60 Amp- Service 1937 Two Story Home - Rewire it?

My 1937 two story home only has 60 amp service. The wiring to the lights and outlet receptacles is all two wire, no ground. Electric water heater and electric range plus two window A/Cs but it handles all the loads okay
The Main and Range fuses are all 60 amp. I need to take the cover off and see if the water heater and range are on the Range circuit. If it is wired that way it would provide a total of 120 Amps through those two circuits and 60 amp fuses.
I need to total the amps with water heater and all elements of the range drawing current.
One large and one small surface element are burned out and I don't need them, so did not replace them. Would you have the entire house rewired with 200 Amp Service? - udarrell
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I'd start with having a 200 amp breaker panel, meter base, and service entrance cable installed. Your electric company can tell you if they need to replace their wires. Then put each wire on it's own properly sized breaker. After that, you can start thinking about adding receptacles, etc.

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says...

Personally, yes, I would puobably have the house rewired. If you have original 1937 wiring that has been modified over the years, it's hard to know if it's really safe without tearing into the walls to see what condition it's in, how it has been changed over the years, etc. Who patched in a bathroom fan with Romex duct-taped to the knob & tube, where have the rats gotten at it, etc.
At the same time, you'll be upgrading to grounded wiring, GFCIs, hard- wired smoke detectors, and various other safety improvements.
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100 amp service should suffice, given that your getting by with 60A and electric appliances now.
The rewiring is more a function of access. If you DIY you can take your time to fiddle with it, and do minimal damage. If your a pro, you knock out walls to keep the labor costs down.
If you decide to DIY, use remodeling boxes, and Greenfield (empty flex), and pull stranded wire. Fish the flex through the walls, and tie it off to a box, and run emt from there. Then pull the wire through, and you can reduce the number of splices.
This is what I do and suggest. Where I live, conduit and inspections are the norm.
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snipped-for-privacy@newsguy.com says...

True, but if you're going to do a rewire anyway, the extra cost of 200A vs. 100A is pretty small, and it leaves more room for later changes. What if he gets the tankless water heater bug a few years down the road?

Or you do half and half, if you find a cooperative electrician. You take some time to minimize damage fishing wire through, and let the pro do the electrical work. This can be a good solution for people who would like to DIY but don't trust their own electrical skills. (Unfortunately, not as common as people who *shouldn't* trust their own electrical skills but DIY anyway.)
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This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --------------020805040203050005070908 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
John Hines wrote:

Wow, that was fast. I want to thank all of you for your expert advice! I copied all your replies to a page and saved it in My Document files. - udarrell
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Andy writes: Yes. You will be glad you did.
If you put in the main panel, meter box, and weatherhead complete with wiring, without changing anything else, the power company will simply switch the grid feed over, or put in a new grid feed if required. Then, if you put a 60 amp breaker in the new panel, you can feed the old panel with that until you get ready to do your rewire.
By doing it this way, you will have service interrupted only for about an hour.
I did my cabin this way, and things went smoothly. Where I live, there was no building inspection or permit requirement, and the only thing that mattered what whether I followed the electric company specifications. They gave me a copy of their requirements when I stopped by their local sub station. If you have to deal with a clipboard-carring dude with a whistle around his neck ( aka building inspector), it gets more tricky. I suggest you get an electrician to do the job for you ,in that case, since they may REQUIRE the job to be done by a licenses electrician. The parts cost is under $300 from Home Depot, and it is about 3 hours work, so it shouldn't cost you
more than $1000 in mosst places......
Good Luck, Andy (licensed elec engineer)
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I would do a load calculation then decide if I needed a 200 amp service. There are a huge number of homes that are running on 100 and 150 amp services, mine included.
Adding up the fuses is not the right way to figure load. Call your utility and see what the highest kwh that you have used. Find a NEC book from any recent year and read the section on residential services, it is not that hard to figure out.
The serving utility and the AHJ will have regulations that you will have to follow to make the change. You may have to move the service location. Which can be a real pain in the ass. You may be required to upgrade your bathroom, and kitchen circuits when you do this.
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go with 200 amp, it allows future expansion. wish I had done that years ago, went from 60 to 100 now need 200.....
dont make the same mistake I did!
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SQLit wrote: <SNIP>

Excellent advice. And those upgrades may be just the tip of the iceberg. Don't leave out the upcoming requirements to install line-powered smoke detectors.
OP could easily wind up dealing with a can of worms...
Jim
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Speedy Jim wrote:

         As part of my new heating system installation, I'm upgrading from 60 amp to 200 amp service. One of my concerns is the can-of-worms scenario where one thing might lead to another. I met with the contractor, electrician and electric company regarding this. They have all reviewed the plan and assured me that if the work is done by licensed professionals, there will be no can of worms with inspectors going beyond the current remodeling work, and that any other possible improvements will be suggestions, not requirements. The job is scheduled for next Tuesday. I'll let you know how it went. Meanwhile it's good to remember that talking to an inspector is like talking to a woman. There is no need to tell them something unless they specifically ask about it.
    Bob
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udarrell wrote:

With "main" and "range" fuses of 60A you may have a "main and range" panel.
If it is a "main and range" the "range" fuses are a service disconnect and protect only the range circuit (or whatever is connected). The "main" fuses are a 2nd service disconnect that protect the rest of the panel. You could check by pulling the range fuses and see if everything else is still on. If it is "main and range" its rating is probably 100A - there is likely a label somewhere, although the rating is actually based on the service wires. Someone with experience could look at the wires (or you could compare what they look like with #6 60A wire and #4 wire used for 100A services).
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