100 amp vs 200 amp service ?

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  #1  
Old 09-30-04, 08:12 AM
stlouisblues
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100 amp vs 200 amp service ?

Hi All !

I have a modest ranch house (1000 sq ft) with full basement, and a 100 amp box with about 5 open fullsize slots.

I am going to finish the currently bare basement with a living room, office, bedroom, and bathroom. In addition, I plan to finish my carport to a garage in the future (possible need for 220 out there), and I'd like to add lighting and an outlet or to outside as well.
There are currently seven people living in this house. (me, wife, 4 kids, father).. so you can imagine that many devices will likely be in use in many different rooms at the same time.

My question: Would it be in my best interest to go ahead and upgrade to a 200 amp service ?
And ROUGHLY... what might I expect that to cost me?

Thanks a bunch !
Scott
 
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  #2  
Old 09-30-04, 08:49 AM
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You haven't answered other basic questions that are important.

Is there electric hot water? Do you have AC? Do you have an electric range? Do you have an electric clothes dryer?

For all of those needs you will need more than 5 breakers. Can your panel handle tandems? How many breakers are presently there?
 
  #3  
Old 09-30-04, 08:57 AM
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If all of your major appliances (cooking, clothes drying, hot water, and home heat) are gas, and if you have no central air conditioning, no pool, no hot tub, no welder and no kiln, then you can probably survive on 100 amps. Otherwise, fill in the details.

I'd suggest a subpanel for your full basement.

An upgrade to 200 amps would probably cost somewhere between $500 and $2000, depending on site factors.
 
  #4  
Old 09-30-04, 09:40 AM
stlouisblues
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The details

Hey guys.. thanks for the replies.

I have gas waterheater & furnace, & 220 central ACr.


I currently have 220 electric drier.
HOWEVER... I am adding another washer & a gas drier next to it. (we NEED 2&2 with 7 people)... and a deep-freeze in the basement.
basement already has about 3 outlets and 3 lights, but there would obviously be a need for more.

Upstairs, I have Gas oven & cooktop. I prefer gas for cooking, so this will remain the same.

I'd also like to put a pool in the back eventually.
Funny you mention welder because the 220 in the garage would be for exactly that.

Im starting to feel like I'm answering my own question here.
 
  #5  
Old 09-30-04, 09:42 AM
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Indeed you are. Time to start getting some estimates.
 
  #6  
Old 09-30-04, 11:57 AM
rlrct
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This isn't electrical, but in our area, a bedroom has to have 2 means of egress (fire code). You might want to check on that with your local authorities before you get too far in your plans to see if those rules apply in your area.
 

Last edited by rlrct; 09-30-04 at 11:58 AM. Reason: typo
  #7  
Old 09-30-04, 12:00 PM
stlouisblues
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Originally Posted by rlrct
This isn't electrical, but in our area, a bedroom has to have 2 means of egress (fire code). You might want to check on that with your local authorities before you get too far in your plans to see if those rules apply in your area.

Yes.. in my current situation, I'm aware my 'bedroom' will never be counted in a real estate listing.
However.. I have already cut the window hole a little larger (concrete saw.. what a pain.. ) and put in sliders which pop out easily and provide my son an easy route to sneak out at night, or god forbid.. in case of a fire.
 
  #8  
Old 09-30-04, 12:13 PM
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If the bedroom is not approved in your building permit then don't use it as a bedroom. If you get caught, your homeowners insurance company will likely drop you and you will not like the legal action taken by the authorities against you.

If God forbid anyone gets hurt or killed in a fire you will go to jail.

Make it legal and have it inspected or don;t use it as a bedroom.
 
  #9  
Old 09-30-04, 12:55 PM
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An egress window must be at least 5.7 square feet of open free area when the window is open. In addition, the window must be no less than 20" wide and 24" tall. Remember, it's important not only that your son can get out, but that the fireman with his pack can get in to save him.

The lower edge of the egress window can't be more than 44" off the floor unless you mount permanent steps. Once you get out the window, if it's more than 44" to get out, you must have another permanent ladder.

If the room has a door and a closet, it's a bedroom. You cannot make it not a bedroom just be declaring it so.

Many foundation companies specialize in cutting a legal egress window in a basement. I encourage you to look into this.

Please don't compromise your family's safety to save a few bucks. Get a permit and do it right, all the way down the line. A little extra effort now can save a lot of headaches and heartaches later.
 
  #10  
Old 10-02-04, 05:50 PM
sandsmarc
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Basement bedrooms used as bedrooms are generally a bad idea anyway. Ventilation usually stinks. The furnace is usually in the basement and it creates an air quality question and the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, molds and fungii frequently proliferate if there is any dampness at all, which can lead to health problems. In some jurisdictions basement bedrooms are just plain illegal. And then there's the fire safety issues already mentioned.
 
  #11  
Old 10-05-04, 02:20 PM
Chris S27
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Interesting information on basement bedrooms. I never knew any of this.
 
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