200 amp service is a powerful service panel that requires proper installation. One would need to follow the correct procedures to complete the installation. Selecting the accurate size of conduit is an important part of the installation process.
Today, we are going to discuss and find out about the size of the conduit for 200 amp service.
Conduit size for 200 amp service
According to experts, the minimum size of the electrical conduit for a 200 amp service panel is said to be one and a half inches. But one will need to use two or two and a half inches conduit if three or more wires and cables are going to run through the conduit.
Let’s look at different kinds of conduits and find out the correct size needed for the installation process of 200 amp service.
We are all familiar with the use of PVC pipes for plumbing purposes. But PVC material is also used for electrical purposes as well. These PVC materials are known as electrical PVC conduits in the market.
PVC conduits are durable conduits that can be used to run wires in many different locations.
The important thing to remember here is that PVC conduits provide enough protection and security when it comes to installing a 200 amp electrical service panel. But the size of the PVC conduit is pivotal in the installation process of the 200 amp service panel.
If you use a wrong size PVC conduit, then the whole installation process can become jeopardized. You will need to use the recommended size of PVC conduit for the 200 amp service panel.
The recommended types of PVC conduit for 200 amp electrical service panels are 40 PVC conduit and 80 PVC conduit. The size of the PVC conduit has to be between two to two and a half inches.
If someone uses a PVC conduit larger or smaller than the given range, then the installation process would be very problematic indeed.
The main function of the PVC conduit is to give protection to the cables and wires running through it. A wrongly sized PVC conduit will not be able to provide the same protection as an accurately sized PVC conduit.
Rigid conduit or rigid metal conduit is one of the most widely used conduits for electrical purposes. The main element of rigid metal conduit is galvanized steel according to experts.
So the rigid metal conduit is more than capable of providing protection to the wires and cables inside it.
You will need to select an accurately sized rigid metal conduit for the installation process of 200 amp service.
The important thing to remember here is that you will need to maintain the approved range of size for all the cables and wires when it comes to running them through the rigid metal conduit.
The size of rigid metal conduit needs to be minimum two inches in order to properly support the cables and wires running through it. The maximum size of a rigid metal conduit for a 200 amp service is two and a half inches. This is the basic requirement of a rigid metal conduit.
Is 2 inch conduit for 200 amp service enough?
According to electrical experts, 2 inches is the minimum requirement for a conduit if it is to be used for a 200 amp service panel. The number of wires and cables that will run through the conduit can change its size.
For example, you will need to use a bigger sized conduit if you have a plan to run more than two wires through the conduit.
The conduit will need to be two and a half inches if you are looking to run three or more cables and wires through the conduit. The conduit will require extra fill space to accommodate the wires and cables inside it for the installation of a 200 amp electrical service panel.
If you try to run three or more wires and cables through a 2 inch conduit, then there is a chance of an accident due to lack of fill space inside the conduit. The 2 inch conduit is suitable in most cases.
But a 2.5 inch conduit will be appropriate under every circumstance if you are dealing with a 200 amp service panel. So a 2 inch conduit for 200 amp service is not always enough.
What size conduit for 200 amp underground, residential and overhead service?
A 200 amp electrical service panel can be used under many circumstances. For example, you can implement a 200 amp underground service panel. Using the accurate sizes of conduit for 200 amp underground service is important.
The minimum size of conduit for underground installation would have to be two inches. But you can not use a conduit bigger than two and a half inches.
In terms of a 200 amp residential service panel, the conductor size needs to be one and a half inches at least. A larger sized conduit will have to be used if the number of wires running through the conduit is going to be three or more.
But the size of the conduit for a 200 amp residential service panel should never cross the two and a half inch limit.
When it comes to using conduit for a 200 amp overhead service panel, the size of the conduit must be two inches at least. You can opt to use a two and a half inch conduit if there are going to be three or more wires running through the conduit.
Another important thing to remember here is that using a bigger size conduit for a 200 amp overhead service panel will leave too much space inside the conduit.
4 factors that determine the conduit size
There are a lot of factors that determine the size of the conduit. Let’s discuss in detail about some of them.
The type of conduit:
There are many different types of conduit available in the market. The type of conduit you are going to use for the amp service panel can determine the conduit size. For example, PVC conduit and rigid metal conduit are mostly used for installing amp service panels.
The main purpose of both PVC conduit and rigid metal conduit is the same. But their source material varies. PVC conduit is made of plastic and rigid metal conduit is made of galvanized steel.
The number of wires and cables:
The number of wire and cables you are going to run through the conduit can be the biggest determiner of the conduit size. For example, you can run two wires through a conduit that is one and a half inch for a 200 amp service panel.
But you would need a two or two and a half inch conduit to run three or more wires and cables for the same 200 amp service panel.
The ampere of service panel:
The ampere of the service panel can determine the conduit size. You would need the same size of conduit for a 100 amp and a 200 p service panel.
Both of these service panels have different requirements and these requirements can be taken care of by different sizes of conduit.
The size of wire:
The size of the wire decides the fill space of the conduit. A low gauge wire will take more space in the conduit than a high gauge wire due to the differences in diameter.
If the NEC codes require you to use low gauge wires, then you would need to use a bigger sized conduit.
How to determine conduit size for 200 amps?
Determining conduit size for a 200 amp service panel might seem like a difficult task if you do not have prior experience regarding the matter. However, you can follow some steps and methods to accomplish the task. Let’s discuss in detail about some of them.
Go through the NEC instructions:
National Electrical Code (NEC) is known for providing accurate instructions regarding the conduit size for 200 amp service panels. You will need to go through the codes and instructions given by NEC to determine conduit size for the 200 amp service panel.
Follow the local electrical codes:
You can further follow the local electrical codes to determine the conduit size for 200 amp service panels. Sometimes the local electrical codes differ from the NEC codes. Ignoring the local electrical codes while installing a 200 amp service panel can land you in legal troubles.
Consult an electrician:
Installing a 200 amp service should not be done by a rookie. It has to be done by a professional electrician. An experienced electrician will be able to help you determine the conduit size for the 200 amp service panel.
Using the accurately sized conduit is key to installing a 200 amp service panel. PVC conduits and rigid metal conduits can be used for 200 amp service panels. The average size of electrical conduit is two inches for a 200 amp service panel according to the NEC codes.