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Old 12-07-2010, 12:37 PM   #1
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Help planning service upgrade

Hi everybody,

Apologies in advance if this isn't enough of a "DIY" topic...

I've currently got 100A service and a small old GE breaker panel. I recently updated my furnace and A/C, which required some creativity to fit the new breakers into the panel. It was suggested to me by the HVAC contractor that I at the very least add a sub panel to alleviate some of the circuit crowding. I'm inclined to do this, but at the same time I'm thinking down the line I'd like to upgrade to 200A service and possibly replace the entire panel. I don't have a timetable for when I would do this, however, but I figure it would be a few years down the line, when I do a major home remodel (new permanent addition).

So I guess my question(s) to you fine folks here would be: What is the correct (or best or recommended) upgrade path from what I have now to 200A service? Should I go ahead with adding the sub panel now but sticking with my 100A service, or should I bite the bullet and do the 200A upgrade? I guess it should be noted that when I do the major home remodel, I'll most likely rip out the old panel and install a new larger panel in a different location.

Now that I typed this out, I think I just answered my own question, but I've gone through enough trouble typing this out that I'd still like to hear what you folks think. What are your experiences with upgrading electrical service in the face of major home renovations? What did you consider in planning your electrical upgrades? Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:43 PM   #2
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The first thing you should do is check with your power company to see if your current feed will support 200A.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:02 PM   #3
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You could always plan for the change by doing a new 100amp now and converting it to a sub when you remodel.
It would be easier to do it all at once, how important is moving it? Generally to upgrade from 100amp to 200. You will need to replace the weatherhead, conduit, re-do grounding, pull thicker wires before you can add a bigger panel.
A lot of work.
Putting in a new 100amp panel with more spaces would be a lot easier if you can get by with 100amp.
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