service box expansion

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wrote:

100 amp service is rather imited these days. I would consider upgrading.
One thing to be careful about is that the boxes are not just limited by service amps, they also have a total circuit limit. If you look at new boxes you will see this in the box speciifications. That means that even though you theoretically can double the breakers by using half sized ones you may still be exceeding the total circuit limit for the box. There is also a special load calculation that you need to do to decide how many breakers you can put off your 100 amp service.
And you are correct, you need to use regular sized breakers for 220. This is because those smaller "double" breakers share a single lug behind them. To get 220 the breaker has to connect to 2 lugs.
Many breaker manufacturers including GE make both half size single pole breakers, and half sized double pole breakers. Murray actually makes a half sized quad (two double pole breakers)
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100 amp service is rather imited these days. I would consider upgrading.
---------------
Maybe if you have a couple of teenagers or a hot tub.
I replaced my panel with 100 amp only but I did take the dryer and stove off the grid. They are gas.
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Jeff Thies wrote:

Upgrading the main panel is generally the preferred solution. I don't really like sub panels in a house outside of a basement/garage workshop, or detached buildings. On the subject of half size 220V breakers, I seem to recall seeing a breaker once that was physically 2 pole sized and contained four breakers, I believe a 20A single on each pole, and in the center a ganged two pole 220V breaker. I don't recall what brand this was or what rating the two pole section was.
The official procedures for pulling a meter vary greatly from area to area. Over the years when I have needed to do some quick work that required pulling the meter I have simply cut the seal, pulled the meter, done my work, put the meter back and been done with it. I've done this in several different areas and never had a single complaint. Unless you are in some high risk area where the utility uses actual locks on the meters there should be no issue.
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Around here the power company wants to know you're going to pull the meter before hand, and oh by the way they charge money for the privilege of inspecting the work when you're done. It the meter reader sees the seal broken unexpectedly, it's a red flag, since there's lots of trickery that people try to pull by bypassing the meter for their water heater, grow lights, etc.
Some panels can accommodate a breaker module that puts four half- height breakers in two full slots, with the middle two (which straddle the two legs) linked for 220V feeds, and the two outer ones for use as regular 110V circuits. But as others have posted, try to find the maker's recommendations for box fill and max amps.
Local code will have strict requirements for what a kitchen needs, I recommend you get definitive data for where you are.
Definitely it'll include a dedicated circuit for the fridge and one for the dishwasher and 220 for the range as you've said. Counter outlets are different here than in the US, so I'll shut up about those; but here, if there is a table in the kitchen, like a breakfast nook, there needs to be a duplex outlet near it, and I believe it needs to be on a circuit by itself. Like you may have the toaster on the table.
Lighting and range hoods can, i believe, can all be on whatever shared circuit is convenient. Personally, if I knew where the microwave was going to be, I'd make sure it had a dedicated circuit too.
If the breaker count, total breaker ampacity and box fill are ok in your existing panel, I'd probably stick with it, since you've had no trips so far and there's really no reason you'll be using *more* power. I'd consider a subpanel only if the cable routing were difficult (kitchen a long way away). Leave enough of a 'drip loop' in new cables at the panel so they can be fed in to a new, longer panel if you ever swap this one out.
Chip C Toronto
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If you are going to cut the seal and pull the meter, first call the utility and advise, then call back when done and they will reseal. Former electric meter man. WW
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WW wrote:

In some areas that works fine, in other areas all it does is create headaches. In my experience you are usually better of just going the "git 'er done" route, cutting the seal, pulling the meter, doing your work, putting the meter back and being done with it. I've never had any complaints doing this in several areas, and if someone complains, just go into the "damned vandal kids" routine.
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"Pete C." wrote in message
WW wrote:

In some areas that works fine, in other areas all it does is create headaches. In my experience you are usually better of just going the "git 'er done" route, cutting the seal, pulling the meter, doing your work, putting the meter back and being done with it. I've never had any complaints doing this in several areas, and if someone complains, just go into the "damned vandal kids" routine.
-------------
In some areas that's against the law.
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around here meters are read by radio, no one physically looks at the meter anymore.
that makes me wonder if tampering will increase?
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The Henchman wrote:

Whoop-dee-doo
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Whoop-dee-doo
----------
With electronic meters, if you are caught tampering, and almost all electronic meters catch tampering, you will be charge on average a tampering tariff of 10 cents a kwhr. Thus you will willingly be paying twice the market rate for electricity.
Your choice.
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On 2/25/2011 9:58 PM, The Henchman wrote:

How do they catch tampering? Only way I can think is if the meter is unresponsive while it is being polled. That can't be often.
I've seen some real battles between the power company and those trying to keep their electricity on. I've never heard of the power company (Southern) fining anyone for damage or illegal usage. They will take down the line, rather than fine, eventually.
What they do here is just install a physical locking device that runs around the meter. If that doesn't "work" then the line comes down.
YMMV.
Jeff
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a meter could be designed to report in any time theres a power failure.
now assume the thief pulls the meter and installs the jumper. theres been a power failure, later the meter reports in a 10 minute power failure at time X but none of its adjacent meters do.
thief busted:)
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On 2/27/2011 12:45 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Maybe when building a new house, it would be worth it to install an in-line shutoff between meter base and service panel? Or is that illegal? I assume SOMEBODY out there makes a suitable device. Like most DIYs, I'm not real comfortable working on an open service panel- I keep looking up at those main lugs upstream of the Big Breaker, lest they pounce when I'm not looking... :^/
(When I was a kid, the main shutoff was directly behind meter base, in the storage cabinet out on the carport. The rest of service panel was 40-some conduit feet away, in the traditional location in basement. 40 years since I've seen it, so I am a little fuzzy on the details, but I think the thing on the carport had a side handle and lockout holes.)
--
aem sends...

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(aemeijers) writes:
| Maybe when building a new house, it would be worth it to install an | in-line shutoff between meter base and service panel? Or is that | illegal? I assume SOMEBODY out there makes a suitable device.
The co-op where I just had a service installed requires a meter box with a main breaker disconnect ("meter main") so they certainly seem to be legal. The thing I don't like is that there is just a flimsy cover on the breaker (they supposedly let you have a little lock for it but I haven't seen that yet) allowing anybody to easily shut off your power from outside. Also, even if the little cover is locked, the entire lower panel that includes it (i.e., the half that does not contain the meter) just has a co-op seal so anybody can still turn off the power without pulling the meter if they are willing to break a seal. (I would have thought that the non-meter lower panel covers the "customer side" of the enclosure but I guess the co-op doesn't want the customer to have access to any of it. I'm not sure why they couldn't put their own lock on that part, though.)
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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a meter could be designed to report in any time theres a power failure.
now assume the thief pulls the meter and installs the jumper. theres been a power failure, later the meter reports in a 10 minute power failure at time X but none of its adjacent meters do.
thief busted:)
If it was that simplistic your thief could just wait for a power failure to install his jumper
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On 2/27/2011 2:04 PM, RBM wrote:

Or take a .22 rifle and shoot a fuse off a pole. ^_^
TDD
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On 2/25/2011 3:43 PM, The Henchman wrote:

You got some documentation on that? What "area" are you referring to?
--
Steve Barker
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On 2/25/2011 1:48 PM, Pete C. wrote:

I agree. Just pull it, do your work and be done. No phone calls, no nothing. They'll put a seal back on it. _IF_ they ever come out. Our meter hasn't been physically read for years, if ever.
--
Steve Barker
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As far as pulling meters, and changing service equipment, this varies by area so you'd really need to speak with whatever agency or utility has jurisdiction.
Regarding your kitchen work: assuming you already have a functioning kitchen, you really aren't adding much to the existing load, and your plan sounds fine, so I would just add a sub panel or use splits for the existing GE panel. GE does make half sized breakers in both single pole and double pole for the TM panels. Their half size breakers connect to "T" slots on the buss. Not every slot on the panel is necessarily a "T" , so you have to pull some breakers to see where they are.
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Jeff Thies wrote:

On the meter, contact the power company to find out what their policy might be.
Some don't care. Some will come out and remove the seal and restore it when you call back.
Some require a licensed electrician who also holds a Master Beautician ticket, permits from the city, inspections, and a blessing from the local priest.
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