200 amp main panel with 100 amp breaker

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A new friend asked me.......
He has a FPE stab loc 100 amp main panel, and knows this model can cause fires. worse his panel has many 1/2 breakers, panel is maxed out with around 28 circuits. ABSOLUTELY JAMMED
he wonders about replacing the 100 amp panel with a 200 amp, to get 40 breakers, and swap out for now the main 200 amp breaker for a 100 amp?
he has never had a main breaker trip, his problem is FPE, and number of circuits. h
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this elminates the need for new service drop, meter can etc
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

And the question is???
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On Tue, 27 May 2008 08:13:37 -0500, dpb wrote:

Not necessarily. My son wanted to update his 100 amp service box with a larger number of circuits. The city refused the permit unless he totally upgraded to 200 amp service. That was not necessary for me when I simply changed breaker boxes for a larger number of circuits. Check with the city zoning and permit office.

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Mike Dobony wrote:

Shame you have to live in a city that requires a permit to replace or modify a breaker box.
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On Tue, 27 May 2008 10:03:46 -0500, HeyBub wrote:

If you have no shutoff at the meter or pole and you need to pull the meter to shut off the electricity the utility company will require a permit. I took advantage of a major power outage to change one box out.
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Mike Dobony wrote:

Heh! Not in my little town.
Call the power company and within six hours they'll be along remove the meter seal. When you're done with whatever you need to do, call the power company. Within 24 hours they'll be back to replace the seal.
No permit. No inspection. No nothing.
'Course I live in Houston; perhaps it's different in more progressive cities.
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ANOTHER good reason not to get the city involved. What the OP is proposing is perfectly safe and doesn't need any governmental intervention.
s

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S. Barker wrote:

As long as doesn't try to add additional circuit load. That isn't really unsafe, but may introduce a lot of nuisance trips if becomes excessive for the service entrance breaker. Wouldn't expect it, but if were to add additional A/C or other large loads of a semi-continuous nature, just conceivably could strain capacity...
But I agree that to simply swap service panels if substitute a 100A (approved for the panel) breaker and use a 200A-rated panel is fine.
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One consideration about not getting a permit (if they're required in your area) is that if there is a fire or similar problem later and the insurance finds out you had replaced the panel without getting an inspection, might they deny coverage? Even if the problem had nothing to do with the panel change, I'm wondering if they would use it as a justification to avoid payment.
I'm not any kind of expert, and of course it's up to the homeowner, but that was a concern I had when I did a panel upgrade several years ago. My service could handle 200A, though, so the only extra cost was the $30 permit/inspection fee.
Mike O.

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Some people would say that can happen, but in reality, it's bs.
#1. The insurance co has no basis for knowing 'when' this change was made. #2. You say: "like that when i got here" #3. done
s

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On Wed, 28 May 2008 09:07:12 -0500, S. Barker wrote:

Maybe. The insurance companies will look for any reason to not pay out and this is a biggie.

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or didn't do which caused the fire. If you are saying that insurance companies don't pay out on houses which are not up to current code-- then a large chunk of houses don't meet this requirement.
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wrote:

Of course you're right, unless they knew what was here before, they would have no way of knowing the change was done.
I guess my thought would be if there was fire or something that was even remotely connected to the electric (even if it wasn't the panel), they could use the non-inspected panel as an excuse to not pay. Years ago (before I was born), my parents lived in part of a duplex that burned down. The owner, who lived in the other half, did all of his own electric electric work without any permits or inspections. I don't know if the cause of the fire was specifically something he did, but but the insurance didn't pay anything because of the non-approved work. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but my parents pretty much lost all their things.
Besides, I didn't really have a choice anyway, since the city had to cut off the electric and provide the new meter. Also, in my case since it was only $30 out of a $500 project, I figure it was worth it since they included the new meter base and I have the paperwork to show it meets code if there are any questions later.
Mike O.
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if every DIY homeowner change had to be inspected, insurance would never pay a dime. few things really get inspected.....
the largest cause of housefires is kitchen events like grease fires, and smoking.
perhaps cooking and smoking in homes should be outlawed:)
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On Wed, 28 May 2008 20:38:08 +0000 (UTC), Jonathan Grobe wrote:

Assuming the improper wiring was not the problem.
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S. Barker wrote:

If a court case ensues, do you swear to your answer to #2 and commit perjury?

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>> One consideration about not getting a permit (if they're required in your >> area) is that if there is a fire or similar problem later and the >> insurance finds out you had replaced the panel without getting an >> inspection, might they deny coverage? Even if the problem had nothing to >> do with the panel change, I'm wondering if they would use it as a >> justification to avoid payment. >> >> I'm not any kind of expert, and of course it's up to the homeowner, but >> that was a concern I had when I did a panel upgrade several years ago. >> My service could handle 200A, though, so the only extra cost was the $30 >> permit/inspection fee. >> >> Mike O. >> S. Barker wrote: > Some people would say that can happen, but in reality, it's bs. > > #1. The insurance co has no basis for knowing 'when' this change was made. > #2. You say: "like that when i got here" > #3. done > > s > > You had better hope that the adjuster is an incompetent then. I have worked in Fire & Rescue for thirty five years and I can assure you that some adjusters do know their business. You say it was like that when you got there but the panel was manufactured during the time you have been their insured. I've been deposed in two cases were the insurance company was denying a claim. Both insureds were financially ruined by the decision in the carriers favor. I will be the first to admit that the work in one case was so obviously slipshod that the matter was rather plain. In the other case however it was a sharp adjuster that spotted the galvanized piping used in a gas line. He knew that no gas fitter would ever waste galvanized piping on gas lines. The insurance adjuster demanded that the home owner provide the name of the gas fitting contractor so they could recover the loss from the gas piping contractor's liability insurer. When the homeowner could not provide the name of the firm that did the work the claim was successfully denied.
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The insurance carrier could only deny the claim if the no permit work was the cause of the loss. If that work were the cause of the loss however they would certainly deny the claim and would be judgment proof in doing so.
An insurance contract is a "contract of utmost good faith." Both parties to the contract are expected to scrupulously obey the law in any matter that might cause a loss or affect the ability to pay a claim. Doing electrical work without drawing an electrical permit in a jurisdiction were a permit is required is simply not worth the risk. To obtain a permit in many places you need only apply and pay the administrative cost and the inspection fee. Most electrical inspectors are decent folk who are just trying to do their job conscientiously. It seldom takes that much more to do the job right.
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