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Old 08-02-2008, 05:35 PM   #1
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Upgrade Service Panel - Do I need a new meter?


Hello,

Could someone give me a quick summary of the amp capacities I need to consider when upgrading to a larger service panel?

This house has a 100 amp fuse box. I know I could simply replace it with a new 100 amp circuit breaker panel but I'd really like to install a 200 amp panel - mainly for the extra circuits and for resale value. I can lead new 3:0 conductors down from the existing meter and install the new panel - no problem. Do I need to consider the capacity of the meter and of the conductors between my meter and the transformer down the alley as well? If yes, how would I find out what they are right now and what is the process for upgrading them if needed?

Thank you.

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Old 08-02-2008, 05:37 PM   #2
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Upgrade Service Panel - Do I need a new meter?


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Originally Posted by El Kati View Post
Hello,

Could someone give me a quick summary of the amp capacities I need to consider when upgrading to a larger service panel?

This house has a 100 amp fuse box. I know I could simply replace it with a new 100 amp circuit breaker panel but I'd really like to install a 200 amp panel - mainly for the extra circuits and for resale value. I can lead new 3:0 conductors down from the existing meter and install the new panel - no problem. Do I need to consider the capacity of the meter and of the conductors between my meter and the transformer down the alley as well? If yes, how would I find out what they are right now and what is the process for upgrading them if needed?

Thank you.
Everything will need to be replaced...

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Old 08-02-2008, 06:06 PM   #3
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Upgrade Service Panel - Do I need a new meter?


And if you now have a 100A service there is just about 100% chance that everything is rated for 100A.

Like Chris said, everything from the riser/mast down to the meter pan, service conductors, panel and grounding/bonding must be replaced.

The glass meter itself is the property of the POCO and they replace it as necessary. Typically it is not replaced though, even when upgrading from 100 to 200.

MAKE SURE you contact your POCO to find out their requirements for service changes. Every one is different.
This job requires permits and inspections as well.
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:55 PM   #4
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Upgrade Service Panel - Do I need a new meter?


chris75 and Speedy Petey, Thank you both for your replies. I appreciate the advice. BTW ____ I wondered why any professional would sit at their computer at night answering questions from ignorant homeowners who are trying keep from hiring a professional. I got it! You guys probably just enjoy saving people from injuring or killing themselves and their families. I envy anyone who has a career so interesting they'll work on it for free in their spare time. El Kati
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Old 08-03-2008, 03:44 PM   #5
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BTW ____ I wondered why any professional would sit at their computer at night answering questions from ignorant homeowners who are trying keep from hiring a professional. I got it! You guys probably just enjoy saving people from injuring or killing themselves and their families. I envy anyone who has a career so interesting they'll work on it for free in their spare time.
Well thank you El Kati.

I realized long ago that certain folks will do things themselves no matter what. I am one of them for the most part. Mechanically I can do pretty much anything, literally.
I also found out that there is a TON of misinformation being given out. Much of it from uncles, friends and this guy we all seem to know.

While I can do anything for myself, I am a professional at only one thing. If I can share that and help someone do the right thing it is a good feeling. It also helps keep me sharp by having to regularly look things up and refresh things I may have forgotten or did not know in the first place.

Then there are the times when the ONLY answer is "Hire a pro". When it applies I have NO problem giving that advice as well.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:32 PM   #6
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Upgrade Service Panel - Do I need a new meter?


El Kati, just to help people out and relax. Petey said it very well. Those of us who do this for a living actually enjoy helping DIY guys (and girls) do it correctly. And like Petey said, sometimes our answer will be to hire an electrician if we feel that is the best answer.

The first thing you will want to do is talk to the Power Company about your upgrade. Many times they will have a list of acceptable meter sockets and other requirements which must be followed.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:35 PM   #7
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Upgrade Service Panel - Do I need a new meter?


Another question for you gentlemen . . .
It is possible to determine the capacity of the service drop and meter socket once the meter has been pulled? Will the amperage capacity be printed on the inside of the meter socket? Can the gauge of the service wires be measured? What gauge would I need for 200 amp in metal conduit? I think I read somewhere about using plastice calipers.
Thanks in advance.

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