Electrical upgrade, 100amp to 200amp panel

I did some searches within this group on this subject, and thought I would let you all comment on my particular installation.
I am upgrading an existing 100 amp service. It consists of a 100 amp "meter/main disconnect" combination box on the outside, and a subpanel (load center) inside the house fed by long cable.
I want to add a new 100amp subpanel. The new panel will go into the garage, and feed a shop there. There is an extra breaker already in the meter/main panel, so it has 1x100 amp breaker (x2 120 volt circuits), and space for one more (two breaker positions total). However, as I understand it, I would have to downgrade to 2x50amp breakers to feed both subpanels.
The city inspector told me to upgrade the outdoor meter/main to one of the new "combo" meter/main/load centers, and indeed, that seems to be all they have at the local Home Destruction store.
However, that does not seem to me to be the way to go, for several reasons:
1. That would mean all of the new shop breakers would be outside, a considerable walk into the rain to reset them.
2. The very much larger size of the combo units involves much more destruction of the outside wall.
3. Using a subpanel allows me to get all the garage wiring done at my own pace. Using the combo would mean doing all the final connections to the panel in a panic because the house power is off due to the main disconnect.
What it appears to come down to is finding the right meter/main panel. Ideally I would like to find a meter/main that fits into the present 100amp meter main format, at 18"x12" (approx).
Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Just use the combo as a main, and put the panel in the garage.
You know most farms have a pole with one large main, and all the buildings are fed off that pole. The main on the pole disconnects the whole farm, but each building (usually) has it's own main.
I have such a thing myself. My main pole is a 400 amp (cartridge fuses). The house, garage, and barn each have a 100 amp main indoors. There are also two sheds that also have old 60amp fuse panels too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ain't gonna happen. No 200a meter main is gonna come anywhere near that small anymore no way no how. You're gonna have to do some wall destruction to fit the new box anyway.
As far as the inconvenience of resetting breakers - if you're doing this right, they should never trip.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not true. What you need to do is perform a new demand load calculation for your house + garage. If this comes to under 100A, you can have as many subpanels as you want. If higher, then a service and meter upgrade would be required.

You can still run a 100A feeder to the garage subpanel with this approach. You could even run a 100A feeder from the inside house panel to the garage if that is any easier.

That's the price you pay when using larger wires.

Don't think that is possible.
-- Mark Kent, WA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.