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Im getting new power services add, need advice.


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Hey everyone,

I am going to be using 80 Channels of LOR this year, thats right 4 LOR1602, they are 30 amps a piece I do believe. Can someone please tell me what I need to add, so when I call the power company to come run some new lines I will know what to ask for. Also my uncle is an electrician and will be doing the electrician end of it, what should I ask him to do.

Thanks,
Logan

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That's a pretty open ended question, but I think I can help. You shouldn't need
to contact the power company unless you need to upgrade your service.
Service refers to the maximun amperage you main panel can handle. Older houses
may only have a 60 amp service, new houses can have up to a 200 amp service.
If you need to get a higher amperage service, then the power company can run
a new main line to your house, but you will need an electrician to upgrade or install
a new service panel. As far as outlets for the controllers, You should plan on 2
circuits per controller. Each controller has 2 power cords each can draw up to
15 amps. That is why the controller is rated at 30 amps. You should put in 20 amp circuits because they will only cost slightly more than 15 amp circuits and then you could upgrade your controllers to handle 20 amps in the future if you need it. If the outlets
are outside, then they should have weatherproof in-use covers installed to keep
the connections dry. The outlets should also be GFI outlets to help protect you and
others from electrical shock. You should be able to contact your local building department for your specific code requirements. A pemit will most liklely be required.

So in short, you will need 8 15 or 20 amp circuits. with that many, you will have the
ability to run the controllers at maximum load. If you do the math and figure how many amps you actually will need, then you may be able to get by with fewer outlets.

Hope that helps.

Tim

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I found a few sites with typical upgrade pricing for increasing your home's service level:


Looks like upgrading can run anywhere between $400 and $3000 dollars, depending on where you live, who performs the upgrade, and who your friends are :D.

Tom

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Here where I live, it doesnt cost anything to have a new line ran. Just the activation fee, and my uncle is the electrician so no cost there.

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Daniel wrote:

Will a power Company do the upgrade free? Well We will be paying them extra!

The Power Company is usually only responsible for the service drop to the weatherhead at the end of a house's service entrance cable. They will usually replace that drop with a larger capacity one for free if you upgrade to a larger service, but you will have to pay an electrician to do everything else.

I did my upgrade from a 60 year old 30Amp service, to a 200Amp. So far I have about $500 invested. I did all the work myself at the direction of a licensed Electrician. I believe it would have cost about $2000 to have it done professionally. Part of that cost involves having it moved to a new location. After an addition was built around the old carport, the old service ended up inside the house.

PS The price of copper is outrageous this year. a 250' roll of 12/2 is four times what it was this time last year!

jeff
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Yeah, just check out this thread. Copper was at $0.75/lb in 2003, $2.00/lb in 2005, and $3.75/lb now. Perhaps Exxon is in the copper business now. :laughing:

Tom

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Jeff you had a 30 amp service in your house?! Did ANYTHING work before you changed it?. sorry off topic there.

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Yes (2-30 amp legs, 60 total) the house is 60 years old. It was a neighborhood of small ranch homes. There was no insulation in the walls, and many corners were cut in the building them. I've helped work on one of the houses that had the studs 24' on center. It seems they were in a hurry to get homes up and didn't spend much money building them. Most of them still have the original 30 amp meter sockets and cloth insulated service entrance cable. Cloth insulated wire inside too. I've relpaced every inch of wire in the house. The only thing original is the breaker panel, meter and SE. I'll be so glad when I get this inspection approved and can move the load over to the new panel. If I was safely carrying the house on 30amps, I get to use the other 170 for Christmas lights... NICE!!! (not very realistic though)

jeff

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You all got me curious. I've got a 1950's home, but the electrical system had been upgraded. It has three phase power running to it. (I've even got a three phase air conditioner.)

The main breaker box has two breakers tied together labeled "MAIN", 100 amps each, and then a slew of 20 amp breakers. So I'm going to guess it is designed to handle 200 amps?

The secondary breaker box (just for the garage, independent of the main breaker box) is what confuses me.

It has no main breakers, but 8 individual breakers at 20 amps each. I'm wondering if that would be 100 amp service and they cut a corner and didn't install a 100 amp master breaker? Or perhaps it was another 200 amps of service, and so a main breaker was 'unnecessary' because the sum of the individual loads couldn't max it out? Any educated guesses?

I'm just going to be running three circuits with a light load, so I don't have much fear of overloading it. But I would like to understand my incoming service and breaker boxes a bit better.

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By the sounds of it you have a sub breaker panel to control those 5 circuits, but it is strange that there is not a main breaker for the buss bar. Maybe it is split off of the mains on the incomming service.. just 2 cents worth i guess.

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jmccorm wrote:

The main breaker box has two breakers tied together labeled "MAIN", 100 amps each, and then a slew of 20 amp breakers. So I'm going to guess it is designed to handle 200 amps?

The secondary breaker box (just for the garage, independent of the main breaker box) is what confuses me.

It has no main breakers, but 8 individual breakers at 20 amps each. I'm wondering if that would be 100 amp service and they cut a corner and didn't install a 100 amp master breaker? Or perhaps it was another 200 amps of service, and so a main breaker was 'unnecessary' because the sum of the individual loads couldn't max it out? Any educated guesses?

You only have "main breakers" in the main panel (unless you have more than one service entry/main panel). A subpanel such as the one in your garage passes is powered from the main box and therefore through the main breakers in it. You have a 100 amp service meaning that there are 2 incoming 110 volt lines each capable of 100 amps. If everything was wired as 220 volts then you would have a total of 100 amps available. If everything was wired as 110 then you would have 200 amps available. If you add up the amps of all the breakers (except the main breakers) the total will frequently be more than the size of the main breakers. This is because you don't normally run every circuit at maximum load at the same time. It does not (necessarily) mean that any corners were cut. If your service was really overloaded you would probably see some clues such as breakers frequently tripping when you turn on too many things in the house. (Please take that as an observation and not as electrical advice on the suitability of your electrical service.)

TED
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blenderchild wrote:

If you need to get a higher amperage service, then the power company can run
a new main line to your house, but you will need an electrician to upgrade or install a new service panel.

You would have the electrician install the panel first, then call the electic company. Otherwise, there would not be anything to connect the new lines to.

TED
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TED wrote:

You only have "main breakers" in the main panel (unless you have more than one service entry/main panel). A subpanel such as the one in your garage passes is powered from the main box and therefore through the main breakers in it.

Okay. Probably the only twist is that the secondary breaker box is independent of the first. I can turn off all breakers in the large breaker box [the two 100s included], and the smaller breaker box is still powered. I'm guessing that was likely an add-on for the third phase service?
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