service upgrade

Old 01-29-04, 06:07 AM
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service upgrade

My son is looking at a house for sale. It has 60 amp service only. Part of a conditional offer would be to have the service ugraded to 120. What would need to be done, just a new panel or all new wiring? Should it be upgraded to 200 while there at it. Apperantly you can't insure a house for fire if it is less than 100 amp. Any ideas on cost for a 1300 sq foot house
Old 01-29-04, 06:48 AM
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120 amps is not a common service size. You probably want 100, 125, 150 or 200. Which one of these you want, for a relatively small 1300 square feet, depends primarily on whether the major appliances are gas or electric. If you are going to do an upgrade, it is often recommended to go all the way to 200 amps, since the incremental costs of the larger size are a small part of the total costs. However, for a small house with gas cooking, gas heating, a gas water heater, a gas clothes dryer, no outbuildings requiring power, no air conditioning, no swimming pool, no welder, and no kilns, 100 amps would be plenty.

Depending on a lot of factors, the cost should be somewhere between $800 and $2000.

Be aware that a service upgrade does not provide any more circuits. Some time in the future, you may still need to pay more for having some more circuits installed. If the house only has 60-amp service, it also likely has ungrounded receptacles. So if your son has computers and electronics, installing grounded circuits is likely a more immediate priority.

Replacing all the circuits is many thousands of dollars more. Adding a couple of new circuits for a computer and stereo may only be several hundred. For a house this old, I strongly suggest you have the entire electrical system checked out by an electrician (in addition to what the home inspector did).
Old 01-29-04, 06:49 AM
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If everything is gas (stove, dryer, water heater, etc) then you can upgrade it to just 100A. If you have electric appliance then I recommend going to 200A.
That will involve replacing the main panel, meter socket and the wiring between them, along with the wiring between the meter socket and the utility drop.
It may be better to go to 200A because the panels are larger (allow you to put more circuits in) and the only real difference in price is the additional cost for the wire between.

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