View Full Version : RE: Off topic . . . electrical needs



firefighterjake
11-07-2005, 09:25 AM
I am in the early stages of planning to build a house . . . or more specifically have a contractor build a house. Quick question though . . . is it better to go with a 100 amp or 200 amp service? I don't know if this matters, but I plan on having a 220-volt spa, but most likely will go with a propane stove and dryer.

Haffy
11-07-2005, 09:44 AM
Well I'm not an electrician but I would say unless your design is really small then the 200 amp service is the way to go. And while you are in the first stages of contracting have you really looked into using the sun to it's fullest extent. I don't necessarily mean going solar panels and such but placing the house in a position to really use the sun to it's fullest extent. Facing south with lots of windows and such. With the cost of electricity nowadays I would try to get the most out of it's use if it were me building a new home. Just my thoughts.

firefighterjake
11-07-2005, 12:16 PM
Well I'm not an electrician but I would say unless your design is really small then the 200 amp service is the way to go. And while you are in the first stages of contracting have you really looked into using the sun to it's fullest extent. I don't necessarily mean going solar panels and such but placing the house in a position to really use the sun to it's fullest extent. Facing south with lots of windows and such. With the cost of electricity nowadays I would try to get the most out of it's use if it were me building a new home. Just my thoughts.

It will most definitely be facing southward and have some skylights for some passive heat. One other thing I most definitely want to incorporate is a new oil boiler with an indoor wood boiler made by Tarm. The wood boiler is expensive up-front, but with access to "free" (well there is the taxes, cost of gas for the saw, time, etc.) I believe this would be as important as getting a good insulation package. In fact, this is one of the main reasons we're considering building . . . that and we want a smaller place now that my step-daughter is grown and out of the house.

brdad
11-07-2005, 01:30 PM
Go with the 200 Amp 40 circuit box. you may not need the 200 amps, but you'll use up most of the 40 circuits if you wire the house correctly.

And remember, it's not the amps that kill you, it's your exploding organs.

Mainiac1957
11-07-2005, 05:52 PM
I however am an electrician. If you are using propane for cooking as well as clothes drying, and I will assume either gas or oil to heat and make your hot water. A 100amp 32 circuit panel will more than meet your needs The cost to go from 100 to 200 amps at the service level is quite alot. There are factors that will determine how much more. Is it overhead or underground? How far back from the road is the house? We rarely use 200a services unless there is a great demand. The average home just doesn't need that much. Now if your building a 5000 sq ft plus monster then 200a would be appropriate.

Haffy
11-07-2005, 06:05 PM
Now that shows you how much I know. Thanks Brad

WhereRWe?
11-07-2005, 06:42 PM
I however am an electrician. If you are using propane for cooking as well as clothes drying, and I will assume either gas or oil to heat and make your hot water. A 100amp 32 circuit panel will more than meet your needs The cost to go from 100 to 200 amps at the service level is quite alot. There are factors that will determine how much more. Is it overhead or underground? How far back from the road is the house? We rarely use 200a services unless there is a great demand. The average home just doesn't need that much. Now if your building a 5000 sq ft plus monster then 200a would be appropriate.

Thanks for the education, Brad! I'm an "amateur" electrician, and wired my house when we rebuilt it. We have 100 amp and it seems like plenty - still slots left and plenty of circuits installed. We don't have any "heavy" electrical users other than the range and water heater. I didn't know that going from 100 to 200 was a major step.

Mainiac1957
11-07-2005, 07:04 PM
200 is twice as big as 100 :rolleyes:

WhereRWe?
11-07-2005, 08:39 PM
200 is twice as big as 100 :rolleyes:

Duh! I meant the cost. To us "amateur's", residential electrical service is residential electrical service :p :p :p

Hiram357
11-07-2005, 08:43 PM
Now here's a topic I can help ya with. I've done a lot of remodel work and new houses for friends (I'm not an electrician but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night) I would go with the 200A if you have a garage (tools and air compressors draw a lot of amps) or if you plan having a lot of electrical appliances i.e. a stove, water heater, clothes dryer. So you really need to ask yourself how much power do you plan on using? and how much do you use now compared to how much you will use with your adittion. If most of your stuff will be gas and you don't plan on using any heavy duty stuff, then to be more cost effective stick with the 100amp service, but if you plan on doing more and have the extra $$ to spend then I would go with the 200A. Another thing to think about is the future, will you add on more? will you sell in the future (having a good elect. service is a good home seller)

P.S.
I work for beer.

Hiram357
11-07-2005, 08:46 PM
sheesh I need to read these things before I reply to them, I think I pretty much repeated what everyone else said.

IT NOT PLAGERISAM I SWEAR!! IT'S ALL IN MY OWN WORDS!!! AHHHH 5TH GRADE FLASHBACK!!!!! AHHHH!!

tat
11-07-2005, 09:43 PM
You may get more from a back up generator than extra capacity.

WhereRWe?
11-08-2005, 08:06 AM
You may get more from a back up generator than extra capacity.

That's for sure! If you live out here in the woods like we do, a generator to run the water pump is a GREAT help in keeping the toilets functioning. (The alternative is another thread, as I recall... LOL!)

:D :D

dí76
11-08-2005, 08:16 AM
Was that thread about a thunder bucket or a forced flush because I remember the story about the leaves and all

firefighterjake
11-08-2005, 08:43 AM
I however am an electrician. If you are using propane for cooking as well as clothes drying, and I will assume either gas or oil to heat and make your hot water. A 100amp 32 circuit panel will more than meet your needs The cost to go from 100 to 200 amps at the service level is quite alot. There are factors that will determine how much more. Is it overhead or underground? How far back from the road is the house? We rarely use 200a services unless there is a great demand. The average home just doesn't need that much. Now if your building a 5000 sq ft plus monster then 200a would be appropriate.

Thanks for the reply. After asking around it seems like a lot of folks recommend 200 amp . . . except for certified electricians. All of the electricians I have spoken with have asked me what I plan to hook up.

At this point the plan is to build a relatively small house of approximately 1,700 square feet with a two-car over-sized garage so I can fit in the beater car and a few of my "toys."

I plan to cook with propane (I despise electric ranges and ovens) and switch over from our old, beat-up electric dryer to a propane dryer (I've heard they work much, much better . . . and this was an electrician who told me this) and use a propane hot water heater (in my existing house we had the domestic water hooked up to the boiler and I didn't like it since a) the boiler was constantly running to maintain the temp, b) we would often run out of hot water and c) since our water is hard the coil was always getting gummed up from the mineral deposits.

Heat for the house will be with a Biasi or Pensotti oil boiler. Hopefully I will be able to afford the cost and mate the oil boiler with a Tarm wood boiler for back-up heat.

I believe the only thing I will have that requires a large electrical draw continually will be the hot tub and while we were originally going to keep it outdoors my wife now wants to put it in the basement. Her reasoning: A) She doesn't like being outdoors in the wind when it's cold, B) She doesn't like to be in the hot tub at night when I'm not around and C) Last night I heard a blood-curdling scream while she was in the hot tub. Since I was fooling around with the electrical panel originally I thought I might have somehow shocked her . . . which of course made me feel really bad . . . until I went out and discovered her climbing out because something had "touched her in the water." Cue up the Jaws music here . . . The something incidentally turned out to be a dead maple leaf . . .

My electrician (and also the trailmaster of our snowmobile club) and a former electrical inspector/electrician (now a Fire Inspector) told me the same as you . . . it sounds as though I will only need a 100 amp service. The electrician also told me that moving up to 200 amp service for a 125 foot underground run would be about $1,200 more . . . and so I think I'm going with the 100 amp service.

My wife was a bit concerned as she asked me, "What about when we're old. Maybe we'll want an electric stove then so we don't have to worry about the open flame of a propane stove." To this I responded: "If we're that bad off we probably shouldn't be living by ourselves or we'll get Meals on Wheels to make regular deliveries."

firefighterjake
11-08-2005, 08:45 AM
Now here's a topic I can help ya with. I've done a lot of remodel work and new houses for friends (I'm not an electrician but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night) I would go with the 200A if you have a garage (tools and air compressors draw a lot of amps) or if you plan having a lot of electrical appliances i.e. a stove, water heater, clothes dryer. So you really need to ask yourself how much power do you plan on using? and how much do you use now compared to how much you will use with your adittion. If most of your stuff will be gas and you don't plan on using any heavy duty stuff, then to be more cost effective stick with the 100amp service, but if you plan on doing more and have the extra $$ to spend then I would go with the 200A. Another thing to think about is the future, will you add on more? will you sell in the future (having a good elect. service is a good home seller)

P.S.
I work for beer.

If you look at the above post I think I've come to the conclusion that 100 amp service should be fine. I will have a garage, but nothing more than the usual 110-powered hand tools.

As for selling this house . . . I intend to die there . . . hopefully that will be a while though since I'm only 35.

WhereRWe?
11-08-2005, 06:26 PM
sheesh I need to read these things before I reply to them, I think I pretty much repeated what everyone else said.

IT NOT PLAGERISAM I SWEAR!! IT'S ALL IN MY OWN WORDS!!! AHHHH 5TH GRADE FLASHBACK!!!!! AHHHH!!

Sure is plagiarism! I have a copyright on the expression "sheesh"! LOL!

:p :p :p

attroll
11-09-2005, 02:50 AM
Jake

We have been talking about a hot tub for quite some time now. We almost got one last year. But will most likely have one by the end of next year and before next winter. They are awesome to have outside especially in the winter. Every year the wife and I take a week vacation and go snowmobiling in Jackman. The place we stay at has an outdoor hot tube and it is about 50 yards from our room. The year before last it was -30 out one night and we went out to get in the hot tub. It was just far enough so that you had to hurry to get to it. But once in it we stay in it for over one hour. When we got out we made it back to the room without getting cold and we walked. The tub is so hot that your body is about the same temp as the tub when you get out and if donít stand around and chit chat after you get out of the tub you will be fine. When we get our hot tub we are going to put it outside. It is an awesome feeling sitting out in the middle of winter when it is snowing out.

One other thing to think about when building a house and if you are going to have a garage. Will you have a welding unit? If so you may want the 200 amp.

firefighterjake
11-09-2005, 06:50 AM
Jake

We have been talking about a hot tub for quite some time now. We almost got one last year. But will most likely have one by the end of next year and before next winter. They are awesome to have outside especially in the winter. Every year the wife and I take a week vacation and go snowmobiling in Jackman. The place we stay at has an outdoor hot tube and it is about 50 yards from our room. The year before last it was -30 out one night and we went out to get in the hot tub. It was just far enough so that you had to hurry to get to it. But once in it we stay in it for over one hour. When we got out we made it back to the room without getting cold and we walked. The tub is so hot that your body is about the same temp as the tub when you get out and if donít stand around and chit chat after you get out of the tub you will be fine. When we get our hot tub we are going to put it outside. It is an awesome feeling sitting out in the middle of winter when it is snowing out.

One other thing to think about when building a house and if you are going to have a garage. Will you have a welding unit? If so you may want the 200 amp.

Rick:

Our hot tub currently is outside and personally I like it there just fine. I find it refreshing when the wind whips the steam across your face and it cools you down, but my wife has this thing about the wind (also the reason she says she doesn't particularly like riding the ATV with me or going snowmobiling) and believe it or not she hunkers down in the hot tub so only her head is above water and even then she says her face is cold . . . and since she is the one who really wanted a hot tub I'm thinking we'll be moving it inside.

I plan to have a garage, but will only have simple hand tools (i.e. circular saw, drill, table saw, etc.) For most of my welding needs I see my cousin who is a professional welder . . . incidentally you have got to see the snowmobile/ATV/general purpose trailer I had him make for me . . . other than the pressure treated plywood deck and a diamond plate aluminum snow shield it's all made out of stainless steel pipe -- looks wicked sharp if I say so myself.

firefighterjake
11-09-2005, 06:51 AM
The year before last it was -30 out one night and we went out to get in the hot tub. It was just far enough so that you had to hurry to get to it.

Just be careful you don't get frostbite on any important extremities. :D

firefighterjake
11-09-2005, 06:55 AM
You may get more from a back up generator than extra capacity.

I have a small portable generator now which I bought a few years ago during the ice storm . . . no power for 14 days and after day 5 or 7 I think it was I broke down and bought a generator . . . I decided at that point that huddling around a kerosene heater just wasn't all that much fun or practical. As a result I have asked the electrician to set up the panel so I can safely hook up the generator and power select points in the house -- i.e. the boiler, refrigerator, big screen TV (OK, I'm kidding about that one.)

Mainiac1957
11-09-2005, 07:45 AM
We install propane back up generators with fully automatic transfer switches. A 7kw with a 100a whole house transfer switch that will provide all of your creature comforts(not including hot tubs) would run you around 3k installed. When power goes out it starts, transfers, and shuts itself down when power is restored. They run on propane and are always ready to go. Money well spent if you lose your power frequently, or for extened periods of time. We have installed 5 of these in the last two weeks. Your electrician can find out about these at any of the supply houses in the area. If this is a little more than you want to spend then make sure you have a manual transfer switch installed to make it a safe system. The transfer switch isolates the utility power from the generator power for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about.:cool: Many people try and do an end around on home back up generator connections and will cause an deadly condition for lineman working on poles and transformers.

firefighterjake
11-09-2005, 08:54 AM
We install propane back up generators with fully automatic transfer switches. A 7kw with a 100a whole house transfer switch that will provide all of your creature comforts(not including hot tubs) would run you around 3k installed. When power goes out it starts, transfers, and shuts itself down when power is restored. They run on propane and are always ready to go. Money well spent if you lose your power frequently, or for extened periods of time. We have installed 5 of these in the last two weeks. Your electrician can find out about these at any of the supply houses in the area. If this is a little more than you want to spend then make sure you have a manual transfer switch installed to make it a safe system. The transfer switch isolates the utility power from the generator power for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about.:cool: Many people try and do an end around on home back up generator connections and will cause an deadly condition for lineman working on poles and transformers.

One of our Fire Inspectors at work put one ofthese in at the house he had built last Winter and he loves it . . . especially when the power went down in Sorrento for a a few days.

For my needs I think what I have or something a little bigger will suffice for those few times the power would go out . . . and yes I do know about line feedback . . . back in the ice storm that was a major concern by a lot of linemen working on restoring electrical power.

WhereRWe?
11-09-2005, 06:38 PM
We install propane back up generators with fully automatic transfer switches. A 7kw with a 100a whole house transfer switch that will provide all of your creature comforts(not including hot tubs) would run you around 3k installed.

Do you give discounts to fellow geocachers? LOL!

Hiram357
11-09-2005, 10:13 PM
I believe the only thing I will have that requires a large electrical draw continually will be the hot tub and while we were originally going to keep it outdoors my wife now wants to put it in the basement.

If you put it in the basement you'll need to install some type of exhaust overtop of it to draw out the moisture you'll be putting into the air. (water & wood & drywall & and electrical don't mix well, especially if you have a lot of dead air) and you would have to have that being controlled by a humidistat. which all of the above is not hard to do, but i do agree with ATT about sitting out in the hot tub during the winter (with a highball... um juice glass..... *sigh* ok, a bottle of jameson's irish whiskey) on a clear starry night and a box of fireworks. :D :D

firefighterjake
11-10-2005, 06:19 AM
If you put it in the basement you'll need to install some type of exhaust overtop of it to draw out the moisture you'll be putting into the air. (water & wood & drywall & and electrical don't mix well, especially if you have a lot of dead air) and you would have to have that being controlled by a humidistat.

You know I love it when you electrically-minded people come up with the same ideas . . . my electrician/electrical inspector/fire inspector/friend mentioned the same things. He suggested that the exhaust vent have an on-off switch and a humidstat as well . . . I was already planning on using the moisture resistant sheetrock and he suggested using the vapor barrier paint for a bit of added insurance.

Hiram357
11-11-2005, 12:08 AM
You know I love it when you electrically-minded people come up with the same ideas . . . my electrician/electrical inspector/fire inspector/friend mentioned the same things. He suggested that the exhaust vent have an on-off switch and a humidstat as well . . . I was already planning on using the moisture resistant sheetrock and he suggested using the vapor barrier paint for a bit of added insurance.

Don't forget the most important thing that the inspectors probably overlooked.... You MUST in accordance with federal law have the beer cooler within reaching distance from within the hot tub. I can't even begin to tell you how many people have fallen ill or been injured from getting out of the heavenly bliss in hot tub form and have gotten sick or even injured themselves by slipping on the floor all because they had to get out for another beverage. Heed my advice Jake, for your own safety build it into the wall. :D

WhereRWe?
11-11-2005, 08:21 AM
Don't forget the most important thing that the inspectors probably overlooked.... You MUST in accordance with federal law have the beer cooler within reaching distance from within the hot tub. I can't even begin to tell you how many people have fallen ill or been injured from getting out of the heavenly bliss in hot tub form and have gotten sick or even injured themselves by slipping on the floor all because they had to get out for another beverage. Heed my advice Jake, for your own safety build it into the wall. :D


No - just do what I do. Have a kegerator on wheels so that you can move it from room to room! LOL!

:cool: :cool: :cool:

Pooh and friends
11-11-2005, 11:00 PM
That's for sure! If you live out here in the woods like we do, a generator to run the water pump is a GREAT help in keeping the toilets functioning. (The alternative is another thread, as I recall... LOL!)

:D :D

As well as the Direct TV, Puta, furnace, lights, stove, fridge, freezer, washer, dryer, ect, ect.......so go with the 200A/40circuit so you can balance out the generator. Like with firearms, your better off to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it:)

Hiram357
11-12-2005, 09:04 PM
No - just do what I do. Have a kegerator on wheels so that you can move it from room to room! LOL!

:cool: :cool: :cool:

YOU HAVE A KEGERATOR ON WHEEEEEEELS!!!???!!!!!??!!?!!! I've got tears in my eyes.

:: Bows to WhereRWe ::

I'm sorry, I am no longer worthy enough to talk to you.

Smitty & Co.
11-12-2005, 10:11 PM
http://www.kegerator.net/ :D :D

Smitty & Co.
11-12-2005, 10:15 PM
For Diehards Only!!

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y146/beaverboy33/kegerator.jpg