upgrading electrical service in an old house


We have purchased a home built in 1890 that requires an electric upgrade. It is currently 100A and we would like to upgrade to at least 200A. The electric runs from a pole behind our backyard, then underground for about 100 feet, directly into our basement. We live in the Boston area. About how much should we plan to spend? Any thoughts on ranges greatly appreciated. Thanks much.
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There are to many variables for anyone here to guess. For instance, where I work, there are two utility companies, the exact same job would cost $1000 more for one utility company over the other, because of their particular requirements. Contact some local electricians and get prices

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RBM wrote:

Not to mention that "in the Boston area" may mean bringing the entire dwelling electrical up to recent Code level on a service upgrade.
Start with a call to Bldg Dep't or whoever controls permit applications where you live.
Jim
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russ-bo wrote:

If you do it yourself, you can buy a 200-Amp "kit" at a box store for about $250. It takes about four hours (exclusive of trips BACK to the box store for such things as wall anchors, wire nuts, etc.).
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That "kit" includes only a small portion of what's required for a service and includes none of the equipment for the lateral, which is probably the most expensive part of an underground service

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HeyBub wrote:

Then there is the meter socket, unless existing is rated 200A. And the service wire has to be upgraded, which requires larger conduit. And the underground run may or may not have to be replaced depending on the existing size and whether owned by the customer or utility. If the utility replaces it, they may charge the customer.
-- bud--
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In downstate NY, Con Edison requires 4" HDPE conduit for any underground, from pole riser to meter pan, unless, like you said, if they own the underground, they'll just leave the #6's in the ground

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While you're on the subject, here's my story I am just getting started on a similar project. My old service is 100A overhead, my load center is a 24 breaker C-H; the main breakers occupy two of the 24 positions in the panel.
My oil burner died, and we're going with an electric heat pump and air handler. The old system included central air, and there is a 220/50A branch circuit off the old load center to an outside disconnect. However, the old oil burner ran on a 120/20A breaker, and the new air handlers require 220/75A. My existing load center cannot provide this. At first I thought it would require an upgrade to the service and the load center, which would be pretty difficult since he 100A load center was shoe horned into a tight spot and the new 200A load center would be too big to fit in the same spot, not to mention the labor involved in transferring over the branch circuits. So as an alternative, I'm uprading the service and the meter pan right next to the existing one, and adding a fused outdoor 200A disconnect with two 100A feeds, or whatever they're called. Then running a 100A branch circuit to where the new air handler will be, with a fusable service disconnect at that location. The other feed goes to my existing load center. My electric company will supply the new meter and pan, as well as upgrade the lines from the pole to the premises at 'no charge'. By leaving in the old meter and service, I can wait until the last possible minute to switch over the existing load center to the new meter. My questions are: What do you call the box that will go right after the meter? A fused outdoor disconnect? A hub? Does it need to come off the side of the fuse panel as opposed to off the bottom? I was advised that I wouldn't be permitted to take two wires dirctly out of the meter, is this true? Can I eliminate the main breaker from my load center since it will have a 100A breaker in this new box? What size cable do I use for the mast, and ofor the branch circuit? I can locate the box ffeding of the new meter in such a way that the two feeds exiting will go out the back of the box, is that a plus? (my existing mast into the meter, and feed to the load center are just a wire, no conduit. Hope this helps, and I hope you can help me too.
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote:

75A for an air handler? Are you sure about that? (Maybe it has heat strips in it)
Bob
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wrote:

about
store
How do you plan on protecting the 100 amp feeds? You would need to install circuit breakers or fuses for each feeder. I would install a small electrical subpanel at the air handler location.

I'd call it a service main disconnect. Depending on the local requirements you may not need the 200 amp disconnect. For a more compact installation I would try to put a four circuit (No main) 200 amp (Maybe you will need 225 amp) weatherproof circuit breaker distribution panel directly after the meter. You can put two 100 amp main circuit breakers in there to protect your feeders. Make sure that the bus is rated for 100 amp circuits.
Your grounding electrode conductor(s) would now need to be run to the service main disconnect and this is where the main bonding jumper would now be located. Your new branch feeders would need to be four conductor and you would need to remove the main bonding jumper from your existing main panel.

You can usually come out of the side or the bottom of a meter socket. If you come out of the bottom, the box or trough that you connect to below that must have a weathertight hub on it. If you wanted to split the wire up you would need to install a trough directly below the meter and make splices or taps in there. From the trough you could mount two 100 amp weatherproof circuit breakers below. You can do this as an alternative to the 200 amp distribution panel I suggested above and still eliminate the 200 amp main. The grounding electrode conductor would still need to be relocated.

Yes.
What size cable do I use for the

200 amp service entrance cable. 4/0-4/0-2/0 for aluminum.
If you are going to be using aluminum for the branches I would go with 1/0. For copper #2 or #1. These must be four conductor.

It will look neater, but will that be helpful for where you need to run the cable to? Make sure that you caulk at the top back edge to prevent water from running behind the box and getting into the wall.
(my

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In many/most places you can call the "utility" company and they will tell you the capacity of the service.
Because the placement of the wires in the first place was a major cost of underground service, you may find that your already have 200 amps to the meter box.
In my case when I wanted to replace an old fuse box with a CB panel, the electric company said I already had 200 amp to the meter. My electrician said that the wires to the old box from the meter had 200 amp capacity. It was just a matter of tearing down the fuse box and putting up the CB panel.
Of course the reality is that if you have been getting my for years and years with a 100 amp (or less) service, you aren't going to stress the service.
If anything, "modern" appliances use less power that the equivalent from 30 or more years ago.
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wrote:

I'd guess in range of $5,000 to $12,000 if you hire it done legally.
You can do it yourself for about $900 but may run into trouble when you sell.
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