Ques about old Romex and upgrading the panel

soozDecember 22, 2010

Recently, with the deluge of rain we've had, our roof leaked and the water came down into our house through the light fixture in our little laundry room And it leaked in another ceiling area near the light fixture. We turned off the power at the circuit box to that area. The breaker did not flip to Off and there were signs of arcing. The house was built in 1949 or 1950.

Electricians came out today and changed out the breaker but we are keeping the power off to the area that had the leak, as tomorrow, if it's not raining, the electricians will change out the circuit box panel.

Here's where I don't know stuff... I have a choice of keeping the box (panel?) at 125 (amps?) or upgrading it to 200. The house is currently on 125 (amps?).

The washer and fridge and part of one bathroom are on one circuit, and upgrading would allow us to put them on separate circuits. I'm not sure if the dryer is on that circuit or not. WE don't have a dishwasher or garbage disposal, but that may be something we get in the future. We have a gas range and water heater, but everything else is electric. The square footage of our home is about 1900 sq ft and the garage, which has been converted to The Man Cave (fridge, TV, microwave, stereo, receiver, DVD etc) is about 350 sq ft.

Some of the outlets in our home and garage have the old Romex and some have newer Romex.

Would having a 200 amp service for the circuit box (panel?) be a good thing overall?

Would there be any problems with that 200 amp panel and the older Romex that carries the electricity to the electrical outlets, etc.?

Thanks for any help, and also for letting me know the correct terminology in case I misused it.



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If you have gas (or oil) heat, and plan to keep that method, the 125 amp should be sufficient. I see no compelling reason to upsize the service. Romex in 1949 had the thermoplastic insulation on the individual conductors. It is very durable and I have seen no failures of the thermoplastic related solely to age.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 6:31PM
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Thank you!!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 1:46AM
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I have a choice of keeping the box (panel?) at 125 (amps?) or upgrading it to 200. The house is currently on 125 (amps?).>

If they are only talking about a larger box I would go with the 200 amp. It would still be 125 amp but can hold more circuits which gives you a chance to split some overloaded circuits.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 9:18AM
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Just curious, what brand electrical panel do you have now? Many houses the age of yours had fuse panels. The real issue is to find the sourse of the leak and get that repaired and to check the lights that were effeted by the water. Replacing the panel won't solve the other problems.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 10:32AM
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