Adding up all values of the breakers in your panel(s) means absolutely nothing. It is never happens that all the circuit are fully loaded at the same time. The proper way is to do a demand load calculation.
Obviously if you are having issues with the main breaker tripping then you need a service upgrade. But you still should do a demand load caculation to see what size service you need.
Well, I just wonder what kind of service panel the Griswalds had for their lights in the movie Christmas Vacation? Now that was one heck of a light show!
Haha, that was only 25,000 lights; my display was 37,000 lights. And don't you remember, it all went through that one switch in the basement with all the 3 way plug adapters. So since that switch is probably only a 15 amp switch, I'd imagine the circuit panel setup wasn't anything out of the ordinary (haha). That always made me laugh, and for a while it was my goal to beat griswold, then I beat at 27,000 one year, and surpassed it the next at 30,000 and then 2 years ago at 37,000.
Only reason I was tripping the mains breaker was the legs were out of balance and one side was overloaded. I was in the process of moving the loads around to balance it all out between the two legs of power and just didn't complete the process in time. Once I balanced the loads out between the two legs, it was fine the rest of the holiday season.
Last edited by theatretch85; 10-02-2008 at 01:49 PM.