200 amp?

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With all the movement towards energy star appliances, CFL lighting and microwave infra red cooking what do you folks see in the future for power needs for our homes? 200amp--100amp or less. Might be a dumb thought but I am interested in how others feel. Frank
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Frank wrote:

More, not less, would be my hypothesis. Individual devices may go down somewhat, but I'd expect numbers of devices and other usage to exceed that...
--
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Around here new houses are putting in 400a. I can't imagine why anyone would need that, or 4000sf for that matter.

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Toller wrote:

Around here 4,000sf was the minimum size new "house" that many builders would build. From friends in real estate that size or larger is the minimum for proper bragging rights and they couldn't sell houses that were smaller. We comfortably raised a family in a third of that space.
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wrote:

Depends on the size of the home and what electrical devices will be used. Electric ranges, electric heating, electric water heating, and Air conditioning are the biggest users. If you dont have much of this, your basic lighting and appliances dont consume that much power. The small uses have probably leveled off in recent years. Houses have more lights, and more electric gadgets, but most of these things consume less power. CF lights draw less, new tvs compared to the old tube sets use much less, etc.... But when it comes to the big consumers, like ranges and heating, etc. they still suck the power in large amounts. 100A should handle the needs of most smallish average homes without all the big consumers, but there are too many variables to determine YOUR needs. You need to sit down and determine what you will be running, and add up the power needs.
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Frank wrote:

If people were logical I'd expect them to stabilize around 200A for a "medium" house. Bigger houses would of course require more.
We have a 1250 sq ft house and a 100A panel. Currently it's fine, but if I ever wanted to add a 5HP cyclone and a big compressor I'd have to upgrade the main panel. The actual service is 200A, so it would be fairly straightforward to swap out the panel itself.
Chris
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I dont think that number will be decreasing for at least the next 30 years or so. It also depends on if natural gas is available locally too. The "base metabolism" of homes is greater now, that is the amount of current the house still eats up even though you think everything is "turned off", wall warts draw constantly, embedded computers inside smart switches draw constantly too, security cameras, TV's in standby, etc. You only need the big amps for intermittent items like AC, tools, etc. When really we're getting nicked and dimed on the base usage.
Rather than reducing mains panel size, I would rather see the future bring a parallel set of low-amp AC wiring with a new outlet standard being powered by a local solar panel or other alternative source. Then you could use those special outlets for all those wall warts and things that draw low current constantly. A future TV set could conceiveable have 2 power cords, one you plug into your current grid outlet (for run time) and another you plug into your local outlet (for quiescent power draw needs). Cell phone chargers, etc. could also go local.
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RickH wrote:

For sure, part of that is because people were told it is good to buy cheap stuff so manufacturers use the absolute cheapest power supplies/components possible. Efficient power supply designs are more expensive.

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My house is all-electric. 200A is a must.
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if your considering a main panel replacement 200 amps is minimum, and costs little more than a 100 amps,
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With Ng heat and HW, If you want to Burn money put in what ever you as a sucker are sold. With energy savings in mind and as the issue, 100a is more than enough for all but the largest house and family to Zone 7. Put in more into design and insulation first.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Less than five dollars more.
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Just the wire to the house runs $150 in seattle for 200 amp. 150 amp is free.
Bob
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Bob F wrote:

I meant the circuit-breaker box.
If you're electricity supplier is jerking you around on new wires, just call 'em up and ask for another (free) 150 amp service drop.
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Which they will happily connect to an additional meter, adding an additional meter charge each month.
Bob
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wrote:

Actually they won't. It is a violation of the National Electric Code. A structure can only be served by one service drop with a very few exceptions NEC 230.2
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what about the houses that number in the tens of thousands in our area that have a seperate meter for the electric heat? Or doesn't that count as a 'drop'?
s

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Steve Barker wrote:

If its coming off the same set of lines from the power company, and just metered separately, then it isn't a separate "drop".
Chris
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I C. that's they way they are. Thanks.
s

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On Tue, 06 Nov 2007 15:41:17 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Is this the code these days, or is this just "more is better thinking". I run a whole farm on a 200A service. I'm wired for 400A but I only use one of the two 200A cartridge fuses on the pole box. My house only has a 60A breaker, and one barn has a 100A, the garage has a 100A and the other barn is only 30A fed from the garage, which is right next door. I have never tripped a breaker yet, except when a motor burned out. I'd hate to pay the bill for someone that actually uses all 200A, and anyone needing 400A needs an extra job just to pay the electric bill. Actual consumption is not always in accordance with the "bigger is better thinking", which seems to be the rule these days in most everything.
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