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!!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.)
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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