Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A

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Aug 20, 2003
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that panel looks really small for 200amp, Also never seen dual breakers like that for a service disconnect..(of course not being an electrician and barely a hack at electrical there is plenty I havent seen) It might be that way to make it fit in the box.. as it appears to be fairly small and stuffed full. it definitely appears to be 100amp service to the box and they just have it on separate 100 and 80 amp circuits? 100 amp for the house and 80 for the AC. if you have to update and run wiring to the garage I'd think 3k-5k range for price. new box, new cafci breakers list prices.. not cheap. then of course you might need a new drop or underground wiring to your meter, and possibly new meter. electricians are not cheap either.. labor $$$$ This is the size and layout of a fairly modern 200amp service (2011) notice the size difference, the single breaker service disconnect etc. Most breakers are cafci(Combination Type Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters) -room outlets, light fixtures etc, except the 240v and certain other appliances(fridge is 20amp non-cafci) no real downsides to cafci although you can have issues with powerline networking interference tripping them. Consult a pro? California rules might be different on whats permissible.. that setup looks borderline hackjob to my amateur eyes.

IMG_20191202_160515.jpg
 
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I'm guessing the Service Disconnect label is supposed to be under the linked 100A breakers on the left hand side.
 
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Converted a 100 Amp 12 position circuit breaker panel to a 200 Amp 42 position panel and a 100 Amp.16 pos circuit breaker panel with a sub panel for a generator 12 yrs ago. $7500.00 TOMB Convert
 
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I live in Joplin, Missouri. I was ballpark quoted $3-4K last year when I inquired as my electrician was doing some other work around the house. I decided that I will have to live with it for now, too rich for my blood.
 
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indiana
A rough number would be $3000 - $5000 for a 100 to 200 upgrade. That's here in Indiana, California may be different. Depending on codes they may require you to use afci / gfci breakers and that's where the money comes in. I'm required to use them on new installations and upgrades here and that's a majority of my parts expense.
 
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Jan 4, 2019
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Levittown, PA
$2-5K is what I've seen billed out and have billed out myself depending on the job. With that panel loaded with twin breakers, if local regulations say you need to AFCI everything the 2018 code requires you're looking closer to $5K just because of the breakers and potentially needing another panel because you can't do twins. Around here you don't need to go to AFCIs just for a service upgrade, but any new circuits need it. I'm gonna guess the first panel is the main/meter outside and the second is a sub inside... If that's the case and you don't need to add AFCIs to existing breakers then you could just swap the outside panel to 200A and pull your new garage circuit from there.
 
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I agree on calling your power company. It's certainly a good place to start. My parents house was built in 1986 and is a 200 amp service.
 
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Around here NYSEG has figured they can make money on the service. So they charge for poles, wire, transformers. In the past they would do a lot of stuff at no cost figuring they will be making money on the electricity.
 
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People are going to 300 amp and 400 amp service these days with more things going to electric. This!!! Things like on demand water heaters all by themselves can cause you to need to upgrade, so get extra for that, just in case.
 
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While you're at it, you might want to consider your options for backup power. The power shutoffs might very well become the norm.
 
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Originally Posted by CharlieBauer
While you're at it, you might want to consider your options for backup power. The power shutoffs might very well become the norm.
Yes and No. With more things going electric like heat pumps the idea of backup power becomes expensive. A 25kw or 30kw is what I would need and they are expensive and use a lot of fuel. A 5kw gas generator from Home Depot will not cut it.
 

The Critic

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Thanks guys. I sent an email to PG&E requesting more info on the wiring that is entering the meter/drop, and I will report back when I have more info.
 
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Originally Posted by Donald
Originally Posted by CharlieBauer
While you're at it, you might want to consider your options for backup power. The power shutoffs might very well become the norm.
Yes and No. With more things going electric like heat pumps the idea of backup power becomes expensive. A 25kw or 30kw is what I would need and they are expensive and use a lot of fuel. A 5kw gas generator from Home Depot will not cut it.
5kw in CA would be fine for 2500 sq ft. Heat is primarily gas furnaces. You'll need 1kw to 2kw for the fan. He also has solar panels so there are some options there too and he might even be getting an electric vehicle .........
 
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Originally Posted by Donald
They legs of 220V can be called a few things, but never phases. A home is always single phase. Only big factories are 3 phase.
I guess different parts of the country do things differently. My 1900 sq. ft. home built in the 1950's has always had 3 phase service. My main panel is the typical single phase but there is a separate panel in the attached garage that has 3 phase going into it. I think it's fused for 60 amps. The only thing that panel has ever serviced is the outside A/C unit which has a 3 phase compressor. I replaced the HVAC system in 2014 and could have gone with a single phase A/C at that time but since I have 3 phase service I stayed with it - why not ?
 
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Your service disconnect is set to use "split breakers". If you look carefully, you could fit a full size 4pole breaker in that space, so you'd have 2-2pole 100amps, for a 200Amp service. However, it appears that slim breakers were used for whatever reason (likely because the load center had no more space for additional breakers), to squeeze an extra 240V circuit. You likely have a 200Amp service already. You will likely need to replace the existing panel with a new panel for extra breaker space for the 60Amp circuit. Below is a sketch so you can see what you have existing. Wiring sketch
 
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Originally Posted by Cressida
Originally Posted by Donald
They legs of 220V can be called a few things, but never phases. A home is always single phase. Only big factories are 3 phase.
I guess different parts of the country do things differently. My 1900 sq. ft. home built in the 1950's has always had 3 phase service. My main panel is the typical single phase but there is a separate panel in the attached garage that has 3 phase going into it. I think it's fused for 60 amps. The only thing that panel has ever serviced is the outside A/C unit which has a 3 phase compressor. I replaced the HVAC system in 2014 and could have gone with a single phase A/C at that time but since I have 3 phase service I stayed with it - why not ?
I will say most homes are single phase. Three phase is cheaper to run large motors but probably does not make much difference in any motor in a home. But you are the first person I have heard of that has 3 phase in his house. In my area the high voltage (2700V) on the pole is a single wire meaning I could not get 3 phase even if I wanted it.
 
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Originally Posted by Donald
Originally Posted by Cressida
Originally Posted by Donald
They legs of 220V can be called a few things, but never phases. A home is always single phase. Only big factories are 3 phase.
I guess different parts of the country do things differently. My 1900 sq. ft. home built in the 1950's has always had 3 phase service. My main panel is the typical single phase but there is a separate panel in the attached garage that has 3 phase going into it. I think it's fused for 60 amps. The only thing that panel has ever serviced is the outside A/C unit which has a 3 phase compressor. I replaced the HVAC system in 2014 and could have gone with a single phase A/C at that time but since I have 3 phase service I stayed with it - why not ?
I will say most homes are single phase. Three phase is cheaper to run large motors but probably does not make much difference in any motor in a home. But you are the first person I have heard of that has 3 phase in his house. In my area the high voltage (2700V) on the pole is a single wire meaning I could not get 3 phase even if I wanted it.
Yeah, first time I've heard of 3 phase in a single family. Typically if you have 3 phase, two phases of it will give you 208 instead of 240 on a single phase. You only see 3 phase power in commercial applications. Maybe the building used to be commercial and was converted to residential.
 
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big apts or houses have 600 A service or more, those are often 3 phases. If you gots the mulas they will run the line for any amount of service you want. If I ever get to build my dream man cave/shop, I will have 3 phase for the motors. But again, it will cost a bunch to get the power co to get you the extra juice. Op, keep us posted on what you find please. I can't believe it costs so much just to swap out the panels. Make sure you get a bunch of estimates in writing first.
 
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