Electric Service upgrade from 60 to 200 amp

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by mikemc53, May 27, 2013.

  1. mikemc53

    mikemc53 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Michigan
    A question or two on residential service upgrade from 60 to 200 amp.

    I know that in many places the service upgrade is done (new feed to can, new can, new feed to panel, new panel) and then jumpers are put into place until Power Company is brought in. My question(s) is: Does this set-up now have 200 amp service, before the power company comes out, or do they (the power company) do something to actually make the service 200 amp? Is it in the new meter or is it simply the upgraded feeds, can and panel that determine the amperage to the residence? Also if, instead of jumpers, one used the old 60 amp meter head until the power company came out, would that determine the amperage to the house or would it act the same as jumpers?

    Sorry if this seems a bit simple but I'd like to know more about the process in general and this place seems well versed.

    Thanks.
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,161
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Chances are is that you will need to get a permit.

    The Power Company will need to put the meter in, and connect the power after inspection.


    Why would you need Jumpers ?
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,023
    Location:
    New England
    Until the main feed is changed, (unless the wiring size is already sufficient), you cannot increase the main breaker. The breaker protects the feed wire and can never be larger than code allows for the wire coming in. Note that the power company's rules regarding power wires may be different than yours past the meter since yours could be inside the walls, and not able to cool in the breeze.
  4. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Changing a service is one of the biggest injustices ever done to a home. All that is done is the service is changed but the wiring on the inside the home is still the same old wiring with a bigger service.

    From the main breaker (service disconnect) back to the transformer is not protect by anything other than the primary fuse on the transformer.
    From the point of attachment (the point where the power company stops) to the main breaker must be sized according to the main breaker and this will determine the size of the service.
  5. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I have never seen that kind of thing done, but I believe that is what Jim is addressing. If you still only have 60A wire coming from the pole, you cannot use that 60A service to feed a 200A panel.

    It is the size of the service wire coming from the street. More than 60A is available at the pole even with the smaller wire in place, but that 60A service wire can only handle what it can.

    That old meter and wire might blow if a heavy load were attached, but no, the meter only records usage and does not control flow.
  6. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I am curious about why you call that an injustice. Who or what are you saying is not being treated fairly or rightly there? Until we upgraded our panel some time ago, we had 200A service coming to "the point of attachment (the point where the power company stops)", and the problem we had was in the old 60A wire coming from there to our original 60A panel and the various other loads added over the years.
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  7. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    to be illegal and jump out the meter? Old meter may not fit new meter pan?
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,161
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Many people do cheat the meter, and do get caught.

    The OP says;
    "Sorry if this seems a bit simple but I'd like to know more about the process in general and this place seems well versed."

    What was that all about ? Wrong Forum ?


    As for the post;

    "The meter only records usage and does not control flow." ? Are You sure ?
    Many of the Smart Meters Do have a way to turn flow thru them Off.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.


    Be Careful stealing electricity.
  9. mikemc53

    mikemc53 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Michigan
    To clarify: I was really just trying to understand and I had hoped that this forum was the place. Stealing electricity?? Anytime a question is asked about service, somebody, somewhere, is convinced that there is thievery going on. The "jumpers" which may have been an incorrect term are used in certain locations, depending upon the power authority, as an interim until the authority get's out to replace the meter. In my case, the old meter was used in place of "jumpers" and the power company has already been notified. A permit was pulled and the job is clean and legal...I was just hoping to learn more about exactly how things work since my electrician was not overly communicative and I like to ask questions.

    If this is the "wrong forum" then so be it, but some of the answers were actually very helpful...some of them.
  10. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

    Messages:
    394
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    After reading all the posts so far, I'm still not 100% clear on what you are asking. Things are done different in different regions, but as a rule of thumb, my observation so far is that anything that involves energizing/de-energizing anything before the main breaker always involves the power co. One exception would be powering a new panel off of the old panel (jumpers?) until the power co can do the switch over. Technically, the new main panel would need to be configured as a sub-panel (neutrals and grounds not bonded) before the switch...
  11. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Don lives where they used to shoot (maybe still do?) cattle rustlers. He shoots from the hip, like I do, but I think he was only jesting with you and meant no offense at all.
  12. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    The OP had been asking about amperage, not on/off, but this is the first I have heard about Smart Meters being able to disrupt service.

    Has anyone learned to trip them with a garage door opener?!
  13. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Different parts of the country will do things a different way.

    Here when I do a service change I disconnect the old meter and a couple of the straps on the riser and swing the old meter to the side. I then install whatever I am changing with the new riser and come off the bottom of the old meter with “jumpers” to the new meter then replace the old meter so there will be temp power until the utility comes.

    Unless something is being added such as heat or AC then the new 200 amp service will pull no more amperage than the old 60 amp service.

    As a side note I have a 400 amp service on my home and the utility is supplying my meter with 2/0 al conductors
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  14. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,161
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I really was just joking. My bad.

    Sorry if the Shoe almost fit.

    My mistake.


    Sometimes things are not a DIY project.
  15. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,161
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Most of the ones in my location are on Cell Phone Frequencies.

    It may not be long before they are hacked.

    It will take more than a garage door opener to hack a meter.

    But a old cell phone , maybe can do.

    Just don't pay your bill to test and see if they turn it off, from a remote location.

    I do not like smart meters, and I can see that a spare old school meter could come in handy.
    (Or Jumpers. lol)

    They could start turning off power if the grid is Overloaded or during a Hurricane, And for other so called Safety Reasons.
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
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