I am installing more 200A services than ever, usually for dwellings that will never use the ampacity. I ask why 200 often, offer a demand load calc etc, yet the mentality seems 'bigger is better'. Many homes calc out way under 100, there are no plans for outbuildings etc, and they might probe out bettween 10-20 A occupied . I just can't seem to interest involved parties into having me do the math....
What I'm seeing is guys asking about 400A panels! They are the McMansion owners, having custom or semi-custom homes built, 3500-6000 SF. Two or three AC units, but gas ovens, space heat, and hot water.
I suggest that 200A is plenty (based on load calcs and anticipated future loads), but I'm afraid it's a case of "panel envy"...one guy at the country club builds a 4500 SF place with a 400A panel, and Lo! everyone wants at least as much.
For instance, one place was 4000 SF and I installed a 400A panel and 55 can lights! Bought a laser plumb bob and laid the can locations out on the floor, used a rolling work platform and a helper to move the platform and the 'bob. Made good $/hr on that one.
Here, the price of a 200 A service works out to less than a 125A!. Nobody stocks a 125, 150, or 175. The demand isn't there. Bargain Basement on a 200
The only difference is going to be in the price of the mast, SE conductors, and GEC if overhead. UG customers needn't worry, except for the GEC The suppliers have overrun the market with 200A services. Buy it!
The ultimate for the richey rich folks down here is the Square D 600A, with the breaker section in the bottom. I think that the utility here won't allow more without special engineering, or those 60 Amp max load turkeys would certainly buy a 1000A service to "keep up".
As far as I can recall (too lazy to walk out to the truck & get AP's specs) AP will supply more than 400 amps single phase, but only for special cases. I'm currently working on an addition to a physical therapists office & the service will max out at 800 amps single phase, using two 320 amp cont. sockets & one drop from the pole.
You know, maybe this oversize service thing could work to our advantage. The old keeping up with the Jones' thing. After we max out on amps, maybe we could step up to a 4160 volt service.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Re: Overkill#78193 08/27/0106:41 AM08/27/0106:41 AM
In my area, Outer Banks of North Carolina, we have many large vacation/rental homes and no municipal gas service so everything is electric (except for propane in rare instances). Any service over 400 AMP we go to C.T.'s in a cabinet and the power company has no problem with this and we require no special engineering for this. The largest I,ve done is a 12,000 sq. ft. home with a 1,200 AMP service.