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Old 07-04-2010, 01:08 PM   #1
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How too tell what AMP we have?


How do we tell if we have 100 amp service or 60 amp?

We've had three electricians out (plus an inspector back when we bought the house). So far we've been told this...

house inspector - Box is 100 amp - but can't tell what the wires are coming into the house.

Electrician #1 - We have 100 amp (without looking at outside wires)

Electrician # 2 - We have 60 amp outside the house, but a 100 amp box

Electrician # 3- Have 100 amp.

I'm confused...so I thought I should find out myself...where do we look to find out for sure?

Oh and apparently the breaker box we have is about 35 or more years old, they've hardly ever seen it, the electricians said we were lucky the insurance agents did say anything about it.

Thanks!

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Old 07-04-2010, 01:49 PM   #2
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How too tell what AMP we have?


post a picture of the electrical meter and a pic of the panel (where we can see the breakers).

also, if you can read a number on the main breaker, that would help as well.

if you can see a name and model number for the panel, it might help as there are some odd panels (called split bus) that are kind of odd to figure out and understand.

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Old 07-04-2010, 07:08 PM   #3
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How too tell what AMP we have?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexiesmom View Post
where do we look to find out for sure?
At the conductor diameter of each of the three incoming cables inside your panel.
http://www.inspectapedia.com/electric/wiresiz1.jpg
Watch out for shock danger and arc flash danger.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-04-2010 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:18 PM   #4
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How too tell what AMP we have?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexiesmom View Post

Oh and apparently the breaker box we have is about 35 or more years old, they've hardly ever seen it, the electricians said we were lucky the insurance agents did say anything about it.

Thanks!
That age of a panel on it's own isn't something to necessarily get concerned about. Many panels older than that are still in operation and are perfectly good panels.

There were Cuttler CH series panels back to at least the 70's and maybe earlier, they are compatible with current CH series breakers and there is nothing wrong with the panels.

There could be something wrong with your panel, but that age alone should not even remotely be a cause for alarm.

Is the meter box round or square?

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Old 07-05-2010, 12:49 PM   #5
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How too tell what AMP we have?


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Originally Posted by Lexiesmom View Post

Oh and apparently the breaker box we have is about 35 or more years old, they've hardly ever seen it,
Well, you could start by getting an electrician that is older than 35
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:36 PM   #6
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How too tell what AMP we have?


Based #2s description you have an original 60 amp service outside the house that is feeding a new 100 amp box inside the house. That would make you service a 60 amp service if turning of the 60 amp disconnect kills power to the whole house.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:21 PM   #7
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How too tell what AMP we have?


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Based #2s description you have an original 60 amp service outside the house that is feeding a new 100 amp box inside the house. That would make you service a 60 amp service if turning of the 60 amp disconnect kills power to the whole house.
What 60 amp disconnect? OP said nothing about a 60 amp disconnect and surely all the electricians would have noticed one.

OP, is there a disconnect outside or only the meter? Can you read any printing on the main conductors that enter your breaker box?
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:33 PM   #8
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How too tell what AMP we have?


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We have 60 amp outside the house,
what 60 amp outside if not a disconnect? I guess we need some photos of the entire system.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:48 PM   #9
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How too tell what AMP we have?


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what 60 amp outside if not a disconnect? I guess we need some photos of the entire system.
I was thinking probably a 60 amp meter.
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:32 PM   #10
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How too tell what AMP we have?


Here in Ontario, back in about 1970, we were allowed to upgrade 60 amp services to 100 amps, without changing the 1" conduit.
We were required to run two #3 TWH cables and a bare #3 neutral. Of course a new panel with a 100 amp main breaker was required.
Whether other jurisdictions allowed this practice, I'm unsure. But, if so, it would be difficult for a lay person recognise the rating of the service.
Thirty-five years ago, inspections were required and if the main breaker in the panel is 100 amp rated, the odds are good, that it is in fact a 100 amp service.

Any electricians that I know, can easily recognise the difference between #3 and #6 cable, visually.
Its the cable size that makes the difference.

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