100 amp to 200amp

Old 10-26-04, 09:21 PM
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100 amp to 200amp

I am in need of some info on upgrading to 200 amp service. Currently 100 amp with 2/0 copper coming in to box located in basement. I already have panel and meter box. I have been told that in Indiana the homeowner is allowed to upgrade service without contractor. True or not?? If so what would be steps to make job safe and legal. I would also like to use my old panel in my garage.
Old 10-27-04, 06:09 AM
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One word: don't.

If you have done _any_ home wiring, you know that the basic safety rule is 'turn off the power to the circuit before working on it, and then double check that the power is off with a meter/detector/'

Well this rule _cannot_ be followed when working on the service to your home. There is no switch that you can pull to turn the power off. This means that the work of replacing the meter requires at least some 'hot' splice work.

On top of this, the available 'short circuit' current at most service entrances is sufficient to require 'personal protective apparatus' and training in how to use it.

Finally, even if state law might permit you to do the upgrade work, you will also have to coordinate with the power company and be certain to follow their regulations.

Old 10-27-04, 08:01 AM
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As someone who has done a few service changes, I will also add that it is not a do it yourself kind of job. (even an electrician needs a second person to assist - its definately a two-man job)

You also really need to be well versed in your knowledge of code, AND you will have to get it inspectecd since you are breaking the seal on the meter. (so they will know you have changed the service - unlike replacing a few plugs where a person might 'neglect' to get a permit for it) An inspection for a service will pull no punches, the inspector will not let anything slide on it. Any mistakes and you will have to correct them - no power until you do.

Remember, in most cases a 100A to 200A change will require a new bigger mast, which means you can't just use the current mast. Some installers will put a new mast right beside the old one, then rough everything in before switching the power over. That way it's a fairly simple matter to just swap the power from one mast to the other.

While I don't know the rules in Indiana, the rule on needing an electrical contractor is likely in regard to getting a permit, which in many places licenced electricians are the only ones that can get a permit.

If you are dead set on doing this yourself, then I would suggest you learn the residential electrical code, and then find out about any additional regulatons in your specific area. You could then install a new mast, meter socket, loadcenter and such. (not touching or going near the old stuff - but like I said above, installing a couple feet away from the old one - so long as it is within the code madated disance from the front of the house)

As long as your service drop is in a 'legal' position, you could then pay an electrical contractor to switch the service drop from the old mast to the new mast. If everything is installed AND is fully up to code, there would be little work for them to do, so it shouldn't cost you that much. (by comparison to them doing all the work - get an estimate first) However, since they would be applying for an inspection, they will likely check your work and want to correct any errors made, which could cost you more if you missed something.

In the end I would suggest you use the "need a contractor' link at the top of this page to find an electrical contractor near you, and ask what they charge to do just the service change. You can mention you have some of the parts, and so long as the parts are safe and rated for your application, they shouldn't have a problem using them. Once the electrical contractor does the service chage, you can then do the rest of the branch wiring. (if you are allowed to in your state, and if you have the knowledge to do so)

There is much that can go wrong with an improperly installed service, and the last thing you need is to lose hydro because of a mistake. That's not to mention that a mistake could be deadly. Theres no shame in getting professional help for a job like this.


Old 10-27-04, 08:27 AM
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Thank you Savant for your info I think I will take the smart approach like you said and have a professional do it.

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