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Is it better to have 100A or 200A service when building a new home?


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2015-07-16 18:11:24
2015-07-16 18:11:24

It's alwas better to install the 200 amp then the 100.You may not need the 200 right now , but down the line should you deceid to change it would cost you more.

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No, amperage is not additive, but a constant. Think of power as water, its always the same temperature, hot (amps). The pressure is variable (volts). The true answer is undoubtedly more complex, but you get the point. If you need to draw 200 amps you would actually need a 400 amp service because code states you cannot have more than an 80% load on a breaker That's an interesting question and I had to run the theory through my brain a few times to confirm my answer. The answer is if you have a 100A 240V service, you could draw what appears to be 200A from that panel at 120V. If you install 100A 120V single pole breakers on each side of the panel (in reality this would be many breakers but let's keep it simple) then both breakers will operate just fine, giving the appearance of 200A. In reality, however, one breaker actually feeds through to the other breaker. The neutral only carries the unbalanced load so in this hypothetical situation the neutral at the panel carries 0A. So the answer to the question is...if you install ONLY 120v single pole breakers, you can run up to 200A on those circuits (or 80% of that as we have discussed.) But you are only running 100A on each leg of the service conductors and breaker.

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If it was preinstalled, it may have been adequate at the time of installation. It depends on the power requirements of the home. If this is a new install, the NEC has a minimum of 100A for service equipment. To be honest, I would install 200A minimum to allow for future expansion.

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In my experience it is best to upgrade to an 200 amp service. The cost difference is minimal and is a selling point for the future. This includes replacing the service cable and Meter Box.


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