100 amp service upgrade


Old 06-12-07, 08:19 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Cool 100 amp service upgrade

I have a small 1050 sq. ft. house that has 100 amp service. I dont have any laundry hookups, but I do have a large hot tub that the previous owner installed. Currently, there is only 1 panel left available, and at some point in the future id like to possibly run service for a washer and dryer. My question is this:

If i have to upgrade my service in order to safely be able to run hookups for a washer/dryer, what are my options? Currently, the 100 amp box is mounted in the kitchen wall, and the meter is right outside that wall. I really dont want to have to put a 200 amp service panel in that wall because it would look ghastly. I was wondering if it was possible to hookup up an ADDITIONAL 100 amp panel under the kitchen in the area where the hot water heater is, and then just run some existing circuits and future new circuits off of it instead? should i upgrade to 150 amps or is the cost not much different to go to 200 amps? I live alone in the house, and the additional 100 amp box would be the best solution for me.
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Old 06-12-07, 08:51 AM
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You can determine if you should upgrade the service by doing a "demand load calculation". There are a few procedures online if you search google for the phrase or several book on home wiring cover the procedure. If you have all gas appliances (range, oven, (future) dryer, furnace) then 100A service is probably just fine for a 1000 sq. ft. house, even with the spa. If you have electric appliances and perhaps A/C, an upgrade may be in order.

If you just need more slots in the panel for additional circuits there are a couple options. You may be able to use tandem breakers in your panels which allows two circuit breakers in the space of one; some panels can use them, some cannot. The second option is to install a subpanel fed from the main panel. A subpanel is much more expensive, but provides a lot of flexibility for circuit additions.

The panel box can be camouflaged in a number of ways; you can paint it to match the wall, hang a painting/picture/tapestry/etc over it, make a false cabinet door front to cover it. Basically anything that doesn't block access.
Old 06-13-07, 05:26 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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service upgrade

Its not that I would mind looking at the bigger panel in the kitchen wall, i just didnt want to have to deal with having to cut a bigger hole in the wall to mount the box, access existing/new wiring, repair any drywall, repaint the kitchen, etc.

A subpanel sounds like it would be easier to do because they can just mount it in the area beneath the kitchen, and nothing would be seen. How could that be much more expensive than mounting a 200 amp breaker box and paying someone to reconnect and label all of the existing circuits?
Old 06-13-07, 05:43 AM
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Do a load calculation like the other poster said. I doubt you would need ot upgrade your services. I have a 1450sqft home with central air, elec dryer, elec stove, etc running off a 100amp service. I have plenty of power to spare.

Cost of upgrading service will be significanty more expensive then adding a subpanel.
Old 06-13-07, 08:02 AM
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My wording was not clear. I meant to say that tandem breakers are by far the cheapest option if your panel supports them; probably less than $100. Next is the subpanel at a few hundred dollars, and finally the most expensive is the 200A service upgrade at roughly $1,500.

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