These rods help the excessive electricity to dissipate quickly.
For a 200 amp service, the ground wire is #4 AWG if the wire is copper. If you want to use aluminum or copper-clad aluminum it is #2 AWG. However, it can change depending on the place you live. Every residential area or city may have different safety requirements.
There is always a standard 200 amp ground wire size chart provided by the city or residential areas. So, talk to your electrician and make sure he follows the ground wire size chart that is provided by authorities.
Some might say that ground wires are not a necessity because you can buy surge protectors. They might also argue that many modern-day appliances come with a surge protector out of the box. However, nothing can safeguard your amp service besides ground wires.
In a typical home, the amp service is positioned behind the house and is typically exposed. In an electrical surge, the service panel will become dangerous if it is not grounded. So, there is a high chance it might harm you or your family. There are also safety regulations, in a city or a neighborhood.
If you are building a new home or upgrading your power service, you have to abide by safety laws. Most include grounding your home and making it safe. So, not installing ground wires can be punishable by law in some places.
The 200 amp service or any service system should be grounded properly. It might cost you a little but it will ensure your safety. If you are at the end of the article, you should know what ground wire size is supported by a 200 amp service.
So, to keep your appliances and yourself safe, do not compromise on ground wires. Once you ground your house, you never have to think about it again.