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HoustonRemodeler
Re: 100 amp input is full

Welcome to the forum,

You may not need to go that far. If you can give us some information we might be able to short cut this for you.

1- WHat brand of breakers do you have?
2- What size breakers do you have? Not amperage, but how tall (in inches) are the breakers. Use a tape measure and let us know. Normal breakers are 1" tall. Mini's are 1/2" tall.

If you are lucky, you very well could take out some of the full sized 1 inchers and replace them with 1/2 inchers making room for a double 1/2" breaker to get your 220v circuit.

dj1
Re: 100 amp input is full

I think you will have to upgrade your panel, and that's a job for a licensed electrician only.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: 100 amp input is full

Where did my post go? It was all well thought out and written :(

HoustonRemodeler
Re: 100 amp input is full

What brand of breakers do you have?

What size breakers do you have?

Measure the height in inches. Normal breakers are 1" tall. There are mini's that are 1/2" tall. It may be possible to remove some of the 1 inchers and replace those with 1/2" ers to make room for a double 1/2" to get your 220v circuit.

Re: 100 amp input is full
uprculn wrote:

I have a cabin that has 100 amp service. All the breakers are in use. I would like to install a/c and need 2 breakers side-by-side. I have a 20 amp circuit with only a microwave on it and a 20 amp service with only a refridgerator on it and a 20 amp circuit with 2 GFI outside boxes on it and a 20 amp circuit for the bathroom that has 1 gfi, 1 outlet, 1 fan and 2 lights. Can I combine some of these to open up 2 circuits for the a/c? The outside GFI's don't get much use, the microwave gets some. The bathroom and fridge get the most use. What are the best combinations?

The 20A for the microwave is fairly common but the refrig. usually only draws 3 or 4 amps. The outside GFCI receptacles does free up 20A but the bath does require a dedicated 20A circuit.

Usually it depends on the type of cooking, heating & cooling load (especially the emergency heat strips)whether a 100A panel is sufficient.

Can you provide us with a detailed list of the loads and the square footage of the house?

oln608
Re: 100 amp input is full

Depending on the load of the home you could use tandems. Use an amp probe and figure out what the full load amp draw is then add in the new circuit. If the combined total is below or close to 80 amps you can use tandems. An upgrade to a 200amp service is not a bad idea thou.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: 100 amp input is full

You may be able to use slimline breakers to free up space but we really need to know the complete load. I am guessing you will need a 30 amp 240 breaker for the air, if you have electric heat, electric stove, and a water pump you may be reaching the load capacity for a 100 amp service.

Jack

t_manero
Re: 100 amp input is full
dj1 wrote:

I think you will have to upgrade your panel, and that's a job for a licensed electrician only.

The OP has a cabin which I assume has an overhead service cable. Still, how does he check whether his service cable can handle 200amps ?

When I lived in Silicon Valley, PG&E told me that I had to pay to upgrade the underground service wire (trenching) if I upgrade to 200a from 100a. When I heard "trenching", I gave up the idea. Around the time I moved from SV, my neighbor did trench to replace the service wire on his property when he upgraded to 200amp. From my own experience, I knew just to replace the service panel (which was outside in our tract house) for 200amp was $2,000. I was guessing the trenching & cable replacement was $5,000 more.

dj1
Re: 100 amp input is full
t_manero wrote:

The OP has a cabin which I assume has an overhead service cable. Still, how does he check whether his service cable can handle 200amps ?

When I lived in Silicon Valley, PG&E told me that I had to pay to upgrade the underground service wire (trenching) if I upgrade to 200a from 100a. When I heard "trenching", I gave up the idea. Around the time I moved from SV, my neighbor did trench to replace the service wire on his property when he upgraded to 200amp. From my own experience, I knew just to replace the service panel (which was outside in our tract house) for 200amp was $2,000. I was guessing the trenching & cable replacement was $5,000 more.

You're right about that: upgrading a panel is not free. If someone who needs a bigger panel and main service wires to meet his electrical demand doesn't want to shell out the money for it, because the place is just a cabin, a second home or whatever, then there will be no upgrading. I'm yet to find an electrician who will do a job like this, labor and materials, for nothing.

Re: 100 amp input is full
t_manero wrote:

The OP has a cabin which I assume has an overhead service cable. Still, how does he check whether his service cable can handle 200amps ?

When I lived in Silicon Valley, PG&E told me that I had to pay to upgrade the underground service wire (trenching) if I upgrade to 200a from 100a. When I heard "trenching", I gave up the idea. Around the time I moved from SV, my neighbor did trench to replace the service wire on his property when he upgraded to 200amp. From my own experience, I knew just to replace the service panel (which was outside in our tract house) for 200amp was $2,000. I was guessing the trenching & cable replacement was $5,000 more.

It's really not a question of how big the overhead service cable is because the power company rates their wire a whole lot different than the NEC (Code).

I once upgraded the service to a church and had copper wire 1" in diameter at the service drop. The power company wanted to hook up with 5/8" aluminum. I had to call in their boss and argue, for them to upsize their wire.

If I would have let them use wire which was too small the church would have had very high voltage when their demand was small and very low voltage when their demand was high. Lights would burn out with high voltage and motors would burn up when the voltage was low.

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