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Old 10-03-2012, 08:57 PM   #46
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Need URGENT help with question regarding fixing electrical panel in home


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I wonder whether it's possible to measure the required amp service without actually plugging and running all these appliances in the home.
Sure. For all the major loads (HW heater, dryer, refrigerators, range, etc.), there will be a sticker or plate somewhere on the appliance itself that states the maximum current consumption. Often it's on the back, or bottom, frequently near the model number, serial number if any, etc. Usually right next to it will be "120VAC @ 60Hz" or "240VAC @ 60Hz". For my fridge, it was inside the fridge itself. It might be stated directly in amps (5A, 5 Amp, 5 Amperes) or in watts. If it's in watts, divide by 120 or 240, whichever is applicable.

Lights are usually rated in watts, so just total all your lights and divide by 120. Tools, stereos, pool lights, radio transmitters, even the charger for your cell phone will have a label somewhere, specifying either amps or watts.

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Old 10-03-2012, 09:12 PM   #47
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Need URGENT help with question regarding fixing electrical panel in home


Just did a load calc based upon all electric heat and all electric appliances and I came up with 95 amps. This is based upon 3500 sq ft of living space.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:41 PM   #48
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Sorry if I missed it but how old is the home? A 100a service was more than adequate for a home that large 25 years ago. But todays home is filled with electronics, and more and more electrical devices; chargers, computers, sound systems, televisions and you name it. On top of that you have an all electric home. In my opinion you are best served with a 200a panel. I have a 2800 sq ft home, 2 levels, and have a 200 amp panel with no breaker room. Make the best deal you can with the seller and then have YOUR electrician do the changeout.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:12 AM   #49
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Need URGENT help with question regarding fixing electrical panel in home


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Make the best deal you can with the seller and then have YOUR electrician do the changeout.
I agree with Missouri with having the elctrician of YOUR choice do the work. Go with the larger 200 amp panel. Not saying mine is the best looking but look at the difference in size and clutter compared to the one in that house.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:47 AM   #50
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Need URGENT help with question regarding fixing electrical panel in home


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I agree with Missouri with having the elctrician of YOUR choice do the work. Go with the larger 200 amp panel. Not saying mine is the best looking but look at the difference in size and clutter compared to the one in that house.
Minus08 - thanks for sharing the picture. It looks just like our current home, which is a condo. We have 200 amp service in it since it was built about 12 years back. The house we are buying was built in the 60's. It's a tri-level home and surprisingly the owner, and the tenants have not complained about the 100amps yet.

UPDATE - I spoke with the seller's electrician this morning, who had been on site to look at the issue last week. This is what he had to say about the whole situation.

He confirmed that the electrical panel can be brought up to code by fixing the breakers and removing the double taps without replacing the existing 100amp panel.

He also recommended that if we are going to replace the panel, then a 200amp panel is recommended. He has provided estimates to the seller on the breaker fixes so seller should be able to get this fixed from the electrician without replacing the 100amp panel.

As for the lights flickering when the dish washer changes cycles - he said it "maybe" because the lights are double tapped with the dish washer. But he wasn't sure. He said that upgrading to 200 amps will not solve this problem. It has to do with the way the circuits are wired.

I asked for a quote for 200amp upgrade and he quoted me $3500 on the phone, which would include burial of the service line so that it's not hanging in the backyard. But since seller is not changing the existing 100 amp panel, we will not be upgrading at this time.

As for the existing ComEd wire which is hanging low in the backyard, he said this is definitely a ComEd wire and that the homeowner needs to call ComEd and they will come and raise their utility pole which would then raise the wire high enough and away from the ground. So the seller needs to call ComEd to get this fixed before closing.

I informed my attorney about my conversation with the seller's electrician and the notes he made above. She is trying to get the seller to fix the issue.

Any thoughts or concerns?
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:17 PM   #51
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Need URGENT help with question regarding fixing electrical panel in home


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A permit will almost certainly be required for the upgrade. A permit may not be needed for the fixes.

A demand load calculation can be done without the appliances installed. You just need the data for the equipment.
Jim Port - thanks for your response. Since you are a licensed electrician, I would like to ask: how long do you think it would take if I decide to upgrade from the existing 100 amps to 200 amps? (Including permits and labor time from start to finish)

I got a quote today from the seller's electrician for $3500 to upgrade to 200 amps which would include burial of the ComEd utility power line. He's been on the property and knows how much distance to and from meter/power line etc. But I forgot to ask how long would it take to get this done. Any ideas?
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:56 PM   #52
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A load calculation at this point is moot. If the house is all original then a 100A service is all that was required at the time and all that is required now. Load calculations are NOT retroactive.

If there is room to add skinny breakers an electrician can simply do that and meet code. If not then if I were the seller I'd have a tiny sub-panel installed just to clear up the dreaded double-taps and be done with it. Better yet I'd splice a pigtail onto the two wires and have one wire going to the breaker. Even simpler and cheaper.
NO WAY I'd provide a 200A service UPGRADE simply to clear up two double-taps.
This is exactly what the seller's electrician told me he was going to do this morning. Thanks Speedy Petey. Appreciate your response.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:04 PM   #53
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Am I the only one who thinks that a 100a service is a bit small for an all electric 2500 sq. ft. home?
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:01 PM   #54
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Am I the only one who thinks that a 100a service is a bit small for an all electric 2500 sq. ft. home?
The numbers dont lie. Honestly i think that the method used is a bit outdated because of all the electronics found inside the home but i would bet that that at any given time the avg home uses around 10 amps total power. Not counting the big energy items
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:09 PM   #55
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Just because the panel is at capacity does not mean that the breakers are faulty. IMO I think that you guys are trying to get the current home owner to do a service upgrade do you do not have too. If you can afford a 2500 sq ft home, fork over 1500$ and get the service upgrade AFTER you buy the house. This Is like buying a used vehicle, except before you buy it you want the seller to buy new tires for it before you do. Either buy the house or dont
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:25 AM   #56
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Either buy the house or dont
Bet that took a lot of time to come up with. Are there any other options?
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:03 AM   #57
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Need URGENT help with question regarding fixing electrical panel in home


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Originally Posted by Missouri Bound
Am I the only one who thinks that a 100a service is a bit small for an all electric 2500 sq. ft. home?
Unless electric heat is in the equation or it so happens there's a hot tub or a heated pool it really shouldn't be too small. I used to live in a 2200 sqft home all elelctric with gas furnace and hot water with an ac unit almost double the size called for for the house. They also have a hottub. House ran along just fine on 100a.

Is it a bad idea to upgrade, probably not. Is it necessary right now, probably not.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:08 AM   #58
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Unless electric heat is in the equation or it so happens there's a hot tub or a heated pool it really shouldn't be too small

I tend to agree. But the OP stated that this is an all electric home.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:42 AM   #59
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Bet that took a lot of time to come up with. Are there any other options?
Not really, you war an upgrade? Buy the house as get the upgrade
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:32 PM   #60
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Need URGENT help with question regarding fixing electrical panel in home


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Originally Posted by andrew79 View Post
Unless electric heat is in the equation or it so happens there's a hot tub or a heated pool it really shouldn't be too small. I used to live in a 2200 sqft home all elelctric with gas furnace and hot water with an ac unit almost double the size called for for the house. They also have a hottub. House ran along just fine on 100a.

Is it a bad idea to upgrade, probably not. Is it necessary right now, probably not.
UPDATE:
For all of you licensed electricians out there: By looking at the pictures I have posted of the electrical issue, in your humble opinion how much do you think it would cost me to fix the electrical issue to bring it up to code without replacing the 100amp panel?

We had another issue with the home which required sistering of a 2x8 rafter in the attic to prevent the home from settling further. There was a contractor who came to the house and said it's not necessary to sister the beam but we want the seller to sister it anyways because it there is a crack (1/8th of an inch) on the wall below the rafter. Seller has agreed to give us a credit of $400 which seller is saying would cover the electrical job as well as sistering of the beam.

So SpeedyPetey and others - can you provide a rough estimate of how much it would cost to fix the current electrical issue? I was told by the seller's electrician that all the wiring was already set for 100amps, and that only thing they needed to fix was the double tap.

Thanks!

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