electrical service rating

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Old 08-25-08, 05:25 PM
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Question electrical service rating

On our House inspection, the Inspector noted that there is a round meter socket rated at 100 amps, a 100 amp main box and a 60 amp main service wire, and recommended that an electrician check it out to make sure that the setup is good for 100 amp service. The seller had an electrician come out and provided us with a brief report. In this electrical report the electrician indicated that “the existing service is a 100 amp overhead service, with a round meter socket.” They also added that “per previous conversations with the electric company this was rated for 100 amps in the past, but no longer is compliant with the current code if it were to be worked on”. So my question is: is this setup rated for 100 amps or not? Any help you could provide would be very much appreciated.
 
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Old 08-25-08, 06:33 PM
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It sounds like it is rated for 100 amps but based on the quotes you provided, any electrician would have to update the service for it to pass inspection no matter what the next job may be.

If you haven't already gone to contract, I would use that as leverage to lower the price.
 
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Old 08-25-08, 07:04 PM
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I would definatly use it for leverage on the price, and as soon as possible I would have it upgraded to remove the 60 amp rated wire.
 
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Old 08-25-08, 08:29 PM
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Just to clarify, which wire is 60A wire? The wire from the power pole to your house or the one down the side of your house?

If it's the wire down the side of your house, it probably should be replaced sooner rather than later, especially if you plan on adding any large appliance to the house.

The wire from the pole to your house is generally owned by the power company and adheres to different rules.

Just thought I'd confirm which service wire we're talking about.
 
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Old 08-26-08, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tumshy View Post
“per previous conversations with the electric company this was rated for 100 amps in the past, but no longer is compliant with the current code if it were to be worked on”
It sounds like this section of the report describes the situation perfectly. Codes change over time, but you are not required to update to modern codes until the time that you remodel that system. This means that your service was rated at 100A at the time it was installed, but no longer would be considered adequate for 100A based on modern standards. That means it is still a "100A service" until such time as you modify it, then it would need to comply with current codes.

Approximately how old is the house? Does is have a breaker panel or fuse box? At any point in this, did they mention what the actual size of the wire was in AWG (#6, #4) and what material (copper, aluminum)?
 
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Old 08-26-08, 10:03 AM
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If the conductors between the Service Dis-connect and the utility connection are 60 amp conductors, then the rating of the Service is 60 amps. The rating of the meter-socket is irrelevant.

You also need to determine the rating (amps) and the "type" , of the Service Dis-connect, i.e., what needs to be operated to isolate the wiring inside the Service-panel from the Service Conductors so the panel is "dead".

Is the panel a circuit-breaker panel or a fuse-type panel?
 
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Old 08-26-08, 05:49 PM
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Hi. Thanks for all the assistance; will try to clarify on some of the follow-up questions posed. Excuse me if I don't use the correct terminology. The wire in question is the one that goes from the socket on the outside of the house into the main panel on the inside. I talked with the inspector again to confirm and this wire is one of the older cloth covered 60 amp rated wires. So, the electrical service panel, the overhead service, and the socket are 100 amps (with the duly noted issues with the older round socket no longer being up to code for 100 amp), but the "main service wire" is 60 amps. The main panel and sub panels have 100 amp "wadsworth?" circuit breakers. We did try to ask for money to update to 100 amp based on the inspection findings, but the sellers are insisting it's 100 amp rated and so doesn't need to be updated; they agreed to "fix" if it's not 100 amp, but the electrician they had look at it said it was 100 amp. Thanks again for your help!
 
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Old 08-26-08, 06:11 PM
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If the inspector said that the main wire is 60 amps, don't let the sellers off the hook. Press for the lower price.
 
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Old 08-27-08, 12:40 PM
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The problem is that wires aren't measured in amps, they are measured in AWG (American Wire Gauge). You then use the AWG, type of insulation, type of metal, and purpose of the wire to determine the amp rating of that wire in that particular situation.

Without knowing the AWG, insulation type, and metal type we cannot help you. It's opinion of the inspector vs. the opinion of the electrician.
 
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