Changing from 200 amp to 400 amp service

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  #1  
Old 08-11-14, 05:37 PM
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Changing from 200 amp to 400 amp service

I currently have 200 amp service to my house. It consists of a main panel box and a sub panel, which is fed by a 60 amp double pole out of the main panel box. Every single "single pole" breaker is a "piggy back" setup, and both boxes are maxed out of space. I have the need for at least 4 or 5 more double pole slots, and another concern is the service going to an outside garage. Now, the garage only has a 12-2 underground wire running out there for lights. I would like it to be 50amp to 100amp service in the garage.

I've been told that I could change the meter socket, wiring from the socket to the panel boxes, and add another 200 amp main panel to achieve a 400 amp "split service."

A couple of questions: 1) Is this correct?
2.) Would I need to change the wire from the electric pole to the meter socket (underground wire)?

Thanks for any insight!
 
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Old 08-11-14, 06:28 PM
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I've been told that I could change the meter socket, wiring from the socket to the panel boxes, and add another 200 amp main panel to achieve a 400 amp "split service."

A couple of questions: 1) Is this correct?
As long as both main panels are grouped together then yes.

2.) Would I need to change the wire from the electric pole to the meter socket (underground wire)?

That's the power company's responsibility to worry about.
 
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Old 08-11-14, 06:59 PM
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It's not always the power companies responsibility to run the wires underground to the meter.
The power company does not have to just offer you a 400A service. You may have to pay for an upgrade depending on the street setup.

It would be wise to check with the power company first.
 
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Old 08-11-14, 07:12 PM
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Before doing anything else a demand load calculation is in order. Just because you have used all the available spaces in the service panel and an auxiliary panel does not necessarily mean that you need a larger service. You may only need a second "sub"-panel from the service panel.

For what it is worth, I have a 200 ampere service with a 20/40 panel along with two 8/16 panels with a total circuit breaker rating of over 900 amperes yet my maximum draw is probably less then 80 amperes at the most.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 04:25 AM
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if you called the power company.....ASK FOR THE METER SHOP..........they can install a recording amp meter on your service for severial days or weeks............this would give you the max demand...AT THIS TIME OF YEAR.

if you use electric heat you would add a bit since heat would be a larger load then A/C

add anything else you would run in the winter but not now(a large load)

if the max load is under 160 amps you are in good shape............(IT COULD BE UNDER 80 OR 100 unless you run 4 or 5 5 ton A/C's,3 water heaters and have 8 kids)

you can just add a large 40 circuit subpanel beside your main panel

feed it with a 125 amp feed.

the cheepest panel might be 200 amp with a main breaker.....that is OK...you can feed it with any size circuit you wish.

SQ "D" brand is the best TYPE "QO" do not use homeline...it has an aluminum bus.

IMHO....................YMMV
 
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Old 08-12-14, 07:26 AM
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I wonder if he has a smart meter. Couldn't that give peak load info without adding a recorder or am I wrong.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 08:30 AM
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I wonder if he has a smart meter. Couldn't that give peak load info without adding a recorder or am I wrong.

Unless he has a continuous load, it'll probably be wrong. In April, we ran all the cooking stuff off the house and looking at the meter's online graphs it said we were only using 5KW...even though some of the elements use almost 6KW each. It seemed like it smoothed out the highs and lows. Just my experience with them.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 09:12 AM
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I currently have 200 amp service to my house. It consists of a main panel box and a sub panel, which is fed by a 60 amp double pole out of the main panel box. Every single "single pole" breaker is a "piggy back" setup, and both boxes are maxed out of space. I have the need for at least 4 or 5 more double pole slots, and another concern is the service going to an outside garage. Now, the garage only has a 12-2 underground wire running out there for lights. I would like it to be 50amp to 100amp service in the garage.
I see nothing in the original post that would indicate that the OP needs a 400 amp service. Yes, a load calculation is in order, like Furd suggested. I suspect that all the OP needs is more circuit space which he could get from a 50 or 60 circuit 200 amp panel.
 
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Old 10-06-14, 06:18 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. I guess I had my "subscriptions" set wrong for this thread and didn't review all the responses until now. I have an electrician coming at the end of this week, and I guess he'll take a look at the load(s) and see if I actually need more service or just more space.

Thanks again for all the insight!
 
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