circuit breaker boxes

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We're thinking of upgrading our 60 amp fuse box (presently overloaded) to a circuit breaker panel. How do I know if we should get a 125 amp or a 200 amp panel? According to Zillow.com our house is 1,240 square feet, in case it's figured by square feet.
Thanks!
Loretta
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Go for the 200 amp, it's becoming the standard. You do not have to use all that capacity.
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I'd go for 200 amp service, if at all possible, what with all the electrical appliances, big and small, that are in a modern house. Amazing that you have survived this far! Get some estimates, etc., from a couple of electricians. Likely some other wiring might need some work as well.
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Also,
If we got a 125 amp ciruit breaker panel, how many spaces would be already filled by the items in our present fuse box and how many extra spaces would there be?
Loretta
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You'll use the same number of breakers as the number of fuses you're using now.
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True, but on a breaker box more space is better. What I can't say for sure is how many arc fault or ground fault breakers that they might want to put in. Those take up a lot of space. More space is beneficial because then you can put all your applicnaces on separate breakers, and then your toaster oven and microwave on separate breakers as well, etc.
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It's an old house so they probably wouldn't be using any arc fault or ground fault breakers, which incidentally take the same space as any other full sized breaker

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GO WITH 200, it costs little more and leaves room for expansion. years ago I went from 60 to 100 and now need 200 amp primarily because I am out of space.
Adding seperate breakers for furnace, and other dedicated outlets can easily use up your space. FAST:(
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Why not? I've added an AFCI to my house, along with a TVSS. I used receptacles where GFCIs would be required. It takes minimal effort "while you're in there" and while it may not be 100% compliant with modern codes, it's closer than it was.
My advice would be to use full sized breakers exclusively, but get a panel that allows half height breakers, that way there's room for expansion in the future.
nate

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It's fine to do that, but unless your bedrooms were wired on dedicated circuits, maybe not practical given the issues with the current crop of AFCI breakers, also if you buy a full sized panel, such as a forty circuit 200 amp panel, there are no half size breakers allowed. You only have provisions for half sized breakers with reduced size panels

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My bedrooms are all on the same circuit, and the only other room on that circuit is the bathroom. I would like to split that off anyway so in my case I really don't care. At the same time I do that I will probably pull another homerun from the 2nd floor back to the breaker panel so that I can split the bedrooms into two circuits (yes I have another AFCI standing by.)
I actually have a 40 ckt. 200A panel in my house, but it only has 20 full sized breaker spaces, so there's lots of half height breakers in there (now.) If *I* were the guy doing the upgrade, I would have spec'd a larger panel, but that's water under the bridge.
I'm digressing a bit, but sort of on the same topic, I have a question regarding the wiring between my house and my garage. The house's breaker panel has a 100A 2-pole breaker in it, which feeds the subpanel in the garage. The other end of that wire connects to a 100A 2-pole breaker in the sub-panel. That just seems weird and redundant to me. Is this common practice, and what is the reason for it? Or did someone improvise "on the fly" and what would be the right way to do it?
nate
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The breaker in the main panel protects the wiring to the garage. If the garage is detached, it's required to have a disconnect in it. If it's attached, the electrician probably got a good deal on a panel with a main breaker

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The garage is detached; the subpanel doesn't have a main breaker, it's just fed through a regular 100A breaker. The home inspector didn't seem to think it was weird, except for the fact that the ground terminal strip was mounted too close to the front of the panel.
nate
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That's fine, he just back fed a main lug panel

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If the garage panel has 6 or less breakers (a two-pole breaker with the handles tied only counts as one), it doesn't need a main disconnect.
Best regards, Bob
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Nate The breaker in the garage panel should be anchored into the panel by using a main breaker kit. That breaker is serving as the code required Building Disconnecting Means.
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Nate is that garage attached or detached. IOW is it part of the house or a separate free standing building. Tom Horne
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Nate Nagel wrote:

regarding the wiring between my house and my garage. The house's breaker panel has a 100A 2-pole breaker in it, which feeds the subpanel in the garage. The other end of that wire connects to a 100A 2-pole breaker in the sub-panel. That just seems weird and redundant to me. Is this common practice, and what is the reason for it? Or did someone improvise "on the fly" and what would be the right way to do it?

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N8N wrote:

What electrician will be willing to bring something "closer than it was" to code?

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CJT wrote:

I didn't say I was a professional. But the only items not to code that I'm aware of right now are the lack of a dedicated 20A circuit to the bathroom, one kitchen counter outlet that's on a 15A general lighting/receptacle circuit, and a few remaining receptacles that aren't grounded. I'm picking away at those issues, but my point was I don't particularly see the point of saying "well, it still won't be perfectly code compliant for new construction, so why bother?"
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

their own. So an electrician will be involved. My question stands.
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