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What Size Conduit for 100 Amp Service? (Explained)

The 100-Amp panel of service, also known as medium-sized service panels, are common electronic circuits found in most houses. A minimum electrical service of 100 amps is necessary for the majority of homes.

Electrical conduit is a pipe system that is utilized in residential buildings, commercial establishments, and manufacturing facilities to conceal and protect the wires that carry electricity. 

Because a protective enclosure is provided, the wiring that is contained within a conduit is protected from potential dangers such as fires, mechanical damage, and corrosion.

Not only do conduits protect the wires themselves, but they also protect anyone who might come into contact with the wires. This makes conduits an essential part of any safety system for an electrical installation.

Here, we’ll focus on the 100-amp service and its conduit for this article. In-depth information about this topic will be provided for your perusal. In addition, we’ll find what sizes of conduit are available for 100-amp service.

Conduit size for 100-amp service

A minimum of 4-gauge wire and 1 1/4-inch conduit is allowed for 100-amp service. Depending on the service panel, different wire sizes are available. 4 AWG to 1 ¼ inch is the safest wire size for a 100 amp service panel. It has been widely accepted. Measurement of wire is based on AWG standards.

Commercially, many different types of conduits can be used in a variety of ways as per the need of the user. Now, let’s take a look at a few of them and see how they operate.

PVC conduit:

Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC, is a material that is produced by combining vinyl with plastic to create pipes. These pipes are called polyvinyl chloride pipes (PVC). 

These common types of pipes are frequently used in plumbing as an alternative to the costlier copper piping that is sometimes used. Copper piping is sometimes used. In addition, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) can be utilized in the production of electrical conduit. 

A 100-amp service will need 40 or 80 PVC.

Although regular PVC and electrical conduit PVC are made from the same plastic, they are not the same and should not be used for the same applications. Instead, they should be used for applications that suit their PVC type. 

They shouldn’t be combined in any way; each should be used for its intended purpose.

PVC conduit is typically used for jobs that take place underground or in damp environments because of its resistance to corrosion. It is made of PVC for the conduit and fittings, as well as for the conduit’s elbows and connections.

Rigid conduit:

Rigid metal conduit is a type of heavy-duty galvanized steel tubing that is outfitted with threaded fittings during the installation process. It is also referred to by its acronym, RMC. 

The majority of the time, it is applied to the outside of the device to act as a barrier against damage and as a structural support for various pieces of apparatus, including electrical cables, panels, and other components. 

RMC can be purchased in lengths of either 10 or 20 feet, and it features threads at both the beginning and the end of each individual piece.

Galvanized rigid steel conduit is the heaviest and has the thickest wall of any electrical conduit. Low-carbon steel pipe with a round section, uniform wall thickness, free inner surface, and continuous welds. 

GRC stands for metallic conduit pipe, which is rigid steel conduit. 

IMC, which stands for intermediate metal conduit, is a version of rigid metal conduit that is approved for use in all of the same applications as RMC but is less bulky and weighs less overall. 

Although it is approved for use in all of the same applications as RMC, IMC is lighter and more compact overall. Because it is less cumbersome and more straightforward to work with, IMC is more commonly used in new construction than RMC is.

What size conduit for 100 amp underground and overhead service?

The only place where actual conductors can be seen is in the service panel for electrical services that are delivered via underground conduit. This is necessary in order to inspect the service conductor before the electric meter.

The diameter of the conduit can be used to make an educated guess about the route that the cable will take. A minimum of 40 or 80 PVC electric conduit is required for a 100 amp underground service.

If you want to install an electrical service capable of handling 100 amps, for example in your house or a new room addition, you need to use the appropriate gauge wire. 

For the installation of a 100-amp overhead electric service or subpanel, you need to use a copper wire with a gauge of #4 AWG or a wire with a gauge of #2 AWG made of aluminum or copper-clad aluminum.

Minimum conduit size for 100-amp service: NEC code 

At least 1.25 inches in diameter and either schedule 40 or 80 PVC gray is required for a 100-amp service

The inner fill can be kept at or below 40% by using a larger conduit. Wires with a diameter of 1.5 or 2 inches should be used when connecting multiple circuits together in one conduit.

The NEC specifies a usable fill area of 442 mm2 for a rigid PVC conduit with a schedule 80 diameter of 1.5 inches.

For example, a conduit with a diameter greater than 1.5 inches could make it easier to remove the wires from the conduit. If there are two or more wires, the total area of the cables inside the pipe cannot exceed 40% of the pipe’s volume.

Conduit should be buried 24 inches deep in the majority of cases. In some places, a deeper trench may be required. Using a trenching tool like a ditch can speed up trench digging.

How to determine conduit size for 100 amps? 

For a 100-amp service, the minimum required wire 4 AWG to 1 1/4 inches conduits. The widespread adoption of aluminum feeder cables can be attributed to their generally lower cost compared to that of copper wires. 

There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on the conduit size for your uses. These are – 

Determine the number of conductors:

First you should check the number of conductors. If there are many conductors, then you may need a bigger conduit. But for a 100 amp service panel you don’t need a large conduit.  

Size of the conductors:

Conduit systems can be damaged when too many conductors are packed together. It’s also critical to know the cross-sectional area of each conductor used because different types of conductors have varying thicknesses of insulation. 

Conductors can overheat if there isn’t enough space between them and the conduit wall.

Look at the type of conduit:

There are various types of conduits you can find. Based on your working purpose you can select what type of conduit you may need. For a 100-amp service panel you will need a 4 AWG conduit.

How to install conduit for 100-amp service panel? 

It is imperative that you use wire of the appropriate gauge when installing an electrical service rated at 100 amps, whether it be for a detached garage or a new room addition. In order to finish the difficult work, you can follow these steps-

Gather necessary items:

A 100-amp subpanel requires a minimum 1.25-inch, schedule 80 PVC conduit for underground service, with a minimum of #4 AWG copper wire or #2 AWG aluminum or copper-clad power feeders.

A 100-amp service entry wire can be made of copper or aluminum. The gauge will increase due to the lower conductivity and heat resistance of aluminum wire. Copper wiring can be used over longer distances.

Turn off the power:

First things first, you need to turn off the power at the main switch. Performing this action will turn off the power supply and make the device easier to use.

Connect the circuits:

Double pole 100-amp breaker restricts the amount of electricity that can be brought in from the exterior. 

The main lugs of the breaker panel are connected to the service-entrance wire. The neutral bus bar connects all of the white-neutral wires that return electricity to the panel after each branch circuit has completed its circuit path.

Seek help from electrician:

Any work that involves the use of electricity must always be carried out by an electrician who possesses a valid license. 

It is necessary due to the fact that the majority of the work requires the professional installation of an electrician in accordance with the local electrical codes.

Final Thoughts 

For a 100-amp service, the minimum required conduit size is 4 AWG to 1 ¼ inch. Different wire sizes are available depending on the service panel. That’s why the safe wire size for a 100-amp service panel is 4 AWG to 1 ¼ inch. It’s been accepted globally as AWG standards are used to measure wire.