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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mpls, MN
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    1,790

    Default

    My house had 100A service, and that's what I fed it off the new panel. The leads coming from the mast weren't big enough for 200A service. It was 2ga AL. Bare minimum for 100A.

    I'd be prepared to replace the whole works from the mains to the panel. Do it, and write it off on your taxes. Like Jack said, when it comes time to sell, that improvement will pay off again.
    Syncrowave 250DX
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    And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Just an FYI, if I remember correctly, my electrician said that our local power company provides 200A meter bases for free if you are using them on their system. Granted, there's a lot of other parts, but a few dollars here and there never hurts. If anyone goes to upgrade their system check with the local power company and see if they have any percs to take advantage of. Also gives you a little step up on an electrical contractor if you think you are getting hosed with the invoice.

    SSS
    Bobcat 250, MM 210, Syncrowave 180, Spectrum 375
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Posts
    605

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishy Jim View Post
    New service price breakdown based on my experiences:

    You can buy a Square D 200A panel with some breakers to get you started for $120. Additional breakers are 3-12 depending on size for the smaller stuff and a 60A is around $20 (but you'd need another run of wire to be able to upgrade to a bigger welder like that, the current 10ga won't handle more than the 30A that's already on it).

    You'll need a new drop from the mast and that'll run you about 300 or so in copper depending how long a run it is (3 cables). My 13' drop of 2/0 was 300. The utility co will provide the lines to the house.

    Then you're looking at probably upgrading your ground rod and running 6ga or 8ga (I forget what mine is) to that which is pretty cheap copper.

    And then you're talking about paying a sparky for 5-7hrs to make it all happen. So that's roughly 500-700 in labor. Plus a permit fee which will likely be around 100. Mine was 82.

    My parents paid an electrician to upgrade their service and that's where the 5-7hr estimate comes from. They had a little different version of that box you have in their house.

    I recently added a new panel, meter socket (which will cost between 60-200 bucks), and relocated the service entrance which meant a new mast for my house, which is where I'm basing my prices on. I'll be updating the house panel sometime in the future.

    with the prices of copper what they are today... (those greedy bastar....s)
    a 200A system complete from the weather head to the panel is about 1600.00 CND. figure on a 12foot mast for a two story house.

    I dont know what US electrical codes say, but in Canada, everything has to be mounted on the outside of the building now. It is no longer permissible to run inside a wall cavity.
    Will it weld? I loooove electricity!

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  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mpls, MN
    Posts
    1,790

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    I haven't actually run the numbers other than adding up my 24K in receipts for the whole project - but I figure I'm right around 1200 in wire alone. With 23 circuits in the shop alone, I think that's about right.

    Meter socket was mandated by the power co. as a "HD bypass box." The little prick in scheduling didn't even know what it was, other than thats what I had to provide. I asked him what model number was accepted and he couldn't tell me... 4 or 5 prongs? No clue! Well, that was an extra hundred in the hole for nothing - could've got one for 60 bucks if it didn't need the 5th prong. New digital meter they gave me still only has 4 prongs. The new socket does have lots of room to work in - like I'll ever have to run wires though it again. Conduit is mandatory between the two boxes here. I had to have the socket and main panel inspected before the mains could be connected to my new service. Well, the inspector was running late and my lineman hooked me up anyway. No problems, the inspector arrived prior to him leaving and got it all signed off. I ended up running my house on a temp line run along the house for a couple months as I built the rest of the shop. I had to relocate the lines to make room to raise the trusses. The original wires were 2' above my walls.

    The other thing to watch for is meter height above grade. I put mine up so my panel was about the right height to be directly in front of me on the wall, but I still had to mount it upside down (mains on the bottom) because the meter had to be no higher than 6'. Mines 6'5 and the tech who set up the new meter mentioned he had co-workers who would refuse to service it (not my fault their original meter croaked from the lineman pulling it off under load). So be careful of what you do differently on the outside. I didn't think anyone would notice another 6", but I was wrong.

    I asked the guy if he needed a bench to stand on. He declined.

    As for the mast height - it has to be 13' above any deck or landscaping here. I put mine 3' above the roof because of a large oak tree the lines pass through. I didn't want any growth issues, and we ended up trimming a lot of branches when the lines were relocated as it was. Mid span at the far end of the shop is roughly 15' above grade, but I have 23" of drop over the 35' foundation. Before we put the level on it to erect the forms, all of us thought my back yard was flat. So flat it needed another 5 yards of concrete over the bid.

    Oh, and jack - here's the pot I piss in:
    Syncrowave 250DX
    Invison 354MP
    XR Control and 30A

    Airco MED20 feeder
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
    Smith O/A rig
    And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,395

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    A lot of times the connections and corrosion are more of a problem than the old panel. I know of lots of them still in service especially where all the major appliances are gas and there is no air conditioning. A bud of mine runs his house and garage from a 60, he has city gas and the panel is still in great shape. I did a remodel a while back where instead of upgrading service we changed out the water heater, the 60 was plenty then.

  6. #16

    Default You can do things right - or take a chance

    Let me preface this with - if you take a chance and burn down the house, insurance will not cover the loss. Even though I now I could have done the work myself - I hired a licensed electrician to upgrade my service & install a subpanel. I ran the wiring from the sub panel to the outlets.

    SJMiller

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mpls, MN
    Posts
    1,790

    Default

    I don't think burning down the house is a likely scenario given todays construction practices. After all, we're not using aluminum wire anymore.
    http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum/aluminum.htm#alhaz

    ALL electrical modifications short of replacing a single component with a similar component (considered a minor repair) require a permit and subsequent inspections. If you're doing something wrong, the inspector will make you correct it. If it's outright dangerous, they'll make you remove it on the spot.

    The real danger in working with electrical is sudden death. You need to be safe and not work with hot circuits.

    When you wired up that sub panel, I hope you had it inspected.
    Syncrowave 250DX
    Invison 354MP
    XR Control and 30A

    Airco MED20 feeder
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
    Smith O/A rig
    And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Posts
    139

    Talking It is possible . . .

    You may want to investigate this. I worked as an insurance adjuster for years and can tell you the following.

    These statements below may or may not apply to you and your locale.

    1. You are out of code compliance

    2. You may have a battle on your hands should your home burn as a result of anything your fire department considers "electrical related".

    As the above have told you . . UPGRADE IMMEDIATELY!!!!

    Now the good news, check your insurance policy.. you may have code coverage. A simple inspection from your local building inspection could force you to upgrade and if you have coverage for this, your home owners will pay for it. If you do not have the coverage, add it wait 6 months and invite your friendly building inspector . . .

    Any questions, PM me . . .

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,395

    Default

    How is it he is out of code compliance?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Posts
    139

    Smile If you read

    Quote Originally Posted by sberry View Post
    How is it he is out of code compliance?
    If you read my post it says "may or may not" . . . But in general if you contact your local building permit office they will tell you if you are or are not. In most areas of the country they tend to enforce upgrade anytime you get a permit.

    Should you do a DIY upgrade that is evident such as a breaker sub based sub-panel off of that antiquated fuse panel, it will be obvious. The only way to do that and CYA is with a licensed electrician and a permit if required.

    What I do know is that once you have acknowledged that you are aware of a possible "risk" and your insurer can confirm that fact, it may present a problem should you have a claim as a result of an "electrical" malfunction.

    All it takes is opinion of a local firefighter as to the cause of a fire.

    As to compliance, please tell me where in this country you can get a permit for new work and that fused panel will pass.
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