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Old 11-09-2012, 12:38 PM   #1
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100amp vs 200amp service


We have a 2000sqft colonial, built 1966, with a 100amp breaker panel. Currently all of the slots in the panel are full. It looks like they were filled up during a kitchen remodel before we bought the house.

We plan to add a workshop (2 circuits) to the basement, and add an electric hot water heater.

My question is whether we need to upgrade to 200amp service, or whether a subpanel will be enough for these extra circuits. I've done load calculations using various calculators from the internet, and they generally come back between 90 and 110amps. Is this enough to put it over and warrant an upgrade to 200amp service?

Just for reference, this the info I used:
2000sqft living space
1000sqft basement (already 1 circuit for basement lights/outlets)
electric range, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, washer, dryer, 2 garage door openers, 6 window ACs, 4500W water heater, table saw (15A), dust collector (15A)

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Old 11-09-2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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100amp vs 200amp service


Since all your calculations are close to 100, and the odds are that you're more likely to add more circuits in the future than to take circuits out, I'd go with a larger service.

But I think you don't have to go all the way to 200A. There are 125A and 150A breaker panels available.

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Old 11-09-2012, 01:22 PM   #3
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100amp vs 200amp service


Makes sense
Is there a big difference in cost between the 125, 150, and 200A installations? We would have a professional do this.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:27 PM   #4
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100amp vs 200amp service


If you're going to replace the panel, go 200A. There is no significant cost difference between 150A and 200A - maybe a couple hundred bucks at most for the larger service conductors. Most full-size panels sold nowadays are 200A.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:30 PM   #5
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100amp vs 200amp service


That makes the most sense. A sub-panel is something I could attempt myself. A service upgrade, no way. But it looks if I'm going to add these circuits, the best thing is a service upgrade, not just a sub-panel, and I may as well go for the 200A. Thanks!

Just out of curiosity, what have people paid for a 200A service upgrade? We are in central CT.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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100amp vs 200amp service


Quote:
Originally Posted by gbook2 View Post
Makes sense
Is there a big difference in cost between the 125, 150, and 200A installations? We would have a professional do this.
The only real difference is the service feeder needing to be larger for more amperage. Depending on the distance from the meter, that can be minimal or expensive.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:36 PM   #7
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100amp vs 200amp service


It sounds like you are ready for an upgrade...do have a drop or a lateral?? the drop is a overhead feed...this will make it easier and cheaper than a lateral....either way the outside work will need to be updated to accommodate the 200amp service...this is a one day job...cost vary on a few factors....panel cost 150 vs 200amp are small ...the labor is the same basically ... their are extra cost for the materials need to handle the 200 service....A straight foward 200 amp drop/seu no extra cirs...w/permit and inspection....$2500ish


Last edited by Bobka; 11-09-2012 at 03:42 PM.
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