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Old 05-08-2009, 02:29 AM   #1
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Electrical panel size


Hello. I'm building a 4000 sq ft home in central California. 2000 on the upper level and 2000 in the basement. The basement will not be finished right now but will be in a couple of years time. I have to get city electricity run from the other side of the road to my lot.

The gentleman from PGE asked me whether I wanted a 200amp or 325amp electric panel as this determines the size of the wire run underground, and I did not know what to tell him. The plans call for 200amp, but he suggested 325.

325 amp will cost me about $1000 extra (for underground wiring plus higher amp panel) so I don't want to spend it unnecessarily, however I will do so if needed. We won't have a pool, but might have a hot-tub later on. Any ideas on which way to go?

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:38 AM   #2
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Gas or electric heat/hot water/dryer/cooking? Personally, I would spend the $1k now instead of possibly much more later.

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:38 AM   #3
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Electrical panel size


That's a good sized house. I'd go with the 325 if it was me.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:46 AM   #4
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Is all your appalinces is all electric like electric stove , electric dryer etc how many A/C ?

IMO if it were moi I will just spend little more and be done with it due your house is pretty big on sizewise with 320 amp { basically a 400 amp resdential service } you can have 2 X 200 amp load centres one for upstair and second one for basement plus hottub which you will add down the road.

Merci,Marc
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:55 AM   #5
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Educate me: What makes a 320 amp (presumably single-phase) service "basically 400 amp" residential service? I don't understand.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by thegonagle View Post
Educate me: What makes a 320 amp (presumably single-phase) service "basically 400 amp" residential service? I don't understand.

C'est simple .,,

There are few diffrent 400 amp service size class of useage.

The resdentail 320 service is a 320 amp contunious rated meter but it is rated to take up allthe way to 400 for short time and typically this is a push on meter set up { basically the meter itself is same size as common 200 amp meter socket however the 320 meter socket is much larger sizewise }

A true 400 amp service used in Farm or commercal location will use diffrent metering set up what we called CT metering it mean current transfomer metering.

The CT meter function what it really do is it small to med size "doughnut" coil to mesure the current going thru the doughnut that doughnut will reduce the current to much smaller scale to the metering.

However there one circitail item I overlook and I should mention it now before it get out of the hand please do check with your POCO if you going to install the meter yourself { just watchout this part some area may frown on that and will not allow any homeowner to hook up new meter unless electrician hook it up }

And the POCO is pretty picky on what type of meter it will be using as well.

I am sure there are few other members will chime in with this one as well.

Merci,Marc
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
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It's $1000 now or $10,000 later.

4K sq ft is a lot of space.

Rule of thumb here is, all electric appliances with more than 6 tons of AC will max out a 200 amp service.
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:07 PM   #8
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Wow! Thanks for all the replies! From the recommendations I think I will go with the 320amp.
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:39 AM   #9
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As 220/221 saying about the cost and he is correct on that answer.

It much cheaper to install 320amp service now instead of doing it later that will really add up the cost more faster plus what more if you have lateral service { underground } it will really raise the cost a bit so it easier to do it right from begaining.

If you plan to do increase the service size in future I can not garntee what the price will be but I know for sure it will be much higher than what 220/221 quoted above.

Merci,Marc

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