Inspection Advice for Main Panel Upgrade

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Old 06-11-14, 02:56 PM
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Inspection Advice for Main Panel Upgrade

We live in Ca and our electricity supplier is PG&E, we would like to upgrade our main panel from 100A to 200A, we do not want to do anything yet with this extra power, its an upgrade we are doing to prepare the house for sale.

We would like to know what happens during inspections. Specifically, would the inspector want to inspect any sub panels from the main panel? or would he just check that the main panel has been upgraded correctly? Would the inspector need access to the inside of our home?
 
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Old 06-11-14, 04:10 PM
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Sounds like a waste of money to me.

The inspector will need to check the work done and probably check to see if ground and neutrals are properly isolated in any subpanels.
 
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Old 06-11-14, 05:00 PM
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I agree with PCboss. You will not recover the cost of the panel upgrade when you sell the house.
 
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Old 06-11-14, 07:10 PM
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Although 200 amps is not necessary with no major additions of load, I can understand why the OP wants to do this. Many potential buyers are conditioned to look for and ask for 200 amp service whether it is needed or not. In addition, some insurance companies prefer the house have a 200 amp service when calculating homeowner's insurance rates. That being said, don't expect any service upgrade to increase your homes value.
 
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Old 06-11-14, 07:44 PM
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If it's just a PANEL upgrade, w/o needing new supply lines and/or your existing panel is full, I think it makes sense.

I did my own inspection when we purchased here, and if it had only 100A service, I would have dropped my offer lower or looked elsewhere, since we planned a spa and possibly a small pool. It had 150A underground so that was satisfactory to me.
 
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Old 06-11-14, 07:56 PM
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If it's just a PANEL upgrade, w/o needing new supply lines and/or your existing panel is full, I think it makes sense.
The OP said he has 100 amp service and wanted to increase it to 200 amps. That would require replacing the meter socket, service entrance wiring and the panel plus upgrading the grounding.
 
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Old 06-12-14, 01:12 AM
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Well, we can't assume that the service wiring and meter socket need replacement. Maybe they already have wiring to the house that can support 200A or at least 150 (which would be more than enough most likely)? Maybe the meter socket is ok as well and just the actual fuse panel is what needs upgrading? I've seen some weird stuff in CA. Matter of fact, pretty sure on the place we built in VA (builder development...3 models available), we had a choice to upgrade to 200A from 150(?) because the underground services were all run for the higher load. At the time that was a big deal I guess, though the upgrade cost I now know was stupid. $500 IIRC. Whats the panel price difference...$30 or so?

There's really not enough details in the original post.

Anyway, what I meant was as you said...as long as it's no more than a basic upgrade of the feeders to the panel from the meter and maybe the ground, I would consider doing it depending on bid price.
 
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Old 06-12-14, 06:05 AM
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To Vic, while the lines from the utility either overhead or underground would rarely be upgraded during a service increase, the wiring from the panel into the meter and/or from the weatherhead down to the meter will need to be changed. I have never seen someone install larger conductors as a futureproofing. Builders aren't going to pay for an extra like that and no contractor is going to give away materials.
 
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Old 06-12-14, 10:40 AM
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I understand pc, I was just relating my experience. If it's just from the meter to the panel or weatherhead down, not the utility run lines, how much could that run really? A couple of hundred?


I do think the easier route would be to leave as is if it's satisfactory now, and if someone wants more ampacity, they can negotiate at the time of sale. I'm sure very few people (unlike me) really even think about the panel, other than is it fuses or CBs...and probably very few even do that. They are more interested in location, (location, location), "open floor plan", and upgraded kitchens and baths.
 
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