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Help needed: My old house (pre-WWII) is located in Santa Clara county California and I plan to build a detached garage with grid-tie solar panels on the roof. Distance from the house to site is about 100 feet. With little bit of future in mind: expand the house, plus a possible granny place attached to the new garage (in the distance future), it'd be nice to design the electricals in a way to facilitate future work.
So I plan to relocate the PGE meter to between the house and the garage (out of the way of future expansion), then have two separate underground service laterals to the house and the garage. I plan to upgrade the meter to 320 amp service by installing a Milbank 320A meter base, then a 200 amp URD feed to the house (currently 100 amp) and a separate 125 amp URD feed to the garage. Several questions:
1) Do I need to install main disconnects at the meter (service drop) location? or the main disconnect at the panels (in the house and the garage) are sufficient?
2) Do I need to use four wire URD for the underground service laterals? or three wire is sufficient? If four, what wire sizes for the ground and neutral? I plan to use Aluminum URD so 4/0 for 200 amp and 1/0 for 125 amp
3) The existing 100 amp panel is deep in the basement. Do I need a junction box at the 4/0 cable entrance (then SER to the panel)? or I can extend the 4/0 cable all the way to the panel?
4) The 125 amp panel for the garage, can it be at the back of the garage? or does it have to be close to the door?
5) Garage power usage is minimal, just few lights and garage openers. Solar will be tied to the panel. The 125 amp is really for the future granny unit (attached the garage). Can I use the panel to wire the granny unit? or do I have to install a sub in the granny unit? The reason for my question is that there will be no direct access from the granny unit to the garage, otherwise it would violate the square footage code.
I tried to get some answers from an engineer at the county office, let's just say he wasn't in the mood of helping anyone. I can see a lot of trouble in future inspections
Thanks in advance!
 

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Electrical Simpleton
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3,350 Posts
Willie,

In what capacity are you an electrician?

Some of your questions wouldn't typically be asked by someone involved in the type of work you are describing.

Pete
 

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Electrical Simpleton
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3,350 Posts
Due to a lack of response by the OP I am closing this thread.

To the OP... feel free to PM myself or another moderator to discuss.

Pete
 
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