Total Amp Usage

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Old 11-09-12, 06:56 PM
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Total Amp Usage

Is there an easy way to measure the total current amperage I am using? Can I place my non-contact meter over the hot wire coming in from the meter? I want to put in a new box, but I am debating if I should up my 100 amp main breaker.
 
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Old 11-09-12, 07:01 PM
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No.....you need to open the panel and check both of the hot wires coming in. You are questioning an upgrade....why ? Are you going to be adding more load ? Do you have heavy loads now....like Electric cooking, electric heating, central air, a pool, a spa, ETC.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 04:40 AM
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Yes, you can install current transformers and a meter but really, you already have a meter, the power companies. This will not tell you the peak current that you are using and any one time. To do that you need a current datalogger. These are big bucks and in your case not worth it.

Just Google "load calculation" and do a load calc on your home. This will tell you what size service you need.

No matter what the size of your main breaker I suggest installing the panel with the most spaces.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 05:50 AM
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You are questioning an upgrade....why ?
Who ever owned my house before me over used tandem breakers, at least in my opinion. I have heard mixed reviews on them and I guess it makes me uneasy. I want to upgrade to a larger box to put in full size circuits...unless you all think it'll be alright. I did have my house inspected...but the inspector was garbage...
 
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Old 11-10-12, 07:00 AM
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You could install a subpanel and move some lightly loaded circuits to it. Tandem are no worse no better then full size breakers. All have to meet UL or some other certifying agency standards. Some panels such as the US version of Federal Pacific and Zinsco are worse. If you post the make and model of your panel one of the pros can probably tell you how many tandems are permitted.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 10:25 AM
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Tandem breakers are fine PROVIDED that your panel is listed to use the tandems. Some panels may use tandems in all positions and some may only use them in specific locations. Check the label in the inside of the panel door for information.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 02:03 PM
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As long as your panel is in good condition and as Ray mentioned, not a panel with issues, I see no reason to spend the money to upgrade your service. Tandem breakers aren't bad, but you can always add a subpanel for a few hundred $$ if you need space for more circuits.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 06:03 PM
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If you post the make and model of your panel one of the pros can probably tell you how many tandems are permitted.

Check the label in the inside of the panel door for information.
It is a ITE Imperial Corporation panel with 16 full size breaker spots. Thats all the info I could find. I currently have 6 pairs of tandum breakers.....
 
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Old 11-10-12, 06:15 PM
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Sixteen spaces is definetely a small panel. Now we can see the need for the tandems. My opinion.....change the panel.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 06:21 PM
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Sixteen spaces is definetely a small panel. Now we can see the need for the tandems. My opinion.....change the panel
Yep. I'm finishing my basement and whoever redid the electrical ran all of the romex through conduit below the floor joists, so I'll need to remove the conduit and run the wiring through the floor joists before I can put my ceiling up. I figured while I disconnect everything to remove the conduit I might as well put a bigger panel on. I have central air, but no pool, spa, or anything fancy, that is why I am thinking I'll be good keeping the 100A main breaker, just with a bigger panel. I've never had an issue with tripping any breakers. Any opinions?
 
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Old 11-10-12, 07:09 PM
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I have central air, but no pool, spa, or anything fancy, that is why I am thinking I'll be good keeping the 100A main breaker, just with a bigger panel. I've never had an issue with tripping any breakers. Any opinions?
Just one:
Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand
Just Google "load calculation" and do a load calc on your home. This will tell you what size service you need.
All else is speculation.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 07:31 PM
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My opinion......stay with the 100 amp service. Replace breaker panel with 100 amp panel. Opinion on what to put in...... Square D QO
 
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Old 11-11-12, 06:01 AM
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Thank you all for your help.

My opinion......stay with the 100 amp service. Replace breaker panel with 100 amp panel. Opinion on what to put in...... Square D QO

This looks perfect and the price isn't bad either! Thanks PJmax!
 
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Old 11-11-12, 07:16 AM
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It is a ITE Imperial Corporation panel with 16 full size breaker spots. Thats all the info I could find. I currently have 6 pairs of tandum breakers.....
That's a pretty old panel and under the old rules (from what I remember) it has too many circuits in it so you must have some tandems where they don't belong and aren't allowed. Square D QO is good quality, but not cheap. If you want a good quality, copper bus, competitively priced panel that comes with a few breakers, take a look at this one. 100A main breaker, copper bus and 30 circuits for $78.


100 Amp 30 Space/Circuit BR Type Main Breaker Loadcenter Copper Bus Value Pack Includes 6 Breakers-BR3030BC100V at The Home Depot
 
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