100 Amp Circuit Breaker Load Center Square D QO

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Old 03-17-08, 11:14 PM
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100 Amp Circuit Breaker Load Center Square D QO

My wife and I just purchased our first home and the seller changed the previous circuit breaker. From what I understand, it was a circuit breaker that was over 20 years old. I am not an electrician and have a rudimentary knowledge of electricity. We are planning on just running the usual appliances, tv washer dryer fridge dishwasher. Will this new circuit breaker be able to handle these appliances with the amount of amps or will I have to eventually get a bigger circuit breaker?

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Old 03-17-08, 11:24 PM
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Breaker.....or Panel...?

The main breaker is sized for your incoming service wires. A larger "Breaker" would require a wiring upgrade from your Power Company.

When I bought my house, It was explained as this...
Heat...electric or gas? Hot water electric or gas? Stove ..Electric or gas..?If you answered electric to more than 1 of the previous questions ...100 amps was going to be "TIGHT".

Best advice, be prepared for a service upgrade. If you need it, you'll be prepared. If you dont, youll be pleasantly surprised.
 
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Old 03-18-08, 08:49 AM
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A 100A service is plenty enough for many households. How many square feet is the house? Do you have a spa or welder? Do you have any or all of the following electric appliances: water heater, air conditioner, heat pump, baseboard heaters, stove, oven, cloths dryer?
 
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Old 03-18-08, 11:20 AM
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100 amp service is plenty for small to med size home but it pretty much depending on what kind of applanice and like range , dryer and heating system and if have central air or windowshaker [ window or thruwall a/c]


if you will plan to add a spa or oversized hottub etc you may want to upsize too far in future.

anyway the only legal and safe way is do the load demand caluaction this is the safest way to tell you if your breaker box is big engouh to handle.

[ codewise , the 100 amp is min size is allowed unless expected in few area ]

Merci, Marc
 
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Old 03-18-08, 02:36 PM
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Folks,

The house is a ranch with a finished basement. Appliances are 2 tvs, fridge, clocks, floor lamps, laptops, dish washer and washing machine. We have forced air and are planning on installing central air. The clothes dryer is hooked up to our gas outlets. Unfortunately, the house isn't wired with GFCI outlets. Will I cause a problem to the electrical system by upgrading the bathroom, kitchen and wash room outlets to GFCI outlets? Thank you so much for answering my initial question folks, it helps the confusion with my wife and I.
 
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Old 03-18-08, 02:48 PM
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Chances are you'll be fine with a 100A service. If it was fine for the previous homeowners, it should be fine for you too.

Upgrading the bathroom and kitchen (and outdoor receptacles while you're at it) to GFIs won't cause any problems.

At some point in time you'll probably run out of breaker slots in your panel as you upgrade the house and add additional electrical items. At that point, it may be worth looking into an upgrade. Even if you end up overloading the service (AC cranked, all lights on, etc), the worse case will be your main breaker will trip. This will be a good indication that you need to upgrade. Remember, there are a whole lot of houses out there still running an old 60A service.
 
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Old 03-18-08, 03:15 PM
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Sounds to me like the 100A service is plenty big enough for your house.
 
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Old 03-18-08, 03:30 PM
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Just as a datapoint - our house is about 3000 square feet if you count the basement (which is heated/cooled). We have electric dryer, electric stove/oven, electric A/C. Gas heat, gas water heater. All of this actually was running fine on a 60A service. When we went to replace the panel (it had two small subpanels, one of which was a Federal Pacific) the electricians only upgraded the service to the minimum required 100A, with a much larger box. I asked if that was enough, and they seemed to think it was more than sufficient.

In hindsight, I will say that I wish we had insisted on 150A to give us more room - for example, a tankless water heater in the upstairs bathroom might be nice, but I highly doubt we could reliably run that on the 100A service we have now, though I'd have to run the numbers to really see.

That said, I wouldn't worry about the service at all unless a) you're having trips or b) you expect to add a large load, like a tankless w/h or a hot tub or a heat pump, etc. This is definitely true since the panel has already been worked on - panel upgrade time is the easiest time to do a service upgrade, from what I've been told, though it's certainly possible to do it later.
 
 

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