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Old 03-25-2011, 10:02 AM   #16
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main panel upgrade cost


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Originally Posted by debiasio View Post
You can do that? Are 200A panels significantly more expensive? What distinguishes a 200A panel from 100A?
The size of the bus bars and the sticker inside saying it is a 200 amp panel
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:16 AM   #17
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Data point:

We just upgraded the panel in our house from 125 to 200. This required upgrading the entrance lines and replacing the meter base. There probably wasn't a need to go to 200, but the meter base needed a ground wire, which couldn't be added, and the new base needed longer wires, and the insulation on the old service wires were cracked, so they had to be replaced. The only incremental cost was a 200 amp box vs a 100 amp box and the thicker entrance wires.

I didn't do all the work, but I did some. It was interesting. Most of it wasn't very difficult, but you definitely need someone who knows what he's doing on site.

The materials for our job were about $600.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:27 AM   #18
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Data point:

I didn't do all the work, but I did some. It was interesting. Most of it wasn't very difficult, but you definitely need someone who knows what he's doing on site.

I'm willing to learn to do it myself, but having someone experienced with this work is not a luxury I have .

Another thing with upgrading to 200A service that the electrician mentioned is that they would need to knock a couple of ground rods into the soil. My ground is currently tied to my main water supply pipes. Is this just how they provide overall ground nowadays?

Also I guess the secondary wires have to attach 8" below the weatherhead, which isn't the case right now at my service entrance, and that would need to be addressed. So I guess my point is, the job might snowball a little bit if I opt for the upgrade to 200A.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:38 AM   #19
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IMO -
  • If 100A is enough capacity, just add a sub panel - this is a doable DIY job - cheaper, gets the job done, DIY satisfaction.
  • If there is a good possibility of needing 200A capacity later, upgrading to 200A capacityby a pro is a consideration - but I understand the cost implication and need to decide whether to spend the money now or just possibly more later.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:42 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by debiasio


So I guess my point is, the job might snowball a little bit if I opt for the upgrade to 200A.
It certainly will.

Do you have electric: stove, clothes dryer, electric heat, welder, hot tub, etc?

If the answer is no, you don't need 200amp.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:48 AM   #21
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It certainly will.

Do you have electric: stove, clothes dryer, electric heat, welder, hot tub, etc?

If the answer is no, you don't need 200amp.
From the above list, I just have an electric dryer. No plans for a hot tub. I'd get bored after awhile and plus my in-laws put one in their master bedroom and they never use it.

I feel more certain that I do not need 200A service right now. So the question becomes subpanel vs larger main panel. I have no one experienced to help with either job, so I'm going to have to pay a pro either way. I don't want to mess around, especially with a baby on the way. I'll guess I'll just have to see what the cost difference is between the two jobs. If there isn't much difference, I think I'd just switch out the whole panel.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:58 AM   #22
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Cost difference between a 100 amp and a 200 amp panel should be minimal, less than $100. You can buy a 200 amp load center with a few breakers in a value pack from Home Depot for $88.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:06 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
I doubt it. Most jobs are bid on an individual basis.

Personally I'd pop for the 200A upgrade now. While $650 might be a decent price, IMO it is a lot to spend for 10 extra circuits.

Also, a sub panel will be considerable cheaper in most cases. It is MUCH easier to add a new empty panel next to an existing one that it is to replace a full 20 circuit main panel.
And i don't know what jersey is thinking. Thee is much more material in replacing a main panel. How about a full panel's worth of breakers?
Adding a sub panel you need to add a new service cable between the two panels,new panel connector,romex connectors,and also 2 new two pole breakers for your service cable. An upgrade to a larger same amperage panel all you need is a new panel maybe,new breakers depending on the type of panel you buy. So cmon you do the math silly. Also changing a panel is easy depending on how much expertise you have?? Upgrading to a 200amp youre looking at about $1500-$2000 total. Depending on how much shopping around you do for a quote.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:08 PM   #24
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[QUOTE="michaelcherr"]

I doub't you've ever installed a panel or sub-panel.
Installing a sub-panel will be cheaper and easier.

I install panels all the time pal, switching to a bigger panel will be cheaper, less material and work.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:42 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by joed
Cost difference between a 100 amp and a 200 amp panel should be minimal, less than $100. You can buy a 200 amp load center with a few breakers in a value pack from Home Depot for $88.
The expense of a 200amp panel is replacing everything between the panel and the power company's line: Meter, wire, conduit, ground system.
I'd be suprised if the cost difference was less than $1,000. If your paying a pro.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:27 PM   #26
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Cost difference between a 100 amp and a 200 amp panel should be minimal, less than $100. You can buy a 200 amp load center with a few breakers in a value pack from Home Depot for $88.
$88 seems kind of cheap. Wouldn't I be getting what I paid for?
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:31 PM   #27
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Wow they went down, is that cutler hammer? It used to be $150. If you go with this youre going to have to upgrade every part of your service though.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:33 PM   #28
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Homeline....never heard of them.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:38 PM   #29
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Cutler hammer is the best in the biz. Homeline is ok but I would always suggest cutler hammer.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:46 PM   #30
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Homeline is a good panel. Qo's are nice. Cutler Hammer also nice. Personally I like Siemans.
What do you have now?
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