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mlowrie 02-03-2011 11:46 PM

Need POCO to determine service capacity?
We have underground service at our '84 built house located in Langley BC which is just outside Vancouver. I need to upgrade the service in order to install a heat pump but have a problem in that we only have a 100A panel. We currently have an electric range, dryer, and a spa so I'm pretty sure we are close to capacity for 100A.

Here's the interesting part. Service meter is rated for 200A, PVC conduit is 3" (which BC Hydro is required for 200A service) cabling from meter to the panel is 3AWG copper, but the panel is only 100A.

Should I call the POCO to pull the meter to determine the actual service size? What are the chances that the underground cabling is only rated for 100A? BC Hydro does not have the info on what was installed.

Any insight?


bobelectric 02-04-2011 04:41 AM

Where you reside,why do you have a 100 amp entrance?

Just Bill 02-04-2011 06:15 AM

Can't say about anywhere else, but our POCO feeds are good for 400A. That gets resized at the house connection depending on the service panel size, and meter pan.

joed 02-04-2011 07:56 AM

You will need to call them anyway to get the meter pulled and get the permit.

mlowrie 02-04-2011 12:38 PM

Called BC Hydro and there were able to tell me I can get 125A service with the cabling in place. Might be sufficient, but I really would like the 200A service.

For 200A, they will have to pull a new line for $855. Hopefully I have conduit and won't have to dig up the yard all the way to the hydro box...

Red Squirrel 02-04-2011 03:13 PM

You will probably be fine. How often will be be cooking at full tilt on that range, while having a spa, while clothes are drying?

mlowrie 02-04-2011 05:08 PM

Only when I'm running my 3HP table saw and 2HP dust extractor with enough light in the shop to illuminate half my block. :)

proremodel 02-05-2011 12:27 AM

That is weird they only allowed a 25 amp boost in a panel. Maybe that is just stateside they made a unwritten rule to provide cables to the house that are normally at least 200amp rated.

CheapCharlie 02-05-2011 10:15 AM

What size is the cable from your meter pan to your main panel? If it's 2/0 then you can run a 200 amp service. (2/0 is only rated for 185, but if used as a service conductor the ampacity can be 200A).

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