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Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A #5282959 12/02/19 01:38 PM
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The Critic Offline OP
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I recently purchased a home that was built in 1997 and was a little bit surprised to find the home's electrical service to only be 100A. I would like to add at least one 60A outlet in the garage (NEMA 14-50 240V) for electric vehicle charging. Based on my novice load calculations, I think my current set-up has "tapped out" the 100A service and I will need to upgrade to a 200A service in order to safely accommodate the new 60A outlet. If I am incorrect, please let me know.

Some relevant info: the home has solar panels, electrical a/c (heater is gas), one oven and is about 2500 sq-ft. Location is Northern CA.

How much should I expect to pay for a licensed contractor to upgrade the electrical service from 100A to 200A?

Thank you.

electrical panel1.jpgelectrical panel2.jpgelectrical panel3.jpg

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Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5282969 12/02/19 01:49 PM
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madRiver Offline
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In NH about $1500 10 years ago. You may have to pay utility also to upgrade meter.

It appears like you have two 100 AMP circuits in the setup, AC and home.

Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: madRiver] #5282970 12/02/19 01:51 PM
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The Critic Offline OP
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Originally Posted by madRiver
In NH about $1500 10 years ago. You may have to pay utility also to upgrade meter.

It appears like you have two 100 AMP circuits in the setup, AC and home.


I was told by two people that it is the same 100 amp circuit.


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Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5282976 12/02/19 01:56 PM
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Fawteen Offline
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Anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500 depending on the equipment, electrician, location and other variables. You're in California so you'll probably pay at least double or triple the cost in other areas of the country. Around here it's anywhere from $700 to $1,500.

Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5282977 12/02/19 01:59 PM
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Donald Offline
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My guess is more like $3000 to $4000.

You will need to come up to code which will mean arc-fault breakers for most 15 and 20 amp circuits. Maybe more GFI. New meter pan and outside wiring. The power company may charge you also. Is the wiring to your house overhead? Underground.

Think into the future also. Maybe a heat pump to replace current furnace?

People are going to 300 amp and 400 amp service these days with more things going to electric.

My heat pump has large breakers for the outdoor unit, the indoor unit and a 70 amp one for the booster coil that is mainly used during a defrost of the outdoor unit.


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Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5282981 12/02/19 02:02 PM
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Donald Offline
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Originally Posted by The Critic
Originally Posted by madRiver
In NH about $1500 10 years ago. You may have to pay utility also to upgrade meter.

It appears like you have two 100 AMP circuits in the setup, AC and home.


I was told by two people that it is the same 100 amp circuit.


Turn the 100 amp circuit breakers off and see if the AC still runs.

I would doubt that code would allow a setup where you had to turn off 3 sets of breakers to do a total disconnect of power to the house.


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Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5282984 12/02/19 02:04 PM
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stockrex Offline
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Call your power company, a house from 1997 should have 200 A Service,

Do you have any 220 outlets in the house now?


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Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5282986 12/02/19 02:05 PM
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stockrex Offline
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The cost will depend on what you want to do.

where are you going to run the dedicated 60 A outlet to?

Just to upgrade the switch panel will be cheap, but to run wires all over the house if needed will be ching ching.


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Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5282987 12/02/19 02:10 PM
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The Critic Offline OP
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Originally Posted by stockrex
Call your power company, a house from 1997 should have 200 A Service,

Do you have any 220 outlets in the house now?

Dryer....that is it.

Originally Posted by stockrex
The cost will depend on what you want to do.

where are you going to run the dedicated 60 A outlet to?

Just to upgrade the switch panel will be cheap, but to run wires all over the house if needed will be ching ching.

60A will be going to the garage.
Originally Posted by Donald
Originally Posted by The Critic
Originally Posted by madRiver
In NH about $1500 10 years ago. You may have to pay utility also to upgrade meter.

It appears like you have two 100 AMP circuits in the setup, AC and home.


I was told by two people that it is the same 100 amp circuit.


Turn the 100 amp circuit breakers off and see if the AC still runs.

I would doubt that code would allow a setup where you had to turn off 3 sets of breakers to do a total disconnect of power to the house.

It's a dual pair for 240V, no? The two 100amp breakers you see are connected with a bar.

Last edited by The Critic; 12/02/19 02:16 PM.

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Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5282990 12/02/19 02:14 PM
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diyjake Offline
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100 amp service for 2500 square feet house built in 1997 doesn't sound right at all, builder was really cutting corners.

Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5282994 12/02/19 02:17 PM
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stockrex Offline
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https://www.mistersparky.com/expert-tips/how-upgrade-your-home-220-volt-service

you have 2 110v out of phase that is used to create 220v.

Please call and find out if the 2 110v lines coming into your house are100 A each = 200 A total.

If yes, then just upgrading the panel or adding more breakers to it might it all it takes.

Last edited by stockrex; 12/02/19 02:26 PM.

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Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5283010 12/02/19 02:31 PM
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supton Offline
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That ganged 100A breakers look like one in each leg (the two split legs, phases, whatever you want to call the 180 degree out of phase power). I don't get the ganged 50A and 30A breakers; those look like another 80A service to me (using the same drop), thus making me think (pure guess here) that you have at least 180A service (which probably means 200 rated for the drop). The "Service disconnect" sticker makes me think that these are just that.

Can you pop the cover and see how those AC breakers are wired?

I'm not an electrician but I don't see why, if you truly only had 100A service, that it'd be more than the drop, then a 100A breaker to feed a sub-panel somehow--I'm think you shouldn't need to touch existing wiring, as long as it's all left alone. Let everything new be on a different panel.

I also have to wonder if the cost is going to be much different getting > 200A service. Might as well plan ahead.


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Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5283015 12/02/19 02:33 PM
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Donald Offline
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Yes 100 amp breakers are tied together, thats normal for any 220V breaker.

You have 220V for AC, oven and dryer. Your water heater is gas I assume.

Here are other things I see wrong or odd:

-->Two breakers with tape on them. Always makes me wonder.

-->The breaker on lower left is marked "cooktop" but is 20 amp 110V. What kind of cooking do you have. One unit with over and burners? Or a unit with burners and another unit with oven. A cooktop
will be 220V and more than 20 amp.

-->You have a lot of 2-in-1 breakers. They are a last resort to fit circuits into a crowded box.

-->The breaker under the oven is a single piece with four 20 amp breakers, the middle two tied together. Yet they all appear to be 110V circuits so none should be tied together.

I would run 100 amp into garage and then 60 off that for car charger. Unless the main box will be in the garage.

Last edited by Donald; 12/02/19 02:34 PM.

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Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: supton] #5283018 12/02/19 02:36 PM
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Donald Offline
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Originally Posted by supton
That ganged 100A breakers look like one in each leg (the two split legs, phases, whatever you want to call the 180 degree out of phase power). I don't get the ganged 50A and 30A breakers; those look like another 80A service to me (using the same drop), thus making me think (pure guess here) that you have at least 180A service (which probably means 200 rated for the drop). The "Service disconnect" sticker makes me think that these are just that.

Can you pop the cover and see how those AC breakers are wired?

I'm not an electrician but I don't see why, if you truly only had 100A service, that it'd be more than the drop, then a 100A breaker to feed a sub-panel somehow--I'm think you shouldn't need to touch existing wiring, as long as it's all left alone. Let everything new be on a different panel.

I also have to wonder if the cost is going to be much different getting > 200A service. Might as well plan ahead.


They legs of 220V can be called a few things, but never phases. A home is always single phase. Only big factories are 3 phase.


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Re: Cost to Upgrade Electrical Service from 100A to 200A [Re: The Critic] #5283021 12/02/19 02:38 PM
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mk378 Offline
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If the wires leading into the electric meter are too small you'll have to pay the electric company to upgrade those. Then a new meter base and outdoor panel and connect the EV circuit to the outdoor panel. Building inspector may let you leave the indoor stuff alone for now.

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