I was just talking to another EC about some of his jobs. He said they did a new home wiring job for a celebrity and it took 3 years to wire it. Holy Cow! I've been on some big customs for a few months but 3 years is crazy. Got any good customer gone wild excess stories?
The most "over wired" house I have seen is the one I did for me. There is about a half mile of THHN/THWN, just in the back yard. There is pipe going everywhere and I pulled in a lot of spares. Once I had the yard torn up for the pool, why not go nuts
We do sub work for city financed rehabs for homeowners that can't afford to pay. Even the tiniest houses I mean 800 square feet with gas heat gas range gas hot water and no AC they still get a 200 amp service. The last one we did had seven breakers when we left.
I'm re-wiring a house that comes in around 900 sq. ft., and has gas for the heat, the hot water, and the range. Nothing fancy at all. Load calculation comes in at less than 60 as the house stands, and 75 amps with air conditioning added.
Yet, at every turn I was "advised" to put in a 200-amp service. Even City Hall pushed it. "The panel hardly costs anything more, and it can't hurt," I was told.
Only one such adviser brought up the greater number of circuits available in a larger panel. Mind you, the house originally had six, and time had seen folks cobble on five more. What make this point relevant is that this same person didn't like my plan to use sub-panels for 'circuit heavy' locations, like the kitchen.
Folks here will know that I tend to 'over-engineer' a bit, and I seem to excel at finding a more complex way to do every task. Yet, here I am, in the odd position of being told I'm not doing enough!
There's the other side to this coin as well: hackwork. The same folks who insist on the 200-A service will use undersize wire, skimp on staples, use the cheapest plastic boxes, and flimsy devices. They think nothing of running SO cord in the walls. They'll argue with you over your choice of wire nuts.
In my case, at least most folks shut up when I produce my Masters' card.
We hardly ever see anything smaller than 200 amp services here, in fact I can't even remember the last time that I saw a new 100 amp service except one that was put in to power a roadside sign. There just doesn't seem to be a cost justification, not to mention the fact that our POCOs charge the same connection fee regardless.
Of course, services for traffic signals and CATV power supplies are different.
Our most predominant POCO, Dominion, actually provides the meter bases and I don't they don't even offer 100 amp versions for underground services. We're getting 200 amps at the meter whether it is needed or not.
Granted, electric heat, hot water and ranges are quite common here.
The standard residential drop is 200a, or so they say but it looks like 2ga aluminum to me. When a guy I knew went to a 400a main, they were still reluctant to change that drop. FPL gives you the meter can and 200a is the standard. (wire bending space for 4/0) That still does not affect what size service disconnect you put in the house.