Upgrading my service panel ?'s

Old 10-16-02, 03:34 PM
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Upgrading my service panel ?'s

Hi -

I'm finishing the basement of my 6 year old house and I think I should upgrade the service. here's the specs: 1400 sq.ft. ranch, full basement. OE service panel is a 100A Cutler Hammer with about 5 slots left. All gas appliances, with central air.

I'm not looking for more than 3 additional circuits for the basement at this time, but there could be more.

Also, when my Central Air was installed, I think the contractor wired it right off the main. If I upgrade the panel, I'll get that fixed, for sure.

I can get a Cutler Hammer 200A contractors special package at Lowes. That way, I can re-use some of the breakers from the current panel.

My questions are:

should I upgrade?

If I do, is the 200A box above the right way to go?

What else do I need to consider? Meter rating? Wire size from the meter to the box? (I think it's AWG 1)

Old 10-16-02, 03:58 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SW Alabama
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Square footage is only a small part of the equation--literally. I would suggest following the links below, reading thoroughly and then working out your demand load calculation. Wgoodrich's site helped me with this task and I found that my existing 150A service was more than adequate for my 1200 sf home with the only gas appliance being my water heater.

Wgoodrich's home wiring site:

General Method of Dwelling Calculation:

Some additional helpful explanations can be found here:
http://www.homewiringandmore.com/hom...ter/meter.html (click on "Sizing your servic rated panel or main disconnect" on the left of that page)

Also see the thread on this forum I started called "Dwelling demand load calculation questions" (last post 05/29/02--you can do a search for posts that "Moonpie" has posted (I haven't posted that many)). That thread might answer questions you might have, like I did, after starting your calculations.

Best wishes!
Old 10-16-02, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Brethren, Mi
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Yes, doing a load calc is the right way. How heavy is the AC? With all gas you probably ok for now, but a service upgrade wont hurt anything and you would be finished for a while. I dont use a lot of Ch,, and might need to be corrected here, but there are 2 types,,, type BR I believe and type CH and I am sure they are not interchangable.

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