Electrical Panel Upgrade questions

Hi
I've decided to install central HVAC and was told that I will need a new panel since mine is a 60 amp. My home was built in 1951. I have upgraded to all modern appliances and have added numerous lighting and ceiling fans also. I also have a game room with about twelve coin operated commercial arcade games. Currently there is only a gas wall heater.
Since I have to upgrade the panel what amperage should I need and what should I expect to pay. Should there be a difference in price between a 100 and 200 amp service. Also should the upgrade entail upgrading two prong outlets, the ones without the ground. Since I have had many electrical wire upgrades in the past all new circuits have grounds but the bedroom/livingroom still have two prong plugs.
Thanks.
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IMO it would make the most sense to increase to a 200 amp service, although you probably can get away with less. The price difference isn't usually substantial enough not to go for it. The price is going to vary depending upon where you live, what type of service you get, and you can have whatever you want included in the job. Call a couple of local contractors and talk to them

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GO WITH 200 amps it coists a bit more but is a sales feature at home resale time. get the largest panel number of slots available. just think of how electric has changed over the years, be prepared for the future.
do finish the upgrade to ALL 3 prong add GFCIs in appropiate places like kitchens bathrooms basements etc go with arc fault for bedrooms and such.
do it right do it once and enjoy your new AC
incidentally I upgraded from 60 to 100 amp service years ago, BIG MISTAKE I should of spent the extra 75 bucks for 200 amp service.......
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Starting 2008 the NEC requires AFCIs to detect series arcs (loose connection) in addition to parallel arcs (line to neutral) now required. You may want to wait until the new AFCIs are out and reliable.
[Are the new AFCIs out now?]
bud--
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I contacted PSE for how much it would cost to upgrade my 100 A service to 200 A and it was grand total of $375 for doing the upgrade, they need to take your service offline for a relatively large amount of time, one to disconnect the current connection and then it will be off until the upgrade to the service and the PERMITS and INSPECTION to the new meter, panel, and anything else applicable are finished. Basically they told me it would be off for about 6 hours.
Of course $375 doesn't cover the cost for having the electrician do his/her work.
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here the electrician pulls all the old stuff, installs everything new including connecting to service line, middle group inspects service and so does power company who upgrades drop if needed.
power company stuff was free
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I did mine a few years ago. The local building codes (central Ohio) allow the homeowner to do electrical work on his own home without a license, as long as it passes inspection. I upgraded from a 1968 Federal Pacific 100 amp/8 circuit to a 200A/40 circuit Square D Q0 series. Parts were around $450. The only thing I needed to pay to the electric company (actually municipal power) was $30 for the permit. They came out on the scheduled day, cut off the power where it reached the house & pulled the meter, then after I was done the inspector checked the work and he called the crew to re-attach the power. The city even provided a new 200A meter base as part of the permit. Took most of the day. I arranged things with my neighbor so I could run a couple of long extension cords from their house for my fridge and sump pump while I was doing the work.
Prior to doing the work, I did a lot of research, and placed several calls to the inspector with questions. He was very friendly about it, and pointed out several areas where they require above the national code (they require heavier service feed lines, etc.)
A neighbor (not very adept at home repairs) has his replaced by an electrician, essentially the same type of upgrade, it was about $1000. Of course the pro was able do it in about 1/4 the time.
Mike O.
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Yes, it requires heavier wires and conduit, and a bigger box.
An alternative is to go just bigger than 100. Usually you can do this with the same wire and box, with possibly a slight upsize on the wire.
For example, one job I worked on was able to go with 125 amps, just by using on gauge thicker on the ground wire, and swapping the main breaker. Much cheaper than going up to 200 amps, and useful in marginal cases where 200 amps doesn't seem worth it.
If you getting estimates ask about going to 125 or 150 amps.
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marspinball wrote:

The cost of materials will be a lot more for a 200A instead of a 100A -- the size of the main breaker determines the size of the wires for the service drop. The size of the wires determines the size of the service conduit. I think the labor for a 200 vs. 100 should be a little more but not much.
I upgraded to 150A and it didn't cost much more than a 100A. 1.25" conduit instead of 2" (it would have been a lot easier if I'd used 1.5" conduit. D'oh!), smaller service conductors, and the existing power line drop was already large enough; it might not have been large enough for 200A, I dunno.) The power company didn't charge anything to disconnect and reconnect.
There are also 125A service panels if a 100 is big enough but you want a little room to grow.
I would not replace the wiring to the bedrooms. That's an expensive PITA to do. I might ground one easily accessible outlet in each room for plugging in the vacuum cleaner, etc. Maybe you can just ground one outlet in the hallway, or install a GFCI outlet and it doesn't need a ground.
You really need to check with your building inspector to see if you need to update the wiring in the whole house when you replace the service. I don't think you do, but it's up to him; every town has its own rules on that kind of stuff.
Best regards, Bob
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Info in previous responses is all potentially relevant, but ...
Suggest you take the time to learn about basic home circuit design and amperage loads. Then inventory elec. devices you presently use (and their max amp draws) and predict any that you might want to add in the coming years. Object is to estimate max house amperage (100, 125, 150, 200) -and- number of circuits needed in new service box.
I don't have a handy reference to home circuitry, but it's not rocket science by a long shot. Maybe someone else can suggest a suitable info source.
Cheers, Puddin'
On Sat, 15 Jul 2006 22:48:37 -0700, "marspinball"

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Puddin' Man wrote:

wiring simplified by hp ricter and associates is a great reference
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