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Old 07-13-2008, 10:54 AM   #1
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


With the addition of an air conditioner, it's been strongly recommenced that I upgrade my service from 100 amp to 200 amp.

I have a licensed electrician that is going to come down to help but he is 2 hours away so my uncle (who has some experience with this) and I are putting together a material list.

My current service line runs half way up the house - 20 feet. But with our addition, we can go up to 30 feet. Is there any advantage taking the pole all the way up?

My uncle put together the following list, are we missing anything obvious?

Thanks.

1 Square D 200 amp box

1 Service Cap - approx. $12.00 @ Home Depot
2 Conduit 10ft. long, should be approx. 2 dia. They are threaded and have a coupling on 1 end.
1 Conduit (nipple) 3 long.
2 Conduit (nipple) 2 long.
1 Conduit (nipple) 1 long
1 Conduit sweep.
1 L-B Box & cover.
5 Straps
6 Anti chafe nut/bushing
90ft. Copper wire 3-19 at Home Depot it was 500ft. for $450.00.
Meter pan from the electr. comp.

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Old 07-13-2008, 11:10 AM   #2
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


Quote:
My uncle put together the following list, are we missing anything obvious?
a permit?
a call to the POCO to check for anything specific they require?


Quote:
90ft. Copper wire 3-19 – at Home Depot it was 500ft. for $450.00.
Not sure but is the 3-19 in reference to #3, 19 strands?

If so, you will need larger wire. For residential single phase use 2/0 copper or 4/0 aluminum is required for a 200 amp service. I see no problem using aluminum wire for a service feeder. Just be sure the installer does know how to treat aluminum.

Much of the rest is based upon the specific installation. In my area, the meter pan is not supplied by the POCO anymore. All they supply is the actual meter so you have to ask them what meter pans are acceptable.

You will also want to check to be sure your grounding electrode system is proper for the current codes since this will be required to be upgraded along with the service. You will also want to ask the inspector if he requires anything else to be upgraded when upgrading the service. In some areas, they do require some items to be brought to current code. In others, they don;t care. Check to be sure.

advantage to being higher? In most cases, no, but I prefer to go as high as I can (but realize it does cost more- extra pipe and extra wire). I just like things as far out of the way as possible. Be aware of any limitations to proximity of windows and other wall openings. There are rules and not knowing what is above where you are, can;t really say if this is a concern or not. 20 feet is quite high already so not a real need to go higher unless you see a building of some sort being under the line in the future. Then, with the sag, you may have a concern.

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Old 07-13-2008, 09:11 PM   #3
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


Hi nap, I have the permit and the D/R number so I am good to go. You were right about the 19/3 wire.

My flaky neighbor who is an electrician came over today and he helped me compile a list. This list seems a little more accurate.

Thanks for bringing up the other questions for the inspector.


Meter pan
30 ft. 2" PVC
(10) straps (cowboys)
2" hub for top of meter pan
2" LB (90's into house)
(3) 2" connectors
(3) 2" lock nuts
(3) 2" plastic bushings
(2) ground rods
(2) acorns
(3) 3/4" water pipe ground clamp
20' #6 wire (green)
2" service head
100' 2/O wire
(3) 2/O bugs (for splicing)
white tape
2" black tape
1/2" threaded attachment hook
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:50 PM   #4
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


I bought all the materials today with the exception of the wire.

What is the difference between aluminum and copper wire? Can I use the aluminum with the materials I purchased above?

My gut says get the copper but it's about $1 per foot.
Thanks
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:14 PM   #5
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


either will probably be usable with the material purchased but without knowing what type of wire you are using, it may not be. 2" pvc will generally be large enough for either sized wire.

I haven't actually priced wire lately so I cannot say what costs what but aluminum is generally around 1/2 the price of copper. There is a stigma with aliminum wire because of the problem in the past but the POCO is most likely going to use aluminum wire to hit your service drop.

If you do use alum., just make sure any lugs or terminals are rated for aluminum wire.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:01 PM   #6
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


Thanks nap.

btw, wtf is POCO? Sounds like a cheesy band from the 80's
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:02 PM   #7
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


Power Company.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:10 PM   #8
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


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Power Company.
in this area, jerry is correct although I like jelly's better.

something like these guys, Jerry? and the "official" website.

the only song I can remember they were known for

Actually, if you are in to music, the origin of the band is interesting and is associated with many very famous artists.
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:25 PM   #9
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


jelly, i really like this post - i hope you continue adding to it with pictures and each step taken!

what is your general plan? to buy materials and then let someone else install? or for you to install all the hardware and then let electrician actually do the wiring from city to house? curious..
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:42 PM   #10
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


I (heart) POCO. I know THAT song, never would've thought there would be ties to Neil young.

Knucklez, my uncle and I are going to attempt the upgrade. He is confident hooking everything up to the service head.

At that point, I may have to have someone come over for the final hook up. I'l try to take and post some pics.
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:07 AM   #11
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


The POCO usually makes the connections at the weather head.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:29 AM   #12
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


Just wanted to post some things for future reference...

I was told POCO would give me a free meter pan but they do not so I called a supply house and they have them for $45
They also said that a disconnect/reconnect is not necessary for my upgrade.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:37 AM   #13
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


Quote:
Originally Posted by jelly View Post
Just wanted to post some things for future reference...

I was told POCO would give me a free meter pan but they do not so I called a supply house and they have them for $45
They also said that a disconnect/reconnect is not necessary for my upgrade.
A new meter pan would require a disconnect/reconnect as the line into the meter is always live. In a standard residential setting the meter itself "disconnects" the circuit from the entrance panel so the panel is dead when the meter is pulled but not the meter can. Only a disconnect would accomplish that.
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:43 PM   #14
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


Quote:
Originally Posted by jelly View Post
Just wanted to post some things for future reference...

I was told POCO would give me a free meter pan but they do not so I called a supply house and they have them for $45
They also said that a disconnect/reconnect is not necessary for my upgrade.
In my area, the POCO quite supplying meter bases a long time ago. They still have a list of "acceptable" meter bases though and you must be sure you use an approved meter base or they will not install a meter.

Can't really figure out how to r and r the meter base without a disco. check out this thread:

installing a new meter housing
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:11 PM   #15
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Upgrading ---> 200 amp serivce


Assuming you have an overhead drop wire supplying your house the easiest way to upgrade the Service is to install all the new equipment adjacent to the existing. Install a separate equipment grounding bus in the existing panel and transfer all the equipment ground wires to it. Run conduit or cable to the new panel of a size sufficient to run the old panel as a sub-panel from the new service panel. Connect to a properly sized breaker in the new panel.

When the power company transfers the power to the new service you can then remove the old service conductors from the old panel and connect the new conductors from the breaker in the new service panel. Remove the bonding screw from the old panel's neutral bus and re-power the panel. You shouldn't be without power for much longer than a half hour or so.

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