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Thread: RE: Off topic . . . electrical needs

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  1. #1
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    Default RE: Off topic . . . electrical needs

    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.
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  2. #2
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    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.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haffy6
    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.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

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  4. #4
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    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.

  5. #5
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    Post Another opinion

    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.
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    Now that shows you how much I know. Thanks Brad
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainiac1957
    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.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainiac1957
    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."
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

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