200 amp panel Residential all gas appliances

I inspect a lot of Service changes and upgrades and I always come across projects where the contractor has installed a 200 amp panel in a 1,000 sf house that has all gas appliances. Is this now the standard to just install a 200 amp panel for residential applications? Or do the contractors not know how to size the service properly? Is this strictly for safety? Why are we putting such large panels in such small situations?
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Supply and demand. 200 amp could be cheaper than a 150 or even a 100. Depends on the supply house. I bought 15 200 amp panels at the end of an inventory year cycle from the supply house because they were ridiculously cheap. They even had copper bus. I couldn’t have bought a 60 amp panel for what I paid for these 200s
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Our go to size is 200 amps unless we need more than it is 400 amps. We never look at 150 or 300 amps.... Yeah we can probably save a few bucks but as stated above a 150 amp main breaker panel is a special order around here and would cost more than a 200 amp panel. People are always adding things so we just go for the 200 amp panel especially with car charger etc.
 

mbrooke

Senior Member
Around me its been the standard for some time. 200amp sells- home buyer thinks they are getting more. Plus it cheaper because 200amp panels sell so much. Even a 400amp home gets 2-200amp panels.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
On a service upgrade there is a higher profit margin on a 200 service. The labor is about the same and you end up with slightly more expensive material cost but the up charge from a 100 or 150 amps to 200 amps can be significant.
 

Frank DuVal

Senior Member
While the Dominion Energy Blue Book still shows a 100 amp 120/240 service (they also show a 100 amp 120 volt service), I have not seen a new rersidential 100 amp service installed around here on a single family home in over 30 years. And the economies of scale make the 150 amp panel a no show also. The cheaper 200 amp panel ofsets the cost of the larger SEU for a 200 amp panel.;)
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
The only reason the upgrade in my last house was a 150 amp panel was my electrician told me that the overhead from the POCO would have to be up-sized for a 200 amp panel. It was more hassle than I was looking for.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
The only reason the upgrade in my last house was a 150 amp panel was my electrician told me that the overhead from the POCO would have to be up-sized for a 200 amp panel. It was more hassle than I was looking for.
??

There are 200 amp services all over the country fed from #2 aluminum, #4 aluminum, even open wire #8 CWC...

I can’t understand why you were told that.

Your service size isn’t determined by the POCO service drop.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
The only reason the upgrade in my last house was a 150 amp panel was my electrician told me that the overhead from the POCO would have to be up-sized for a 200 amp panel. It was more hassle than I was looking for.
They go by service demand (load letter) not by service rating. I've done many upgrades where they did not upsize the drop or lateral, even on a 200-to-400 amp.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
??

There are 200 amp services all over the country fed from #2 aluminum, #4 aluminum, even open wire #8 CWC...

I can’t understand why you were told that.

Your service size isn’t determined by the POCO service drop.
150A panels were on special at his supply house for less than a 200 because nobody wanted them. :happyyes:

-Hal
 

electrofelon

Senior Member
They go by service demand (load letter) not by service rating. I've done many upgrades where they did not upsize the drop or lateral, even on a 200-to-400 amp.
Not always. Seems like every 5th service I do, the planner pulls something weird like no LB's, or they have to upgrade the drop if I go to 200.... It's happened. :rant:
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Not always. Seems like every 5th service I do, the planner pulls something weird like no LB's, or they have to upgrade the drop if I go to 200.... It's happened. :rant:
Around here they can do whatever they want with the drop, it costs us nothing.

-Hal
 

George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Around here 150A is the norm for a service change, as 200A would require a new GEC and the building department and the POCO tends to do unholy financial things to the customer for infrastructure fees.

New houses, 200A without batting an eye. Should bat an eye more often, as I had to swap a main breaker to 150A to appease the POCO recently.
 

George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
"11" has no units. It's an arbitrary scale for mapping inputs. You could keep the same dial, and relabel it 1 thru 10, and it would mean exactly the same thing to the end user.
I imagine you're just upset that yours only goes to 10. :p
 

petersonra

Senior Member
It might be cost effective to just buy all 200 Amp panels.

It is also possible that he wants more circuits than a 100 Amp panel might have.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Around here 150A is the norm for a service change, as 200A would require a new GEC and the building department and the POCO tends to do unholy financial things to the customer for infrastructure fees.

New houses, 200A without batting an eye. Should bat an eye more often, as I had to swap a main breaker to 150A to appease the POCO recently.
Welcome back....:cool:
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
The original service went in in 1929. The upgrade was from a 60 amp panel with pull blocks. There may have also been a question of upgrading the GEC as someone else pointed out, but I can't honestly recall. My Mark 1 eyeball isn't calibrated for this work, but here's a look. The line that drops off down and to the left feeds my old house.

You in the blue house? It looks like 1/0AL from the transformer then goes to #2 aluminum to each house.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Looks like a neat and clean place to live... pond in the back yard. Fish there much?
Well, I'm not much into fishing. My middle brother is the angler in the family. Plus, the access behind the house is a very steep approximately 30 foot drop to the waters edge. You can pick your way down and back, but doing it with all the gear is going to make it much less fun. Google Maps doesn't really show how steep that is. IIRC, I owned very close to the pond edge. I had thought about doing a switchback to the water's edge, but then we moved.
 

nickelec

Senior Member
Around here Poco won't change the lateral or the underground unless it burns up, standard 200a overhead service around here with one meter and panel minimum 5000

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Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Around here Poco won't change the lateral or the underground unless it burns up, standard 200a overhead service around here with one meter and panel minimum 5000

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
For use an overhead lateral??? That’s ridiculous!! We do them free everyday. The 1/0 AL wire is about $1.50 aft or less.
 

nickelec

Senior Member
I think you maybe a bit confused on my post , I'm saying that the charge for a 200a service is usually about 5k

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Frank DuVal

Senior Member
At the west edge of the city of Richmond was a small one story brick house built about 1952 that in the late 70s still had the two wire 30 amp 120 volt service! I had only seen those on apartments until I saw that house. On the apartments, usually the two Edison based fuses were both 30 amp! Due to portable heaters and window shaker AC. No wonder "the cause of the fire was electrical" is such a common phrase with older apartments!:jawdrop:
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Frank, I've worked in many houses with those two 30a fuses, mostly in Church Hill. Often, both the hot and neutral were fused, and I've also seen the fuses each supplying one floor. Yes, they used 30a fuses despite the 14g wiring. Being suspended and separated, knob-and-tube wiring was able to survive being overload better than NM.

When one of those houses is gutted, you can see the pair of upstairs floor-boards that were pried up to run the wiring from the front of the house to the back, the brace-and-bit-drilled holes for the ceramic tubes, and the knobs used where the wiring was fished vertically to the downstairs switches, and horizontally to the downstairs ceiling lights.
 

hornetd

Senior Member
At the west edge of the city of Richmond was a small one story brick house built about 1952 that in the late 70s still had the two wire 30 amp 120 volt service! I had only seen those on apartments until I saw that house. On the apartments, usually the two Edison based fuses were both 30 amp! Due to portable heaters and window shaker AC. No wonder "the cause of the fire was electrical" is such a common phrase with older apartments!:jawdrop:
[RANT MODE]No matter how carefully the Fire Service Public Information Officer says "The form of the heat of ignition was electrical arcing." and "The Source of the heat of ignition was an electrical failure in XXX." the reporters will still write "The cause of the fire was electrical." I sometimes feel like someone should grab those reporters by their ears and scream in their face "The fire was caused by the, possibly criminally negligent, failure of the owner to maintain the buildings electrical systems.[/RANT MODE]

--
Tom Horne
 

hornetd

Senior Member
Frank, I've worked in many houses with those two 30a fuses, mostly in Church Hill. Often, both the hot and neutral were fused, and I've also seen the fuses each supplying one floor. Yes, they used 30a fuses despite the 14g wiring. Being suspended and separated, knob-and-tube wiring was able to survive being overload better than NM.

When one of those houses is gutted, you can see the pair of upstairs floor-boards that were pried up to run the wiring from the front of the house to the back, the brace-and-bit-drilled holes for the ceramic tubes, and the knobs used where the wiring was fished vertically to the downstairs switches, and horizontally to the downstairs ceiling lights.
In the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington DC I worked on homes that had the old DC Trolley services. They were built on site into a wooden cabinet that was lined inside with asbestos board. The fuses were in Edison based porcelain sockets in both the grounded and energized conductors of each of the branch circuits. The switches came after the fuses so you could not de-energize the fuses to change them. All conductors entered the cabinet through porcelain chase nipples.

The very first time I saw one of those I began carrying Edison fuse shunts on my van. Out came the fuses in the grounded current carrying conductor and in went the shunts. Rather wealthy home owners would ask why they had to be changed when they had worked fine for years. I also stocked type S adapters like a religious talisman. Same question would ensue. Then I would get the complaint that I had already warned them about in advance. "How come the fuse keeps blowing on the kitchen receptacle when I start the microwave while the toaster is on?" Me "Do you remember that I told you that several of the existing circuits were dangerously overloaded and that someone had put oversized fuses in the fuse box?" Them "It always worked before." Me "I'll be happy to accompany a Peoples Council Investigator to your home and explain my actions if you think I have done something dishonest. They will, of course, bring an inspector from the Electrical Inspectors Office to provide expert evaluation of any statements I make and the work I have done." Since the initial visit was for the replacement of a broken devices no permit was required.

Only one took me up on that offer. They were completely puzzled by the argument between the 2 officials as to which one should get the original panel as an electrical artifact when it was replaced. When the homeowner saw their reactions to the existing condition and heard them say; while they took photographs with their phones; that "Nobody back at the office is going to believe this without pictures." they finally saw the value of replacing their panel. I offered them a bid and told them that I would require them to sign a statement that they had obtained at least one other bid for exactly the same work if they wanted me to change out the existing equipment. It seems that everyone else that anyone had contacted had said that the only thing to be done was to rewire the entire house. I ended up rebuilding 5 more such services by way of word of mouth referrals.

I removed the cabinet intact by very carefully cutting the nails. I removed it from the stud cavity without disturbing the horse hair plaster. Then I spirited it away before either of those officials new it was being worked on. I gave it to the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Instructors at the Electrical Workers Local. It was displayed in the old Union Hall on Kansas Avenue for a while but I haven't seen or heard anything about it since the Local built their brand new building out in Landover Maryland.

The replacement was a junction box on the original rigid conduit from the basement. That is were their new panel went in. I dutifully cut the slots between each pair of KOs prior to reinstalling the porcelain chase nipples for the knob & tube branch circuits. I used terminal barrier strips with captive square washers which had the corners turned down to allow the wires to be held straight in. When I put the cover on I used 2 seal hole bolts with the machine screws so that the occupants would be encouraged to stay out of the box. They seamed more than happy with their new circuits for the kitchen and dining room, window unit air conditioners (So that the vacuum cleaner would not blow the breaker like it had the old 30 ampere fuse,) bathroom receptacles, and hallway receptacles. All of the individual disconnects for an electric clothes dryer and a built in oven... were now gone and they said they liked the new all in one place arrangement. That area has a lot of truly historic homes and I didn't want to partially destroy their interiors just to get a few more dollars. I easily made that up by installing Wiremold 2000 Surface Metal Raceway in place of the bottom portion of the baseboard so that they could have receptacles anywhere they wanted them on new circuits. Those very tall base boards and the flexible wand bits and extensions were my best friends on those jobs.

--
Tom Horne
 

Frank DuVal

Senior Member
I too have some Edison fuse blocks with knife switches in my collection of antique oddities. Taken out of those asbestos lined wall cavities..... I even took one off a ceiling, not even inside a wall! Painted over, still in service....:blink:.

Turn of the century work is archaeology!

Yes, Richmond also had gas lights before electric lights, so I do know why the hickey in an octagon box was 3/8 NPT..... to hang the electrified original fixture! ;)
 

retirede

Senior Member
Yes, Richmond also had gas lights before electric lights, so I do know why the hickey in an octagon box was 3/8 NPT..... to hang the electrified original fixture! ;)
We sold the house I grew up in when my dad died in ‘96. It still had one operational gas light.
When I was a kid, I remember dad proudly lighting that sucker whenever we had a power outage - whether we needed light or not!
 
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