Electrical for New Construction
Hey all, I’m in a minor pickle and hoping I can get some guidance. Below is some context for my situation, and below that is the meat.
I moved to Central NY this year and I’m hopefully starting construction finally either later this week or beginning of next. Prices up here are insane compared to where I’m from (South Carolina) so I’m doing a lot of the work myself as I do have some building experience (gutted and remodeled my entire last house by myself). However, because my electrical skills are limited, having really only done one wire pull once and some outlet and switch changes, I am having an electrician do the bulk of the electrical work. Going back to what I said earlier though, initial quote was around $24,000 just for rough-in, not even including from power pole, which isn’t going to work for me. Luckily, my dad is in construction in VA and works with an electrician with around forty years experience, who loves my dad enough to do my work for free labor, I just need to supply the materials. This is where things take a turn. In SC and VA, the power company runs power all the way to the house. Not so in NY. Up here NYSEG puts a pole in the ground and calls it a day. They also do not tell the homeowner or the contractor what wire or equipment to buy because they don’t want to be liable if code changes (quote un quote from the site planner). This means that my electrician doesn’t really know what to do to make my inspectors happy. I contacted a local electric supply company that mostly deals with commercial and the owner, who is a former linesman himself, is very helpful but not always on par with the electrical inspector that I found after the fact. For the last few weeks I’ve been playing middle man between the three and even contacted a second inspector who refused to answer any questions because he thinks I’m doing the work myself, and honestly I’m no where closer to getting electricity running even though I’ve had a pole for a month.
This is where GBA comes in. I’m hoping someone here can help direct me so I don’t spend thousands of dollars on the wrong panels and wire. The house is an all electric, 320a continuous service, barndominium. My initial plan was to have a disconnect near the pole like a mobile home since that is what I’m used to, but then came up with a plan to have a meter board with all of my equipment, then run from there to the panel in the house. However, the electric supply company quoted me $3700 for a NEMA3 or $3200 for a NEMA1 disconnect and panel, respectively, and there is a two month backorder. (PS, trying to get power ASAP because I’m living in an RV and winter is upon us. I’m burning generator gas and propane like crazy right now). So this has me wondering the big question, can I take the 400amp meter socket that NYSEG provided me, and split that into two 200amp panels? My electrician has done that before albeit with a different type of meter socket, but again I want to make sure I’m not buying the wrong materials. Also, to add to the complexity my wife wants me to buy a home standby generator, which will most likely be the Champion 14kW one (the only one they offer with a 200a panel). They have schematics for buying a second panel to run in parallel if it is hooked up to a 400a service, but if I can split to two 200’s I could save myself ~$1300 not buying a second automatic transfer switch.
The one inspector that would talk to me said I could run either one 1000mcm AL conductor (which he said he doubts I would be able to find) or two 350mcm AL conductors. The guy who was a former linesman had told me single 500mcm CU conductor so currently the 50kVA transformer is prepped for that, but I’m assuming the power company could change that without too much hassle (site planner said it wouldn’t be a big deal).
Attached is a picture of the meter socket which does not look like any of the schematics I could find on the NYSEG website. So how can I run two 350mcm conductors to this, then branch off into two 200a panels, one of which would branch off into the standby generator box?
Note that the total horizontal + vertical run from the house panel to transformer will end up being around 220ft, which I’ve been told is bad and to stay under 200ft but too late for that now.
Also attached are some schematics I got from NYSEG, the file from my site planner, and a horrible sketch of the layout of the meter board
Sorry for the long post, but any help will be much appreciated!
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