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Old 10-22-2008, 08:46 AM   #1
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electric upgrade


I have another post on here that deals with a baseboard heater that I cant get to work.So now I am assuming the heater is either bad or it really is to much for the sub panel.I talked to the poco yesterday about upgrading they said I could go up to 400 service I was only planning on 200 but since I want to add more heaters and almost all electric I am thinking it might be wise to go higher.So my question is what all is involved in going higher then 200 service.I already had an electrician talk to me about that upgrade but I think going high might be more involved.NO I am not doing this myself I cant even figure out why that heater wont work besides electrical work of this level is not for a DIYer I know this and am not kidding myself to know better.I Can do alot of home fix but including doors ,windows framing tile and so forth but this ain't one of them so please any help here so I can figure out how to proceed and some kind of budget would be most welcome

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Old 10-22-2008, 08:53 AM   #2
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How big is the house and do you have other fuel sources available to you?

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Old 10-22-2008, 09:17 AM   #3
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The heater is not too much for the sub as long as you have power to the t-stat.
A 400 amp service is much more involved. Before you make the decision to upgrade to a 400 amp service, a load calculation needs to be performed.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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the house is 46000+sqf I already had the nat gas line pulled out after a very heated argument with them I am planning on a couple propane fireplaces but the new furnaces will be electric and baseboard heater(if I can get them to work) in each room along with electric tank less water heater and all the other normall family things
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:31 PM   #5
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in a 4600 sq ft house 400 amps might not be uncalled for especially if you are using electric as your primary heat source...but it electric so cheap that you should use that as your primary heating source???
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:21 PM   #6
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well lets see last year I had nat gas as my primary and my average bill was between 1000-1200 a month for the winter my electric is 157.00 a month and we cook on electric now but thats getting switched to propain so I think its well worth gas and oil are just to high around here.I still would like to know what all is involved in that much of an upgrade
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:25 PM   #7
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You may find that your electric bill goes to $2500 a month in the winter if you are heating with electric. Electric heat uses a lot of electricity. I don't know what kind of climate you live in though so your results may very.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:30 PM   #8
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gets damm cold here in the winter we live right off I-80 but the electric heat will be supplimented with baseboard heater ( now that I have it working) and two maybe three propain fireplaces plus I have all new window doors and you wouldnt belive the insulation I have put in this place
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:41 PM   #9
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I just want to make sure I am reading this right you still have natrual gas still running in your house or disconnected ?

If still running did you ever think about very high effecey furnace they do run about 90%+ range to replace your older furance it can really reduce your heating bill a bit.

I know it off topic but right now the Natrual gas is creeping down a little unless super cold snap come in or something will affect the gas transmisson line.

For electric heater It is not too uncommon to run 400 amp service for that.

Or you can talk to the POCO to see if they can set up a second meter for heating only so you can take a advange of lower rates during the nite time. how much you will save that part I don't know due the X amout of KWH cost between the day and nite rates run.

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Old 10-22-2008, 09:11 PM   #10
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no nat gas is disconnected permenitly and if I go all electric except for suplementing with propain fireplace I still get a large discount from poco so all I really want to know is what all is involved in an upgrade to say 300 or 400 service is it differant then just a 200 upgrade
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:52 AM   #11
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To upgrade to 320 or 400 amp service It is not really much diffrence from going 100 to 200 amp but only double in size but with this size there are few ways to do this set up.

Single 400 amp panel

2 X 200 amp panel

Those two are most common one to upgrade but again this upgrading It will be wise to leave this to the electrician due the compated setup and there are few code related issue it may come up and I will not able list all the local requirement due each area is somehow diffrent.

The advanced DIY'er may able do this { not very often I do heard DIY can do this size }

But keep in your mind is the cost it may get ya pretty hard if not prepared for it.

A few upgrades I done is using 400 amp load centre and use 200 amp to feed the exsting breaker box { of course have to seprated the netural and ground } that breaker box become subfeed box. I know few Electricians do that route as long the box is pretty modern but if very old or oddball type then no it will be much wiser get two new one.

The last all electric heat house I done I did have to converted from single phase supply to three phase supply { of course with POCO blessing } with 400 amp 3 ph that was plenty good load there.

But yeah some of the homes I did see and work on few have much larger single phase useally have 600 or 800 A is cut off point there. anything larger than that have to go with 3 phase.


( keep in your mind many POCO have pretty strict rules for how big the service they can able set up for your home so check with them for guideline for latest info some case they will have to increase the transfomer size if the condtion warrants )

Merci,Marc
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:44 AM   #12
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thank you I have already talk to the poco they are the ones that recomende going higher then 200 but not to 3ph residents here cant have that.I am not the one that will be doing the a lic electrician freind will and the reason I wanted to know what is involved is for the cost.I figure I can start buying what is needed now aqnd spred it out a little instead of all at once just a bit of planning ahead
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:37 AM   #13
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Does your POCO have offpeak rates. You will probably come in with a separate 200 amp offpeak panel, with a separate offpeak meter. You might want to look into a "mass heater". The ones that I install are make by Steffes. You might also need to mount a "hoffman" box next to your offpeak panel for a control relay installed by the POCO to turn off your offpeak during peak hours, but that depends on your POCO, some don't cut you off during peak hours -- some do.

First thing you want to do is find out if you will be getting cut off during peak hours, if you will, then you need a mass/storage heater. If you won't, you can go with baseboard.
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:41 AM   #14
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come in with a separate 200 amp offpeak panel, with a separate offpeak meter. You might want to look into a "mass heater". The ones that I install are make by Steffes. You might also need to mount a "hoffman" box next to your offpeak panel for a control relay installed by the POCO to turn off your offpeak during peak hours, but that depends on your POCO, some don't cut you off during peak hours -- some do.


your going to have to explain some of those terms to me I am not an electrician and dont play one

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