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Can you upgrade form 100 amp service to 200 amp service if you have solar?

Can you upgrade form 100 amp service to 200 amp service if you have solar?

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Old 08-27-19, 11:46 AM
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Can you upgrade form 100 amp service to 200 amp service if you have solar?

Hello,
I'm looking to upgrade my electrical service from 100 amp to 200 amp and I have Solar City solar panels. When I installed the panels I was told " I can do any electrical work I would normally do without any issue even if I have the Solar Panels". I started searching the internet and this may not be the case.

Should any good electrician be able to upgrade my service even though I have solar panels? It seems like it's not as easy as I thought it would be?

Anyone have experience with this. I'm starting to read horror stories about Solar City installation and them not doing things to code and it's starting to worry me. It's a grid fed system.

Thanks
 
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Old 08-27-19, 11:49 AM
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It is entirely up to your local government if homeowners are allowed to do service entrance work. Some places it's allowed, some require a licensed contractor.

The solar shouldn't make too much of a difference, except the job may be more complicated and might be limited on which equipment you can use.

I normally would not recommend doing a service job yourself except for someone who is a pretty skilled DIYer and is willing to do some learning. It's not the kind of thing to cut your teeth on. Only you can make that judgment.
 
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Old 08-27-19, 11:59 AM
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Sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm absolutely hiring an electrician. I have a few coming out this week. My concern is that if an electrician has never dealt with a service upgrade on a house that has Solar, should I be worried? Or is it pretty much the same process accept I assume you have to power down the solar system and then start the work and power it back up when your done.
 
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Old 08-27-19, 12:08 PM
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Hi, what solar equipment do you have installed now aside from the panels?
Geo
 
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Old 08-27-19, 12:27 PM
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Not sure what you mean but I have a white box on the outside of the house with a digital panel on it, along with an on/off switch attached to a grey box on the outside of the house. Sorry, I don't know what the stuff is called. On the inside I have what's in the picture.
That grey box under the panel belongs to solar city. I realize I'll probably have to move everything to the left to put in a new box.
 
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Old 08-27-19, 04:08 PM
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I've replaced services with solar. It's not a major hurdle for a licensed electrician. I've found some "hack" connections to older main panels that were difficult to upgrade.

Typically the solar is connected directly into your main panel on the incoming power wiring. That means there is no circuit breaker in the main panel for the solar. In order to satisfy the NEC safety requirement..... in your case you have a fused disconnect which is that gray box under the panel.
 
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Old 08-27-19, 05:12 PM
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Thanks. Good to know. I found one electrician that seemed scared when I mentioned solar so I'm guessing he won't call me back. I found another who said solar isn't going to be a problem and offered to come by and give me an estimate. He's guessing around $2000 for the upgrade. Which seems reasonable to me.
 
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Old 08-27-19, 06:54 PM
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$2K would be a typical guestimate price for a 200A service with copper service wire and a 40 circuit panel.

I favor copper wiring and conduit over aluminum service cable although both are acceptable. You have aluminum service cable now. If you're near the salt air.... stick with copper.
 
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