should we upgrade

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Old 08-04-08, 02:17 AM
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should we upgrade

We recently bought an older home that has been remodeled and rewired. They only have a 100A main. Wondering if this is enough or should we upgrade to a 150 or 200. There are 4 ceiling fans. 2 window air conditioners, kitchen appliances and washer dryer. We have a family of five with tv's and dvd players and all the other things that need charging and stuff. Not too keen on how much we will need. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 08-04-08, 07:06 AM
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The best way to answer this would be to have a demand load calculation done. This will use the square footage of the house and a list of the electrical appliances like dryers, stoves, electric water heaters etc.

Are you planning any electrical additions to the house like hot tubs or central air?
 
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Old 08-04-08, 09:26 AM
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The appliances you listed are more or less irrelevant in the amount of power they use.

The biggest power requirements that could necessitate a service upgrade come from the following if they are electric: central air conditioning, baseboard heat or central heat pump, water heater, stove/range/oven, spa, welder, or heavy shop tools.

If you have gas or oil heat and no central A/C, then 100A is probably sufficient for most homes. If you have a lot of the listed items or plan to add them in the reasonable near term, then you should perform a "demand load calculation" to determine just how big the service should be.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 03:11 AM
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I feel a bit different from your previos answers. I don't care if you want to put a hair dryer in the equation, If you have a 100 amp panel, a old fuse box, a panel made by either zinsco or federal pacific, It must be changed. In Washington state you can not even sell a home with these above mentioned electrical systems.They are called a fire hazard for reason. If you had the neccessary improvement then you would not have any question of the capability. Change the service.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by scubakirk1 View Post
I feel a bit different from your previos answers. I don't care if you want to put a hair dryer in the equation, If you have a 100 amp panel, a old fuse box, a panel made by either zinsco or federal pacific, It must be changed. In Washington state you can not even sell a home with these above mentioned electrical systems.They are called a fire hazard for reason. If you had the neccessary improvement then you would not have any question of the capability. Change the service.
A 100a load center is not a fire hazard in itself. What i usually see in regard to overloading is a homeowner that installs one or more subpanels and fills them to capacity, overloading the current service. If the OP is concerned about capacity, then they should have an electrician out to take an amp reading on the main drop wires with everything in the house running at once to get a fair approximation of how much power is being used. Where i'm from, a 100A service is the most common upgrade size.
 
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