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View Full Version : Upgrading from 100 amp to 200amp Q's



lionfoxx
Feb 21, 2005, 09:06 AM
:eek: I would like to upgrade my Box from 100 amp service to a 200 amp service, the electrical company said that the wire to my house is rated for higher so basically I just need to get an inspection and have a electrician change out the box.

What are the pro vs cons moving to a larger amp box? I know all my breaker slots are full, and I was told I can get breakers that are doubled up, but wouldn't it be better to have things on their own breakers.

I am an IT professional and I want to make sure the room I have setup for all my lab equipment has a good flow of power and I am not blowing fuses all the time.

Thanks, LFX.

tkrussell
Feb 21, 2005, 11:08 AM
If you give a total load in watts and diversity of the lab equipment,calculations can help determine if the current service is large enough, or if a larger service entrance is needed.

Unless your 100 amp service is fairly new,1-5 yrs old, increasing the amperage size can be a good practical reccomendation, plus adds to the value of real estate.

The general avantage is to allow for addition circuits for large or critical loads.Another is you can insure having a proper grounding system, with improvements to increase reliability.

Get back with a description of all loads in the building, include area of building.

Kevin

labman
Feb 21, 2005, 11:29 AM
If all you need is a few extra circuits, I would just add a few of the double breakers. They are 2 complete breakers built into the space for one. After I bough my house in 1977, I added several circuits using the double breakers to my 100 amp box. As long as your service entrance is adequate, they will work fine. I haven't had any problems with the double breakers in almost 30 years.

Making a nice job of a whole new box is a lot of work. It is easy to drop a couple of double breakers in.

mconley
Sep 26, 2005, 07:56 AM
I know the standard 2/0 for copper and 4/0 for alum. But how can you tell what wire size you have coming into the mast by looking, would I need to go to Lowe's get a couple of pieces of wire these two sizes then climb up ladder to compare? There is no numbers on the wires coming into the house and the electrical company wants 90.00 bucks just to come out to look.
Any suggestions?

lionfoxx
Sep 26, 2005, 08:19 AM
I know the standard 2/0 for copper and 4/0 for alum. but how can you tell what wire size you have coming into the mast by looking, would i need to go to lowes get a couple of peices of wire these two sizes then climb up ladder to compare? there is no numbers on the wires coming into the house and the electrical company wants 90.00 bucks just to come out to look.
Any suggestions?


When I called the Eelectric company they were able to tell me over the phone what my line to the house would carry, plus I noticed that mine has 3 wires up there, but one I think might be the cable anchoring it to the house. If I remember correctly the electrician told me that most house will accept 200 amp service, but the box and the meter is what limits the service level. So I didn't have to have any one come out.

By they way I ended up with a Siemens box, they brought a Cutler Hammer box out but it wasn't the full copper bus and had a cheaper galvanized case, like the lower end boxes, they could not get a cutler hammer box, but got me a seimens one right away, thing is it looks the same, and siemens and cutler hammer boxes use the same fuse breakers, but they did put all seimens in it .

The only charge I got from the electric company was when they did the wiring box change over they have to disconnect the lines on the mast, aka, the weather head, and the electrician said that the electric company has to come out and recrimp them, even though when they put it back together its right, the electric company owns the line to the house so they come out and redo either both or one crimp to make sure its up to code. My electrician said they do a lot of stuff for companies and have a great reputation so they never had trouble with inspections and the electric company and a few times the electric company didn't even inspect the work, but I know mine was recrimpped by them because the electrician taped the connectors and I notice them changed.

Overall it was painless other than the 900$ bill, but I am happy with the upgrade, now I have lots of extra juice and more open slots for growth. Already put in a 50amp breaker for our stove, and the setup is nice to work in.


GoodLuck, I would suggest calling back your electric company and tell them you want to upgrade and want to make sure if the line in can handle 200AMP and see if they will tell you, my house was built in 1972, and was good to go, but who ever wired it also used number 12 wire on everything in the house with all 20 amp circuits,not the normal 15 amp, so they planned for a heavy system, I was surprised it didn't already have 200 amp service.

If you get it done, note that the cost varies by how much cable from the weather head is used to come down to the meter, mine has to wrap around the house, not the greatest but that is what I am stuck with unless they put another pole out on the street, the 200amp line is about twice the size of in diameter, well is more oval and the flat ends lay on the house side, but man it's a monster cable.

mconley
Sep 26, 2005, 12:46 PM
I know the wires in the mast is monsterous they are bigger than the wires coming in the house this is why I was curious, going to have to investigate further now, just to see if they used alum in the pannel or what?
THANKS again for the input.