200 Amp Loadcenter Upgrade

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eweneek1

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Converting our two story residence with four studio apartments to a single residence. Square footage is 3700. Current exterior setup is 200 amps feeding five meters with BR style breakers. One panel is 100 amp and the other four are 20 amp.

Considering a combo unit, but takes up a lot of unnecessary space.

How many spaces in the new unit, 20, 24, 30, or 40? Currently have 30 circuits, but remodeling kitchen later this year..

Whole house surge protection, or individual circuits? Have two home offices.

Like the Eaton panels and their BR Quick Connect Neutral Loadcenter, but probably not needed.

Would like to use AFI/GFCI breakers for the kitchen and baths, but will have to check approval with our city building department .

Anything else worth discussing when selecting the electrical contractor?
 

WorthFlorida

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You may have to rewire the entire building to the latest code with this type of remodel. The latest changes are almost all circuit breaker must be arc fault and using one neutral wire for two breakers is no longer allowed. That was a common practice to use a 12-3 wire. The black on one breaker and the red on another breaker and just one white wire (neutral), and somewhere down the line the neutral would split. Such as under the kitchen sink, one circuit would be for the dishwasher and the other for the disposal but both used the same neutral wire.
You may need to have an engineer involved for an approved set of drawings. Like you stated, check with your building department.

Go with a whole house surge protector but if you convert to one meter, you can get whole house protection from the electric company. They place the surge protector behind the meter for about $10 a month tacked onto your bill, but it usually include reimbursements for damaged appliances.
 
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eweneek1

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Thanks for the information. Checked the panels and all receptacle breakers are wired #12 and lighting breakers #14 with separate neutrals and grounds.
 

cacher_chick

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You will very likely have to use AFCI breakers on all circuits that do not require GFCI to meet the currect code cycle. With many loads actually going down, a single 200A panel w/40 breakers should be plenty. If you have pool/hot tub or other outbuildings, additional consideration should be made for that.
 

jadnashua

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With plug-in hybrid cars and pure EVs coming from most manufacturers, you may want to consider enough capacity to recharge the battery because you will likely, eventually own one, if you don't already. While the majority of them today will max the vehicle out with a 50A circuit, that isn't true for all of them, and the battery packs are going to become larger as the tech and prices change. ANd, eventually, you might own more than one of them!
 

jadnashua

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I'm not a fan of an outdoor panel...no fun trudging outside in the rain or snow to reset a tripped breaker!
 

eweneek1

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Our 1892 Victorian home is located in Eureka California. Temperature ranges from 32 degrees to 75 degrees and no snow. It would be really difficult and expensive to move the service from the current location. Square D just let me know they outdoor plug on neutral model is QO142M200PRB. Eaton is still checking availability for their outdoor enclosure.
 
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