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Old 2006-09-07, 09:36 PM
Starfyre Starfyre is offline
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Default 100 AMP to 200 AMP upgrade? What exactly is this?

Hello,

We got a home in boxgrove...An upgrade option is to increase service from 100 amps to 200 amps.

Does this increase electricity cost per month? is this even useful or not for the average family?

Regards,

Sanjay
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Old 2006-09-07, 10:14 PM
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GregS GregS is offline
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Every electrical device draws current rated in AMPs.

Get a lot of electrical devices together running at once and you may draw too much current. An example is use a toaster and a microwave at the same time on the same circuit and blow a fuse / trip a breaker.

Now take this example to your whole house. Too many electrical appliances running at once, such as an electric furnace (you will most likely have gas), an electric water heater (again gas), a hot tub, can put your near or over the amount of electrical current that your house has been rated for, and can therefore trip the main breaker on the electrical panel.

This is where investigating the option of 200 AMP service would come in to accommodate the extra draw from all of these things running at once.

200 AMP service does not cost you extra in terms of usage. You just pay for the electricity you use. Just with 200 AMPs you can use a lot more at once.

Also remember, in Ontario your electricity provider will probably have multiple electricity rates. If you use up to 600KiloWatts (KW) in a month it is 5.6 cents per KW, and anything over that is 6 cents per KW.

(I cannot remember the exact amounts)
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Old 2006-09-07, 11:08 PM
miko1234 miko1234 is offline
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With our house when we upgraded to 200 AMP service, we also got a bigger electrical panel then the houses with 100 AMP. Since we added several circuits, this is a big benefit as there still is expansion room, I am not sure there would have been expansion room without putting in a sub panel with the standard 100 AMP panels provided by our builder.

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Old 2006-09-07, 11:12 PM
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Oh on that note.. This is one of the few upgrades in your favour. It is generally cheaper to have the builder do it when you don't need it, as opposed to have a licensed electrician come back at a later date and do the upgrade when you do.
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Last edited by GregS; 2006-09-07 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 2006-09-07, 11:31 PM
miko1234 miko1234 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregS
Oh on that note.. This is one of the few upgrades in your favour. It is generally cheaper to have the builder do it when you don't need it, as opposed to have a licensed electrician come back at a later date and do the upgrade when you do.
Completely agree with Greg on this one. About the time we were going through our upgrades, my parents had _just_ their panel changed from fuses to breakers. They already had 200 AMP service, so that wasn't a problem, but it cost them about $500 more just to swap the panels then it did for our full 200 AMP upgrade through Mattamy!

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Old 2006-09-08, 12:56 AM
mart242 mart242 is offline
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I felt ripped off when I paid the 2k for the 200 amp upgrade in Ottawa through Tamarack but I'm getting an induction cooktop which requires a 50 amp breaker. Add to this a wall oven (40 amp?) and maybe an advantium speed-cook oven (20 amp?) and it adds up quickly in the kitchen. Finish the basement and you have another 20 - 40 amps there... I had spoken to someone from hydro ottawa and it would have costed the same thing to do it after but would have been a bit more hassle.

if you go all gas, you don't need it.
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Old 2008-02-13, 10:49 PM
igracgq igracgq is offline
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Well I have a lot of appliances in my house (especially in the kitchen: microwave, dishwasher, hood, oven, steam oven, cooktop, fridge, wine fridge, coffe machine) My house is 100 AMPs, so will I need few electrical lines running to my kitchen from the box in the basement? since all these appliances won't be able to handle all at once?

Mind you, I also have a jacuuzi, washer, dryer and all the electroronics (TV, redeiver, computers, stereo, etc). Does that mean, that if I turn all these devices on at once, my fuse box in the basement will blow? or will it be ok if separate lines run to each appliance?

some clarification would be much appreciated as I'm not sure if its cumulative per each electrical wire running to the device, or you add up all the appliance/electronic needs and see if it adds up over 100 and you run out?

Thanks

Last edited by igracgq; 2008-02-13 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 2008-02-14, 02:11 PM
GreyingJay GreyingJay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igracgq View Post
My house is 100 AMPs, so will I need few electrical lines running to my kitchen from the box in the basement?... some clarification would be much appreciated as I'm not sure if its cumulative per each electrical wire running to the device, or you add up all the appliance/electronic needs and see if it adds up over 100 and you run out?
Yes, the "100 amp" or "200 amp" refers to the total usage in the entire house. Individual circuit breakers are 15 amps, which translates to 1800 watts at 120 volts. So each breaker can easily handle one high-draw device such as a microwave (1200 watts), a hair dryer (1500 watts), power tools, etc. Typically, you will have several outlets chained together on one breaker. Code requires that certain devices have to be on their own breakers (typically the ones you KNOW will be high-draw devices, like your microwave). In the kitchen, where you'll frequently plug in a lot of power devices like food processors, adjacent outlets have to be on separate breakers so you don't overload any single one.

The same goes for your light fixtures, but lights are usually between 9 watts (for a small fluorescent light) up to maybe 300 watts (for a bright halogen floor lamp). One breaker may control up to 10 or so fixtures.

Your kitchen stove and clothes dryer use the special 240 volt plugs and have special breakers rated to handle more current (30 amps typically, I think).

Your electrical panel should be labelled and you'll see how many runs go to each area of the house. Your kitchen alone will have a bunch -- two for countertop and wall outlets, one for the microwave, one for the fridge, one for the dishwasher, one double-wide 240 V breaker for the stove, and one for the ceiling lights.

At any given time you're probably using far less than the 100 amp maximum on the panel, but consider a worst-case scenario where you're madly cooking dinner on the stove with a roast in the oven (30 amps), running the microwave (15 amps), drying clothes (30 amps), 20 lights are on in the house at 60 watts each (10 amps), and someone's upstairs drying their hair (15 amps) all at the same time. That's 100 amps - you're pushing the limit. The next person to turn something on could trip a breaker.

So do you need to upgrade to 200 amp service? In a typical small house, possibly not. It may be worth doing as an exercise in future-proofing. If you know you will have lots of high-current devices (such as mart's cooktop, oven, and microwave), several big-screen TVs, home theater amps and projector, lots of computers, lots of power tools, stuff like that, then you might need the 200 amp service going in.

Last edited by GreyingJay; 2008-02-14 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 2008-02-14, 05:48 PM
mart242 mart242 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyingJay View Post
At any given time you're probably using far less than the 100 amp maximum on the panel, but consider a worst-case scenario where you're madly cooking dinner on the stove with a roast in the oven (30 amps), running the microwave (15 amps), drying clothes (30 amps), 20 lights are on in the house at 60 watts each (10 amps), and someone's upstairs drying their hair (15 amps) all at the same time. That's 100 amps - you're pushing the limit. The next person to turn something on could trip a breaker.
The 100amp is @ 240V.. so you could have 2 circuits each drawing 20A at 120V but if they are on a different phase, it only adds up to 20A.
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Old 2008-02-15, 02:18 AM
GreyingJay GreyingJay is offline
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Originally Posted by mart242 View Post
The 100amp is @ 240V.. so you could have 2 circuits each drawing 20A at 120V but if they are on a different phase, it only adds up to 20A.
Fair enough, I stand corrected.

My engineering degree is in low-voltage components (DC circuits, electronics, computers) so my AC is a bit rusty :P
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