service upgrade advice - addition

pkovoJune 7, 2013

Trying to determine if I should upgrade service from 100 to 200A for my upcoming addition.

House is currently 1100 sq ft. Addition to be between 700-850 sq ft. 2 bdrms and one bath. possibly a "bonus" room as well. House currently has 100A service, we rarely ever trip a breaker.

Currently, my oven/stove/dryer are all propane. Hot water is indirect off oil fired boiler. My bigger electric draws are my fridge, microwave, an extra freezer, pool pump, and potentially a sump pump, but that thing has been bone dry for over a year (knock on wood) I run 3 window ACs in the summer, about 24000 BTU total.

Local official said I shouldn't need to update electric if i have two empty breakers on the panel (I do). However, my panel is an older pushmatic. In looking into requirements, it seems recent code could require AFCI outlets in the new bedrooms, and I don't think my panel is capable of that.

I have a newer sub-panel in my garage which is a GE, and that may be capable of AFCI, but there's only one open breaker currently.

I'm also adding ductwork for central AC (heat is baseboard hotwater) while the floors/walls open, so central AC will be installed at some point instead of the window units.

trying to decide whether I should just bite the bullet and have my service upgraded to 200A with a nice new panel now, so when we start the renovation there are no surprises (still in early phase with architect), or wait, and have it be part of the whole renovation once we get going....Or, roll the dice on 100A being enough, and the AFCI issue not coming to fruition (probably unlikely), or wiring bedrooms from the empty on sub-panel assuming it can handle AFCI, and bathroom from one of the emty breakers on the main.

I also have a wife and three girls. Girls are age 5 and under now....but at some point in the future, there could be a "perfect storm" situation of 4 hairdryers going all at once :-)

Sorry for the rambling post.

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I would definitely upgrade now. Make it part of this project so you don't have to worry about if for years to come.

You will definitely need a sub-panel at the very least to accommodate the required AFCI's, so why waste one cent on that when that money can go to a new service?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 7:20PM
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I upgraded to 200 Amp 40 slot panel. Setup to take an optional interlock kit for my generator if I wish to add later.

I'm set for a smany hairdryers as my family can use together now :-)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 11:02PM
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I read your OP for the first time today. Consider mini-splits for AC instead of ducts if you did not start the duct work yet. They pair well with a smaller generator.

Here is a link that might be useful: ducts

This post was edited by ionized on Thu, Dec 19, 13 at 20:19

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 8:17PM
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