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How can I find out what Amps in my house?

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Sr. Member
Aug 16, 2007
916 posts
120 upvotes
Richmond Hill
SubjectivelyObjective wrote: First things first is call your Hydro Company. If you do not have a 200amp service to your meter its going to get expensive fast. If you do have a 200amp service to your meter you're looking a bit over $2k.

If you're in the GTA, I have a LEC which I have recommended to a number of other members on this forum and he seems to be a fair price and great service.
Can vouch for this LEC. used him as well. Had it done last week. 200amp plus ev charger in the garage. Took about 6 weeks to get a date though from the power company (ALECTRA)
Member
Nov 13, 2019
316 posts
104 upvotes
Toronto
Askari wrote: Can vouch for this LEC. used him as well. Had it done last week. 200amp plus ev charger in the garage. Took about 6 weeks to get a date though from the power company (ALECTRA)
How much was the EV charger btw?
Sr. Member
Mar 10, 2004
842 posts
326 upvotes
KevinM56081 wrote: You panel has a 100A main breaker. Right now you have 100A service.

Depending on service entry, you could have more then that to the meter. Typically underground services are 200A to the meter. The wiring between the meter and the panel would likely need to be upgraded, as well as the panel itself.
Is it fair to assume that if u have a 200 amp panel you have 200 service? I have to believe so else theres a fire hazard waiting to happen.
Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
1740 upvotes
Clarington, ON
tempperm wrote: Is it fair to assume that if u have a 200 amp panel you have 200 service? I have to believe so else theres a fire hazard waiting to happen.
I would agree with your statement.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
5828 posts
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Stoney Creek, ON
tempperm wrote: Is it fair to assume that if u have a 200 amp panel you have 200 service? I have to believe so else theres a fire hazard waiting to happen.
Yes that is quite likely. The only way you’d have a 200A panel without 200A service would be someone doing it illegally without pulling a permit, contacting hydro, etc. It’s quite unlikely. If you’re concerned read my post above and it will help you determine if you have a 200A service.
Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
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Clarington, ON
@ChicoQuente

Thanks for the info on the meter base size. Wasn't aware of that. Worked as a fire alarm tech for many years in a company that also did electrical so learned some bits and pieces
Penalty Box
Nov 21, 2013
8128 posts
9301 upvotes
Montréal
Jerico wrote: I think “usually” is a strong word here based on my experience and what 2 electricians that quoted me said for our local area. I would say this is YMMV.

One other point of note as the LEC came back tonight for payment… I bought 2 more breakers (totaling 4 15 amp lines) for the new panel for the future, and he also made me a generous offer on my 15 amp breakers from my old panel which are “impossible to get”. I dont need a house full for the garage, so sold him half of them. If you guys are getting quoted, ask whats going on with the old panel as there could be an opportunity for cost reduction there.
If you say so.

But take this into consideration: Let say a 100 Kva transformer, for 10 houses. Those 10 houses have 100 Amp panel. 5 of those 10 houses have 200 Amp service. On 5 of those 200 Amp service, 4 upgrade their panel to 200 amps without pulling a permit, utility does not know about new load, making fire hazard on the low voltage line, or make the transformer die because of too much load. (my numbers have nothing to do with what could actually be in real life, just saying those numbers to explain the situation)

The service should match the panel --- meter box capacity, to prevent fire hazards. It is common sense and as simple as that. Not saying that it woule NEVER happen to have a 200 Amp service with a 100 amp meter box, but i t is unlikely. Hence the word usually
Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
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Clarington, ON
DoorCrasher wrote: If you say so.

But take this into consideration: Let say a 100 Kva transformer, for 10 houses. Those 10 houses have 100 Amp panel. 5 of those 10 houses have 200 Amp service. On 5 of those 200 Amp service, 4 upgrade their panel to 200 amps without pulling a permit, utility does not know about new load, making fire hazard on the low voltage line, or make the transformer die because of too much load. (my numbers have nothing to do with what could actually be in real life, just saying those numbers to explain the situation)
I wanna see the balls on the guys breaking the seal on the meter and pulling it themselves and playing around near the live lugs!

Honestly... I'd stare in awe.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
2657 posts
2660 upvotes
Ottawa
Jerico wrote: I was $2500 for the swap (it was $2480 or something), then $900 for the pony. I was off a hair. Total $3400+HST, permitted. Utility had 200 amp service, meter and wire to my house. Without that, it would be more complicated for sure. When my friend did his locally he had a hell of a time finding out if he had 200 amp service (he did) but if he did not the local utility was willing to run a new wire and meter for xx distance FOR FREE (I dont remember what XX was, but both of us are on residential lots vs country so it wouldnt have been over 60 feet or so).

The thing that shocked me but in retrospect makes sense is the new panel is a friggin monster. Added pics of old now in garage as pony and new. Its 90% bigger.

Edit: also, I scheduled this in late June. Getting the panel was tough, scheduling shut offs was tough. Electrician said (and I have no reason to disbelieve him) that the delay was not on their end. The pony panel still doesnt have a 100 amp breaker, just a 40 amp as the 100 amp still hasnt come in.
It also looks so much prettier.
Penalty Box
Nov 21, 2013
8128 posts
9301 upvotes
Montréal
KevinM56081 wrote: I wanna see the balls on the guys breaking the seal on the meter and pulling it themselves and playing around near the live lugs!

Honestly... I'd stare in awe.
Live lugs? Cut the service at the top of the mast, do the job, make sure there is no load, re-tap the service and voilâ... you really think that those who have illegal cannabis greenhouse call hydro to pull a permit and do the job? Only issue there is the seal. Pulling a meter and cut the service at the top of a mast is no problems.

Anyway that is my thoughts. And, I am talking about a personnal experience. My father just upgraded from 100 to 200 amps 1 month ago, because he is throwing out oil furnace and replacing it with an electric one, with a heat pump... and the electrician, although he is legit and licensed, have not pulled the permit. Hydro came to replace the meter (for a totally different reason) and noticed that the service is now too low in gauge... bad electrician that I would not recommend
Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
1740 upvotes
Clarington, ON
DoorCrasher wrote: Live lugs? Cut the service at the top of the mast, do the job, make sure there is no load, re-tap the service and voilâ... you really think that those who have illegal cannabis greenhouse call hydro to pull a permit and do the job? Only issue there is the seal. Pulling a meter and cut the service at the top of a mast is no problems.

Anyway that is my thoughts. And, I am talking about a personnal experience. My father just upgraded from 100 to 200 amps 1 month ago, because he is throwing out oil furnace and replacing it with an electric one, with a heat pump... and the electrician, although he is legit and licensed, have not pulled the permit. Hydro came to replace the meter (for a totally different reason) and noticed that the service is now too low in gauge... bad electrician that I would not recommend
I'm speechless. I don't have an answer for this. Good luck on your future upgrade?

Regarding the Illegal grows, LED lighting has changed things. Most of them just pay for the hydro now.
Penalty Box
Nov 21, 2013
8128 posts
9301 upvotes
Montréal
KevinM56081 wrote: I'm speechless. I don't have an answer for this. Good luck on your future upgrade?

Regarding the Illegal grows, LED lighting has changed things. Most of them just pay for the hydro now.
Thanks for your good luck wishes. My future upgrade will be 320 Amps for a future elctric car. Until then, I am pretty happy with 200 Amps.

Yes, LED lighting have changed things in the greenhouses world.
Deal Fanatic
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Jun 21, 2003
5828 posts
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Stoney Creek, ON
DoorCrasher wrote: Thanks for your good luck wishes. My future upgrade will be 320 Amps for a future elctric car. Until then, I am pretty happy with 200 Amps.

Yes, LED lighting have changed things in the greenhouses world.
I believe in most places the next step up from 200A is 400A. I could be wrong but I’ve heard most utilities don’t do the 320A option. Be prepared to spend big when time comes for the 400A. That equipment gets pricey.
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Jun 21, 2003
5828 posts
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Stoney Creek, ON
Jerico wrote: The thing that shocked me but in retrospect makes sense is the new panel is a friggin monster. Added pics of old now in garage as pony and new. Its 90% bigger.
In case you wanted to know why there is actually a code rule about number of positions available based on service ampacity.
8-108 Number of branch circuit positions
1) For a single dwelling, the panelboard shall provide space for at least the equivalent of the following number of 120 V branch circuit overcurrent devices, including space for two 35 A double-pole overcurrent devices:
a) 16 — of which at least half shall be double-pole, where the required ampacity of the service
or feeder conductors does not exceed 60 A;
b) 24 — of which at least half shall be double-pole
i) where the required ampacity of the service or feeder conductors exceeds 60 A but does not exceed 100 A; or
ii) where the required ampacity of the service or feeder conductors exceeds 100 A but does not exceed 125 A and provision is made for a central electric furnace;
c) 30 — of which at least half shall be double-pole
i) where the required ampacity of the service or feeder conductors exceeds 100 A but does
not exceed 125 A; or
ii) where the required ampacity of the service or feeder conductors exceeds 125 A but does
not exceed 200 A and provision is made for a central electric furnace; and
d) 40 — of which at least half shall be double-pole, where the required ampacity of the service
or feeder conductors exceeds 125 A and the dwelling is not heated by a central electric
furnace.
2) Notwithstanding Subrule 1), sufficient spaces for overcurrent devices shall be provided in the
panelboard for the two 35 A double-pole overcurrent devices and for all other overcurrent devices,
and at least two additional spaces shall be left for future overcurrent devices.
3) For a dwelling unit in an apartment or similar building, the panelboard shall provide space for at
least the equivalent of the following number of 120 V branch circuit overcurrent devices, including space for one 35 A double-pole overcurrent device:
a) 8 — where the required ampacity of the feeder conductors supplying the dwelling unit does
not exceed 60 A; and
b) 12 — where the required ampacity of the feeder conductors supplying the dwelling unit
exceeds 60 A.
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
2007 posts
1743 upvotes
GTA
ChicoQuente wrote: I believe in most places the next step up from 200A is 400A. I could be wrong but I’ve heard most utilities don’t do the 320A option. Be prepared to spend big when time comes for the 400A. That equipment gets pricey.
Almost all of the larger houses/developments we do now a days are 400A. I don't think I've ever seen a 320A.
Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
1740 upvotes
Clarington, ON
SubjectivelyObjective wrote: Almost all of the larger houses/developments we do now a days are 400A. I don't think I've ever seen a 320A.
320 is as common as the elusive 150
Penalty Box
Nov 21, 2013
8128 posts
9301 upvotes
Montréal
ChicoQuente wrote: I believe in most places the next step up from 200A is 400A. I could be wrong but I’ve heard most utilities don’t do the 320A option. Be prepared to spend big when time comes for the 400A. That equipment gets pricey.
320 Amps is coming pretty common where I live. Especially in new builds, because of the rule about gas cars in 2035... No more new gas car for sale in 2035, only hybrid -- full electric will change the load for every houses, and obviously the grid as well.

Upgrading to 400 Amps costs an arm, just for metering... and a leg for the rest of the upgrade
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
12150 posts
7344 upvotes
Paris
DoorCrasher wrote: If you say so.
I am repeating what ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS told me and my friend, not something I dreamed up based on one experience.

There might be people upgrading their service illegally. If they pull the smart meter hydro knows right away there was a non-scheduled interruption. But the 1 or 2 idiots don’t over ride burying thicker cable when subdivisions are built so they can avoid more work later.

As for unlikely, I have PERSONALLY witnessed 3 occasions where hydro has 200 amp service to the meter and only 100 amp service in the house. So I guess I should buy a lottery ticket, as its so “unlikely”? And 3 times unlikely makes nearly impossible?

My parents whole subdivision from 2002 is supplied this way, as is mine from 2000 on the other side of town.
Penalty Box
Nov 21, 2013
8128 posts
9301 upvotes
Montréal
Jerico wrote: I am repeating what ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS told me and my friend, not something I dreamed up based on one experience.

There might be people upgrading their service illegally. If they pull the smart meter hydro knows right away there was a non-scheduled interruption. But the 1 or 2 idiots don’t over ride burying thicker cable when subdivisions are built so they can avoid more work later.

As for unlikely, I have PERSONALLY witnessed 3 occasions where hydro has 200 amp service to the meter and only 100 amp service in the house. So I guess I should buy a lottery ticket, as its so “unlikely”? And 3 times unlikely makes nearly impossible?

My parents whole subdivision from 2002 is supplied this way, as is mine from 2000 on the other side of town.
different province different rules I guess...
Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
1740 upvotes
Clarington, ON
Jerico wrote: I am repeating what ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS told me and my friend, not something I dreamed up based on one experience.

There might be people upgrading their service illegally. If they pull the smart meter hydro knows right away there was a non-scheduled interruption. But the 1 or 2 idiots don’t over ride burying thicker cable when subdivisions are built so they can avoid more work later.

As for unlikely, I have PERSONALLY witnessed 3 occasions where hydro has 200 amp service to the meter and only 100 amp service in the house. So I guess I should buy a lottery ticket, as its so “unlikely”? And 3 times unlikely makes nearly impossible?

My parents whole subdivision from 2002 is supplied this way, as is mine from 2000 on the other side of town.
Agree. What's in the 2" pipe.... Everywhere in Ontario.
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