What amp service is my house?

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Old 12-13-10, 12:26 PM
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What amp service is my house?

Hey Guys,

We bought a house a few years ago and we were told at the time that it had 200amp service and everyone said "Wow, that's great!"

Nothing has really caused me to doubt this. We've never blown a breaker or anything since we've lived here. I assume with a higher amp service you can have more electrical outlets all over the house if you wanted. Our house is just over 800 square feet and we've got plenty of outlets.

I'm just curious. How can I tell what amperage service my house has?

Thanks in advance for any info.

Regards, Bill the painter (and definitely not an electrician).
 
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Old 12-13-10, 12:37 PM
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amps

In my experience it's usually on your main breaker, it usually says it there. If your mains are seperate from the service panel check them there and at the ser. panel, you could have a sub panel somewhere that you dont know about. Best of luck

in addtion:

I'm not an electrician, just a DIY who has been knee deep in electrical stuff. If you can't find it on your mains or the box, try the meter. If you can't find it then, call someone, last thing you wanna do is to go poking around inside the panel or at the mains. Safety First!
 

Last edited by InNeedofHeat; 12-13-10 at 12:42 PM. Reason: in addtion
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Old 12-13-10, 12:39 PM
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From my assumption is whatever the main breaker is at the panel is what amp service you have.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 12-13-10, 01:28 PM
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In most cases the size service you have is equal to the rating of the MAIN breaker in the first electrical panel after the meter. If you have a large meter cabinet with an access door, the main breaker may be integrated into the meter box and not in the house panel. The rating is given in amps and is often stamped, embossed or painted on the main breaker handle. Typical sizes are 60A, 100A, 125A, 150A, 200A.

I assume with a higher amp service you can have more electrical outlets all over the house if you wanted. Our house is just over 800 square feet and we've got plenty of outlets.
A 200A service is large enough to support much more than just outlets like electric heat/cooling, woodshop tools, metalworking tools, spa and some tankless water heater models.
 
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Old 12-13-10, 05:24 PM
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I beleive you just add the main disconnects together. nec allows up to six.
 
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Old 12-13-10, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
I beleive you just add the main disconnects together. nec allows up to six.
That would be from the old split bus days which are now ancient history. Today's codes require a main breaker or main disconnect for a residential service. Even in the split bus days you didn't add the ratings of the disconnects together, but would have to check the rating of the panel, rating of the meter socket and the service entrance wire size and type to determine the service size.
 
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Old 12-14-10, 06:45 AM
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Thanks guys. Just checked the main breaker and it is stamped at 200A, which is really funny because our house is so tiny. I guess it must be because we have electric baseboard heaters throughout the house or something.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-14-10, 08:45 AM
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The electric baseboards probably made the 200A service a good idea. It is also the labor that is the primary expense when installing a service so a 200A is not that much more expensive than 100A or 150A; a previous owner may have simply decided to go big for future expansion when replacing the original service.
 
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