Add breakers / Upgrade service

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Old 02-14-06, 11:17 AM
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Add breakers / Upgrade service

Thanks all for the reading it has been very helpful. I will keep this short.

I have a 70a service coming in to a 1300 sf home / cape which i bought recently. Breaker box has 8 or so slots left.

Gas heat and water.

I am planning a remodel on my kitchen. Currently 2 20a line to the kitchen, with a 240 for electric stove. I am planning on adding 2 20a lines to break the receptacles out, and to have sep. circ. for each the fridge, microwave, and dish / disp.

other than the kitchen i only have a freezer in the basement, a electric dryer, and a jacuzzi tub in the master for major power users.

my question, will i need to upgrade the service to 150 / 200 when i get an electrician to add the lines for the kitchen. will an inspector call for it? i wouldn't mind leaving it as is, since i never really have any breakers flip and all but the dishwasher is already installed..

i realize it never hurts to do this, but i wouldnt' mind waiting till after i get the kitchen in. basically will i have to eat the pill now or later.
 
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Old 02-14-06, 11:57 AM
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A service upgrade is a pretty common side effect of a kitchen remodel. What you need to do is a formal load calculation. Given the spa, electric dryer and electric range, it sounds like you are in need of a service upgrade; but the calculation will tell you for sure. The inspector could require it as part of your kitchen remodel project, and the electrician will probably bring it up too.

http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/homew...ns/demandcalc/
 
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Old 02-14-06, 12:18 PM
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You would need to use more electricity to have a problem. Adding more breakers (by themselves) does not increase your electricity use.

If you aren't tripping breakers now and you aren't adding anything new that will use electricity, then you won;t likely trip breakers in the future, even if you have more breakers.
 
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Old 02-14-06, 12:47 PM
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thank you both for the help, i appreciate it. i am with you on the point of not tripping breakers now, so i shouldn't trip breakers with adding circuits for the same appliances.

of course adding circuits does add to the possibility of tripping the main correct, if i loaded up at one point with a couple hair dryers, and a toaster oven while the major appliances are running? since i could pull more amperage across all of the circuits without tripping an individual 20 / 15 amp breaker?

other than that I guess my only question is that if i run the numbers for load, and it is under 70 amps, is there any code forcing me to upgrade? or is there a minimum amperage for services to a home, if circuits are being added? i just want to be able to talk with an electrician intelligently / inspector.

thanks again.
 
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Old 02-14-06, 01:01 PM
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Correct, if you add more appliances then you run the risk of overloading the main. If you're just adding receptacles without new appliances, then nothing will change from a load standpoint.

The requirement for new homes is 100A service minimum, however there is no requirement to upgrade existing homes unless you add enough appliances (load) to warrant an upgrade.

I misread your original post also: I thought you had a Jacuzzi spa instead of a Jacuzzi whirlpool tub. A spa uses significantly more power because of the built-in heaters. With just the whirlpool tub, your load is not as high as I originally thought.
 
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