what size wire for 200 amp service

What Size Wire For 200 Amp Service (for 2023)

If you are wondering what size wire for 200 amp service you should get, you have come to the right place. I will share the following in the article:

  • What size of wire do you need? 
  • The cost of different types of 200 amp wires? 
  • The differences between copper and aluminum wires? 
  • And do you need a legal permit for it?

Choosing the wire for the 200 amp service is very important. Whether it is the ground wire, wire for your breaker, or another thing. It is a matter of safety and security on a personal level. 

The material your will use will change the rating for your wire. You may need a 4 AWG aluminum wire for 200 amp service. And for copper, you need a 2 AWG wire. I will explain why in the coming points.

Read, also: How to hide TV wires on wall smoothly.

What Size Wire For 200 Amp Service (Copper vs Aluminum)

Copper vs Aluminum Wire

Copper conductors will cost you more than aluminum, but it s best if your budget suits it. For over 200 years, people are using copper wires as they can last many decades. 

My Recommendation:  How to Hide TV Wires on Wall (Safely)

If your house has a high load capacity, copper wire can help you run those heavy loads. It has a better power handling capability than aluminum.

But people also use aluminum with copper clad, which is copper-clad aluminum wire. Yes, it is cheaper than pure copper, but it does not conduct electricity like copper. 

The clad helps the aluminum conduct better and keeps it from corrosion as much in the future. But when it comes to wiring, pure copper is always favored. For houses with low loads, copper-clad aluminum is a good choice.

Also, read: How to hide transformer box in Yard Easily.

Why Copper is the Best for 200 Amp Services

Why Copper Wiring is the Best

Before we go to the what size wire for 200 amp service, let’s understand why I am saying copper is better. Most professionals recommend you use pure copper instead of copper clad on aluminum. Here are some more technical reasons.

  • Long Distance Capability: The Copper wire can is suitable for long distances. It has electric conductive and heat resistance qualities. That is why it is best for longer distances.
  • Pure Flexibility: Copper wire is more flexible. It is thinner and lighter than aluminum and can bend without breaking it. 
  • Heat Resistance Capability: Copper wire does not expand and contract like aluminum wire. It has an exceptional heat resistance capability. The copper wire connections stay tight for a long time. 
  • Electric Conductivity: Copper wires are one of the best electric conductors (after Silver). It has a better load-carrying capacity, insulation, and a smaller wire gauge. The aluminum will consume double wire for the same work.
  • Resistant against Corrosion: Copper is also a corrosion-resistant metal. Due to oxidation, tarnish forms on copper which do not affect its conductivity.
My Recommendation:  How Many Watts Does a Refrigerator Use in 2023

This oxidation handles the black color that occurs over time on the copper. But do not worry, as it doe snot affect the conductivity.

What Size Copper Wire for 200 amp Service You Need

what size ground wire for 200 amp service

On average, you need a 2 AWG (American Wire Gauge) copper wire for a 200 Amps service if the distance is more than 50 feet

  • AWG (American Wire Gauge)

Why the wire distance is so vital? And why do you need to double the AWG in aluminum, as I have explained above (have a look)? If you change the amp rating, the material, and the distance, the wire will alter with its wire size.

What Size Aluminum Wire for 200 amp Service You Need

What Size Aluminum Wire for 200 amp Service You Need

For shorter lengths (under 50 ft), a 4 AWG copper-clad aluminum is the most suitable. Aluminum will consume double wire for the same service compared to copper wire.

What Size Wire for 400 amp Service You Need

What Size Wire for 400 amp Service You Need

For a 400 amp service, you will need 400 kcmil copper wire or 600 kcmil Aluminum wire. All the wires, from 100 to 400 amps are listed below. Check that out.

Also, read: How to rewire a lamp quickly at home.

RatingCopperAluminumSize
100 Amp4 AWG2 AWG1.25″
110 Amp3 AWG1 AWG1.25″
125 Amp2 AWG1/0 AWG1.25″
150 Amp1 AWG2/0 AWG1.25″
175 Amp1/0 AWG3/0 AWG1.5″
200 Amp2/0 AWG4/0 AWG1.5″
225 Amp3/0 AWG250 kcmil1.5″
250 Amp4/0 AWG300 kcmil2″
300 Amp250 kcmil350 kcmil2.5″
350 Amp350 kcmil500 kcmil3″
400 Amp400 kcmil600 kcmil3″

Consider the distance also. Both copper and aluminum can be used for a short distance. But for more the 50 feet distance, use copper wire for better connectivity.

My Recommendation:  10 Creative Utility Box Cover Ideas That Will Last Long
Do You Need a Legal Permit to Use a 200 amp

You may need one. But it may vary in every state in every country. That is why it’s better you hire a licensed electrician to help you with the permit if you need one.

Electrical work of this size is dangerous. You do not want to create issues unless you know what you are doing. I recommend you hire a professional to install a 200 amp service.

What is the Cost of a 200 Amp Service Wire Installation

What is the Cost of a 200 amp wire Installation

The average cost to install a 200 amp service wire is around $800 to $2,000. Of course, there are many factors that can change the price. Like, wire length, conduit, meter base, and the electric panel. 

On average, you can expect to pay around $25 per ft for 200 amp wire. But it may vary in every state and in every country. Ask your electrician, and he will guide you.

Last Words

So what size ground for 200 amp service do you actually need for your house? A 2 AWG Cooper wire or a 4 AWG copper-clad aluminum wire. Use copper for longer distances and better connectivity.

Again, NEVER try anything with the electrical system without the necessary experience. Call a licensed professional and do it.

100 to 400 Amp Wire FAQs

100 to 400 service amp wire FAQs

What is best for 200 amp service Copper or Aluminum?

Copper is the best for a 200 amp service as it has a higher load capacity but the aluminum wire can also be used depending on the distance and budget. You need a 2 AWG aluminum wire for a 100 Amps service or a 4 AWG copper wire if the distance is more than 50 feet.

What size wire for 100 amp service?

You need a 2 AWG aluminum wire for a 100 Amps service or a 4 AWG copper wire if the distance is more than 50 feet.

What size wire for 150 amp service?

You need a 2 AWG aluminum wire for a 100 Amps service or a 1 AWG copper wire if the distance is big.

Follow Me on PINTEREST for More Ideas.
About Author

Nazim Ali

Nazim Ali is an engineer who loves fixing things at home. He loves to try new things and share the knowledge with the world.