upgrade 100amp -> 200amp service?

After I call the electrician, what will s/he actually do to upgrade the service in my house to 200A ? Other than change the master breaker, does anything else happen with the panel, or anything go on between the house and the pole? Among other things I'm tired of lights briefly dimming when the furnace or the clothes washer or the dishwasher or my wife makes demands (oops, did I say that out loud?). Thanks.
Dr. M
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It all depends on where you live and the type of cable running from the street transformer to your house. My heavy-up only required upgrading the circuit panel and installing heavy-duty cables from the meter to the panel and from the point of attachment of the street cable onto my house to the meter. The power Co. will come and upgrade the meter and look at the cable from the street. They will decide whether it needs upgrading or not. In any case, the work done by the power Co. should be free of charge to you, regardless of what needs to be done to accommodate your new service. Stephan.
in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com, Dr.Mutant at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote on 2/11/04 12:29 PM:

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The term "justify the need for" more amps, can be translated to "show them how they are going to get the money back in future billings".
They won't upgrade you, unless they have an expectation of getting the money back, through increased bills. Simply "upgrading the service" means thicker wires, and no more actual usage.
Now if you install a 20Kw sauna, you _will_ get you new wires. <g>
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The term "justify the need for" more amps, can be translated to "show

depends on the company.
here in quebec, Hydro quebec will do a free service upgrade if the entrace is above ground (they won't change underground wires for free). they offer the meter for free and they replace up to a certain length of wire. the length covers most houses (most people are within that distance of the poles)
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and the power

need for more

company is

someone who

in a rural

company? Maybe

I called my utility. They want $150 for conversion to 200 amp. 150 amp would be free.
Bob
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Dr.Mutant wrote:

They may need to get a new drop/meter from the electric company, depending on what is there. It is likely they may need to replace the line from the meter in.
Correcting specific problems may require replacing existing wires, or may require the addition of new circuits to correct inadequate existing wiring.
It would be best to have them come out and take a look so they can give you an accurate suggested solution and estimate.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Dr.Mutant wrote:

He/she will obtain the permit, Obtain the available fault current figure for the transformer that serves your home, remove the old service equipment, install new service equipment (main panel) with a withstand rating that is suitable for the fault current available, install new service entry conductors that are sized for the increased capacity, reconnect and add grounding electrodes as necessary to meet present code requirements, install a new meter cabinet unless the utility prefers to do it (pepco, DC for instance), reconnect all of the homes electrical circuits to the new panel, prepare a list of which breakers serve what outlets (called a panel schedule), arrange for electrical inspection, and file paperwork with the power utility if necessary.
The utility will then come out and change out your service drop or lateral if necessary and make any temporary connections that were made to your new equipment permanent. -- Tom H
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This is Turtle.
I will say this first. Dimming lights does not always mean too small of electric service / Panel. It can be but alone with 50 other reason not related to the service size. Have the power company come out to check your voltage to your home and have them tell you as to what is too small or not.
A example of this is when you think you have something wrong with you don't go to a General Practicianer to get a ideal of what is wrong and you start to specialist to have Medical operation on you till you get the right operation to fix you. Find out what the problem is before you start cutting on you.
TURTLE
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We have a winner, check the simple things first (like loose screws o nthe existing breakers!

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That "customer diagnosed problem" is epidemic. Hvac and refrigeration guys have that problem, of course. "It isn't cooling, so I want you to put in a couple more pounds that freezone stuff!".
Good observation. I must admit, I glanced at the original post, and my mind got to thinking that s/he would need larger lead in wire. Now that I'm thinking of dimming lights, I can think of a couple possible causes, and none of them involve upgrade to 200 amp service.
--

Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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Unless you're tripping your 100 amp main, why would you think an upgrade would stop the lights from dimming?
You just might have a poorly-balanced panel!
15 years ago my Uncle wanted to upgrade a 100a split-buss Federal Pacific panel to 200a because he tripped the "lighting main" (60a) a couple of times in the summer when the a/c was on.
Over the lighting main, the 40a range and 30a dryer. Under the lighting main was the pool filter, a 30a electric water heater, a 220v 18,000 btu a/c and the rest of the typical branch circuits.
His usage wasn't demanding more than 100a, but one leg of the 60a lighting main would demand more than 60a when conditions were right, specifically the pool filter running, the A/C running, and the water heater running simultaniously.
By simply changing the panel to a standard 100a main panel his problem was solved and remains trouble free to this day.
Lights will always momentarily dim when a heavy load such as a pool filter or vaccuum or washing maching switches on or changes gears, and especially when an older window shaker tries to chime on...
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not.
don't
cutting
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What I went through:
- Utility company changed cables from electricity pole to my house
- Had to upgrade whole breaker box as mine was rated at 100A. Breaker box included 200A breaker
- Electrician obtained permits
- Took the opportunity to rework some old circuits, and new breaker box has more than twice the breaker slots of the old box
--
gabriel

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Dr.Mutant wrote:

The minimum is likely to be: obtain a permit, get the service shut off at the pole, pull out the electric meter, run much larger conductors from the meter enclosure to wherever the utility service attaches (underground to the pole or transformer, or up to a weatherhead for overhead wires), run much larger conductors from the meter to the service panel, replace the service panel, reattach all the existing circuits, have the inspector look it all over, call the utility company to reinstall the meter and connect to their service.
Moving the old circuits to a new service panel may force you to bring them up to current code.
The much larger conductors will need a 2" raceway and you probably have 1 1/4" conduit for a 100A service, unless your service uses service entrance cable w/o a raceway. You might consider upgrading to a 150A service because you can reuse a 1 1/4" (or larger) service conduit and just pull the larger wires.
You might also consider putting a 200A panel right next to your exising panel and connecting them together with a short 2" pipe nipple and locknuts. Leave all the 15A and 20A in the old panel and just move the 30A and larger circuits to the new panel. That's what I did, and it allowed me to do most of the work before I disconnected the old service.
Best regards, Bob
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Probably will require replacing the panel (unless the current one is already rated 200A or better (e.g. 225A) but equiped w/ a 100A main), replacing the main breaker, replacing the service enterance cable with larger cable and perhaps replacing the meter base if it is not rated 200A already. Furthermore it is remotely possible the electric utility will need to replace *their* service drop should is not be rated for 200 amps, but unless it is really old it probably is already. They'll tell you when they quote the job.

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