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Old 12-31-2006, 02:58 PM   #1
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Hi all,

My husband and I are brand new home owners. We are purchasing a house that was built in 1957 from the original owners. The sockets are still two prong so I doubt the electrical system has been updated.

On the listing information it says that it has 100 & 60 amp service and 240 volt service on circuit breakers. What are the standards today? Will this be enough for normal household appliances, computers, fax machine, printer, etc, etc?

Thanks for any info!

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Old 12-31-2006, 09:48 PM   #2
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I am NOT a pro electrician, but the standard residential service installed now is a 200 amp breaker panel with all grounded circuits. That is way more than adequate for the normal home, even with all of the electronics today.
It sounds like the house you're buying may have had a 100 amp panel and they later added another 60 amp panel. That also should be adequate service for the average house, but the "no grounded circuits" is a real problem, especially for computers.
A residential breaker panel is fed by two 110v legs to its main breaker, and then 110v and 220v circuits are established from the panel by the type of breaker and wiring installed in them.
For instance, there should be a 30 amp double breaker (220v) with 10/2-with-ground wiring for an electric water heater. A lighting circuit might be a 15 amp breaker with 14/2wg wiring and a 110v receptacle circuit might be a 20 amp circuit with 12/2wg wiring.
If you're buying a home, you should have it thoroughly inspected by a licensed General Home Inspector to give you a complete report on the condition of the structural and mechanical (electrical, plumbing, HVAC) systems. I hope that you haven't closed on this home without inspections. If you have, then everything is YOUR problem. If you haven't, then major items can be re-negotiated, even if under contract.
Good Luck!
Mike
A 20-Year NC Real Estate Broker

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Old 01-01-2007, 09:49 AM   #3
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It probably has a 100 amp service with a 60 amp sub panel. If your major appliances (water heater, furness, stove, dryer) are gas then 100 amp is plenty.
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Old 01-01-2007, 10:50 AM   #4
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"On the listing information it says that it has 100 & 60 amp service and 240 volt service on circuit breakers"

HUH!!!! I am a professional electrician, and I have never heard of this animal. 240 volt is the nominal voltage for almost all electrical services in the USA. 100 & 60 has me confused. 60 amp was the standard service at one time. Now the minimum for a residence is 100 amps, but in larger homes 200 amp is common.

There is no such thing as a 100 & 60 amp service or a 160 amp service.
You may have a 100 amp panel, and a 60 amp panel, but that does not tell us the size of the service entance.

In order to do a load calculation on a home we would need alot more information. I usually hesitate to do this over the internet because there are many variables, and without a site visit, it would be easy to miss something and get it wrong. I will say that for most "archie bunker" size homes 100 amps is probably fine. as the homes get larger the needs increase. If your home is twice the size of archie's then 100 is probably not enough.
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the feedback! On the disclosure statement it said that it was 100 AMP, then the seller wrote in by hand (and 60 Amp). I don't know what that means either.

We are having a professional home inspector look at the house. We would never buy a house without that. The inspection will be this Saturday.

I don't remember what Archie Bunker's house looked like. Forgive me, I was born in the late 70's. Was it a row house? Our house is a split level. You can see pictures of it here:

http://new.photos.yahoo.com/russandr...60762381454429

Thanks again for the feedback!!
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:21 PM   #6
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Archie lived in one of those house that are side by side, but not connected, in Queens NY.

From the pictures it looks like you have a nice house. I hope the inspection goes ok.

From what I can tell in the photos your house is border line 100 being ok.

I will break the rules this time and give a completely un-official guess as to your situation, if you answer the following questions:

How many SQ feet is the home?
Do you have electric range?
Is your dryer electric?
Do you have centeral AC?
Is your heat electric? What type?
List any other large electrical loads: (pool, spa, pumps, etc)

I promse to make a guess only, and will give no warentee as to the acuracy of the result, but I will make an educated guess.
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:16 PM   #7
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I wonder if it could have 60 amp service to a water heater that bills at a lower rate and only operates at night?
I think it has a 100 amp service and the original 60 amp box as a sub panel.
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:39 PM   #8
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Thank you for the educated guess!!

How many SQ feet is the home? 8,398 sq ft total property, not sure about just the house.
Do you have electric range? No, the range is gas.
Is your dryer electric? Dryer is electric.
Do you have centeral AC? Yes, there is central air.
Is your heat electric? What type? Heat is gas- baseboard.
List any other large electrical loads: (pool, spa, pumps, etc) Don't think there are any other big electrical loads. No pool, spa or pumps. I don't know if this counts as a big load, but we want to add a dishwasher to the kitchen.

I hope the home inspection goes well too. Thanks again!
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Old 01-02-2007, 05:52 AM   #9
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I will crunch numbers when I get home tonight if noone beats me to it.

Right now I need to go do this stuff for a living.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:29 PM   #10
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based on a 2000 sq foot house I get 111 amps load. A 100 amp service should never be loaded beyond 80 amps.

you should budget 3 to 5 thousand for the upgrade, depending on where you live.
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:41 PM   #11
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Thanks jwhite! It's a good thing that my husband has two good friends that are electricians!

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