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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default 100 amp input is full

    I have a cabin that has 100 amp service. All the breakers are in use. I would like to install a/c and need 2 breakers side-by-side. I have a 20 amp circuit with only a microwave on it and a 20 amp service with only a refridgerator on it and a 20 amp circuit with 2 GFI outside boxes on it and a 20 amp circuit for the bathroom that has 1 gfi, 1 outlet, 1 fan and 2 lights. Can I combine some of these to open up 2 circuits for the a/c? The outside GFI's don't get much use, the microwave gets some. The bathroom and fridge get the most use. What are the best combinations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Houston Texas
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    Default Re: 100 amp input is full

    Welcome to the forum,

    You may not need to go that far. If you can give us some information we might be able to short cut this for you.

    1- WHat brand of breakers do you have?
    2- What size breakers do you have? Not amperage, but how tall (in inches) are the breakers. Use a tape measure and let us know. Normal breakers are 1" tall. Mini's are 1/2" tall.

    If you are lucky, you very well could take out some of the full sized 1 inchers and replace them with 1/2 inchers making room for a double 1/2" breaker to get your 220v circuit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    5,089

    Default Re: 100 amp input is full

    I think you will have to upgrade your panel, and that's a job for a licensed electrician only.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Houston Texas
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    Default Re: 100 amp input is full

    Where did my post go? It was all well thought out and written

  5. #5
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    Dec 2010
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    Houston Texas
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    Default Re: 100 amp input is full

    What brand of breakers do you have?

    What size breakers do you have?

    Measure the height in inches. Normal breakers are 1" tall. There are mini's that are 1/2" tall. It may be possible to remove some of the 1 inchers and replace those with 1/2" ers to make room for a double 1/2" to get your 220v circuit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: 100 amp input is full

    Quote Originally Posted by uprculn View Post
    I have a cabin that has 100 amp service. All the breakers are in use. I would like to install a/c and need 2 breakers side-by-side. I have a 20 amp circuit with only a microwave on it and a 20 amp service with only a refridgerator on it and a 20 amp circuit with 2 GFI outside boxes on it and a 20 amp circuit for the bathroom that has 1 gfi, 1 outlet, 1 fan and 2 lights. Can I combine some of these to open up 2 circuits for the a/c? The outside GFI's don't get much use, the microwave gets some. The bathroom and fridge get the most use. What are the best combinations?
    The 20A for the microwave is fairly common but the refrig. usually only draws 3 or 4 amps. The outside GFCI receptacles does free up 20A but the bath does require a dedicated 20A circuit.

    Usually it depends on the type of cooking, heating & cooling load (especially the emergency heat strips)whether a 100A panel is sufficient.

    Can you provide us with a detailed list of the loads and the square footage of the house?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: 100 amp input is full

    Depending on the load of the home you could use tandems. Use an amp probe and figure out what the full load amp draw is then add in the new circuit. If the combined total is below or close to 80 amps you can use tandems. An upgrade to a 200amp service is not a bad idea thou.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: 100 amp input is full

    You may be able to use slimline breakers to free up space but we really need to know the complete load. I am guessing you will need a 30 amp 240 breaker for the air, if you have electric heat, electric stove, and a water pump you may be reaching the load capacity for a 100 amp service.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    140

    Default Re: 100 amp input is full

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    I think you will have to upgrade your panel, and that's a job for a licensed electrician only.
    The OP has a cabin which I assume has an overhead service cable. Still, how does he check whether his service cable can handle 200amps ?

    When I lived in Silicon Valley, PG&E told me that I had to pay to upgrade the underground service wire (trenching) if I upgrade to 200a from 100a. When I heard "trenching", I gave up the idea. Around the time I moved from SV, my neighbor did trench to replace the service wire on his property when he upgraded to 200amp. From my own experience, I knew just to replace the service panel (which was outside in our tract house) for 200amp was $2,000. I was guessing the trenching & cable replacement was $5,000 more.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    5,089

    Default Re: 100 amp input is full

    Quote Originally Posted by t_manero View Post
    The OP has a cabin which I assume has an overhead service cable. Still, how does he check whether his service cable can handle 200amps ?

    When I lived in Silicon Valley, PG&E told me that I had to pay to upgrade the underground service wire (trenching) if I upgrade to 200a from 100a. When I heard "trenching", I gave up the idea. Around the time I moved from SV, my neighbor did trench to replace the service wire on his property when he upgraded to 200amp. From my own experience, I knew just to replace the service panel (which was outside in our tract house) for 200amp was $2,000. I was guessing the trenching & cable replacement was $5,000 more.
    You're right about that: upgrading a panel is not free. If someone who needs a bigger panel and main service wires to meet his electrical demand doesn't want to shell out the money for it, because the place is just a cabin, a second home or whatever, then there will be no upgrading. I'm yet to find an electrician who will do a job like this, labor and materials, for nothing.

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