Upgrading C/B Panel

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  #1  
Old 04-17-07, 02:49 AM
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Upgrading C/B Panel

Our house has the original 35 year old 125A circuit panel. I noticed when we bought the house that when the AC turns on you can hear a "buzz" in the panel for a second when the AC turns on. When we upgraded the 35 year old AC to a 3.5 ton I bought a new Cutler Hammer 50 amp breaker from an electrical wholesaler because CH had discontinued these breaker types. I changed the position in the CB panel thinking I has a loose or bad stab. I still get a "buzz" with the new AC and breaker. I also changed the wire when I upgraded the AC. Well over the weekend I discovered that I had a leak in the wall in my laundry room where the CB panel is located. I tore the drywall out, repaired the leak and decided to go ahead and upgrade to a 200A panel because I would like to add a 220vac outlet to my garage. I purchased a 200A Square D panel, and the breakers, then I realized that it did not include the main breaker. Right now I have $140 in the panel and found out that the main breaker is $127.99. I really wasn't planning on spending $270 to upgrade. Is the $$ worth gaining 75 amps? I only have 3 slots left in the old panel and could use the extra slots for future upgrades. Also we burn out light bulbs at the rate of at least 1 per week. This seems high to me? Any ideas??
 
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  #2  
Old 04-17-07, 03:52 AM
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You cannot increase the size of your service in amps by simply installing a larger main breaker and panel. It is illegal, and extreemly unsafe. You must contact the uility and be sure that the wires from the utility transformer and meter are large enough to be wired to a 200 amp breaker.
 
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Old 04-17-07, 03:56 AM
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The wires are 2/0 which according to Ugly's is good for 215A. This was verified by the power company when they changed my meter to a new digital one.
 
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Old 04-17-07, 05:11 PM
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You could return the main lug panel and get a main breaker panel instead. These are commonly available for about $200 including cover.
 
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Old 04-17-07, 05:57 PM
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Unless you are a licensed electrician, I would not even attempt to do a service panel upgrade.

Have you done a load calculation to see if you actually need this 200amp?
 
  #6  
Old 04-17-07, 06:24 PM
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The wires are 2/0 which according to Ugly's is good for 215A. This was verified by the power company when they changed my meter to a new digital one.
what version of the uglys book are you reading and what page. You are misunderstanding something and I would like to help explain.

2/0 copper would be good to 200 amps. Most service enterance wire in homes is aluminum. 2/O aluminum is good to 150 amps.
 
  #7  
Old 04-17-07, 06:28 PM
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Do you realize that wires will be live? Unless you plan on having the utility pull the meter but around here they take their time comming back to put it back in and re-tag .
 
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