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Old 06-14-2007, 06:56 PM   #1
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100 to 200 Amp, simple?


Hey everyone, I am going to be moving into a house soon and it has a 100 amp main breaker in the box. Since I am a computer geek, I am afraid this will not be enough, not to mention the power consumption of electronics now a days. I also have a large saltwater fishtank that uses sump pumps and such.

Anway, I opened the box already and there is 3 wires coming into the box from the power pole. 2 Black and 1 White of course.

My question is, can I just replace the 100A breaker with a 200A breaker and be done with it or does the power company have to come out and "turn up" the transformer on the pole to deliver more power?
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:24 PM   #2
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100 to 200 Amp, simple?


First you need to replace that 100 amp panel with a 200 amp panel. Next the utility may, or may not upgrade thier wires, but they will figure the added capicity into their transformer calculations for your street.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:01 PM   #3
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100 to 200 Amp, simple?


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First you need to replace that 100 amp panel with a 200 amp panel. Next the utility may, or may not upgrade thier wires, but they will figure the added capicity into their transformer calculations for your street.
Is there any sure way to determine the amp capicity being supplied to your meter? I assume it would be main feed wire gauge and pipe size.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:03 PM   #4
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100 to 200 Amp, simple?


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Is there any sure way to determine the amp capicity being supplied to your meter? I assume it would be main feed wire gauge and pipe size.
Yes there is. Call your utility company and ask.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:09 PM   #5
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100 to 200 Amp, simple?


Utility companies do not follow the same NEC rules as you may think. They are required to engineer every installation. Sometimes this means that thier wire size is smaller than you would be allowed to use in the same situation.

This is much like buildings that do not fall into definitions in the code. NASA's space launch center for example. There is no hard fast rule, so they need to engineere every answer.

Since I have never had to engineere a wiring run from a pole to a house, I do not know all the details, but I do know that you cannot go by wire size as you could if you were on the load side of the meter.

So, the answer is call the utility and ask.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:24 PM   #6
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100 to 200 Amp, simple?


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Utility companies do not follow the same NEC rules as you may think. They are required to engineer every installation. Sometimes this means that thier wire size is smaller than you would be allowed to use in the same situation.

This is much like buildings that do not fall into definitions in the code. NASA's space launch center for example. There is no hard fast rule, so they need to engineere every answer.

Since I have never had to engineere a wiring run from a pole to a house, I do not know all the details, but I do know that you cannot go by wire size as you could if you were on the load side of the meter.

So, the answer is call the utility and ask.
Do you mean the utility companies arenít bound by the NEC when special situations arise? I don't want to sound confrontational but I personally find code fascinating when I understand the reason behind it and in any case would have no objections adhering to it. It just that NEC seems like it's the kind of thing that has no room for interpretation.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:28 PM   #7
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100 to 200 Amp, simple?


Like jwhite said, the power companys have their on codes to follow.
The NEC is only concerned from where the poco hooks to the wires to your meter, and everything inside your house.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:37 PM   #8
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100 to 200 Amp, simple?


Ahhhh! Got it. I didn't know there was a distinction. Thanks for the insight.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:46 PM   #9
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100 to 200 Amp, simple?


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Since I am a computer geek, I am afraid this will not be enough, not to mention the power consumption of electronics now a days. I also have a large saltwater fishtank that uses sump pumps and such.
Just for a point of interest. Computers and electronics are some of the least drawing things in a home. You cannot possibly have enough computers in a home to make a real difference.
Home electronics are the same. Even your new 50-something inch TV only draws a fraction of your wife's iron does.

Electric heat, large motors, large appliances, heating appliances, A/C; these are the things that draw.
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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.
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