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How to Upgrade an Electric Meter and Panel to 200 Amp Service

Master electrician Scott Caron demonstrates the two parts of replacing an antiquated electrical system in our video series below.

PART 1 OF 2: In this video, Master electrician Scott Caron shows the first phase of replacing an antiquated electrical system.

NOTE: Working inside an electrical panel is dangerous and is best left to a professional electrician.

Steps to Upgrade to a 200 Amp Service Wire

  1. Ensure that power is off to the entire building, which may involve more than just shutting off the main breaker.
  2. Have utility company to disconnect electrical cables from the house.
  3. Remove the glass meter from the meter socket.
  4. Unscrew meter socket from side of house, then use cable cutters to sever the cable connected to the socket.
  5. Enlarge existing cable hole in wall using a cordless drill and 3-inch-diameter hole saw.
  6. Bore through the rim joist using an extension shaft and 2-inch-diameter hole saw.
  7. Attach a length of 200-amp SE electrical cable to the new meter socket.
  8. Feed the SE cable through the hole in the wall and then screw the meter socket to the exterior of the house. Use a torpedo level to ensure the socket is level.
  9. Install the new PVC weather head and conduit to the exterior wall, directly above the meter socket. Secure the conduit to the meter socket using PVC cement. Fasten the conduit to the house with U-shaped plastic clips.
  10. Have the utility company mark the locations of any underground lines. Then, pound two copper ground rods into the ground using a 3-pound sledgehammer. Space the rods 6 feet apart.
  11. Make the wire connections between the ground rods, up to an inter-system bonding termination, and into the meter socket.
  12. Connect the power wires to the meter socket.
  13. Plug the glass meter into the meter socket. Then, snap on the meter cover.

200 Amp Service Panel

PART 2 OF 2: In this video, Master electrician Scott Caron installs a new panel to complete a service upgrade.

NOTE: Working inside an electrical panel is dangerous and is best left to a professional electrician.

Steps to Install Panel:

  1. Ensure that power is off to the entire building, which may involve more than just shutting off the main breaker.
  2. Use diagonal-cutting pliers to sever all wires inside existing electrical panel.
  3. Unscrew and remove old electrical panel from the wall.
  4. Screw a large ¾-inch-thick plywood panel to the wall for mounting the new electrical panel.
  5. Feed the SE cable through the top of the new electrical panel, then screw the panel to the plywood. Use a torpedo level to ensure the panel is level.
  6. Make all the electrical connections inside the electrical panel.
  7. Feed the house circuits into the panel, making sure each cable passes through a cable connector.
  8. Connect the bare-copper ground wires and white-insulated wires to the ground and neutral bar inside the panel.
  9. Plug new circuit breakers into the bus bar.
  10. Run the main ground wire from the bottom of the electrical panel to the copper water main.
  11. Have the utility company reconnect the electrical cables to the exterior of the house.
  12. Label each breaker with the correct house circuit.