System overload ?

Need some help. New meter on the back of the garage. One set of 2awg AL cables feed to a 100 amp panel in the garage, (20 breakers all for the garage). Another set of 2 awg AL cables fed directly from the exterior meter (not the garage panel) to a seperate 100 amp breaker at the front of the garage. Approx. 40 feet. This 100 amp breaker (2 awg AL wire) then feeds a 200 amp breaker in the basement of the house (approx. 30 feet). The 200 amp panel is full in the basement. Is this set up right in your opinion or should I call for review. It seems like the 200 amp panel should be in the garage with everything fed off of it. Thanks for you help. Stan

Aluminum Service Rating
2AWG 100 amps

There are two sets of 2 awg AL cables attached at the lugs at the exterior meter. One goes to the 100 amp garage panel, the other runs 40 feet in the attic of the garage to a single 100 amp breaker. This single breaker feeds the 200 amp panel in the house. Altogether there are 60 breakers between the garage and house. Does this sound acceptable?Stan

It might be ok for a small house with gas heat, gas water heater and gas oven assuming no other wiring issues etc. What all did you see connected as 240V loads and what is the square footage? Did you have a 4-wire feed to that 200 amp panel?

With your description it’s irrelevant how many breakers exist. Each of the 2 individual panels are rated 100 amp. The 200 amp panel is 100 amp.

Also what Bruce ask, is the panel in the house a 4-wire feed? Are the grounds and neutrals separated? Is it bonded to the to the panel in the garage? Which, by your description, is the main disconnect.

The house is only going to be able to draw as much as the upstream breaker will allow it to. Even though it is a 200 amp main breaker panel, it is fed with a 100 amp breaker from the garage. The 200 amp breaker won’t cause any problems, just confusion as to why it’s not a true 200 amp allowable panel. The upstream 100 amp breaker will trip when the draw is over 100 amps, so the 200 amp breaker may be serving only as a disconnect.


Square feet of the home is 950. The garage is probably 700 square feet. A total man cave. 3 wire feed to the house. There were 15 quad outlets in the garage. A water heater for in floor heating system in the garage. A wall air unit in the garage. I wonder if it is acceptable to have two seperate sets of feeder cables connected to the meter. It doesn’t seem right. That seems like double lugging to me. Stan

Most meter panels have kits available to feed two main panels. Since these are closed up/tagged we can’t inspect inside them.

I’m sure you found something wrong there that will require an electrician anyway.

Is there a disconnect available to shut off the power to the house from one location? The disconnects should be grouped together.

If the cables running to the 2nd panel in the garage are unfused, that would also be incorrect.

Double lugs in a meter socket are common. These are 2 lugs on the same stud, not 2 wires in one lug.