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  • Upgrading 100amp service question

    do they make 250 or 300 amp service panels?

    might as well go over the top so when i die and my kids sell the house the box will up to the current standards

  • #2
    Re: Upgrading 100amp service question

    I don't know the answer, but I'm sure a professional electrician will be along shortly. Biggest I seem to remember seeing in a main breaker type load center was a 225A Square D QO.

    Keep in mind that when doing a service upgrade, the power company may need to put some large service conductors in, depending on what you have in there now. I upgraded a few years ago from 100A to 200A... they used 4-0 aluminum conductors. Which was only a problem for me because I had to pay for everything, and dig a &*&$2#& deep trench for the new 3" conduit they required. Then they charged me a lot - thousands - to pull the wire and connect up the two ends - about 1-1/2 hours of work. I was ticked off but there is no arguing with them about it. Well you can argue but if you don't pay.... no meter.

    If they make a huge panel and you decide to go to 250 or 300, be ready - the bill might be even worse!

    I heard somewhere, maybe here, that some utilities companies will upgrade the service conductors for free. Sweet! Here in No. CA, the word "free" is not in Pacific Gas & Electric's vocabulary.

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    • #3
      Re: Upgrading 100amp service question

      I live in Maryland and when I made a similar upgrade the utility charged me over $800 for what they had to do to accomodate the change.

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      • #4
        Re: Upgrading 100amp service question

        Biggest residential panel that I know of is 400 amp. But that is one HUGE panel for a house. Guy had a whole load of big draw power tools in his basement.
        Jim

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        • #5
          Re: Upgrading 100amp service question

          I remember getting an estimate for an upgrade for a small motel I was working on and power co. wanted around $1,600 for an upgrade to a 400 amp single phase service for the owner.
          Cheers,
          Jim

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          • #6
            Re: Upgrading 100amp service question

            well i will complete all but the actual splice under the weather head . i will leave that to them

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            • #7
              Re: Upgrading 100amp service question

              The problem is if you have a 300 amp service upgrade from the old 100 amp,

              The Power company has to provide power to it,
              If the current transformer is only good for the 100 amp and they have to replace with a new transformer and the wires leading to your service, in many instances you will pay for it,
              (in some form or another),
              and this I think is what others are trying to say.
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
              attributed to Samuel Johnson
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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              • #8
                Re: Upgrading 100amp service question

                They make 300 and 400 amp panels. It is not a linear price difference however. the prices on those panels and installs go up exponentially so it isn't practical to upgrade to them without reason. Over-sizing a panel is no guaranty it will be 'up to current standards' in the future. If you planning for the future you are better off putting the price difference in bonds then your children can cash them in and pay for an upgrade then that will be guaranteed to 'be up to current standards'

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                • #9
                  Re: Upgrading 100amp service question

                  Four years ago I upgraded my service on a newly purchased home from 100 amp to 200 amp. It cost me $1000 for the new panel and the electrician to do the work. The panel itself isn't all that much money.

                  I do recall the electrician telling me over the phone that the initial question was the size of the wire that ran down to the meter. I recall him asking if I knew whether it was the small cable (about an inch or so in diameter) or the large cable (about 2-inches or so). I went out to check for him and told him it was the larger diameter.

                  Apparently around here it was either one size or the other and that if it was the smaller size, then it would have to be replaced and possibly the weatherhead and line back to the pole, etc. But because it was the larger diameter, then that meant the electrical company had already upgraded the wire and that it would be a relatively simple upgrade with just wire from the meter box, new load panel, swapping over the circuits and probably upgrading the ground system.

                  Bottom line for me was that he did the job for $1000, with new panel, upgraded wire as necesary, complete swap, check, and labeling of all circuits, and all the arrangements for inspection and supporting documention. I was happy!

                  On some houses, the existing panel may already be 150 or so and then it is simply a matter of upgrading the main breaker. Of course a qualified electrician is is up-to-date on the NEC and local codes is highly recommended, if not totally essential (depending on your local restrictions... check with your local code enforcement office, first).

                  Another thing you might consider, since you mentioned going with a really big panel. My own personal thoughts are that electrical demands are going down, not up. Others may disagree of course, but in consideration that many appliances are taking less power than they did in the 50's through 90's, incandescent bulbs will soon be replaced and no longer available, LED's are already on the horizon, etc. and even new motors are getting smaller and more efficient. You may find that an upgrade to 200 or 250 amps is more than necessary. Of course, I could be wrong too.

                  CWS
                  Last edited by CWSmith; 04-28-2010, 01:03 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Upgrading 100amp service question

                    Originally posted by LockSmithSavant View Post
                    do they make 250 or 300 amp service panels?

                    might as well go over the top so when i die and my kids sell the house the box will up to the current standards
                    What makes you think you need a bigger service? It may never pay for itself if you do not need it. If you have a 200 amp service now and you do not have any special requirements you very well could be wasting money that you or your kids will ever see back in any form. I have never seen a house sell for more because the service was bigger than required.
                    Can you tell us what type of house you have and how big it is? Do you have large appliances like "On Demand Water Heaters or Heater?). Tell us some more about your power requirements.

                    Enjoy your money now. I am retired and I plan to use up most all my savings and property BEFORE I die. I am downsizing as we speak. If you want to do something nice for your kids, do it now. That way you can enjoy it with them.
                    Licensed Electrician

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                    • #11
                      Re: Upgrading 100amp service question

                      all interesting points and valid arguments. I am going to a long hard look at my current and anticipated power needs. my decision will be based on this

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