Service upgrade in 2-family house


  #1  
Old 12-09-03, 05:37 PM
hotarc
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Service upgrade in 2-family house

I've got a 2-family house with separate utilities and I'd like to upgrade the service panels. Currently there is one S/E cable feeding two meter bases, which feed two fuse boxes and a newer breaker panel. The wiring is a complete, intertwined mess and I'm planning on removing the two fuse boxes and installing 1 breaker panel for each unit. Each panel will have a 100 amp main breaker, but with all gas appliances and heat, the actual demand will be significantly lower. The units are about 1000 sq. feet each.

My question is, do I need a 200 amp feed from the POCO? I've gotten varying opinions on the matter and some say to just leave the existing S/E cable alone. I don't have any experience with multiple unit dwellings, but it seems to me that the cable could potentially be overloaded.
 
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Old 12-09-03, 05:50 PM
texsparky
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What size is the existing service entrance cable?
 
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Old 12-09-03, 05:56 PM
hotarc
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^^Yeah I guess that would really help.

Actually I'm not sure, but it is probably 40 years old. It's got a cloth sheath that looks like it's probably at least 10+ years older than the original plastic? covered S/E cable in my 1974 home.

I have looked all over for markings, but can't seem to find any.
 
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Old 12-09-03, 07:10 PM
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I would suggest that you start by doing a load calculation to figure out how much current each unit will use. You can do this by going around and adding the usage of all the outlets and lights plus any major appliances like heaters and A/C. Then allow some margin for future expansion. This will give the total current and an idea on the kind of serivce feed you will require.

You do need to figure out the rating of the existing feed to see if it will support any new requirements.
 
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Old 12-10-03, 10:08 AM
hotarc
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Had a guy come today and give me a price of $1200. This includes new 200 amp overhead cable, about 25'. Plus new meter bases outside and he will install new panels, provided by me, and switch over existing branch circuits. Does this sound like a fair price?
 
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Old 12-10-03, 12:38 PM
rob1kva
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If the original S.E cable has cloth insulation its about 30-40 yrs old & should be replaced. I'd recommend going with 200A. to a 2G. meter with 100A submains {out of meter to panels}. $1300 is about what I would charge for this type of service including material Switching over the branch circuits is automatically part of any service change/upgrade. Iwould get at least 2 more quotes.
 
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Old 12-10-03, 02:19 PM
hotarc
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Yeah the cable is at least that old, if not more. It's definitely got to go. I plan on getting a few more estimates before I decide anything. I've got two Homeline panels right now, but this guy seems to want to use QO. If it were my primary home I'd go with the QO, but for rental property, I just can't see spending double. Anybody have any Homeline horror stories that I should know about?
 
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Old 12-10-03, 03:56 PM
J
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QO is arguably better, but I've never heard of anybody having any trouble at all with Homeline.
 
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Old 12-10-03, 04:26 PM
hotarc
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That whats I thought, but I just wanted to make sure. If a circuit trips, I won't have the nice little indicator, but for double the price I think I can live with that.
 
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Old 12-10-03, 06:36 PM
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I completely agree that if anything is 40 years old in the existing service there should be no questuion whether to replace it.

Homeline is fine stuff. Never a problem since it's been available and we use ALOT of it. The only problem I personally have is that Home Depot and Lowes sell the hell out of the stuff and every "Joe Homeowner" knows exactly the cost so there can be virtually no mark up on the stuff. Unless it's included in a flat rate type job, like a service change.

You have no reason at all to do a load calc. At 1000sq/ft and all gas appliances 100 amps for each unit is more than adequate. 100 amps is the smallest service you can install anyway. Besides, the cost for 100 amp service equipment is negligible compared to any alternative.
 
 

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