I'll be tackling the kitchen electric soon. The only place I use a
lot of electricity is in the kitchen. The service box has a 100 amp main
(never tripped) and is a TLM 612. Currently has the normal size breakers
What I was thinking was two 20A lines for the kitchen counter, and a
separate line for both the fridge and washer. Is that about right?
It looks to me that I have several options, I can put in the half
size breakers. Run a subpanel just for the kitchen, or put in a larger
service box. The stove is electric and I don't think they make half size
220 breakers, am I wrong?
If I put in a larger service box, I'll want to turn off the power.
I'm thinking the power company is used to people pulling the meters, am
I wrong? If so this makes replacing the service box a lot more
around here pulling the meter is a non issue with the power company,
as long as you inform them immediately afterward.so they can reseal
the meter. just tell them you had to replace a breaker and didnt want
to get shocked
with the electric stove load a new main would be good.
you could install a 200 amp panel but swap out the 200 amp main for
100 amp so you dont have to replace the main service drop and meter
can....... keep the 200 amp breaker for later use if needed
200 amp main panels usually offer more breaker slots.
half breakers will work but the main box will get packed with wires:
( and you will likely have to add some neutral buss bars. i dont like
of course the best is a whole new main and service drop 200 amps:)
well someday someone will sell it......
and having sold a home its a PIA, better to do any job really well
than cut corners and have them all come back to haunt you at resale
your home is a place to live and no doubt the most expensive thing you
will ever buy. might as well treat it right.
I don't know about US code but Canadian code requires an outlet on every
counter surface larger than 12 inches, and one every 6 feet, minimum. Plus
one for the fridge, dishwasher, microwave and any other dedicated fixed
appliance. This would require more than 2 breakers. Also my house has a 100
amp service but because all circuits are very lightly loader, and the house
is spread out, I have three branch breaker boxes to provide enough breakers.
U.S. Nec is similar in that it requires a minimum of 2-20 amp circuits for
general use counter outlets. Other fixed appliances cannot be fed by these
same 2 circuits, except for the refrigerator, however the OP is planning to
run two more circuits for the fridge and washer. We also must install a
receptacle at any counter space 12" or larger, but any counter space must be
within 2 feet of a receptacle making our placement a little tighter at every
On 2/25/2011 10:03 AM, email@example.com wrote:
OK. I'm looking at this:
Siemens 200A 30 circuit. Are the breakers the same as my GE? I have some
memory of there being different styles. This mentions Instr-Wire, which
is unknown to me.
I was down at one of the builders surplus stores and they had a number
of used breaker boxes just laying around, some with breakers in them. I
don't mind buying used, but it's not so expensive new to be a big
factor. I'm willing to pay for less hassle.
Properly, you can only use the breakers that are listed on the label in
There are also some "classified" breakers that have been tested to work
in other manufacturer's panels. I think, for example, Siemens makes
breakers for SquareD.
If this is going to be inspected you may have problems using breakers
other than that (it is an NEC violation).
I would not use 'previously owned' breakers becasue I don't know their
Without knowing what circuits you already have installed in your
100 amp service panel no one here can realistically tell you whether
or not you should buy a larger panel to facilitate installing more
Without knowing your ACTUAL load on each leg of your service
you could experience big problems with an imbalanced load
causing the main breaker to trip...
So right off the bat if you bought this panel you would be off
looking for a 100 amp main breaker to swap out for the 200 amp
one that it comes pre-equipped with... That breaker by itself
is going to cost quite a bit... Plus you are looking at obtaining
all new breakers which are compatible and approved for use
with that shiny new panel for your existing circuits as well as
the new ones you want to add...
Without knowing the layout of your house and what specific
and discreet spaces exist, in general you will need a dedicated
appliance 20amp circuit for the counter in the kitchen as well
as dedicated 20amp circuits for outlets in bathrooms and
I agree with bud--, I would not buy and install a "pre-owned"
electrical panel, its just not worth the trouble which can
Is there some reason why you are adverse to installing
a small sub-panel to accommodate the few circuits you
need to add?
Also a pic of your existing panel would be great...
100 amp service is rather imited these days. I would consider
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.
Presuming you have a 220 breaker there now you can use it to feed a
new subpanel for the kitchen. Presuming you are going to sconnect the
stove to the new subpanel you will need to install a larger run form
the main panel to the subpanel. Probably #6.
I would forgo the two 20amp breakers for kitchen outlets if all you
have is 100 amp service.
Upgrading to 200 amp service is more than just replacing the main
panel. The electric company has to determine if the service lines
going to your house need to be upgraded. They may be pretty
reasonable about doing this as you will potentially be buying more
electricity from them. If the power is overhead this is usually a
simple task. If you have buried service that's another matter. If it
was done in the not too distant past it may be capable of 200 amp
service. If it' really old then it will likely need to be replaced.
I beleiev your power company will take a look at the situation for you
for little or no cost.
Just for reference, the current NEC requirement (new construction) is 2
kitchen circuits (virtually all the receptacles in the kitchen, pantry,
breakfast room, dining room, similar), 1 laundry circuit, and 1 bathroom
circuit - minimum
A separate circuit for the refrigerator is nice, but not required and
may not be necessary for you depending on what you use in your kitchen.
Around here I just cut the seal then call the utility. Some other
utilities may not be so friendly. Ask in advance.
Replacing with a new 100A panel may not be a simple swap. The old
service wires may not be long enough. That means shortening the conduit
with the wires in it or fishing new wires into the 1/2 hot meter socket
You do not want to work around hot service wires. The hazard is not just
electrocution. If there is a short you can get 5,000 - 10,000A short
circuit current, with minimal overcurrent protection from the utility.
Screwdrivers can evaporate. It can totally ruin your day.
There is the question of pulling a permit, if applicable in your area.
If you pull a permit, with a new panel, there may be required minimum
circuits that are required by the "AHJ" (but not by the NEC). Pulling a
permit is recommended. There are many practices that are unique to services.
If you add a subpanel, you can move some circuits from the existing
service to get space to add breakers.
To enforce the limit on the number of 'circuits', panels have for many
years limited where the half-sized breakers can be installed. Commonly
available half sized breakers won't fit in other positions. The panel
label should have information.
There are calculations for what size service you need if you add a load
(like electric stove) to an existing house. You can install as may
breakers in a panel as the panel is designed to allow (or add subpanels).
Upgrading to 200A also means replacing all the electrical (wire,
conduit, meter can) back to where the utility connects.
there are sometimes limitations to putting in 1/2 height breakers. some
boxes won't allow them. i had to undo this (work by a previously licensed
electrician that the inspector didn't catch), add a new subpanel, and move
circuits from the old to new subpanel to make some slots available for a new
240v circuit in my full 40 slot panel.
I haven't done it, but I presume that whatever appliance ckts appear in
the dining room have to originate on an AFCI breaker, and if those ckts
appear on the kitchen countertop they have to be a GFCI receptacle or
downstream from a GFCI receptacle.
================I suspect you saw - where you are extending a circuit that is not AFCI
protected to add a receptacle where the NEC requires the new receptacle
be AFCI, the 2011 NEC requires an AFCI receptacle at the start of the
extension to protect downstream (or change the breaker to AFCI, or some
other possibilities). If they could I suspect there would have been a
requirement that the source breaker be AFCI, but the NEC applies to the
new part of the wiring.
And for replacement receptacles on non-AFCI protected circuits where the
NEC now requires AFCI protection, the replacement receptacle has to be
AFCI starting in 2014 (some other possibilities).
As of when the 2011 code-change book was written there were no AFCI
That makes sense to me. I haven't had the scenario to date. My thought was
to just run separate circuits to any location that requires AFCI protection,
and keep kitchens separate, especially when considering the wiring to the
first outlet rule. I would also be a little concerned taping a GFCI off of
an AFCI, although I have no reason to believe it would be problematic. I
also have not yet seen an AFCI receptacle
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