I have a modest suburban split-level that is 50 years
old. As we’ve had work done, such as the kitchen 10
years ago, we’ve had two subpanels added to the
breaker box, which is 100 amps.
current electrician is recommending cleaning up the
breaker box with a larger one and possible upgrading to
200-amp service would cost more and would be more for a
future buyer’s needs than for our needs.
inspector suggested that with the efficiencies of modern
bulbs and appliances, we should be fine with the 100
65 and recently retired. We have no plans to move, but
while I’m having work done, I’d like to have things
set up so there are fewer future complications.
W.D. Sharpe, a North Jersey electrical contractor, has
one of the better answers to the 100-amp question.
offers a detailed explanation of how to determine your
power needs at
contractor’s short answer: If you don’t have
220-volt "electricity hogs" (electric heat,
hot water heater, dryer, range or central
air-conditioning), 100-amp service in a modest-size home
will do for most families.
is, however, the minimum service size allowed by the
National Electrical Code, and it leaves little room for
Old House’s website actually calls a 100-amp service
200-amp service, one electrician said, will allow you to
run multiple appliances at once.
website Networx.com places the installed cost by a
professional, licensed electrical contractor of a
200-amp service at $1,300 to $3,000.
take Internet estimates to the bank, however.
have 200-amp service in my house, but it came that way.
My last house was also 200 amps, but I spent $665 (I
still have the bill) to clean it up, as your electrician
puts it, part of an $8,000, 13-year upgrade.
is important for you, but if you are having work done
already, consider this: 200 amps could be the new
minimum when you go to sell the house.