100 amp panel?

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Old 11-06-13, 02:02 PM
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100 amp panel?

I am wanting to replace my 60 amp fuse panel with a 100 amp breaker panel. Is there a way to check the voltage of the entrance wires to see if they are adequate for a 100 amp panel? 100 amp is all I need. I did check the voltage coming in with a multimeter and there are 3 entrance wires one is aluminum and they showed 240 checked together and a little over 110 checked seperately. The house was built in the 70s. Please reply soon.
 
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Old 11-06-13, 02:17 PM
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I am wanting to replace my 60 amp fuse panel with a 100 amp breaker panel. Is there a way to check the voltage of the entrance wires to see if they are adequate for a 100 amp panel? 100 amp is all I need.
If your original service is just 60 amps, I can't think of a single reason why it would have 100 amp rated service entrance wiring. The size of the wire isn't determined by voltage, it's determined by the amperage rating of the main disconnect. The service entrance wiring and meter socket must be rated at least as high as the main breaker rating. For a residential 100 amp service, either #2 aluminum or #4 copper conductors are allowed, larger is OK as long as it fits the lugs.



Nashkat brings up a good point.
When we upgraded our service from 60A to 200A the original triplex stayed in place.
The power company will take care of any increases in size of their service drop, but you have to tell them when you add load to their system. Just increasing the size of your panel is not increasing the load. Are you adding load such as an electric range, electric heat or electric water heater?
 

Last edited by CasualJoe; 11-06-13 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Added Info
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Old 11-06-13, 02:22 PM
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When we upgraded our service from 60A to 200A the original triplex stayed in place.
 
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Old 11-07-13, 01:09 AM
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Nothing will be added. It already has the stove and water heater and dryer. Heat is gas but uses Electricity to blow it out. I only want to replace because the house is wired like crazy, Like different rooms together. I run 2 110 A/Cs in the summer with no problem. I would just like to have each room on it own breaker and maybe the A/Cs on their own breaker. Could I just change the entrance wire also? It is not even 2 feet of wire. Meter base on outside wall and the panel is directly behind it in the basement. This is just a basic 3 bedroom home. Thanks everyone for the replys.
 
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Old 11-07-13, 06:58 AM
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Could I just change the entrance wire also? It is not even 2 feet of wire. Meter base on outside wall and the panel is directly behind it in the basement.
Some pictures of both the panel inside and the meter and all wiring up to the weather head would be helpful (assuming this is an overhead service). There may be 2 feet of wire between the meter socket and the panel, but the wire from the meter sockets up to the power company connection at the weatherhead may also have to be changed. In addition, grounding needs to be updated to today's code. This is generally not a DIY project and requires a permit, inspection and coordination with the power company.
 
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Old 11-07-13, 11:25 AM
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Size:  43.2 KBHere is some pics.
 
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Old 11-07-13, 11:41 AM
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That looks like old 100 amp cable.
 
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Old 11-07-13, 01:13 PM
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That looks like old 100 amp cable.
Yes, it does. I was wanting to see a picture of the weatherhead and service connections too. The cables entering the fuse box look to me to be older than from the '70s unless it was maybe the very early '70s. I was thinking they looked to be from the early to mid '60s.
 
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Old 11-07-13, 02:00 PM
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I will get a pic of the weather head tomorrow. Work time now. You all have a great evening and thanks so much for the replys.
 
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Old 11-07-13, 04:15 PM
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The overhead looks like newer triplex. What is in the box below the right hand meter socket? It looks like a disconnect.
 
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Old 11-07-13, 07:08 PM
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What is in the box below the right hand meter socket? It looks like a disconnect.
My thoughts exactly and it also appears to be newer than the house, it is connected with PVC conduit. I'd guess there is either a 60 amp or 100 amp breaker in there. The right meter socket appears to have the load side wiring exiting through the right side.
 
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Old 11-08-13, 01:46 AM
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That box is something to do with like a small sewer pump station that is the yard. I assume it is a disconnect for it. It was here when I moved here. The owner of the house wants me update it some so my first project is a breaker panel. Would you know why there is 2 meter socket bases? Why would the load wiring be coming out of the right socket and not the one with the meter attached? I will post the weather head pic later today.
 
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Old 11-08-13, 07:37 AM
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owner of the house
This is a red flag! If you are not the owner of the house, or you are not an electrical contractor, in many locations you are not allowed to do electrical work.

The two meters would allow you to meter two loads. Two rental units?
 
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Old 11-08-13, 08:07 AM
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Why would the load wiring be coming out of the right socket and not the one with the meter attached?
That could be load wiring for the right meter socket. The load wiring for the left meter socket could be going through the back of the socket and directly through the wall.

Would you know why there is 2 meter socket bases?
Some power companies used to have a lower rate (40 years ago) for things such as electric heating and/or electric water heating and used the second meter for those loads.
 
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Old 11-08-13, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe
Why would the load wiring be coming out of the right socket and not the one with the meter attached?
That could be load wiring for the right meter socket. The load wiring for the left meter socket could be going through the back of the socket and directly through the wall.
My thought exactly.

Originally Posted by CasualJoe
Would you know why there is 2 meter socket bases?
Some power companies used to have a lower rate (40 years ago) for things such as electric heating and/or electric water heating and used the second meter for those loads.
Or so the landlord could pay for some of the billing - like the pump - on a separate account? Or because the house was once two units, or the owner was considering making it two units?

[SUP]ETA: Oops! Didn't see Tolyn's comment before posting that! [/SUP]
 
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Old 11-08-13, 12:28 PM
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Size:  39.2 KBNo this is just a single family home. Here is the pics of the weather head and thanks again for the replys.
 
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Old 11-08-13, 01:27 PM
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I am going out on a limb to say I believe the wiring at the mast is good at least for 100 amps and maybe as much as 150 amps. Need to know wire size to know for sure. That sure is a strange way of attaching to a mast down there, I have never seen a wedge clamp looped around a mast like that before, but it's old, very old. In my opinion, you are due a complete new modern service. I am pretty sure that house is probably 10 to 20 years older than you think it is.
 
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Old 11-08-13, 02:15 PM
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Yeah I would love to have a complete new 200 amp panel but I feel at this point a 100 amp panel will be more than enough. So in your opinion do you feel the entrance wire would be ok for a 100 amp panel and what about the meter base or whatever it is called?
 
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Old 11-08-13, 02:20 PM
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Around here the connection at the drop would be the sort that happens when a bootleg electrician does the job since it seems to have been done with tape not bugs.
 
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Old 11-08-13, 06:37 PM
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Services around here are mostly all connected with compression connectors today, but for many years they were connected with mechanical connectors and taped with 1 1/2" friction tape so tape doesn't bother me so much. It is pretty obvious, however, there are not even split bolts in the OP's service connection. In addition, the neutral conductor is barely long enough to make it out of the weatherhead. I agree, ray, appears a bootleg electrician connected that service. Here, there has to be a mast wireholder clamped to the mast for the wedge clamp.

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So in your opinion do you feel the entrance wire would be ok for a 100 amp panel and what about the meter base or whatever it is called?
My opinion? You may not like it, but if I were the contractor looking at your project, I'd tell you the whole service must be replaced including the mast and all service entrance wiring and meter socket. You probably don't need a 200 amp service if you have been getting by with a 60 amp panel unless you are planning some major increases in load. You could easily go with 100 or 125 amps. If you need more circuits, you can get a copper bus, 100 amp main breaker panel with 30 spaces for $75 at a big box store.
 
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Old 11-09-13, 04:05 PM
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I agree with Joe. That mast looks pretty nasty!
 
  #22  
Old 11-09-13, 08:30 PM
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Yeah that is probably what will happen. New drop and meter base. But I am not ready for that at this time. If it was you if you really wanted to install the 100 amp panel, Would you with the drop that is there and with the meter base that is there and just put in new entrance cable from the meter to the panel? Probably be a spring project now for me since it is getting cold and no heat for a few days would not be good. Thanks everyone for the replys.
 
  #23  
Old 11-10-13, 07:26 AM
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If it was you if you really wanted to install the 100 amp panel, Would you with the drop that is there and with the meter base that is there and just put in new entrance cable from the meter to the panel?
Don't worry about the drop from the pole, the power company will take care of that generally based upon actual load. No, I wouldn't install a new 100 amp panel without doing it all. It's not really a DIY project.
 
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Old 11-10-13, 07:46 AM
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Since you said the owner wants you to do this that means it may not be legal for you to do the work as you are not the owner. If the property is rental it may not even be legal for the owner to do the work themselves. There are liability issues either way.

Time to hire this one out.
 
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