Old 08-06-07, 10:15 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Talking power

how can i tell how big of a box i can install in my house. another words see how much power is coming in?
thanks alot in advance
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Old 08-06-07, 10:52 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: orange county
Posts: 285

I am a novice and don't know to much (lol). Others will chime in shortly. How large (amps) is your current main breaker to your home? 100Amps, 150Amps? If you want to up-grade to say 200Amps (installing a 200A panel with a 200 amp main breaker, then more than likely the power company will have to install larger wires from their transformer (on the "pole" or if underground from the big green electric "box" sitting by your sidewalk or perhaps across the street next to your neighbors sidewalk) . If you wanted to install a 400 amp meter panel with 400amp main breaker, then same thing applies, (the power co. would have to install bigger wires, and I supposse sometimes they have to add a larger transformer, if you decide to be a big electric hog (lol). Like I said I am a novice, but maybe this will give you something to think about until the pros come around.
Old 08-06-07, 11:07 PM
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It's not how big you can install. It is how much do you need. That is determined by a load calculation. You might want to Google that while waiting for the pros.
Old 08-07-07, 01:16 PM
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You can generally tell by the size of the main breaker in your main panel. It will probably be 100, 125, 150, or 200A. Usually, the service entry wires, meter pan, meter, etc. are all sized based on your main breaker.

FYI, 100A is minimum nowadays for residences, with 150A and 200A probably being more common in new construction. Bigger houses will sometimes see 300A or 400A.
Old 08-08-07, 09:21 AM
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What is it that you're trying to accomplish? The maximum power you can draw is limited by the MAIN breaker, typically 60A, 100A, 125A, 150A or 200A. You cannot upsize the main breaker without also replacing the rest of the service entrance including the wires, conduit, meter base and sometimes service drop to the power company.
Old 08-08-07, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
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You can install any size panel you want and your power company will allow if you replace the entire service drop.
If you only want to replace the existing panel and leave all the service drop through the meter alone then you need to check the rating of the meter, the size of the cable run from the POCO connection through the meter to your panel.
Checking your existing main breaker is a good starting point but you need to confirm the existing cables to be sure and maybe you can go bigger if the cable is correct.

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