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Old 04-15-2009, 01:18 PM   #31
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200 Amp or 400 Amp service


I have "heard" that some electricians will work with you to get the job done. All depends upon how busy they are
Around here you can't get an electrician to come out to install an outlet. It's hard enough to get them in for a big job

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Old 04-15-2009, 01:40 PM   #32
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200 Amp or 400 Amp service


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Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
One option which I'd seriously consider is to have the service and any load side panels wired by electrician, and then wire the branch circuitry yourself - most of the more arcane rules related to wiring relate to the proper installation of components up to and through these panels, after they are in place you need only master a few basic wiring skills and understand a much smaller subset of the code to produce a satisfactory and safe result. Besides, most of the things that actully relate to convenience and satisfaction in actual use - an adequate number of circuits and receptacles and lighting fixtures where you want them controlled the manner you prefer, are the things a homeowner can do themselves for only the cost of materials, and can be done a little at a time under room by room basis as time and budget permits once the service and load side panels are in.

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Re EMT: I'm a big fan of EMT, you really, really appreciate the flexibility and convenience the first time you have to pull an additional and circuit or deal with the defective conductor. Even in Chicago these days you less and less frequently see a piece of artistry in conduit like that picture above goose134's work in residential work, more and more often you see a lot of short pieces cobbled together with with couplings and pre-bent turns:



it's not nearly as pretty, but it works, and it's certainly within the capability of any homeowner who can operate a hacksaw, a reamer, and a fish tape.

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Home Inspection: "A business with illogically high liability, slim profit margins and limited economies of scale. An incredibly diverse, multi-disciplined consulting service, delivered under difficult in-field circumstances, before a hostile audience in an impossibly short time frame, requiring the production of an extraordinarily detailed technical report, almost instantly, without benefit of research facilities or resources." - Alan Carson
That's what we had planned to do, but with the new law in iowa, we can't even do that anymore.
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:37 PM   #33
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200 Amp or 400 Amp service


Scuba Dave,

The law went into force March 1, and someone told me that they believe if the project was started before that date, than I don't need a license. I'm trying to get the board to define what "new service" means and what they consider electrical work started before March 1 to see if I qualify.

I was looking at my meter box and it has as circuit breaker that says 200 Amp right on the panel. So do I already have a kill switch at the meter ?

Thanks.

Last edited by Boontucky; 04-17-2009 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:38 PM   #34
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200 Amp or 400 Amp service


If I can figure out that I can do work myself, I'm thinking of using conduit in the basement to embed in the ICF foam.
Which is better option: PVC or metal conduit?
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:43 AM   #35
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200 Amp or 400 Amp service


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I disagree completely
The only electrician I hired did a pathetc job
The Inspector even commented on the work (poor)
But since it was the SE they required a certified electrician to make the connections & runs.
I knew more then the electrician did & my work was better
He was in it for the $$. do the work & get out
I live here, it's my life & I triple check everything & build & wire above code

You get what you pay for. You go cheap as you did and that is what you get as with everything. Yea the guy is in it for the money. Do you work for free? You cut his profit to almost nothing (remmeber insurance and fees) Yes I am an electrician and only the guys at the bottom take jobs like that, too much risk taking responsibility for your work, just not worth it to any good electrician unless he is doing it for a friend, which I have done.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:50 AM   #36
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200 Amp or 400 Amp service


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Originally Posted by Boontucky View Post
We are building our own house. We had the local coop install the new power service to the site. We have OH line to a pole, then UG line to another pole where there's a green box next to the pole and a meter.

We are going to go with electric heat for the basement using an electric boiler for radiant, and most likely an electric furnace for the upstairs. The coop will install a second meter to use exclusively for the heat, but I'm not sure how that is set up.

We're not electricians, but we will be running all of our electric wires ourselves, including the ones between the meter and the house. We can save the labor cost this way, and a qualified electrician will actually hook up the wires to the panel, and the panel to the meter, and do an inspection of our work.

I asked the coop but have no answer yet if we have 200 Amp or 400 Amp service, and I can't remember what they installed, and it just occurred to me that 200 Amp might not be enough if we're running electric heat. We do not know what our electrical loads will be, but being out in a farm there are welding and tool shop operations a lot, and I'd have to overload in winter when the heat is on. We also don't know the rating of the heating equipment since we're probably not buying that for a year or two.

These are probably dumb questions/statements but... how would we decide if 200 Amp is enough? Should we have two separate 200 Amp service panels running each from the separate meters? I think 400Amp equipment is more expensive too. If we have one 400 Amp service, can that be split between two 200 Amp panels? I guess that might depend on how the coop sets up the two meters no? Are meters rated for 200 or 400 Amp services?

Also, I'd like to have a kill switch before the electric panels. Our current (very old) house has a fuse box between the meter and the rest of the farm, and it's nice when working outside to cut the power off. Could a kill switch be run so that electricity from both meters is shut off?

Thanks for any input.
You are no where near ready to do this yourself! You need to read up on codes, calculations, and find out what equipment (and the loads involved). befor you do anything. yea you may be capable of branch circuits but leave the rest to someone that knows what he is doing. Be it an electrician or a friend.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:13 PM   #37
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200 Amp or 400 Amp service


This is an interesting thread. For one, I do agree that an electricaian should do the load calcs for the house to size the service.

One way thing can be done is a 400 A service be broken down into two 200 A subpanels with disconnects for both.

Your out buildings, separate metering and additional possible generator are complicating matters.

One EASY way of doing generator backup is an interlocking breaker. One for the main and one for the generator backfeed. You can see how this gets messy with separate metering and multiple panels.

Sub-metering is also possible, where you would just meter the electric heat and would subtract that from the total power.

Dual panels create a mess with backups.

Now is the time to consider Home Automation conduits.

Last edited by KeepItSimple; 07-24-2011 at 01:33 PM. Reason: 440 to 400
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:33 PM   #38
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200 Amp or 400 Amp service


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This is an interesting thread. For one, I do agree that an electricaian should do the load calcs for the house to size the service.

One way thing can be done is a 440 A service be broken down into two 200 A subpanels with disconnects for both.

Your out buildings, separate metering and additional possible generator are complicating matters.

One EASY way of doing generator backup is an interlocking breaker. One for the main and one for the generator backfeed. You can see how this gets messy with separate metering and multiple panels.

Sub-metering is also possible, where you would just meter the electric heat and would subtract that from the total power.

Dual panels create a mess with backups.

Dual panels are OK if you go through a 400 Amp Ct cabinet (I have five (you can have up to six by code) ) but you cannot by code have two services to one building. I thing to check into is a residential 325 CI , common in farm aeas to run both house and barn (goes by different names depending on your service provider). Basically eqivalent to a 400 Amp service but avoiding the expense of a CT cabinet (they get pricey). Brunswick Electric COOP in NC provides the first 200 feet underground in pipe for $625 a bargain in my book

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