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Is A 100 AMP Service Enough For Today's World

100383 Views 61 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  the rock
Hi All,

My mother-in-law passed away recently and left her home to my wife. For the time being we decided not to sell but rent. My wife thinks the house has only a 100 amp service. Is a 100 amp service enough in today's world of all the high tech gadgetry. The house has oil heat boiler, electric stove and dryer. If we need to increase the service to 200 amps what would the average cost be. The 1600 sq.ft. house is located in Boston and is approximately 65 years old.

Thanks
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Elec. or gas water heater?

Central Air?

Window units? How many? 110/220?


The only way to know for SURE is to do a load calc. If you google that, I would imagine you'd find some you can use online. Or an electrician can do one for you.

As far as cost..........??(shrug)

$1000-$10,000 should cover it. :)

A lot depends on area. Someone closer to you might be able to shave those numbers down a little.
What "high tech gagetry" are you referring to other that the newfangled dryer and range?
Gagetry tends to be low consumption electronics. Things like TV's, computers and phone chargers are power misers in the scope of things.
Just because you have a lot of "things" doesn't mean they'll all draw a ton of power.

If this house was fine before what makes you think it won't be fine now??
Do a load calculation. That will give you the answer.
Soon as you said electric stove & dryer I flag it as not enough. 200 amp service tends to be the most common but a tad over kill. Either way if you're goingto upgrade mind as well.
Around here we are about $2 k for panel, grounds & outside lines. The utility company hands line to the house.
I don't want to undermine the advice of the electrians there is no substitute for a load calculation.
Not everything is running at the same time but those two must be 60amps alone.
How many times have you heard of a main breaker actually tripping?

A friend added a guest cabin with a hot tub and a sauna, both on 50 amp breakers. He has an electric stove and a dryer in the house. He decided to see how it works before upgrading to a 200 amp service. 5 years later, not one trip on the main 100 amp breaker.
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I think it's an issue of space for more circuits in the box more than anything.

How often are all the circuits going to be loaded to the max at the same point in time anyways?
That's why only a load calc will provide a proper answer.
I think it's an issue of space for more circuits in the box more than anything.

How often are all the circuits going to be loaded to the max at the same point in time anyways?
You can get more space with a bigger 100a panel or a pony.
I think it's an issue of space for more circuits in the box more than anything.

How often are all the circuits going to be loaded to the max at the same point in time anyways?
My thought too.
How many times have you heard of a main breaker actually tripping?
....
IMO unless you have a dual zone forced air HVAC system and more than 3 bedrooms 100 amps is sufficient.

When it comes to new gadgets, it's true that the average person these days has a different set of gadgets than we had 20 years ago but most of them use much less power.

We went from tube TV's and big stereo systems that gave off enough heat to warm half of the house to pocket sized MP3 players and LED screens that collectively use a fraction of what the floor model cabinet TV used to consume.

In the 80's we used 100 watt light bulbs in every single fixture. Now all 30 CFL's throughout my house use less energy than the 4 incandescent bulbs that were in my kitchen.
CRT tv's weren't that bad, and few people had multiple 60"TV's in their house back then.
IMO unless you have a dual zone forced air HVAC system and more than 3 bedrooms 100 amps is sufficient.

When it comes to new gadgets, it's true that the average person these days has a different set of gadgets than we had 20 years ago but most of them use much less power.

We went from tube TV's and big stereo systems that gave off enough heat to warm half of the house to pocket sized MP3 players and LED screens that collectively use a fraction of what the floor model cabinet TV used to consume.

In the 80's we used 100 watt light bulbs in every single fixture. Now all 30 CFL's throughout my house use less energy than the 4 incandescent bulbs that were in my kitchen.
Yes... Load calc's are the proper way.... maybe a sparky could indicate (not advise) the fat (extra safety margin) in those calcs.

But overall, unless you suspect renters are going to change anything significantly electrically (like put in a grow house), and you have experienced no problems to date..... many homes that are not abnormally electric dependent, that are 1600 sq feet, do fine on 100A.

And in general over the years, appliances/lights etc, have become much more electrically efficient.
I have a 60 amp circuit in my house. Electric stove, dryer and the normal gadgets. Small house 1200 sq ft. Never had a problem. I've been here for 22 years and never once blew the main.
Soon as you said electric stove & dryer I flag it as not enough. 200 amp service tends to be the most common but a tad over kill. Either way if you're goingto upgrade mind as well.
Around here we are about $2 k for panel, grounds & outside lines. The utility company hands line to the house.
I got ya beat.......... I'm on a 50 with 1800 ft².
I have a 60 amp circuit in my house. Electric stove, dryer and the normal gadgets. Small house 1200 sq ft. Never had a problem. I've been here for 22 years and never once blew the main.
That's good Leo... But a 100 amp has its limits speciallywith modern kitchens . The guy asked if the service is outdated. So as many mentioned its fine for regular use but future renovations & required dedicated circuits, it's probably maxed.
What do you have? Edison fuses?
I got ya beat.......... I'm on a 50 with 1800 ft².
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