My kitchen is in the middle of a re-model that I'm mostly doing myself. After spending a few weekends tearing out the plaster and lathe the current state could be best described as "faux-crack-den". (and BTW, i did buy a "5hp" rigid shop vac to clean it all up)
One of the many things I'm doing is clearing out all of the rod/tube aluminum wiring from the 20s and replacing everything with modern equipment. The building is a condominium with service in the basement (30amp breakers) and leads up to my unit with its own panel in the kitchen. The panel is 8 feet up in the corner and looks very old. Obviously not safe... or code. My plan was to get an electrician to get a new panel in a new location (about 5 feet away) and do everything after the panel myself. The electricians are telling me that most modern homes have 100 amp service and that I should consider running a new line to the meter in the basement.
1) The condo is only ~1k square feet and I've not had any issues with the capacity of my current system. (No washer/dryer, heat is by a common boiler, only 2 window A/C units) Furthermore, i'm replacing all of the appliances (fridge, dishwasher, disposal, gas stove, microwave), so all of them should be more efficient thereby further reduce the power needs. Do I really need moe power?
2) The electricians tell me that the 30amp service line will not reach the location of the new panel and that it is not safe and not code to split the service line to add the needed cable to reach the new location. One suggestion i've heard is to put a 30 amp disconnect in the wall along the service line and then run new cable to the new panel location. Would this disconnect look like a small sub panel? Got an example of this online? One quote for a disconnect in the 30amp line and 20 feet of 100amp capable wire after the disconnect, to a new box was going to be $1150. Seems like a lot of money for that amount of work...
3) What gauge would a 100 amp line be? 2/3?
4) I'm thinking of running power out to my porch to a recepticle and a light. Does this need to be on a dedicated circuit or can i tie it into the circuit that I'm putting in to power less than a handfull of gfci recepticles?
Thanks for your help!