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Old 01-15-2009, 07:00 PM   #1
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Questions about upgrading electrical stuff in our house


Hello! Our electrical stuff in our house needs to be upgraded and my husband had a few questions he wanted me to ask about. Our house was built in about 1972 and is in Missouri, if that is helpful to anyone.

If this is not the right place to ask, please let me know if there is another forum that would be more appropriate.

We need to:

1) replace fuses with circuit breakers

2) upgrade electric from 100 amps to 200 amps

3) move box over about 3 feet (too close to a wall now) which will also include splicing wire to extend that 3 feet.

Questions are:

1) should we have wiring inspected for increased resistance due to aging?

2) If so, how is that done?

3) We need 2 outlets with ground fault interrupters outside, cables will need to go underground - what is the code for that?

I have a couple questions too:

1 - How do we know how many amps our house needs?
2 - How do we determine if an electrician really knows what they are talking about or are any good? We don't have family in the area to ask for recommendations.

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Old 01-15-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
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Questions about upgrading electrical stuff in our house


Quote:
Originally Posted by Trisha View Post
Hello! Our electrical stuff in our house needs to be upgraded and my husband had a few questions he wanted me to ask about. Our house was built in about 1972 and is in Missouri, if that is helpful to anyone.

If this is not the right place to ask, please let me know if there is another forum that would be more appropriate.

We need to:

1) replace fuses with circuit breakers

2) upgrade electric from 100 amps to 200 amps

3) move box over about 3 feet (too close to a wall now) which will also include splicing wire to extend that 3 feet.

Questions are:

1) should we have wiring inspected for increased resistance due to aging?
1972 should be okay

2) If so, how is that done?


3) We need 2 outlets with ground fault interrupters outside, cables will need to go underground - what is the code for that?
14/2 OR 12/2 UF romex. at least 18" underground. No you dont need to put the wire in conduit.

I have a couple questions too:

1 - How do we know how many amps our house needs? If you want to upgrade your house for 200 amps I'm sure that is plenty for you

2 - How do we determine if an electrician really knows what they are
talking about or are any good? We don't have family in the area to ask for recommendations.
Ask around?

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Old 01-15-2009, 08:02 PM   #3
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Questions about upgrading electrical stuff in our house


1) Checking old wiring is a good idea just to be on the safe side, but could be time and money consuming. I would suggest checking areas where you think you might be having a problem or if you feel something might not be safe.

2) Upgrading your service to 200 amps is best thing you can do. If you intend at some point to remodel your kitchen, bath, basement or maybe even adding a second floor, this will definitely need to be done. Many local and national codes require several new circuits and a new 40 circuit panel will serve this purpose.

3) Installing conductors in a conduit rated for underground use is the way to go here. If you protect the circuit with GFCI protection before the conduit goes underground you will only have to dig down 12" instead of 18".

4) A good electrician will demonstrate confidence in all of his answers even if they are dumb questions. It is his job to have these answers and know them immediately. Never go with the lowest bidder.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:06 PM   #4
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Questions about upgrading electrical stuff in our house


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Originally Posted by Magnettica View Post
1)

3) Installing conductors in a conduit rated for underground use is the way to go here. If you protect the circuit with GFCI protection before the conduit goes underground you will only have to dig down 12" instead of 18".
I know this is a minor quibble, but technically, this only applies to UF cable...

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Never go with the lowest bidder.
Why?
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:13 PM   #5
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Questions about upgrading electrical stuff in our house


How do you know how many amps you need?

See this link

http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/home-...ation-2002.php
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:10 PM   #6
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Questions about upgrading electrical stuff in our house


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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
I know this is a minor quibble, but technically, this only applies to UF cable...

Not if it's less than 20 amps.

Table 300.5

Why not go with the lowest bidder? Simple, he may have miscalculated everything involved in the job and will look to cut corners. Good service, good installation, and a job done the right way costs money.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:27 PM   #7
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Questions about upgrading electrical stuff in our house


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Originally Posted by Magnettica View Post
Not if it's less than 20 amps.

Table 300.5
You're right. Had my code book upside down

Quote:
Why not go with the lowest bidder? Simple, he may have miscalculated everything involved in the job and will look to cut corners. Good service, good installation, and a job done the right way costs money.
That's true to an extent. For alot of jobs, I come in way under the other guys, because I have a large stock of materials around the shop, and a pretty good discount at the supply house. It isn't true that we all pay the same price for material, as I've heard other contractors sell on. Plus I keep my overhead to a bare minimum. You can be the lowest bidder and still produce top notch work.

But, for what it's worth, I'm just picking a nit. I knew what you meant
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:36 PM   #8
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Questions about upgrading electrical stuff in our house


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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
You're right. Had my code book upside down



That's true to an extent. For alot of jobs, I come in way under the other guys, because I have a large stock of materials around the shop, and a pretty good discount at the supply house. It isn't true that we all pay the same price for material, as I've heard other contractors sell on. Plus I keep my overhead to a bare minimum. You can be the lowest bidder and still produce top notch work.

But, for what it's worth, I'm just picking a nit. I knew what you meant


You actually made me go look it up which is a good thing. I thought to myself, "I've been doing it like that for years, how could I possibly be wrong"?
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:26 AM   #9
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Questions about upgrading electrical stuff in our house


You maybe able to ask for reference from neighbors and friends at work. Do not be afraid to ask the electrician questions. Make sure that they are licensed and insured! Don't be afraid to ask for a copy of their liabilty and workmens comp insurance if needed.

Gary

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