LumberJocks

Upgrading 60 Amp Service to 200 Amps

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by Kelly posted 06-16-2017 06:22 PM 1215 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1770 posts in 2726 days


06-16-2017 06:22 PM

I have a 30’x60’ shop. Currently, it has a 100 amp panel fed with 60 amps from the house 200 amp service, about 60 feet away. I want to upgrade it to a 200 amp service.

Current plans are to run a new meter, which will ad about $30.00 a month to the bill. Cost would be around $1,000.00.

Just wondering if there are other options I am not aware of, such as sub panel, panel swap, etc.

NOTES and BACKGROUND:

Since the three electricians I talked to go into incredulous mode at the mention of 200 amp service for my shop, here are some of the details:

Running off the existing shop panel is:

-35 LED’s (4 footers at about 40 watts each (1,400 watts)

-Stereo (550 watts)

-Misc. work area lights and exterior lights (100 watts)

- Computer (600 watts)

Additional to the foregoing and when working by myself:

- One of three collectors is running. As often as not, it’s the 3 hp (15 amp) unit

- Table saw/Band saw, 8” jointer/ 89” edge sander, / Lathe#1 or Lathe #2 / ROS sander / . . . . .

- Weather tends to be either very cold or very hot here, so I am installing an HVAC (60 & 40 amp breakers)

While I’m playing, friends drop by and:

- In addition to what I’m using, they run other tools mentioned above or steamer / miter / drum sander / . . .

- 1-1/2hp or 2 hp dust collector

__
As one might surmise, just the HVAC, alone, would press the 100 amp service initially suggested by three electricians.


38 replies so far

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3150 days


#1 posted 06-16-2017 06:27 PM

I would go with the second meter and a 200 amp service.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1770 posts in 2726 days


#2 posted 06-16-2017 06:34 PM

So far, that is the route I’m headed in. Even at $30.00 a month, I’ve got up to ten years of meter cost to catch up with the cost of switching out the panel and such. Too, if I started feeling the years and rented time in the shop, it’s easier to track.


I would go with the second meter and a 200 amp service.

- papadan


View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1126 posts in 1580 days


#3 posted 06-16-2017 06:37 PM

How are you gaining more Amps? Are you getting a bigger service line drop from the utility and a transformer.
Adding more panels might not gain you much.
Good luck

-- Aj

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1770 posts in 2726 days


#4 posted 06-16-2017 06:39 PM

Yep – either way (from the house or from the street, but the same box), I’m going to have to run lines. The bigger panel is, obviously, necessary to handle the increased amp service.


How are you gaining more Amps? Are you getting a bigger service line drop from the utility and a transformer.
Adding more panels might not gain you much.
Good luck

- Aj2


View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3150 days


#5 posted 06-16-2017 06:46 PM



How are you gaining more Amps? Are you getting a bigger service line drop from the utility and a transformer.
Adding more panels might not gain you much.
Good luck

- Aj2


He will get a new service line with his new meter, his house service will not be connected directly to the shop service.

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

314 posts in 164 days


#6 posted 06-16-2017 07:16 PM

You’ll never need that 200a service, that’s way overkill for what you’re doing….or even what you think you might be doing. Replace the 60a feed with a 100a feed and save that $30/month. The 100a will be more than enough.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

7951 posts in 1268 days


#7 posted 06-16-2017 07:17 PM

So your power provider will definitely let you put another meter on your property? if yes then ignore this question.

You’d be surprised at how little your amp draw really is when adding up nameplates on equipment. Your 60 & 30 for a/v: only add the largest of the heat/cool load. They will never run at the same time.

I’m not trying talking you out of a 200A service. I’m just saying I would be one of theirs electricians looking at you incredulously because most want a 200A service on a 60A budget. If money wasn’t a problem I’d install a 320A if that’s what you wanted :)

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4351 posts in 3025 days


#8 posted 06-16-2017 07:37 PM

I have a 200 amp service for my 1200 sq ft shop. I have air conditioning/heat, dust collector and the usual power tools. It’s nice to be able to run any machine I want and not worry about overloading a circuit.

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

314 posts in 164 days


#9 posted 06-16-2017 07:45 PM

If they’re only charging you $1k and it makes you feel good, go for it. Just know that it isn’t at all needed.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4642 posts in 2275 days


#10 posted 06-16-2017 08:21 PM

I’m not stepping into the debate on the need for 200 amp power, but when my 32×50 building went up (last fall) I tried to get a separate 200 amp service and the power company would not do it. “Not enough load to merit a second meter” was what I was told…all the while wondering how they knew what I would be using. Anyway, I had to go with the 100 amp feed from the house.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1770 posts in 2726 days


#11 posted 06-16-2017 08:22 PM

Our utility district does allow second meters [vs a larger panel, line, etc.].

I’ve tested a few devices in my shop and having two people in it, while running the heating-cooling system and other items mentioned would push a hundred amp panel “hard” at times.

My older four bag collector claims 15 amps and it actually runs at that. The table saw runs at 7. The lights are over 10. The radio and computer are 6 or more. The little collector is around 7 and the drum disc is around 7 too. If the compressor kicks in, it adds 10. That’s 62. Now, kick in the heat pump and main unit and you’ve pushed your 100 amp unit beyond recommended maxes.

Oh, and I forgot hot water.

Having lived the world of electronics, some of the world of [marine] electrical other electrical experiences, I’m not much of a fan of trying to save a buck by going for code minimums, whether fourteen gauge wire in for outlets or other. After all, they are minimums.

Hey a lot of us lived in houses with sixty amp service fed by fuses, and the associated problem of dealing with fuses burning out. That was pretty state of the art at the time.

Of course, trenches are going to be dug regardless of the route I go, so I might as well insure against the future. So, rather than wish an 1,800 square foot shop had 200 amp service on down the road, I might as well spend a few hundred more and install it now, rather than spend a fortune to upgrade later.

Just a side note, as it is now, with the sixty amp available, I don’t allow two collectors and two pieces of equipment to run with the 240 heat I am using. It just doesn’t seem worth it to go to the trouble of upgrading for a mere forty amps that may or may not be enough.

As to the 60 amp budget, I’m not sure I follow you on that one. If it meant a price issue, no, that wasn’t applicable, but, yes, I know people want Bon quality at Walmart prices (after all, they are the only ones who should have a dependable car and a decent home).

Anyway, what am I missing?


So your power provider will definitely let you put another meter on your property? if yes then ignore this question.

You d be surprised at how little your amp draw really is when adding up nameplates on equipment. Your 60 & 30 for a/v: only add the largest of the heat/cool load. They will never run at the same time.

I m not trying talking you out of a 200A service. I m just saying I would be one of theirs electricians looking at you incredulously because most want a 200A service on a 60A budget. If money wasn t a problem I d install a 320A if that s what you wanted :)

- TheFridge


View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1770 posts in 2726 days


#12 posted 06-16-2017 08:30 PM

Wonder if it has anything to do with that I live several rock throws from two dams? A normal monthly bill for my house and shop is, on the high side, around $120.00. Counties over, the same bill would be around $500.00.

Oh, and they already cashed my check.


I m not stepping into the debate on the need for 200 amp power, but when my 32×50 building went up (last fall) I tried to get a separate 200 amp service and the power company would not do it. “Not enough load to merit a second meter” was what I was told…all the while wondering how they knew what I would be using. Anyway, I had to go with the 100 amp feed from the house.

- Fred Hargis


View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

314 posts in 164 days


#13 posted 06-16-2017 08:51 PM

Kelly, electrical load demands don’t work like that (adding a+b+c=d). It’s not code minimum. On a properly balanced 100a panel, you can get 200a (100a on each hot leg; Hot-Neutral-Hot). Realistically, you can balance the load close enough to draw 150+ amps through it without any issues…..which you still won’t do.

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

308 posts in 221 days


#14 posted 06-16-2017 10:14 PM

+1 for going with a 100 Amp off your existing panel and no new meter.

We are looking at the possibility of moving a building off the property and if we do, it will leave a 200 Amp meter pedestal standing. We are contemplating building a workshop in the same location and don’t really want a second meter to pay for. We will most likely dig a trench and install wire and conduit coming off our existing panel at the house.

View Overflowin's profile

Overflowin

9 posts in 870 days


#15 posted 06-16-2017 10:48 PM

Another electrician here saying you will never need that amount of available power, however, if its in the budget and it makes you feel warm and fuzzy, than why not?! My belief is basically install the largest service budget allows. you will pay a nominal monthly fee to have the service, and from there you’ll only pay for the power you use. better to have the headroom and not need it, than need it and not have it.

as far as options, have you looked into a 320a service for the house with a 200a panel in the house and a 200a panel for the shop? i install split services like that all the time. one service, one bill, but all power you could ever dream of… probably cost more to install, but may be more cost effective long term.

-Donnie

showing 1 through 15 of 38 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com