100 amp panel upgrade options

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  #1  
Old 01-08-06, 04:25 AM
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100 amp panel upgrade options

We have a 100 amp fuse-based main panel and plan on having it upgraded to a circuit breaker-based panel. I could sure use some input on ideas I have. I'll be hiring an electrician because this is above my comfort zone for a one day project.

1. I'm considering installing a 200 amp-rated panel, since my service is 100 amp can I just place a 100 amp main breaker in the panel for now and upgrade service to 200 amp if necessary in the future?

2. Most of the wiring is ungrounded 50's vintage. Will this cause code issues? It will be replaced in the future as part of a house wide wiring upgrade.

3.Anything else I should consider?

Thanks wes
 
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  #2  
Old 01-08-06, 08:02 AM
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my thoughts are "no"... first off, the feed from the transformer (street) to the house is probably not rated for 200amps, and the meter is most likely a 100amp meter.. this means to upgrade to a 200amp service you'd have to have new feed installed that is code for the 200amp service (depending on distance etc.)... and have a new meter installed for the 200amp service.. your electrician, I'm sure will point all of this out... "hopefully"...
 
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Old 01-08-06, 09:10 AM
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Yes, you can put a 200 amp panel in, although I do not recommend it. If you are going this far you may as well replace the whole service. If you are having someone else do the work I would guarantee it will cost more to do in two steps anyway.

The branch circuit wiring is usually of no concern with regard to a service change. Some totalitarian areas of the country will require you to add smoke detectors in the whole house, or AFCI breakers when a service is upgraded but this is not a very common thing.

The drop from the street is not any of your or the electrician's concern. It is owned by the POCO and they will replace it at their discretion.
 
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Old 01-08-06, 06:55 PM
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The drop from the street is not any of your or the electrician's concern. It is owned by the POCO and they will replace it at their discretion.
never heard of the Power company replacing anything from the street inward.. unless your talking from the transformer to the meter base? Usually, from the meter, (in my case, out at the street), I'm responsible for the feed to the house panel.. I even had to buy the meter panel to upgrade my service.. they didn't furnish that either..
 
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Old 01-08-06, 07:28 PM
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The drop from the street is the triplex cable from the pole to the porcelian insulator on house. I have never heard where this is customer responsibility.
Typically everything from where that attaches to the house, on down, is the customer's responsibility.
 
  #6  
Old 01-11-06, 07:50 PM
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While speaking to the electrician, he did point out that the wires from the street (POCO owned) needs to be replaced. He told me that once the electrical inspector approves the 200 amp service, he will fax a "cut card (?)" to the POCO. POCO will then replace the wires at their leisure.

He did not mention anything about replacing the meter? Is there such thing as a 200 AMP meter? <--- EDIT: Nevermind, my electrician confirmed that the existing meter was rated for 200AMP
 

Last edited by kevin2010; 01-12-06 at 06:59 AM.
  #7  
Old 01-11-06, 08:25 PM
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the panel will depend on the available amperage. no electrician will install a panel exceeding the capacity of the feed. the overhead belongs to the power co. so does the meter. you may have to wait for that section to be approved or upgraded first as that portion will not make your system unsafe without the panel upgrade. be sure to specify copper feeds to your new panel.
 
  #8  
Old 01-11-06, 09:21 PM
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I'm going to put a 200 amp service my new home soon. The only thing the POCO does is pull the wires from the transformer on the pole to the POCO side of the meter socket and hook them up. I have to do everything, including a 2" run of conduit from the house to the pole, trenching it in 3' deep, the meter socket on the house, and conduit from the meter socket to the load center. I even have to have a rope pre-installed in the 2" conduit so they can pull the wires.

What is a customer typically responsible for in service installations in other parts of the country?

Joe Michel
 
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Old 01-12-06, 04:29 AM
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I may not be reading all this correctly, and apologize if it causes confusion. But, I have never had to purchase a meter base, nor have I been required to furnish wiring from the transformer to the meter base. This is owned by the power company and is their responsibility to install. Is your meter base at the pole at the street? I read where you are having to dig a trench to the meter base. If the meter base is at the house, then the power company is responsible. If it is at the street, you will have to provide Underground to the house disconnect.
And, yes, there is a 200 amp meter which will have to be installed in the upgrade.
 
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Old 01-12-06, 04:50 AM
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Larry, I know your confusion.
Years ago when I started coming to these boards, I quickly realized things were not nearly the same around the country.

I was amazed that utilities, who were de-regulating at a rapid rate, were providing and installing risers and meter pans, at their cost.
I truly feel this is the exception rather than the rule. From what I have seen and read most areas do not provide anything except the overhead drop from the street.
My POCO used to provide just the meter pans for us to install but that policy died quite a few years ago.

For underground, we are responsible for EVERYTHING from the house to the pole. If it is far (+300') the customer is responsible for the transformer pad, grounding, primary and secondary. The POCO will come into the property about 250' with overhead on poles if the customer wishes to pick up the underground at that point.

Most plug-in KwH meters these days are 200cl meters and are ok for 100-200 amps.
 
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Old 01-12-06, 05:41 AM
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I guess you are never too old to learn things. Wow, I never would have expected responsibility of major things to be cast upon the homeowner. I worked in our meter lab at the Georgia Power Company during my summer months while in college and rebuilt most of all the meters in the state during a massive upgrade. Back then, there were 100cl and 200cl meters, but I guess there have been changes in 35 years, which only stands to reason. Why not make the meter do both, makes sense. I was just suggesting the change, since he said the wiring was 50's vintage, I figured the meter was too. Thanks.
 
  #12  
Old 01-12-06, 06:55 AM
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For NJ folks, maybe this picture will help you.




One more thing:

1. PSE&G will not provide the electrician with a free meter pan unless PSEG has the township permit on file.

2. For JCP&L, you have to buy one from a supplier, the electrician can replace it before getting the permit (not adviseable).
 

Last edited by kevin2010; 01-12-06 at 11:30 AM.
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