Upgrading main panel and load center questions

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  #1  
Old 02-05-07, 09:09 PM
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Upgrading main panel and load center questions

Hi folks,

Recently bought a home with one of the reviled FPE Stab-Lok main panels. I'm definitely running, not walking to replace it. It's an outdoor box, alongside the meter. Attached beneath the meter is the load center, containing a 100A 2-pole main breaker for the house panel, and a 60A 2-pole breaker to a subpanel in a detached garage. The 100A has a brief run (about 18-20") to the main panel via metal conduit. The meter is basic Westinghouse class 200, 240v 3-wire.

Though I don't necessarily need to upgrade to 200A right this moment, there are a host of upgrades planned in future years, spa, additional lighting, appliances, etc. which will demand "a lot more water in the pipe".

Anyway, here's my question: I know I need to change out the main panel regardless. The meter is already rated for 200A. If I upgrade the FPE panel to a 200A (thinking Square D QO), would it just be a question of at this point, just upgrading the 100A breaker in the load center to a 200A?

Thanks,

bake315
 
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Old 02-05-07, 09:18 PM
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The FPE is in the house,and the Main Breaker is at the meter location? And the meter/main is a westco setup?

Just want to be clear.
If this is the case, then yes you can upgrade the house(actualy a sub) panel to a 200A panel. However the the breaker feeding this panel shall remain at 100A.

Now when you add in the future, the changes will require larger wires from meter to main to sub panel(house). In the mean time you will have a potential of 40-42 ckts.

SQD. Is a great choice, use the QO panel, IMO.
 
  #3  
Old 02-05-07, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee View Post
The FPE is in the house,and the Main Breaker is at the meter location? And the meter/main is a westco setup?

Just want to be clear.
If this is the case, then yes you can upgrade the house(actualy a sub) panel to a 200A panel. However the the breaker feeding this panel shall remain at 100A.

Now when you add in the future, the changes will require larger wires from meter to main to sub panel(house). In the mean time you will have a potential of 40-42 ckts.

SQD. Is a great choice, use the QO panel, IMO.

Thanks, Lee. Yes, the FPE main panel is in (actually on the side of) the house - an exterior panel box. The meter itself is Westco. the load center (main) containing the 100A main breaker and the 60A breaker is attached directly to the base of the meter, is GE. The 100A and 60A breakers are also GE of course. The wires presently running the two feet or so to the house (FPE) panel are #6.

So if I'm reading you correctly, it's wire size between meter, main and sub panel that's holding up the show, then. I can upgrade the house sub panel to 200A, leaving the main at 100A. and be OK for the time being. Then when I'm ready to make the actual move to 200A, I'll get the POCO and the electrician out to upgrade the meter to main to sub panel wiring, and I think I'll get them to replace the mast, weatherhead, and the wiring from the meter to the service disconnects - they're pretty badly weathered.

Sound right?

Thanks,

bake315
 
  #4  
Old 02-05-07, 11:13 PM
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pretty much but one thing that if you have old 100 amp metering socket there and you have to upgrade to 200 amp main breaker the only way you can do this is replace the meter box the wires on the mast and few other thing to bring up to the code.

it will be cheaper to upgrade the meter socket to 200 amp now then try to change it again later

i dont think the cost between the 100 amp and 200 amp socket is not a whole alot diffrent but it far much easier to install it now.

i done quite few with 200 amp socket with 100 amp main breaker set up for time being until later date go to 200 amp make the task much easier for it

it much far easier to let the electrician to get this set up and get it done pretty much done in one day this is pretty typical way unless something else it will affect the repair along the way they will tell ya ahead of time


Merci , Marc
 
  #5  
Old 02-06-07, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
pretty much but one thing that if you have old 100 amp metering socket there and you have to upgrade to 200 amp main breaker the only way you can do this is replace the meter box the wires on the mast and few other thing to bring up to the code.

it will be cheaper to upgrade the meter socket to 200 amp now then try to change it again later

i dont think the cost between the 100 amp and 200 amp socket is not a whole alot diffrent but it far much easier to install it now.

i done quite few with 200 amp socket with 100 amp main breaker set up for time being until later date go to 200 amp make the task much easier for it

it much far easier to let the electrician to get this set up and get it done pretty much done in one day this is pretty typical way unless something else it will affect the repair along the way they will tell ya ahead of time


Merci , Marc
Bonjour, Marc.

Thanks for the feedback. One thing I did fail to mention is that the house was moved to its present location about 15 years ago. The FPE box is original to the house, but the load center, meter and associated cabling above it is age consistent with the time of the move. The present meter is definitely 200A rated. My gut feeling as to why there is a 100A main breaker downstream from the meter is because the existing FPE was only rated for 100A and whoever the owner was at that point didn't want to spend the extra coin (or didn't know the issue with FPE panels) to upgrade it. In any case, I expect to upgrade the entire service directly.

Thanks for all the help!

bake315
 
  #6  
Old 02-06-07, 05:50 PM
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I agree, If the service and panels are not going to move or be affected by future plans, bite the bullet now, and be done with it.

If the add ons will present the need for another sub, make provisions now.
 
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