100 amp breaker box

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Old 07-10-09, 03:31 PM
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Question 100 amp breaker box

I need to upgrade my house from 60 amp 2 wire to 100 amp 3 wire. Someone at the electric company told me if I just install a 100 amp box I will still only have 60 amp service unless I upgrade the meter, the meter box and the entrance cable. OK, my next question is I want to piece the work out since I probably can't afford it all at once. My question is can I just have the panel box upgraded to 100 amp for now and still keep the 2 wire going through the house and hook it into that breaker box?
 
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Old 07-10-09, 03:41 PM
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I am assuming you will be rewiring your house as well to facilitate the 3 wire system. First you will need to get a permit for the work. Check with you inspector to see what they will allow you to do. The POCO will have to upgrade your drop as well, so you will need to coordinate with them, as well.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 03:52 PM
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Question 3 wire

Yes, 3 wire is what I am going with. I just wanted to know if I could just have the breaker box installed for now, since I already bought it. My neighbor just finished triangle tech for electrician but he says he can't give me any information cause it is not making him money. I asked him why can't you just install the 100 amp box for now and he starts with "no, no, no" you have to rewire the whole house and the outside and it will cost $5,000. I asked why can't you just install the new box and hook in the old 2 wire system I have now into it. Isn't it just a live and neutral?
 
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Old 07-10-09, 04:42 PM
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396, are you telling us that you only have two wires coming from the pole to your house? If yes, then you must really be out in the sticks. I have NEVER seen a residence with only 120 volt service and I have been around the block a couple times.

If all you have now is two-wire 120 volt service then you most certainly will need to replace everything from the point where the utility company's wires connect through to your existing fuse panel. However, you do NOT have to do it all at once although that would be the preferred method.

What you could do is install your new circuit breaker panel next to the existing fuse panel (if you have only 120 volts I know that you don't have circuit breakers) and run your new wiring (for new circuits and to replace deteriorating existing circuits) to the new panel. You could then take a "tap" from the old panel to energize the new panel and the new circuits. You would not be able to use any more electricity than before with this system but it could be done.

A better way would be to install a new "Service" which includes a mast, meter socket and conduit (if necessary) and wiring from the utility's wires to the new circuit breaker panel. From the new panel you would run a properly sized cable or conduit with wires to the existing fuse box and energize the existing from the new.

Either way you will need to have a permit unless your area has no permit and inspection requirements. Usually an electrical permit is only good for 6 month to a year so you would have to finish the work in the applicable time frame and have it inspected and approved.

Some pictures of your existing installation would be interesting.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 05:11 PM
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Question 2 wire

I meant 2 wire through-out the house. You know the kind with no ground, I just don't know the proper term.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 05:41 PM
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I'm sure what is meant is you have standard 3 wire, with 240, but have 120 outlets and switches throughout, that are only 2-wire, like the old knob and tube.

Others I'm sure will weigh in as to what most codes (or the NEC) allows when it comes to transfering this old stuff, to a new box.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 05:42 PM
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Okay, totally different scenario. The proper terminology would be that you have no equipment grounding conductor in your branch circuit wiring. Shorthand would be that you do not have grounded branch circuits.

Do you have knob and tube wiring? This is individual wires that are run with porcelain "knobs" holding the wire tight and porcelain "tubes" encircling the wires where they run through wooden framing members. These individual wires will also have a woven cloth tube ("loom") over the individual wires where they pass through steel wiring "boxes" for connection to lamp fixtures, switches and receptacles. This wiring system is now obsolete and the electrical insulation is cloth-covered rubber that often dries out and becomes brittle, especially in lamp fixture boxes.

Or do you have what is commonly called "BX" wiring? This has the same cloth-covered rubber insulated wire inside a spiral-wrap steel flexible covering.

Or you may have what is often called "Romex" which is a "cable" (two or more individual wires with an overall covering) where the covering is a tarred cloth and/or paper assembly. Newer versions of this cable is covered with a plastic jacket. The official name is "type NM" for non-metallic sheathed cable.

One last wiring system is a full conduit job. This is similar to steel water pipe (rigid conduit) or a lightweight tubing (EMT for electrical metallic tubing) or a flexible steel conduit that looks similar to the BX cable but is made to have the interior wires replaceable.

I would suggest that the simplest plan for you would be to have the entire new service installed, that is, a new mast, meter socket and circuit breaker panel and then install a connection from the new circuit breaker panel to the existing fuse box. This can be done a little bit at a time until all the pieces are in place and then the utility will (after inspected and approved) disconnect from the old and reconnect to the new. Total outage would, in most cases, less than an hour.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 06:30 PM
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breaker box

That sounds like a good idea..I'll have the new 100 ampbox installed next to the old 60 amp fuse box and into it and then work on re-wiring up to the 3 wire grounded kind.
 
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