If you are a newbie, this post will be the best for you if you wonder how to run wire from meter to breaker box.
In this article, you will be guided accordingly through a step-by-step procedure. We will start with the tools you will need, the proper technique or methods, and the safe way to do it to mitigate the risk of electrocution, shock, or injuries.
Following this step-by-step procedure will give you adequate knowledge in wiring from the meter to the breaker panel, so make sure to read the steps carefully.
Table of Contents
6 Easy and Simple Steps to Run Wire From Meter to Breaker Box
Things You Need for This Tutorial
- Screwdrivers (Philiphead or flathead screwdrivers)
Depending on the type of screw head your breaker box is using, you will need a screwdriver to open the faceplate or the cover of your breaker box.
Use the proper type of screwdriver to avoid having a loose thread on the heads of your screws. By that, wiring a breaker box to a meter will be efficient, and you will save yourself from unnecessary expenses that can be avoided
- Hammer or Rubber Mallet
As we are operating on a project which mainly concerns electricity, using a hammer with a metal handle is not always a good idea. Since metal is a good conductor of electricity, you should be very careful to avoid electrical shocks.
So, a better choice would be to use a rubber mallet with a rubber coating on the tip; it will also lessen the chance of denting your devices or components.
- Wire cable
If you want a clean workspace, wire cable is a must-have for you. A neat site will ensure that unnecessary wiring electrical wire from meter to breaker box that is excessive or tangled be put in place.
Placing your unnecessary wires in an orderly manner will give you a better viewpoint of your work area, providing you with a safe project surface as well.
Testing devices are necessary when dealing with electrical wiring from meter to breaker box. Familiarization with the devices of electricians is a good idea if you are working on electrical stuff.
We will use the voltmeter to check the voltage rating of your components. It can measure the voltage of either direct or alternating current. Electrical tape
An electrical tape mostly functions as an additional safety measure. We do not want those open-ended wires touching one another or even may touch you accidentally.
- Circuit breaker
Most circuit breakers can be bought at electrical supply stores or hardware. Make sure that your choice of brand passes the standard electrical test in your country. You may find, in most countries, a quality checkmark or its equivalent, meaning it underwent thorough checking before being commercially available.
- Electrical wire
For this project, you will need #4 AWG copper wire. Based on the current and voltage rating of the meter and breaker, #4 size AWG copper wire is the highly suggested type and size of wire.
This is to provide efficiency in conductivity; it will also prevent unnecessary loss of power, short circuit, damages, even wiring faults that may lead to dangers.
Step 1: Preparation
Prepare all necessary tools required for wiring meter base to breaker box. Make sure they are all in good working condition. By doing so, you will efficiently maximize your movements if your tools are nearby.
It is also advisable to familiarize yourself with your tools and or equipment to be used. Make sure that you know how to use them properly and efficiently.
Seek help from professionals if you find yourself struggling to familiarize yourself with tools and equipment use.
Step 2: Switch Your Power switch Off
First, locate the main switch in your house. The main switch provides the flow of electricity in your whole house, so by turning it off, you will free yourself from the trouble of electrical damage while working.
To do this, unscrew the main switch cover using screwdrivers. Use of an appropriate type of screwdriver is necessary. After that, you will usually see a pair of switches; make sure to turn those off.
To check, use your voltmeter. The voltmeter has two probes, one should be connected to the ground bar, and the other should be to one of the screws of the breaker box. If there is no voltage sign, then you successfully turned off your breaker.
Wiring from meter to breaker panel will require you to shut off first your main switch. This is to avoid injuries from live wires such as shock and fire. Remember that safety is the utmost priority whenever you are doing a job.
Step 3: Connect Ground Wire
For this step, to avoid accidental reconnection of the main power accidents if it so happened, you should have extra protective measures.
Locate the ground wire from your meter, then connect it with the ground bar of your breaker box. The breaker should have existing external ground support to avoid electrical damage or injuries if an accident happens.
Simply unscrew the ground bus of both components, attach the end strip of your copper ground wire then tighten it using screwdrivers. If there is no existing external ground support, use the rubber mallet to install one outside the house, then read our previous article on installing a ground wire from panels.
Step 4: Connect Neutral Wire
Although the use of neutral wire is not required, unlike the ground wire, this may be done to improve the efficiency of your circuit. The use of neutral wire is not to let excess or faulty current stay on the system and to push it back to the circuit.
Generally, neutral wires are safe but should be handled as much as how careful you handle hotwires because they sometimes carry electricity.
For neutral wires, follow the guide the same as how you connect the ground wire. Connect the like wires. Neutral wires are mostly insulated with gray or white covers.
Step 5: Connect Hot Wires
Locate hot wires running from the main switch to the meter. Hotwires are those that will carry the electricity and power from the source to the designated destination, in this case, from meter to breaker box.
You have to identify each of the 4 wires to avoid confusion. There are 2 hot wires, 1 ground wire, and 1 neutral wire
Hotwires should be connected to designated terminals from the meter to the breaker. To do that, unscrew the nuts of the breaker hotwire terminals, insert the positive hotwire, make sure that it is attached firmly by the nut. Then connect the negative hot wire using the same process.
After that, secure all open-end wires with electrical tape and tie all excess wires with wire tie cables.
Step 6: Secure Breaker Box
Secure your breaker box by screwing it on a stiff and elevated surface. Cover your breaker box and meter with the faceplates and secure everything tightly with nuts and or bolts.
Have you figured out where to start your tasks after reading our article? If so, we are happy to know that, so next time you will know how to run wire from meter to breaker box. Let us know what you think about this via our contact page. Thank you for reading!
I am Andrew Wright. I established this blog after eight years of experience designing, installing, and maintaining electrical power systems. I love my job, and I have always wanted to offer others the necessary help so they can take care of their houses.