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200 Amp Panel : Everything You Need to Know

200 amp panel

If you’re considering upgrading your electrical panel, you know the term “200 amp panel.”  But what exactly is a 200 amp panel, and why would you need one?

In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about 200 amp panels, including what they are, why you might need one, and how to choose the right one for your home.

What is a 200 Amp Panel?

An electrical panel, also known as a breaker panel or service panel, is the central hub of your home’s electrical system. It’s where the power from your utility company enters your home and is distributed to the various circuits that power your lights, appliances, and other electrical devices.

The term “200 amp” refers to the amount of electrical current that the panel is capable of handling. In other words, a 200 amp panel can safely distribute up to 200 amps of power at any given time.

Why You Might Need a 200 Amp Electrical Panel?

There are several reasons why you might need a 200 amp panel in your home. Here are some of the most common:
  • Your current panel is outdated: If your home is more than 20 years old and still has its original electrical panel, it may be time for an upgrade. Older panels may not be able to handle the electrical demands of modern appliances and devices, which can lead to overloaded circuits and other safety hazards.
  • You’re adding new appliances or devices: If you’re planning to add new appliances or devices to your home that require a lot of power, such as an electric car charger or a hot tub, you may need to upgrade to a 200 amp panel to accommodate the increased electrical load.
  • You’re renovating or adding on to your home: If you’re planning a major renovation or addition to your home that will involve adding new electrical circuits, you may need to upgrade your panel to handle the increased demand.

How to Choose the Right 200 Amp Panel

200 amp outdoor electrical service panel

If you’ve determined that you need a 200 amp panel in your home, there are several factors to consider when choosing the right one. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Brand: There are many different brands of electrical panels available, and it’s important to choose one from a reputable manufacturer with a good track record of safety and reliability.
  • Type: There are two main types of electrical panels: main breaker panels and main lug panels. Main breaker panels have a large switch at the top that controls the power to all of the circuits in the panel, while main lug panels do not. Be sure to choose the type that’s right for your needs.
  • Size: Electrical panels come in different sizes based on the number of circuits they can accommodate. Be sure to choose a panel that has enough space for all of your current circuits as well as any future expansion plans.
  • Location: The location of your electrical panel is also important. It should be easily accessible and located in an area that’s free from moisture and other potential hazards.

A 200 amp outdoor panel is an essential component of any modern home’s electrical system.

Whether you’re upgrading an outdated panel or adding new appliances or devices, be sure to choose the right 200 amp panel for your needs.

It’s extremely important to follow the codes and standards for electrical installations, as well as follow best practices and tips for ensuring safety and compliance.

The National Fire Protection Association, highlights some of the changes and requirements in the 2020 edition of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code® (NEC®), that affect residential electrical services.

And remember, always hire a licensed electrician to install or upgrade your electrical panel – it’s not a DIY job!


How Much Does a 200 Amp Main Panel Cost?

The cost of a 200 amp main panel can vary depending on the type, brand, and installation of the panel. According to Angi, the average cost of an electrical panel upgrade is $1,300–$3,000.

However, this price range does not include the cost of labor, permits, wiring, or other materials that may be needed. The cost of labor can range from $50 to $100 per hour, depending on the electrician’s experience and location.

The cost of permits can vary from $50 to $500, depending on the local codes and regulations. 

The cost of wiring can depend on the length and quality of the wires, as well as the number of circuits and outlets that need to be connected.

The cost of other materials, such as breakers, conduits, connectors, and fittings, can also add to the total cost of the project.

Is 200 Amps Enough for a House?

The answer to this question depends on the size and electrical needs of your house.

A 200 amp panel is considered the standard for modern homes today that have central air-conditioning, electric heating, or other high-power appliances. 

A 200 amp panel can provide enough power for a home of about 2,000 to 4,000 square feet. However, if you have a larger home or plan to add more appliances or renovations in the future, you may want a 400 amp panel.

You can calculate your home’s electrical load by adding up the wattage of all your appliances and devices and dividing it by 240 volts. This will give you an estimate of how many amps you need for your home.

How Many Amps Can I Run off a 200 Amp Panel?

A 200 amp panel can handle up to 200 amps of current at 240 volts between the two hot wires. However, this does not mean that you can use all 200 amps at once.

You should leave some margin for safety and avoid overloading your panel. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 80% of your panel’s capacity at any given time.

This means that you should limit your total load to about 160 amps at 240 volts or 320 amps at 120 volts. You can distribute this load among different circuits and breakers in your panel.

For example, you can have two 100 amp breakers for two subpanels, or four 50 amp breakers for four appliances.

Is a 200 Amp Panel Worth It?

A 200 amp panel is worth it if you need more power than your current panel can provide or if you want to future-proof your home’s electrical system.

A 200 amp panel can offer more reliability, efficiency, and safety than a lower amperage panel. It can also increase the value and appeal of your home if you decide to sell it in the future. 

However, a 200 amp panel is not worth it if you have a small home or low electrical needs. It may also not be worth it if the cost of upgrading is too high or if your local codes do not allow it.