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Old 02-27-2011, 10:25 PM   #1
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Would upgrading to 200 amp service solve this problem?


First, I have no intentions of doing any upgrading myself. I will hire an electrician. So no need to scold, guys.

When I bought my house in 1975 it had natural gas heat and a 200 amp breaker box, but the main breaker is only 150 amps. Installed 2 heat pumps (one up, one down) since then, and the main breaker trips when the emergency heat comes on for the larger heat pump. The heat pump has 3 electric coils. When I disconnect 1 of the 3 coils the breaker doesn't trip.

My questions are:
1. Do you think upgrading to 200 amps will solve this problem? Or could there be something else wrong?

2. If I do upgrade, would I only have to get the line from the meter to the breaker box replaced, or will the electric company have to replace the meter and/or the line from the pole to the meter also? Maybe this last part can't be answered in general.

The line running from the meter to breaker box has the following code stamped on it:

2-2/0 AL 1-2/0 AL TYPE SE CABLE STYLE U TYPE XHHW CONDS 600 VOLTS CERRO(UL)

Power company meter box has the following codes on it:

CL200 240V 3W 60HZ AMR
FM 2S Kh 1.0 TA 30A TYPE iSA1 iCON


3. Should I have to replace any other circuits or wiring inside the house?

I just want to have a clearer idea of what might need to be done, if anything, before I open a can of worms with the power company, or talk to an electrician who might suggest things I don't really need.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-27-2011, 10:43 PM   #2
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Would upgrading to 200 amp service solve this problem?


Looks like your in for a service upgrade. Who installed the heat pumps without doing a load calculation? Is the SE cable XHHW or XHHW-2?

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Old 02-27-2011, 11:04 PM   #3
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Would upgrading to 200 amp service solve this problem?


A local Heating & AC company did the installation. They sent a man out to check it when I had the problem and he was the one who disconnected the 3rd coil.

I double checked. No dash 2, just XHHW, unless that's something I should know and not stamped on the wire.

ps. All wiring is above ground if that matters.

Last edited by NancyNGA; 02-27-2011 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:18 PM   #4
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Would upgrading to 200 amp service solve this problem?


Someone should chime in and answer your question better than I can. You may be able to upgrade the breaker in your panel but you will also need new wire from the meter to the panel and the power company may need to upgrade the feeders.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:10 AM   #5
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Would upgrading to 200 amp service solve this problem?


Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyNGA View Post
First, I have no intentions of doing any upgrading myself. I will hire an electrician. So no need to scold, guys.

When I bought my house in 1975 it had natural gas heat and a 200 amp breaker box, but the main breaker is only 150 amps. Installed 2 heat pumps (one up, one down) since then, and the main breaker trips when the emergency heat comes on for the larger heat pump. The heat pump has 3 electric coils. When I disconnect 1 of the 3 coils the breaker doesn't trip.
I will answer the question in diffrent colours so you can understand my reply.

Quote:
My questions are:
1. Do you think upgrading to 200 amps will solve this problem? Or could there be something else wrong?
1A. It all depending on the service riser and few other items and few case it will be ahead of the game when you plan to add anything else along the way.

Quote:
2. If I do upgrade, would I only have to get the line from the meter to the breaker box replaced, or will the electric company have to replace the meter and/or the line from the pole to the meter also? Maybe this last part can't be answered in general.
2A. Really this part should be done by Electrician they can able address the issue with the service entranice conductors and they will able tell you the proper size conductor to use this purpose.

Quote:
The line running from the meter to breaker box has the following code stamped on it:

2-2/0 AL 1-2/0 AL TYPE SE CABLE STYLE U TYPE XHHW CONDS 600 VOLTS CERRO(UL)
That conductor is rated for 150 amp main breaker but to order to use full 200 amp rating you will have to bump up to 4/0 Alum conductor that is minuim size anyway.

Quote:
Power company meter box has the following codes on it:

CL200 240V 3W 60HZ AMR
FM 2S Kh 1.0 TA 30A TYPE iSA1 iCON
I will not worry about the meter itself but the socket that kinda iffy all it depending on the electrician see that meter socket and able determed if that is proper sized or not but IMO most case there is two most common size in the market is either 100 or 200 amp meter socket so I think a pretty good chance you may have 200 amp rated socket but again have a electrician confirm this part.

Quote:
3. Should I have to replace any other circuits or wiring inside the house?
Yes and No depending on if you going have any remodeling or not but a electrician will able inspect it and if need to do some repairs or not all it depending on the exsting conductor or cables but I am not too suprised few case may end up add couple new circuits along the way which I know it do happend.

Quote:
I just want to have a clearer idea of what might need to be done, if anything, before I open a can of worms with the power company, or talk to an electrician who might suggest things I don't really need.

Thanks in advance.
Again the Electrician will able assist you on this matter and will recomend a proper course of any repair or upgrading along the way and the Service entrance part the Electrician should able deal with it without much issue.

Merci.
Marc
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Last edited by frenchelectrican; 02-28-2011 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:31 AM   #6
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Would upgrading to 200 amp service solve this problem?


Thanks everyone.

I think I finally figured it out. It seems like the code CL200 on the meter means it is rated for up to 200 amps service. It's likely the service line is compatible, maybe not though, because this is a newly installed meter, but that would be the power company's responsibility anyway.

So now I suspect I would only have to have someone replace the line from the meter to the breaker box, the 150 amp breaker, and possibly the line from the meter to the weatherhead. I really don't see why I would have to replace any circuits in the house, unless the whole house has to be inspected when they reconnect.

I just don't like to ever call someone out until I have a pretty good understanding of what will be needed myself.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:11 AM   #7
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Would upgrading to 200 amp service solve this problem?


Before you go ahead with a 200 amp upgrade you should do a load calculation. 200 might not be large enough if you are already tripping a 150 amp breaker. In order trip a 150 amp breaker you must be pulling more than 36 Kilowatts. How large are the heating coils in the HVAC units?

And before you even do that you should have the current measured when the third coil is active. Maybe the breaker is bad.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:38 PM   #8
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Would upgrading to 200 amp service solve this problem?


The largest size of electrique heater I have see for resdnetail heat strip I know is 20 KW size but 15 KW is pretty common size espcally with heat pump units and with heat strips they will kick in in stages instead of one shot so one bank will kick on and next bank will kick on in about 15 secondes or so then final or third bank kick in ditto with shut off sequine.

Did the HVAC tech you how big the heat strip is ? the reason why I have a funny feeling that person say did disconnect the third strip off to prevent 150 amp breaker trip out.

Did any chance the lights in the house blinking a bit or dim a bit when the electrique heater kick in ?? That will make the diffrence on troubleshooting.

If that the case you may want a electrician to come out and have them inspect the connection at the main panel and meter socket but first have POCO check their side first { most case useally on thier side } if the POCO rules it out then Electrician have to deal with the interal side to make sure the connection is good and tight once a while may snag a bad breaker as well.

Merci,
Marc

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