I am bidding a new custome home. It is app 7500sf. My load comes to about 130amps without any hvac. They are going to do geothermal with supplemental heat strips. I just don't know what size. But even at 10kw that still is well under 200 amps. There is also a pool and framing provision for a future elevator. I am not bidding either of these yet because they are not sure what thay are doing for heat. All this being said, do I need to bump up the service. I would probably be pushing a 200amp service once everything is in with no provisional space.
Most houses I wire a smaller. You put on a 200amp meter and your good. This one is making me think. Do you step from 200 to 400amps?
This is a large house to wire. I do wire houses but few on this scale and even less bidding competitively. I know the guys I am bidding against. They are veteran residential electricians who do quality work. I just want to make sure that I am doing it right. I don't think it is a house that will go to the lowest bidder but to the best overall quote. Thanks, my dinner depends on it.
Side question: What is the best way to do outlets in the baseboards. Nail ons with box extenders?
Personally, I think I would go ahead with a 400 amp if it's that big of a house and you are already getting close to the limit. IMO a house that big will probably want something more in the future. I would guess the other contractors are thinking the same thing. Better to give quality now than to suffer for it later. Just my opinion. As far as the outlets in the baseboard. Is that what they are asking for? Unless it is, that's a whole lot of extra time and money, especially a house that size.
With a house that size, I think would also be leaning toward 400A minimum as well, before I even did the load calc. Especially when their already talking about a pool, elevator and will probably add some other unannounced future projects like a finished basement, pool house, heated two car garage, etc. Sounds like they most likely have the resources to do things right anyway.
The best way to handle the baseboard outlets might be to just stub the wires out and let the carpenter drill a 3/4" hole in the center of the baseboard and leave them sticking out for you to cut in old work boxes after the baseboard is installed. Those Allied 9361-E, 16 Cu.In. NM old work boxes and a multi-cut tool like the Rockwell Sonicrafter with a standard end-cut blade make pretty quick, clean work of that type of thing these days.
Are baseboard outlets coming back? I always assumed they were just the way old time electricians installed circuits in a house that never had electricity before without cutting into the plaster. I have only seen them in very old houses around DC. They always seemed to look "beat up" to me from vacuum cleaners and furniture legs. I assumed that is why we see them a "hammer handle" off the floor now.
I was leaning toward the 400a. Thanks for the confirmation. I think the baseboard outlets are an architectual detail that looks nice but not cost effective. The sheetrock rock work is cheaper than the trim work.
Should I cut the holes or give the trim guy a template and let him cut them? I always like the less cutting and trim work that I need to do.
I also believe that itís mostly an architect thing in the larger homes. They apparently donít like the look of our receptacle outlets in the walls. I guess I do kind of like the look of them being installed horizontally in the baseboards, but I also think itís a pain to have to always squat down on bended knee every time you want to plug something in. Iím going to assume that in situations like these, hired help will likely be doing most of the bending and squatting for the homeowners anyway. As bad as it seems for installing electrical outlets, I think it would an even bigger pain installing central vac hose type inlets and aligning the associated piping and wiring within the baseboard.
I always operate under the premise that the less contact other trades have with my wiring, the better off things are. Iíve had ham-handed carpenters take it upon themselves to cut in the baseboard receptacles before, without consulting me first, and they were a disaster. Undersized metal boxes they picked up at the hardware store, holes cut so big the ears were just floating so the screws wouldnít hit wood, NM behind the boxes in the wall pinched and folded like pipe cleaner, NM sheathing ripped and damaged conductor insulation. It basically turned into even more of a pain for me, because I had to first undue the damaged they did before I could begin to make things right.