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You live in a new apartment building or house, and you’re ready to get your home integrated with electrical meters. To do this, you need to know how to run wire from the breaker box to your meter and vice versa. Read on for information on running wires from the breaker box to your meter and vice versa.
It’s important to understand all of the components involved in wiring an electrical system so that you can make informed decisions about which set-up will work best for you. Knowing how much voltage you need is critical as it will determine what kind of circuit breakers, fuses, and other electrical components you should use.
In this blog post, we’ll show you how to run wire from the breaker box to your meter and vice versa by explaining which parts of your home need electricity in order for devices like lights, appliances, televisions, and more to turn on.
- 1 Tools for the job
- 2 Steps to follow
- 3 What wire goes from meter to panel?
- 4 Precaution to take when connecting wire from meter box to breaker
- 5 Does the size of the wire matter?
- 6 Does the distance between the breaker and the meter box matter?
- 7 What is the best type of wire?
- 8 Conclusion
Tools for the job
The main tools that you will need for the job include screwdrivers, a hammer, wire cable, voltmeter, circuit breaker, and an electrical wire.
For the screwdrivers, you can use a flathead screwdriver or a Philipshead screwdriver. You can use the hammer to hammer in the wire cable into the wall.
The voltmeter is used to check whether you have enough voltage at your home. The circuit breaker is used to check whether your circuit breaker will trip when you turn on a certain appliance. The electrical wire is used to connect your meter, breaker box, and other electrical devices within your home together.
Steps to follow
Here are the steps and procedures that you should follow to run a wire from a meter straight to a breaker box.
Step 1: Preparation
Like any other major activity, it all starts with making adequate preparations. Get all the tools that we have mentioned for connecting the wire from the meter box to the circuit breaker. Inspect them and ensure that they are in perfect condition.
Also, try to familiarize yourself with each of them, and know how they work. You don’t want to fumble or struggle with a tool when you are in the middle of the job.
Step 2: Switch off the main switch
Now go to the house’s main switch and turn it off. This will turn off the power in your house. But, how do I turn off the main switch? Since most main switches have covers, you will use a screwdriver to unscrew it. Once open, you will two switches. Simply turn them off.
You can use a voltmeter to be sure that the main switch is completely off. Connect its probes to the terminals in the main switch, and if there is no voltage then you know that the switch is off.
Step 3: Connect your voltmeter to the wires
Take one of the probes from your voltmeter and connect it to one of the wires. Then, take another probe and connect it to the other wire. Now check if there is voltage or not.
You should see a reading on your voltmeter, which will indicate that there is still power in your house. If not, then proceed with connecting a wire from meter to breaker box by simply connecting it to an outlet or another device in your house that has power.
Step 4: Connect the ground wire
Locate the ground wire in the meter box to the ground wire on the circuit breaker. All circuit breakers have a ground support designed to prevent electrical accidents.
So, how do I go ahead with this connection? First, unscrew the ground bus on both the breaker and the meter box. Strip the ends of the copper ground wires and tighten them to their buses using their respective screwdrivers.
What if my wiring does not have ground support? You can go make an improvised one using a rubber mallet.
Step 5: Connect the neutral wire
Even though neutral wires aren’t that essential, they can help to improve the performance and efficiency of the whole circuit. So, you should consider incorporating them.
Just like with the ground wires in the previous step, you should connect the matching neutral wires. This means that the neutral on the breaker should connect to the neutral on the meter box.
While neutral wires are always deemed safe, you should still handle them with absolute care. This is because they tend to curry some current. You can identify neural wires by their white or gray insulation covers.
Step 6: Connect the hot wires
Now it is time to connect the hot wires from the meter box to the breaker box. These are wires that carry current from the meter box to the breaker box.
Hot wires are always red in color. You can identify them by their red insulation covers. They should have a white or black stripe on one side of the insulation cover. This is to indicate that they are hot wires.
If you are connecting more than one hot wire at a time, don’t forget to use both your screwdrivers simultaneously on each connection point to avoid overloading them.
You should also be careful not to mix up hot wires with neutral or ground wires. This is because they might lead to fatal accidents and injuries when touched in the wrong way.
Step 7: Secure all connections using wire nuts and electrical tape
After connecting all your wires, you should secure them using wire nuts and electrical tape respectively. While securing your connections, you should make sure that they are tight enough to prevent any accidental disconnections and loose connections. You can check this by tugging at their connection points with your hands gently but firmly for some time before wrapping them with electrical tape or wire nuts respectively.
If you find it hard to wrap the connections with electrical tape or wire nuts respectively, then try pulling at their connection points again until they get tight enough for you to wrap them up safely without fear of disconnections later on.
You can use a marker pen or a piece of paper label as an alternative way of ensuring that all connections are properly secured before wrapping them up with electrical tape or wire nuts respectively.
What wire goes from meter to panel?
The wires that go from your meter to your breaker panel are called feeders. These are the main supply wires that bring electricity from the utility company to your home. They run from the meter along the outside of your house and into your main electrical service panel.
Precaution to take when connecting wire from meter box to breaker
Now that we have outlined the procedures, here are some safety precautions to take:
-Never connect two different phases of current together.
-You should never work on live wires because they are dangerous and will shock you if you touch them.
-Always disconnect the power by turning off the circuit breaker before working on any wires.
-Never use a hammer to disconnect the wires because it may cause damage to the wire sheathing.
-You should always use insulated tools when working with live circuits, so as not to get an electric shock from the wire or screwdriver that you are using.
-Always wear rubber gloves while working with the wires.
-Always work on one wire at a time. This will ensure that you give full attention to each wire hence guaranteeing the highest safety levels.
Does the size of the wire matter?
Even as you focus on running wires from the meter box to the breaker box, remember that the size of the wire will always matter. You cannot use any wire and complete the connection.
Usually, the size of the wire you use will depend on the size of the service panel or the breaker box. Usually, the current capacity of the wire should match that of the panel box.
For example, you will need a size #8 AWG copper wire to connect it to a 125 amps panel. One the other hand, 200 amps circuit breaker box will require a #4 AWG copper wire.
Does the distance between the breaker and the meter box matter?
As you run the wires from the breaker box to the meter box, always remember that how far it is from the breaker box to the meter box matters. The distance between them will affect the voltage drop and current capacity of each wire. So, always check the distance between the breaker box and the meter box and make sure that it is not more than 25 feet.
What is the best type of wire?
You should always use insulated wires when working with electricity. The best type of insulated wire is stranded copper cable or PVC cable as they are more durable than metallic cables. They are also cheaper and have been tested by many professionals in different fields as they are safe and effective during all types of weather conditions such as rain and snow. In addition to these benefits, they are also easy to install which makes them ideal for DIY projects in general.
I hope this article will guide you on how to run wires from the meter box to the circuit breaker. If you encounter any technical challenges during the process, don’t hesitate to contact technicians or experts for help.
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