Electrical Estimate

Carol Reed

In Memoriam
Messages
5,535
Location
Coolidge, AZ
Feel my pain.

I need to replace my main panel to put an adequate sub-panel in the shop.

Fortunately the service wire from the pedestal to the house is rated at 200 amps, verified by the electrical provider. The house has an old style 100 amp box. Need new style 200 amp box to meet code. The new sub panel can then be up to 125 amps. I have 6 dedicated circuits, plus 4 regular circuits so I need the bigger box.

Otherwise I am limited to 50 amps as is and that won't cut the mustard. Starting the table saw alone would flip the breaker more often than a switch! Let alone having a dust collection system running and then having the air compressor kick on.

Just got off the phone with the electrician.

It get better. Where I wanted the sub panel would require 5 turns in the conduit. Code only allows 4. And it has to be in conduit. No direct burial allowed any longer.
 

Rennie Heuer

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
9,929
Location
Constantine, MI
I think the real money comes afterwards. The power company will usually charge a monthly minimum just to have the meter. So, although the initial cost of labor and materials to bring in a separate service might be comparable, the monthly charge ($40 or so in many areas) really adds up over time.
 

Carol Reed

In Memoriam
Messages
5,535
Location
Coolidge, AZ
In the end, the house would be 200 amp and the shop 100 amp. No separate service. This appears as the least expensive and the code required. The 2017 code made lots of changes. A lot of this provides for code purposes, not need on my part. The principle of which is you can't mix pad and new styles.

Here is the rub. The 2017 code made extensive changes because of the wild fires. Insurance companies are getting very persnickety about what they will cover and what they won't. I know people in northern California that got burned out and their total loss was a fraction of what they thought they had. So the insurance company dictates a lot of thus now as well.

My brother here in Arizona got caught in this as well when his house burned. He collected about a third of what he needed to rebuild. Example: the insurance company allowed $110 0 for the fire clean up. It cost him closer to $10000. Disposal fees eat you alive there.

When the fox makes the rules, the hen house is not safe. You can put a lock on your wallet. They will find a way to empty it anyway.
 

Leo Voisine

Member
Messages
4,135
Location
East Freeetown, Massachusetts
Carol,

You have been in my shop.

You know what I do in my shop.

I only have 60 amp sub panel and I want for nothing!! I even feed my shed from the shop sub panel. I have never tripped a breaker in my shop in the 15 years I have had it.

When I built my shop I only had a 100 amp service coming into the house.

My shop was inspected per NEC when it was done and passed without issue.

I don't understand why you "need" a 125 amp service to the shop.

I upgraded to a 200 amp service 3 years ago when I installed the solar panels, but only because I crowded the 100 amp panel with central A/C and I planned to install some substantial electric heating, so I needed more room. I could have just used space saver breakers.

What are you planning on doing in the shop?
 

Bill Arnold

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
8,026
Location
Thomasville, GA
Different setups in different parts of the country, I suppose, based on contractor's whim. Our house has 200A service drop to a panel on the side of the house that originally had only a breaker feeding the distribution panel mounted in our utility room. I hired a licensed electrician to run an underground feed in conduit to my shop. He added a 100A breaker to the panel on the side of the house and installed a panel with 32 positions in my shop. Technically, I have about a 96A capability at my shop panel due to distance, etc. The total circuit breaker capacity in my shop panel is well over 300A. If I have my table saw, dust collector, air conditioner and lights on, and my air compressor comes on, the total draw would still be well under 60A.
 

Carol Reed

In Memoriam
Messages
5,535
Location
Coolidge, AZ
Leo, its not so much what I need. Its what the code now requires. Building codes have changed dramatically after all the devastating wild fires of the last couple of years. Its the insurance companies driving this. The simplistic application has been, if you are not up to code (the new code) the insurance company does not pay the full claim. In my brothers s case, it was a total of 40% that they paid for a total loss. The rest he had to pony up. I don't, but if there was a lender involved (the real reason for insurance) you wouldn't even get insurance if you were not up to code.

Gotcha coming and gotcha going.
 

glenn bradley

Member
Messages
9,879
Location
SoCal
Just tossing this out there. Except for one light circuit on the main box my sub-panel is fed by one 50 amp breaker at the main. I run lights, 2 HP cyclone, ambient cleaner, 3HP machine and stereo and have never had so much as a dimming occur on machine start-up.
 
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