Replacing main split bus panel

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  #1  
Old 09-11-07, 04:15 PM
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Replacing main split bus panel

This may be a silly question, but there are people here with a lot more experience than myself, so here it goes:

I'm in the planning stages of replacing a split-bus fuse box with a new main breaker panel. I'm trying to determine what the service entry is to see if I need to upgrade the service, or just replace the panel. Here are the facts:

Panel is split-bus with the following main fuses:
240v/20A Stove;
240v/20A oven;
240v/60A subpanel;
240v/60A rest of the fuses (lights/receps)

Panel is rated 150A
Meter has a part number, and includes the number 200 (which implies to me a 200A meter, though of course that could be oversized)

The service entry wires are the typical wire with cloth coating, aluminum with a wrapped neutral. The markings have long since been painted over, but is in good condition. I can't tell the size as I'm not putting a caliper near the main lugs.

I'm planning on having an electrician help me with pulling the meter - but I'm trying to determine whether to bite the bullet and upgrade the service entry to 150A or 200A, or use what's there since it's all in very good condition.

(also a demand-load calc came in at 108A and that's being liberal with the estimates)

Thanks in advance for any advice.

-Mike
 
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  #2  
Old 09-11-07, 05:54 PM
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You need to get the POCO involved. They will tell what they will allow you to install.
 
  #3  
Old 09-12-07, 08:55 AM
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Without measuring or reading directly off the wires, you really can't know for certain. The power company probably has your service size on record if you call them. In a split-bus panel, you really can't trust the sum of the 240V breakers, because someone may have installed larger breakers at some point in the past. Your service could actually be a 100A.
 
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Old 09-12-07, 09:49 AM
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A couple of factors come into play as whether you may need to upgrade or not.

1. Are you planning any future additions to the house?
2. Are you planning on adding large loads like central air or a hot tub?
 
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Old 09-12-07, 10:03 AM
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Not a pro but 20a for stove and oven is under size for most stoves and ovens so keep that in mind. If the current wiring to the stove and oven is #12 that will need upgrading to.
 
  #6  
Old 09-12-07, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Not a pro but 20a for stove and oven is under size for most stoves and ovens so keep that in mind. If the current wiring to the stove and oven is #12 that will need upgrading to.
A 20A circuit to a freestanding range would be undersized, but 20A circuits to a separate cooktop and oven are reasonable.
 
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Old 09-12-07, 11:32 AM
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20 amp to a gas range would correct also.
 
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Old 09-12-07, 01:22 PM
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Thanks for the info. I was afraid of the answer, "You can't really tell," but it is what it is. I'm in the process of talking to an electrician to help with replacing the service entry. If it's not too expensive, I'll probably just do the full upgrade.

We'll see how it goes. Thanks for your help!

-Mike
 
  #9  
Old 09-12-07, 04:59 PM
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Zorfdt:

the cost between 150 and 200 amp service is not awhole alot diffrence maybe just few hundred bucks panel sizewise both are very simuair rough deminson but 200 amp is far more common than 150 amp service not too often you will see it.

but they do have 150 amp service but not really hevey used at all due the common useage materals and majorty of them is either 100 or 200 but there is other size as well.

Senice you allready did the loac calucations allready so you should be ok with 150 service unless you will plan to add something in the future like spa tub [ they can take up to 50 or 60 amp easly ]

I done alot of service upgradeing for resdentail and commercal area IMO the cost between 150 and 200 is not a whole lot diffrence just few hundred bucks more [ that including the proper sized wiring etc ] most will go for 200 and be done with it.

Merci, Marc
 
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