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Old 06-08-2008, 12:38 PM   #1
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100amp to 200amp box


I just bought a central air unit to add to my house. I am out of spaces in my electrical box. My house has 100 amp and I'm thinking of upgrading to 200. Its a 4 bedroom large farm house with electric dryer, water heater, and also hot tub. My question is should I upgrade to 200? And also my house has a box outside right under the meter with just a 100amp main breaker in it. Then it runs into the basement to a box with all the breakers. If I decide to upgrade do I need to put a 200 amp breaker outside or can I just put a 200 amp box in the basement with the main breaker in the box with the rest of the breakers and get rid of the outside box? Any suggestions?

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Old 06-08-2008, 12:55 PM   #2
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100amp to 200amp box


If you upgrade to 200, the box outside would have to be upgraded to a 200 amp panel as well as the wire from the meter. the meter base will also have to be upgraded. The panel in the basement can remain and be fed from the 200 outside. The box in the basement would need to be a 4-wire and grounds and neutrals seperated (which should already be the case). Your new loads and maybe some larger existing loads can be run/relocated from the new panel. If you want to move the panel inside, you would have to install it pretty much back to back to where the meter is located (depending on what type of room is on the other side and your locale's rule on service conductors inside) Here ours are 5-6 ft. Also, you'll need to notify POCO so that they can determine if they need to upgrade their end. Again, here, the POCO is responsible for the line side of the meter and we're responsible for load side. Some areas are different. Also, this kinda work here cannot be done without a permit. POCO will not connect without an inspection. Hope this helps.

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Old 06-08-2008, 01:00 PM   #3
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100amp to 200amp box


Very good advice. Nothing to add to that!
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:16 PM   #4
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100amp to 200amp box


If i've had no problem with my main breaker triping outside could I just replace my main lug panel inside to a larger one with more spaces since the one I have now is old and very small with no spaces left? I am also thinking about replacing my water heater to gas not electric so that would be one less load.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:19 PM   #5
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100amp to 200amp box


Can you take a pic of it? As it stands at this point I would say I wouldn't recommend that. How are you currently heating/ cooling? Is your hottub a 50-60 amp? Do you have an electric range? What size circuits do you need for the new a/c?

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Old 06-08-2008, 02:24 PM   #6
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100amp to 200amp box


You should really hire someone to do a load calc to see if you existing service can even handle the new load added to the service, I would start in that direction.
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:10 PM   #7
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100amp to 200amp box


Quote:
Originally Posted by JNICO View Post
If i've had no problem with my main breaker triping outside could I just replace my main lug panel inside to a larger one with more spaces since the one I have now is old and very small with no spaces left? I am also thinking about replacing my water heater to gas not electric so that would be one less load.
And now you are adding central air.......

Yours is a typical situation where an upgrade to 200A is inevitable.
I STRONGLY suggest you have a pro do this job.

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