determining electrical service


Old 08-07-06, 04:01 PM
Kelly T's Avatar
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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determining electrical service

A hopefully simple question for the electricians here. I bought a home earlier this year, and I suspect that it has 400 amp service. Not sure if you can determine such a thing from a photo of my hydro meter? There are two panels in the house. Main floor one has fuses and is quite a mess, the basement one has breakers. Basement was put in in early '90's. Thanks for any assistance!
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Old 08-07-06, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario Canada
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You cannot tell by the meter.

Utilities in Ontario, Canada typically install a 200A meter for any directly metered service to 200A.

You need to see what the meter goes to, and look at those fuses or breaker.
Old 08-07-06, 04:10 PM
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Don't look at the meter. What does the main breaker on the panel indicate?
Old 08-07-06, 05:28 PM
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Hi, thanks for your replies. The panel on the main floor (fuses) says 200 amp service. But attached to the outside of that main panel is another separate safety switch which says 100 amps on it.

On the basement panel (breakers) there's no indication of the service except for one breaker which says "main" and has 100 amps on it.

I've added a few more photos of these. Hopefully you can make sense out of them.

Couple of notes: the previous owner was an electrician. Probably did all the wiring himself. The bungalow consists of two separate apartments, main floor and basement. Electric baseboard heat throughout (upgraded to gas furnace, but the baseboard heaters are all still in place and alive). Two full kitchens (electric stoves), electric water heater, electric dryer, AND formerly two hot tubs (one outside, one inside).

Thanks again.
Old 08-07-06, 05:38 PM
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Ok, different route.

Is there any ONE breaker that turns off all power to your house?

If so, whatever the rating of that is, is the size of your service.
In other words, if you turn off the main in the main floor panel, doeas everything go off including the basement panel?

I suspect the basement panel is fed from the 1oo amp disconnect next to the main panel. Check it out.

Does the fused 200 amp disconnect? turn off the entire house?

Does the main panel being turned off turn off the entire house?

If not, does the disconnect turn off the basement panel?
Old 08-07-06, 06:27 PM
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Nope, no one breaker shuts off everything. The fused 200 amp switch doesn't shut off everything. But there are fuses (cartridge style fuses) on the main panel which are shut off by the 100 amp switch attached to the outside of that main panel, not by the main panel switch itself. So that leads me to believe that the separate switch doesn't necessarily control the basement panel. We haven't experimented too much just yet.

Oh yeah, on the house's electrical load I forgot to mention that there's central air, and there's additionally a huge ancient wall-unit air conditioner.

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