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afjes_2016

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I know there have been stretches of time where there has not been postings on the electrical forum on this site but it is going on more than 6 weeks since the last post. I check it daily.

Are any problems reported with the forum?

I just figured maybe that some people have attempted to post but can't for some reason.

I was just curious.
 

bud16415

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No problems I know of, other than we have been seeing a fair amount of spammers trying to become members from places afar.

I think in general post activity has slowed down on all forums except maybe the chit chat stuff. It could be the time of year or people not having the money to spend on home repairs so for now they are sticking with what they have.

I read the other day people are deciding between food and drugs maybe electrical upgrades are coming in a distant third.
 

bud16415

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I use the "What's New" button across the top to bring all the new posts into a single view. I never go into individual forums unless I want to start a post.
I also use the whats new feature and as a mod try and skim thru all the new threads just to get a feel for whats going on. I know @afjes_2016 is an electrician by trade retired and feels that is his place to best answer questions. I see he asks questions in other forums as well. In general I'm a little more like you and have a well rounded knowledge of generally all subjects here. I will often take a look in a thread and if one of the pros is helping just allow them to do their thing. If the poster is a new member and not getting an answer I will sometimes go in and offer my best advice and or tell them to hang on as a pro should be along shortly. If none show up I will come back and offer more in depth help.

We do appreciate people with a strong expertise on one subject and I understand wondering why one topic has dried up. Things here seem to go in spurts. I used to be really involved with snow plowing and was very active on a snow removal forum. This time of year there were 100s of electrical questions and later in the winter topics changed and then mid summer we would tell each other jokes.
 

Sparky617

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I've found forums like this are really drying up in favor of Facebook groups. A mountain biking forum I belong to can go weeks without posts. It used to get multiple posts per day. Large Facebook groups can turn nasty as the larger the group the more impersonal they become and people will say crap to you they wouldn't think of saying to your face. This forum tends to be pretty free of drama and ad hominin attacks.
 

havasu

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I have an electrical question. I have a 100 amp main panel. I had an electrician come over because I want to upgrade to a 200 A panel. He asked why, and I advised that if I ever got solar, I'd need to upgrade. If I wanted to add a Generac power unit for the occasional brown outs, I'd need a panel upgrade. If I got stupid and bought an electric car, I'd have to upgrade my panel. If I sell my house, that upgraded service panel will help sell the house. He told me since all is currently working, he recommended leaving it until that time came.

What are your thoughts? Right now, I have all but one breaker full, but as he said, I could always double up and add quads, since I never use 100 Amps all at once. I also understand that the power company is requiring 2-3 separate ground rods and a tie into the main incoming water source for ground. This could only be done bt routing the ground wire over the garage, through a room, and punch out near the water spigot. The cost would be $3k-$4k, and since I don;t need it now, Im wasting money. Not to mention I'd be responsible for pulling an electrical permit, AND finish the stucco repair.

I'd love to hear your opinion....
 

zannej

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I would consider buying the 200A panel now in case prices go up even more (maybe try to find some sales/deals on a panel) and having it put in later, but that's just me and I am a hoarder. I didn't realize that panels themselves had limits. How can you tell what your panel's limit is? No idea on the grounding rods.
 

havasu

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You need a load calculation based on true use, not what the appliance is rated for.
 

Flyover

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You need a load calculation based on true use, not what the appliance is rated for.
Doesn't that raise a risk if you sell the home and someone else uses it differently, or if your use changes for whatever reason?
 

Eddie_T

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I never did a load calculation. I just installed a 200A panel because that was common for an all-electric home at that time. It worked out OK panel space wise and I have never had a breaker pop.
 

bud16415

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@havasu Is the entry cable coming to your house rated for 200a?



I don’t quite understand the need for all these new ground rods and additional grounding with water pipes maybe @afjes_2016 or others can explain.



If I was looking at future things like solar, car charging station, or adding a gen unit and was going to upgrade I would make sure at least the equipment needed be installed at the same time. I might go as far as doing the disconnect switching for the gen and even add in the charging station at the same time as a resale feature for your house. I’m not sure how solar ties in I believe there are batteries and such for that. With the gen unit depending if you go with a full house system sometimes they break down the circuits after the disconnect switch to just what you have to power up. That may or may not require some new wiring added or moving around how your breakers now are used.
 

havasu

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Yes, I'm about the only house in my tract that has yet to upgrade to 200 amp box. The copper wires leading from the transformer to my house is about 1/2" copper. I don't know what size it is, but I know it is no problem.
 

Ron Van

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Yes, I'm about the only house in my tract that has yet to upgrade to 200 amp box. The copper wires leading from the transformer to my house is about 1/2" copper. I don't know what size it is, but I know it is no problem.
You should ask one of your neighbors that have upgraded to 200A if they had to add the extra grounds and/or add new supply wires.

Our old house had solar and it hooked into the panel just like a generator does, through a double circuit breaker. The solar went through a converter, then a separate meter, then into the panel via a double breaker.

I’m not sure why you’d need to upgrade to 200A for a whole house generator because the generator only supplies what you need, which wouldn’t be more than what you use when not on generator.
 

Eddie_T

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I like to keep my main panel simple so it doesn't confuse others. Solar is not an option due to trees and I backfeed the panel when on generator to avoid additional circuits. I turn off certain breakers when on generator to avoid surprise loads and just don't use cooktop, oven, microwave, water heater, dryer and such. However if I go into any room I can turn on a lamp if needed. If I want to use the microwave I just make sure that I don't have another heavy load at the same time.

Knowing when the power is restored has been a bit of a problem for me. When trees are in foliage I can't see neighbors that are on the same feed. I can't remember to check my smart meter at night to see if it has a light in it but nothing I can see in daylight. I do have a non contact voltage pen so I can use it around the meter to see if voltage is present.
 

Ron Van

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I turn off certain breakers when on generator to avoid surprise loads and just don't use cooktop, oven, microwave, water heater, dryer and such. However if I go into any room I can turn on a lamp if needed. If I want to use the microwave I just make sure that I don't have another heavy load at the same time.
That’s pretty much how our setup works as well. I can run the microwave but not the electric water heater or cooktop stove. We have two gas powered fire places that work without electric that put out 29,000 BTU each. They have electric fans that circulate the heat that will run off generator.
 

havasu

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Yes, multiple ground rods and a clamp to my incoming feed is required in my county. I know 6 persons who upgraded, and the same inspector (contracted out) forces us to comply before signing off.
 

BuzzLOL

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I didn't realize that panels themselves had limits. How can you tell what your panel's limit is? No idea on the grounding rods.
Limit is prolly the same as the size of your Main Breakers... and the number of slots for Circuit Breakers...
 

Sparky617

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Limit is prolly the same as the size of your Main Breakers... and the number of slots for Circuit Breakers...
You can't just add up the circuits in the panel and compare it to the rating of the main breaker in a residential setting. My basement panel has a 100 amp breaker on it, with a 20 amp 2 pole breaker for the basement heat pump, a 30 amp 2 pole breaker for the aux heat on the heat pump, 5 20 amp outlet breakers and 2 15 amp lighting circuits. Even using my power tools in the basement I'm rarely drawing more than 15 amps on any one outlet circuit. Lighting is all LED so the draw there is low. The 30 amp aux heat has never engaged. You have to do a load calculation but in a residential setting with a 200 amp service you'll be hard pressed to overload a 200 amp service. A 60 or 100 amp service in today's world with heat pumps/central air, electric ranges, electric dryers, maybe a car charger could be too small. When 60 amp services were common central air was not. Good news is many things that run on electricity are much more efficient than they were back in the 1960s. A 60" LED TV uses less power than a much smaller tube TV of that era. ACs and refrigerators are more efficient now than back then.

In an industrial setting with machines running 7x24 or even just 5x8 your load calculation is a much bigger deal because all of the equipment could be running at the same time. There is a big difference between a home shop with one or two people doing furniture building and a commercial cabinet shop with 10 employees running equipment.
 
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