Originally Posted By: Dennis Bozek
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
It is a 200 amp panel! The cual you seen means the connection is rated for either copper (cu) or aluminum (al) at 200 amps. But that does not mean it is 200 amps. The best way to do it is to check the main disconnect or breaker. Look at the breaker size or fuse size. That will tell you what size service you have but the most important thing to look at is wire size. If the wire is copper, for a 200 amp panel, it must be at least 2/0 gauge. If it is aluminum, the wire size is a 4/0 gauge minimum. Anything below that would be less than 200 amps and therefore the breaker or fuse protecting that wire must also be less than 200 amps, or rated for the size of the wire.
The maximum amount of circuits for a single 100 amp panel is 32. The maximum for a single 200 amp panel is 42. If you have a 42 space panel protected by a 100 amp breaker....call a electrician! Chances are the service is under rated for the house.
Most apartments, condos, and buildings like such have a central area where all the meters and all the disconnects for the unit panels are located. This is legal to do. The panels in the units are usually main lug panels, whereas no main breaker is present. The means of disconnect for the service equipment (ie panel) is then located by the meter for each individual unit. Go to this central location and find the meter corresponding to the unit you are in. Located near or under the meter, will be the main breaker or fuse for the unit's electrical panel. The breaker or fuse will have a ampacity marked on it. This will tell you what the ampacity of the service and panel is but again you should check wire size. If you are unsure about doing this or feel it is not within your scope of work as a HI, recommend that a qualified electrician inspects the panel and service feeders. Hope this helps.
This information has been edited and reviewed for errors by your favorite resident sparky.