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#78185 - 08/25/01 01:55 PM Overkill  
sparky  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,306
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....
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#78186 - 08/25/01 01:59 PM Re: Overkill  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
The way I judge it: If there's mostly gas appliances (and the demand calcs are in agreement) then I recommend 100A, otherwise I recommend 200.

A 150A service would cost more than a 200A here due to lack of available parts.

But yeah, Load Demand Calcs are pretty useless in residential around here except to decide between 100 or 200 (or 320) amp services.



[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 08-25-2001).]


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

#78187 - 08/25/01 04:24 PM Re: Overkill  
Tom  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Shinnston, WV USA
Provided that a customer is not asking you to do something illegal or unsafe, he is always right.

A lot of electricians probably felt exactly the same about installing a 100 amp service when a 60 would easily do the job.

Besides, the homeowner may get p.o'd at the gas company & decide to go total electric. I've seen this happen a couple of times.

Tom


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#78188 - 08/25/01 06:15 PM Re: Overkill  
amp-man  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 141
Sacto, California US of A
Sparky,

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.

Cheers.


#78189 - 08/25/01 08:25 PM Re: Overkill  
Redsy  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
Bucks County PA
I still install 150s when I feel that's all they will ever need. Small home, gas appliances, central air.


#78190 - 08/25/01 08:26 PM Re: Overkill  
electure  Offline


Member
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,259
Fullerton, CA USA
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". [Linked Image]


#78191 - 08/25/01 10:03 PM Re: Overkill  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
The neighbors have a 320A meter base with two 200A panels... A 4000 SF house not including 2 car garage and basement.

As far as I know, 320A is the most AP will give Resi's around here... Tom?


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

#78192 - 08/26/01 01:12 PM Re: Overkill  
Tom  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Shinnston, WV USA
'66,

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. [Linked Image]

Tom


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#78193 - 08/27/01 07:41 AM Re: Overkill  
C.Urch  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 36
Kill Devil Hills, NC USA
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.


#78194 - 08/27/01 09:14 PM Re: Overkill  
sparky  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,306
wow!
what can i say after those posts?

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