Electric Meter, Electrical Panel, Electric Panel Load Calculation – Small Modular Cabin Construction: Power

Electric Meter, Electrical Panel, Electric Panel Load Calculation – Small Modular Cabin Construction: Power

Westwood Cabins will build a cabin to your own plans. We showed them our plan and, after they worked it out for us, we realized we liked one of their standard plans better. We made some tweaks, but our plan is nearly identical to the Creekside Manor 3016.

We made very few changes to the standard electrical plan.

Electric Meter

Electric Meter and Electrical Panel

The power meter is outside at the end of the wall between the laundry room and the bathroom.

Electric Panel in Laundry Room

The electrical panel is in the laundry room on the same wall.

Electric Meter
Electric Panel Location Plan

The electric meter is on the outside wall between the laundry room and the bathroom. I was concerned about the placement of the meter. This will be the front of the house. But I can see how it works with the plans.

The electric panel (EP on the plan) is in the laundry room.

Notice the note? “Door has lock for protection when servicing the electrical panel.” I haven’t figured that out yet. I have guesses. So far all I found is that it is illegal to put a lock on the main electric shut-off. If there is an emergency, you may need to shut off the electricity. What kind of emergency? Allstate Insurance website has on page of disaster response emergency planning with tips on powering down utilities after a natural disaster or other emergency. It discusses the importance of shutting off natural gas, water and electricity and how to safely do it:  How to shut off utilities in an emergency by Allstate.

Power Riser Diagram

We are going to have a porch on the front, so the meter will not really be that obvious. It will be in the corner behind the porch as you drive up. And our power runs underground here, so no wires running to the front of the house like I was at first imagining.

Wire from Meter to Breaker Box

Power runs from the meter to the breaker box through this really heavy conduit inside the wall between the bathroom and laundry room.

Electric Panel Load Calculation

Electric Panel Load Calculation

The cabin comes with a 200 Amp panel. That seems like a lot for such a tiny house.

Different homes need different amp services. You may be wondering, “Do I need 200 amp service?” With a bit of math, you can figure out what kind of electrical load your home requires. A 60-amp service, for example, is probably inadequate for a modern home, while a 100-amp service is good for a home of less than 3,000 square feet that does not have central air-conditioning or electric heat. A home larger than 2,000 square feet that has central air-conditioning or electric heat probably needs a 200-amp service.

Better Homes & Gardens: How to Calculate Your Home’s Electrical Load

Electric Panel

This is the panel during construction.

Wires for HVAC and everything else in the ceiling.

The wires are run through the center of the roof/ceiling.