Service upgrade question

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  #1  
Old 08-15-13, 03:42 PM
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Service upgrade question

I am about to begin a kitchen remodel on my home (built in 79, 1800 sq ft.)and was curious if i would need to upgrade my service. I calulated my electrical needs and came up with 77 amps total including the additional appliances i am adding. I went out and looked at my main service disconnect and found a 90 amp breaker feeding my entire home going to a sub panel in my garage. Below that is a 30 amp service disconnect for an add a/c unit that was added on a few years ago. Since i was under the impression that most residential service is either 60, 100, 150, or 200 amps, i was curious what my service is. I called the power company (pg&e) and was told i have "up to but no more than 320 amp service to my meter."

So my question what exactly do i have going on? Can i upgrade my panel to say 100 amps going to my home (assuming wiring is of correct size and type)? Would i need to get the power company involved for this change other than to shut down power? Do i even need to with only 77 amps of draw and a 90 amp service? Any info you have based on what i told you and not being able to see it would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 08-15-13, 04:49 PM
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A 90 amp service would be an unusual size. It sounds like you might have a meter/main combo and the 90 feeds a subpanel inside.

Upgrading to 100 amps would hardly be worth the additional 10 amps and is probably not feasible anyway. Rarely are oversized wires run so there is a good chance you would need to upgrade the feeder going inside anyway.

Is you service overhead or underground?

Just about all times are power company and permits and inspections involved in a service upgrade.
 
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Old 08-15-13, 04:59 PM
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You are correct, the 90 feeds a subpanel inside. Its underground service. I dont think i need to upgrade to 100 since my demand is around 77 amps. I just figured that with 90 amps or 120 amps including the a/c, both being unusual sizes, maybe my service level would be higher and for some reason the previous owner(s) stuck a 90 amp in the main instead of what is actually required.

How can i figure out what my actual service level is? Or do i need the poco or my electrician to come figure it out?
 
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Old 08-15-13, 05:31 PM
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After talking to a buddy that is an electrician, he mentioned that this panel that I am calling my main, which is to the right of my meter might not actually be my main service disconnect and actually be a sub panel. Below my meter is a cover that states do no open or something similar and he said that in there might be my actual service disconnect. I am not home to check but does this sound like common practice?
 
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Old 08-15-13, 05:45 PM
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If you can post a picture it might help us see your situation.
 
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Old 08-15-13, 06:06 PM
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I will post pics when i get home but that wont be for a few days
 
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