Back Button

How to Wire a 200 Amp Meter Service

Melissa Williams

A 200 amp meter service is the most common type of electrical service found in residential homes. Wiring the electrical service is an intricate project and a licensed electrician is the most qualified person to perform the installation.

Wiring a 200 amp service requires adequate preparation.

However, in some areas homeowners have the option to wire their own electrical service. Although it may seem daunting, this job can be accomplished by accessing the knowledge of your local electrical inspector and following the rules of the National Electrical Code.

  1. Visit your local electrical inspector's office. Ask what the requirements are for wiring an electrical service. Obtain all of the required permits to perform the job legally. Purchase a copy of the National Electrical Code sold at most bookstores.

  2. Remove the cover from both the electric meter base and the electrical panel using the appropriate type screwdriver.

  3. Attach white electrical tape to both ends of one 2/0 AWG THHN wire. Insert this wire, two more 2/0 AWG THHN wires and one #4 bare copper wire into the meter base. Pass it through the attached conduit until it reaches and exits the electrical panel inside the home. Leave enough wire on both ends to attach to the appropriate wire lugs.

  4. Remove the bottom three wire lugs from the meter base. Cut off approximately one inch of sheathing from the ends of each 2/0 AWG THHN wire. Attach the 2/0 AWG THHN wire marked with the white tape to the center neutral lug and the other 2/0 AWG THHN wires to the remaining hot lugs. The #4 ground wire attaches to the small lug that is directly attached to the meter can. This lug is usually found at the back and toward the bottom of the meter base.

  5. Dig a small trench, approximately 6 inches to 8 inches deep and approximately 4 feet long, starting from under the base of the meter out in a perpendicular angle from the home.

  6. Drive a ground rod at the farthest end of the trench away from the home. Leave approximately two inches of the ground rod exposed. Attach another length of #4 ground wire to the ground rod using a ground clamp. Place the rest of the wire in the trench and bring the opposite end up through the small ground wire hole found in the bottom of the meter base. Attach this end to the ground wire lug.

  7. Move to the panel inside the home. Loosen the two large lugs found at the top of the panel that are connected to the main bus bar. These are your hot wire lugs. Loosen the large lug, usually found off to the side of the panel, that is connected to a long metal strip with numerous screws attached to it. This is your neutral wire lug. Loosen the smaller lug, usually found on the opposite side of the panel, that is also connected to a metal strip with numerous screws attached to it. This is your ground lug.

  8. Connect the 2/0 AWG THHN wire with the white tape attached to it to the neutral lug. Connect the #4 ground wire to the ground lug. Connect the remaining 2/0 AWG THHN wires to hot wire lugs.

  9. Find the green screw that came with the electrical panel. This screw is called a bonding screw. Insert it into the supplied hole found on the strap that connects the neutral bar with the ground bar.

  10. Tip

    Having a helper will greatly decrease the time spent on this project. Ground lugs may or may not be supplied with your meter base.