upgrading to 200 amp electrical service?

is it a nightmarishly expensive and time consuming venture to have the 100 amp service that is in my house bumped up to 200 amp?
I'm having problems in my garage, which has many outlets but actually 2 branch circuits that power the whole thing. bugs me to have to be careful a heater isn't going when the compressor kicks on!!
any ideas?
b
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What are you tripping -- garage branch circuits or your 100A main. If its not the main, you may not need a service upgrade. If you wish to perform one anyway, there are many factors that affect the cost. The biggest is how accessible is the area where you want the new service and how accessible the old service panel is. This could cost from $800 to $1600.
-- Mark Kent, WA
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Sometimes it's cheaper to simply install a second 100a service. Where permitted, this is done because it's the labor involved in replacing all the 100a equipment and swinging existing circuits into a new panel is the bulk of the cost of a 200a service, not the 200a equipment itself.
If the heater is that large, utilities often offer a secondary electric heat / water heat rate , which would require that a second service serve only those types of 220v loads.
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Yoiu may be able to resolve this problem without resorting to a 200 amp service. Why not add an additiional 20 pr 30 amp circuit to your existing panel? Most homes don't operate anywhere near 100 amps, let alone 200 amps.
RB
Hamilton Audio wrote:

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Hamilton Audio wrote:

It sounds to me like you may not need a service change. If you are tripping branch circuit breakers for the garage, the simplest route would be to run more branch circuits to the garage. A service upgrade to 200A would not solve the problem, you would still only have two branch circuits supplying the garage. If the panel is full, and you cant add breakers, a sub-panel can be installed either next to your main breaker panel, or out in the garage. A panel in the garage is nice in the event you do trip breakers, you wont have to go in the house to reset them. The spots that are being used currently for the garage branch crcuits can be used for a breaker to supply the sub-panel, and branch circuits would be run from the new sub-panel.
You should have someone come out and look at your system, they can check the load and see what your requirements actually are. A 200 amp service is quite large, and usally not needed where an existing 100 amp service has been performing well. Depending on where you live, a 200 amp service can be quite costly, around here...about $ 1200-2500, I have heard of even higher estimates!
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I had this quoted here in central MA. Upgrade was ~$1700 +/- $200
Chris
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Hamilton Audio wrote:

Upgrading the service is probably not the right answer, as others have already said. But if you do upgrade, a 150A upgrade might be a *lot* cheaper than 200A. GE makes a really nice 150A "Q-Line" service panel with a tinned copper bus that lets you mix and match 1/2" and 1" breakers. It's what I installed 10 years ago when I upgraded my ancient 60A service (60A cartridge fuse mains, two 45A cartridge fuses for the dryer, four 30A edison fuses for everything else, and little fuse boxes all over the place)
150A sevice uses smaller service conductors, can use 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" conduit, and a smaller meter base. That's where you get most of the cost savings, and it can be substantial. (1 1/4" is a bitch to pull a 150A service, and I don't recommend it. Don't ask me how I know.)
-Bob
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This is being done at my house as we speak. The old 100A box is staying, along with all connections. The 100A source line to it is being run through the new box, which has it's own independent 100A service. That way I can turn off service to the old box, or the new box, or both, and most importantly, the electrician doesn't have to touch the old wiring already in the house. We can replace the old box later, when it's more convenient. Drawback is, two boxes.
Hamilton Audio wrote:

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