upgrading service panel

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  #1  
Old 03-19-02, 09:59 AM
awiseguy
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upgrading service panel

My mothers house has a 60 amp panel with the old glass screw in fuses, she has contacted a few electricians about upgrading to a 150 amp panel to add some new circuts for central air etc, one guy says you need to change the panel, meter box, and the line between the 2, the other guy said just the panel, can someone please advise me what is actually required to be changed for his upgrade so we don't get ripped off, Thanks
 
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Old 03-19-02, 11:10 AM
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Check with the power company to see if you need a new drop wire. If the wiring between the meter and the panel needs replacing, according to one guy, then the drop wire may need replacing too.

Did the guy say it should be replaced because it's inadequate or just old?

It's not uncommon to have to replace everything from the pole to the panel when upgrading from 60 amps. The power company should provide the wire to the dwelling. It's your responsibility from there on. This would be my recommendation.
 
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Old 03-19-02, 05:20 PM
Wgoodrich
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You are talking about a dangerous mistake that can be made in your question.

If you install a 150 amp main service rated panel on an existing 60 amp service conductor installed between the point of connection including the riser wire and the meter to panel wire and you increase load you will risk a high probability of a melt down and a high fire risk. Make sure what amp rating the existing conductors feeding that main service panel before you increase a service panel size and increase load. A 60 amp rated service conductor can not carry 150 amps that the panel can ask of it, it would overheat and cause a fire. Confirm with both electrical bidders and ask why. If one says the service conductor is too small then the other says it is not then I would call the electrical inspector over your area and ask him to confirm what you have and if it is safe to increase panel size without increasing service conductor size.

I have had more than a couple of hot wired panels changed in my jurisdiction that caused a melt down of the service conductor being too small. Just changing the panel is often a cheap trick to underbid another contractor. Two of the house this was done on caught fire and was turned in by the Utility Company. The home owners never had a clue they were short sheeted.

Be careful and be sure by that there is a permit and inspection by the local electrical inspector to ensure your safety.

You did ask a very good and important question. I compliment you on knowing to ask !

Good Luck

Wg
 
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