200 Amp Service Upgrade


Old 03-31-16, 06:17 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northern California
Posts: 30
Question 200 Amp Service Upgrade

Converting our two story 1892 residence with four studio apartments to a single family residence. Square footage is 3700. Current exterior setup is 200 amps feeding five meters with BR style breakers. One panel is 100 amp and the other four are 20 amp. All lighting circuits & smoke detectors on #14 Romex and all receptacles on #12 Romex. Have changed all the receptacles to tamper proof using LeGrand Adorne.

Considering the Eaton Plug On Neutral models, but they do no show an outdoor model which is what I need.

Currently have 30 circuits, but remodeling kitchen later this year. Will probably need a 42 space enclosure.

Whole house surge protection, or individual circuits? Have two home offices.

Would like to use AFCI/GFCI breakers for the kitchen and baths, but will have to check approval with our city building department .

Will also check to see if two grounding rods are needed and if most of the breakers will need to changed to AFCIs.

Anything else worth discussing when selecting the electrical contractor?
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Old 04-04-16, 08:28 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,515
Just the usual good practice of getting a couple estimates. Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured - reputable contractors will provide this information readily. Make sure they pull the proper permits and get required inspections. I believe in California it is trivial to verify license numbers on the state government website.

Ask questions and make sure you get satisfactory answers. Your contractor should be the one doing all the negotiating with the city inspection office -- that's what you pay them for. It's usually not a great idea to take the lowest bid, especially if it is far below the pack, unless you're also very comfortable with that person and understand why they are cheaper.

A home of that size will certainly need at least one 42 space enclosure, perhaps two depending on how extensive your remodel is and what major appliances you have. The service grounding will need to be updated, including ground rods. Whole house surge protectors (in addition to good grounding) are much, much more effective than point-of-use or individual circuit units.

Now would be the time to plan for any major electrical requirements you might have/want in the future: hot tub, on demand water heater, backup generator, outbuilding / workshop / metalworking tools, electric car charger, mother-in-law apartment in the basement, etc. If you currently have overhead service, many people are happier with the look of switching to underground -- if interested discuss with your contractor.

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