Service upgrade


Old 06-20-05, 08:05 AM
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Service upgrade

I had a service upgrade done to house about 5 yrs ago-125 amp to 200 amp.
Powere company changed meter and worn wires/electrican changed panel box and upgrade some breakers-than increased main breaker to 150/not 200-did not notice the difference until i had a heat pump add and larger air handler last yr. know the lights flicker when the ac kicks on-My question is: can i put a new main breaker-200 amps inplace of the 150 amps and problem solved?
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Old 06-20-05, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,219
If the panel is rated for 200A, and the service entrance conductors are suitable for a 200A load, then the main breaker could be changed to 200A.

In general this is not a job for DIY, since there is no easy way to turn off power to make the necessary connections. You will want to pay someone with proper PPE (personal protective equipment) to do that job.

Additionally, changing the breaker will probably not help with lights flickering when large loads start up. The flickering is from short duration voltage drop caused when starting current flows through your electrical system. The resistance of every component in the path adds to this voltage drop, and you see flickering based on the _total_ voltage drops of all common portions of the current path for the lights and the large load. Changing the breaker will only fix this problem if there is something wrong with the breaker, such that it represents a substantial portion of the voltage drop.

Old 06-20-05, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
But you gotta wonder whether this upgrade was really to 200 amps as you thought, or just to 150 amps. I would not change the breaker without getting an electrician (preferrably the same one) and the power company involved again to see if the system is designed for it.

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