Thursday, April 2, 2009

Subject: Question about upgrading my circuit box or service

Name: John Klimek

Question: I live in Pennsylvania and have 100 amp service with a 20 circuit box.

The box is completely filled with breakers and a couple of breakers are doubled or even tripled up. (eg. two bedrooms connected to one circuit, etc)

However, I have gas heat for the entire house except for one recently finished room in the basement (which uses electric baseboard heat).

I've had electricians come to the house but I'm getting two different stories:

1) Some say they can install 30 circuit box and I can keep my 100 amp service which is completely big for me.

2) Others say you must upgrade to 200 amp service if I want a bigger box.

Can you tell me which one of these is a true statement or what is recommended?

Answer: Hi John,

They are both probably right. It is just their professional opinion that is different. I would go with the 200 amp service in most cases but not always. Most house here in Philadelphia will never draw more then a 100 amps. House in the neighborhoods of say Fishtown (19125), fairmount(19130) South Philadelphia(19147) or Northern Liberties(19123) are just too small. The 200 amp panel will last longer but if money is an issue the 100 amp will do. Also sometime we do the 100 amp on city house because of the extra space the 200 amp would take up. If I were you I would research the two electrician to see who had the best reputation and go with their advice.

1 comment:

  1. How can the first electrician be correct. I was under the impression that with a 100 amp service you can not have over 20 circuits in the main panel. You would have to install a subpanel