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200 amps upgrade..do I need to upgrade house meter as well?

200 amps upgrade..do I need to upgrade house meter as well?

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  #1  
Old 01-01-07, 02:26 PM
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200 amps upgrade..do I need to upgrade house meter as well?

I am planning to upgrade service from 100 amps to 200 amps...I had a few electricians take a look at the house and got bids from 1400-2200.

Today, i had another electrician look at the job. He said he will charge me $500 labor and I could buy the material myself. He,however, also mentioned that I had 60 amps house meter and said that needed to be replaced with a 100 amps one. He said he will charge another $500 for that. No other electrician so far told me that i had to upgrade the meter as well.Any odeas?

Would also love to hear any other ideas that I need to keep in mind while doing the service upgrade. House is a 1928 colonial with mixed wiring and 100 amps service panel probably installed in 70's.

While browsing this forum, i noticed that someone had installed a whole house surge protector. is this a good idea? Do they work? If yes, which one is a dependable brand?

many thanks for your time.
 
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Old 01-01-07, 02:33 PM
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The meter itself is NO concern to you. Depending on local rules the old meter is typically re-installed after the upgrade. If not the POCO (power company) will replace it at THEIR discretion.

If this guy wants to charge you an additional $500 to replace the meter LOSE his phone number NOW, and hang up on him if he calls you. You want nothing to do with him.
The fact that he will only charge you $500 and let you buy the materials tells me a lot about him as well. I bet he is a handyman with only half a clue how to do the job correctly anyway. A REAL electrician would NEVER offer to do a job this way.
 
  #3  
Old 01-01-07, 02:50 PM
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He works for an electric company and does side jobs in the evening and weekends. He is the guy who does the ugrades for the electric company.

I was surprised that i would have to upgrade the meter though. Glad that you clarified.

Do I have to upgrade the wiring that goes into the house from the meter before it connects to the meter?
 
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Old 01-01-07, 02:53 PM
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Yes, a service upgrade is everything from the connections at the top of the house down to the panel, all the breakers and grounding/bonding.
 
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Old 01-01-07, 03:29 PM
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ok..great!

What do I need to know and ask so that I make sure he did the job correctly.

thanks
 
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Old 01-01-07, 04:41 PM
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Thumbs down

If this guy wants to charge you an additional $500 to replace the meter LOSE his phone number NOW, and hang up on him if he calls you. You want nothing to do with him.
The fact that he will only charge you $500 and let you buy the materials tells me a lot about him as well. I bet he is a handyman with only half a clue how to do the job correctly anyway. A REAL electrician would NEVER offer to do a job this way.##

Ditto. Side work or not, this is just not good bussiness (period!).

Is he Licensed? Insured? Are you?

Site unseen, Your first set of quotes are not unreasonable, and very real numbers,in most populated areas.

Why do people think we make a million $ on stock?

I'm going into law, so no one will think I'm ripping them off.

Be weary of a deal.
 
  #7  
Old 01-01-07, 04:50 PM
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I would call the first two and clarify what is included. Was it just the panel or the entire service. Those numbers are not unreasonable for a whole service in some areas of the country. While they won't actually be changing the meter they should be changing the meter can.
 

Last edited by joed; 01-02-07 at 05:10 AM.
  #8  
Old 01-01-07, 05:08 PM
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Would clarify tomorrow and report back
 
  #9  
Old 01-02-07, 05:20 PM
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Called the POCO this am. they gave me a work order # and said that they would sent out an engineer to the location. they said they will replace the meter if needed. Also mentioned that they may recommend changing the location of the service line/meter.

met the guy who offered to d the job for $500. Job includes grounding and connecting the service line. Will have to pull the permit myself. Possibly will go with this guy. he gave me a list of items to buy. Now, is there any particular brand that i should go with? What amps circuit breakers do I need for steam gnerator in the shower and for whirlpool tub.

Most of the circuit breakers would be 15 amps. is that the way to go?

Besides other items, the list of the items he wants me to bu includes wiring of following types: 12/2, 14/2 and 14/3. Is this the right wiring to use?

Many thanks!
 
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Old 01-02-07, 05:29 PM
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Don't be a fool. Find a licensed electrician who will supply ALL the equipment and do all the work. You want the electrician to get the permit.

If you pay this guy $500 you will most likely not get a decent job. You do not know what to buy and this guy doesn't sound like he does either.

You do NOT want most of your breakers to be 15 amps.
 
  #11  
Old 01-02-07, 05:36 PM
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You want your breakers sized to the wire. It is not as simple as what size breakers you want.
You also need to size the wire AND breakers to the load served. Simply saying "What size breaker do I need for my steam genny?" is useless. What is the running amps? What size circuit is required by the manufacturer? If they do not spec a minimum circuit size do you or your "electrician" know how to size the circuit?

Take our advice or ignore it. This guys sounds like a hack. You will wind up making 10 trips to "Home Depot" and wind up having to return half of it.

You are thinking about having someone who is in your eyes qualified to do this job, yet you are coming on here asking REAL professionals what material to buy???? Do this sound like it makes ANY sense to you?
 
  #12  
Old 01-02-07, 05:49 PM
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Get an electrician. I stepped up from 100 to 200 amp panel. Provider disconnected the feed lines to the house just outside the masthead and removed the meter. Electrician replaced house feed line from masthead to meter and from meter to panel-box. Electrician connected lines from nearest junction box to circuit breakers. No splices are permitted within the panel-box. Inspector viewed electrician's work and signed tag inside panel-box. Provider viewed inspector's signature and reconnected house power at masthead and re-installed meter. I bought the panel-box and electrician told me what size and length cable to buy. I then took my old 100-amp box and breakers and created a sub-panel in my detached garage.
 
  #13  
Old 01-02-07, 05:53 PM
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I am sorry I didnt mean to offend anyone. I know the best way would be to go with a licensed electrician at a premium. Nothing wrong if they charge significantly higer. This guy is a qualified professional electrician ..just not licensed. he works with a master electrician and does service upgrades routinely. He is doing this on the side. Since he doesnt have a license, he is giving me a break in the price. I know I am taking a chance here but i have checked references and am confident that he can do the job as per the code. I am sure the city inspector will confirm that before I pay the guy.

The reason I am asking the questions here is for my own satisfaction. I would have asked same questions if I had hired a master electrician.

So , again, I am sorry if any of you guys feel offended. I dont mean to. All help is welcome .
 
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Old 01-02-07, 06:00 PM
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And does this guy have insurance? I doubt it. What will you do if he burns your house down?
 
  #15  
Old 01-02-07, 06:01 PM
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So your provider replaced your old meter?

Also, is it a good idea to put a subpanel in the garage

Originally Posted by Rikki Tikki View Post
Get an electrician. I stepped up from 100 to 200 amp panel. Provider disconnected the feed lines to the house just outside the masthead and removed the meter. Electrician replaced house feed line from masthead to meter and from meter to panel-box. Electrician connected lines from nearest junction box to circuit breakers. No splices are permitted within the panel-box. Inspector viewed electrician's work and signed tag inside panel-box. Provider viewed inspector's signature and reconnected house power at masthead and re-installed meter. I bought the panel-box and electrician told me what size and length cable to buy. I then took my old 100-amp box and breakers and created a sub-panel in my detached garage.
 
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Old 01-02-07, 06:07 PM
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"So your provider replaced your old meter?" - Only if they need to. It is THEIR meter.

"Also, is it a good idea to put a subpanel in the garage" - If you have a garage, yes.
 
  #17  
Old 01-02-07, 06:12 PM
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Just wagering a guess...is it possible that we are mixing terms here? I am under the impression (yes i have been watching from a corner) That the OP thinks she needs to change out her meter and i think maybe she means "meter-BASE?" perchance? I know we as electrcians often interchange the two words so i was just offering from clarities sake. (i could be really wrong here but thought i wouold try to clear this up...I have only heard of a handful of meters being swapped so thus the prompting of this suggestion...I'll go back to my corner now.
 
  #18  
Old 01-02-07, 06:18 PM
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I was told by the POCO that the meter would be replaced by them....I wouldnt expect them to change the meter base?



Originally Posted by Sthrnamp View Post
Just wagering a guess...is it possible that we are mixing terms here? I am under the impression (yes i have been watching from a corner) That the OP thinks she needs to change out her meter and i think maybe she means "meter-BASE?" perchance? I know we as electrcians often interchange the two words so i was just offering from clarities sake. (i could be really wrong here but thought i wouold try to clear this up...I have only heard of a handful of meters being swapped so thus the prompting of this suggestion...I'll go back to my corner now.
 
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Old 01-02-07, 06:24 PM
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Yes they will deal with the meter..that is their property and their responsibility. The meterbase is up to you and whomever you get to do the upgrade. Sorry i was just trying to clarify
 
  #20  
Old 01-02-07, 06:34 PM
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your clarification actually helped me clarify my confusion.Now , the question I have is... Do they always change the meter when a service upgrade is done? Are these meters amp specific?

thanks

Originally Posted by Sthrnamp View Post
Yes they will deal with the meter..that is their property and their responsibility. The meterbase is up to you and whomever you get to do the upgrade. Sorry i was just trying to clarify
 
  #21  
Old 01-02-07, 06:41 PM
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I'm not sure why this concerns you so much. It is their property. They replace it at their digression. You should NOT even have to think about it.
 
  #22  
Old 01-02-07, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I'm not sure why this concerns you so much. It is their property. They replace it at their digression. You should NOT even have to think about it.

just a mind full of curiosities...nothing else!
 
  #23  
Old 01-02-07, 06:47 PM
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Ok..
.
.
.
.
.
.
 
  #24  
Old 01-02-07, 08:06 PM
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This question could range in answears, basically on most pre 1970's meters they are just fine. now if you are running a 60 amp service and upgrade to a 200, then i could forsee a replacement in store . But generally , NO. And it is not your problem at all.
 
  #25  
Old 01-02-07, 08:16 PM
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Christy wrote:
your clarification actually helped me clarify my confusion.Now , the question I have is... Do they always change the meter when a service upgrade is done? Are these meters amp specific?

By changing the meter let me further explain...They will pull the meter out of your exisisting meter base...then they will disconnect your power from the pole or transformer (whichever the case may be...both are correct)...Whomever you get to do the upgrade will "Build the service" which means...

If you go with the guy you are leaning towards (which i, along with alot of other do not reccommend, but i digress) He will remove your old service panel, meterbase and any and all mast that goes to the POCO drop. Then he should rebuild the service (meaning mounting the meterbase on the wall, mounting the main disconnect on the wall next to the meterbase and connecting the wires b/w the disconnect and the meterbase...he will also be responsible for mounting the mast to the wall and fedding the wire down the mast to the meterbase and terminating it correctly (unless in rare cases this is done by the POCO.) The POCO will then inspect the job approve or deny and if apporve they will resize the wire drop to your residence (assuming a resizing is necessary) and reconnect your power and then re-install your meter (probably the same one you had in before...does this answer all of your questions?? Let us know if we can be of further assistance...Aaron
 
  #26  
Old 01-02-07, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by christy123 View Post
...... the question I have is... Do they always change the meter when a service upgrade is done? Are these meters amp specific?

thanks
Meters are amp specific. If you have an old 60 amp meter, that is its "class" rating. In other words, it will meter within its accuracy rating up to 60 amps. Its continuous thermal capacity is only about 80% of that.
If you are upgrading to a 200 amp service (and presumably pulling considerably more load), the POCO will probably upgrade to a class 200 meter.

In terms of whose responsibility it is....it's the POCO's.
However, if they leave a 60 amp meter in your socket and you exceed its thermal capability.....then it's your problem.

Having said that, the POCO would be crazy not to upgrade the meter. If your electrician said he could actually provide the METER (and he is not a POCO employee), he is a shyster, plain and simple.
 
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Old 01-02-07, 08:55 PM
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Cool

Originally Posted by christy123 View Post
I am planning to upgrade service from 100 amps to 200 amps...I had a few electricians take a look at the house and got bids from 1400-2200.

Today, i had another electrician look at the job. He said he will charge me $500 labor and I could buy the material myself. He,however, also mentioned that I had 60 amps house meter and said that needed to be replaced with a 100 amps one. He said he will charge another $500 for that. No other electrician so far told me that i had to upgrade the meter as well.Any odeas?

Would also love to hear any other ideas that I need to keep in mind while doing the service upgrade. House is a 1928 colonial with mixed wiring and 100 amps service panel probably installed in 70's.

While browsing this forum, i noticed that someone had installed a whole house surge protector. is this a good idea? Do they work? If yes, which one is a dependable brand?

many thanks for your time.
Ok, Back to the start.

$500.00 labor. Service change/upgrade.

Why do you need all this extra wire?
Ever heard the term "EXTRA"? (it means not included in quote)

Feel free to tell us all the secrets.

You've gotten advice. It's your call. Ask The contractor. then ask for confirmation.

We are not here to give (your) the contractor advice.

Good luck, and please keep us posted.
 
  #28  
Old 01-02-07, 09:32 PM
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Thanks very much...all you guys. your posts are very informative and descriptive...

I currently have 100 amps service . The electrician I am leaning to go with is the only one who pointed out that the meter was a 60 amps meter and would need to be replaced....As I mentioned previously, i called the POCO and they said they will replace( which according to Sthrnamp may be just a "disconnect and connect")the meter. I had a few electricians look at the job and one of them was a master electrician....none of them pointed this out. Either they thought it was not worth pointing out or they didnt realize this.

To answer lectriclee, the extra wire is needed for new lights that i plan to put in the house....house badly needs more lighting.

One of the licensed electricians who looked at the job told me that he will charge $1400 flat for service upgrade but will charge/hr for the wiring and new circuits. He said he would prefer flat charge for servce upgrade because it is risky as he he has to work with a live wire. Now from this discussion it doesnt look like he will ever work with a live wire. ( Dont get me wrong....I respect how he prices his services...thats his right)
 
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Old 01-03-07, 04:04 AM
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"One of the licensed electricians who looked at the job told me that he will charge $1400 flat for service upgrade but will charge/hr for the wiring and new circuits. He said he would prefer flat charge for servce upgrade because it is risky as he he has to work with a live wire. Now from this discussion it doesnt look like he will ever work with a live wire."


is almost exactly what I would telly you. Only my price would likely be in the $1600-$1800 range.
This is one of the few times it is actually necessary to work live.
 
  #30  
Old 01-03-07, 05:38 AM
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Are you sure that you can pull your own permit for the work? In my community only licensed electricians can pull a permit for a job.
 
  #31  
Old 01-03-07, 08:18 AM
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yes , a single family owner can pull a permit on most of the work in my area.
 
  #32  
Old 01-03-07, 07:25 PM
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went with licensed electrician

Just wanted to let you guys know that I decided to go with the licensed electrician. it really took some persuasion for me to change my mind.

thanks for all your help...will be posting as the work progresses.
 
  #33  
Old 01-04-07, 04:22 PM
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Christy123, Good , The smart thing to do. Key word "LICENSED".

I didn't re read all posts. I should have mentioned that on a service upgrade, A new meter can is a given. Very rarely mentioned. Some of us may have misunderstood, and thought you meant the METER itself.


Speedy:
same thing here. For the longest time, just cut,do and call (all permits etc,in place).
Then we must of got some knuckle heads (on which side I'm not sure) and things changed.
Our connections must be perminant at the top now, The poco disconnects at the handhole/pole. Some are more flexible than others.
We have a bunch of pocos here, MA elec,Keyspan, National and some local munies. So you do your homework and find a common denominator,and things go pretty smooth.

In emergencies, If you call, most can/will give you a verbal to do what you must.

I like the system you described, training and ID #s,to track.
Some towns here have that system for fire alarms so we can cut out the municipal boxes etc.. This saves the towns some money and time and gives the contractors a chance to do what they must in a timely manner.
 
  #34  
Old 01-04-07, 08:28 PM
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Ok guys ...here is the update

...Still waiting for the POCO engineer to go on site and tell me if current location of the attachement and panel is OK.

- electrician started wiring inside of the house. In this house only kitchen, dinning room hallways and bathrooms have cieling lights. So i am putting recessed lights in all the bedrooms and bathrooms...monorail lighting in office/tv room . Gfci in kitchen ( it had none!) and garage.

Planning to put a steam shower in the bathroom.

At this point coud you guys tell me how i can make sure that they elcetrician is laying circuits properly. he seems to get easily offended when i ask him any technical questions!
 
  #35  
Old 01-04-07, 11:12 PM
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Ask him all the questions you want. If you make it clear you are trying to learn, rather than questioning his ability, it should not offend him. If it does that is his problem. Some people are just insecure, its not up to you to fix that. Most people like to talk about what they are good at. It is your house and he is working for you. Be nice, ask away and you might learn a lot.
 
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Old 01-05-07, 02:59 PM
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Wink Fact finding tip!

I agree.

BUT (the infamous), Don't ask while he is snakeing wires and in the "zone".
This Most of us find VERY annoying, especialy if it is not going well at the time. wait 'till the end of the day. Discuss the next day etc.
 
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