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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/1/2002 8:44:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/1/2002 8:52:20 AM EST by ARLady]
hey, guys (and gals) got a client with an offer on a house. house currently ha 60 amp service and seller refuses to upgrade to 100 amp. though we may have a legal recourse to "force" this change, we're working on the assumption at this point that we won't. so here are my questions: 1.) how critical is it to upgrade to 100amp? what are the dangers or quirks of having 60 amps? 2.) what's a very rough, ballpark figure of what it would cost to upgrade one box from 60 to 100? thanks so much everyone!
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:01:27 AM EST
I'm no electrician, but 60 amps doesn't seem like a lot. I have 400 amps. Are you talking about just changing out the box or having the power company run a bigger line? I had a 200 amp box, and when I had 2 central AC's installed and a garage built that I was going to run an air compressor and welder in, I was advised to contact ComEd and have a heavier line brought in.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:01:37 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:04:28 AM EST
This is not in response to your question, but unless it is against the law to sell a house that has 60A, then why doesn't the guy buy the house, and upgrade it to 200A himself? In the long run, even 100A will seem anemic.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:14:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By Torf: This is not in response to your question, but unless it is against the law to sell a house that has 60A, then why doesn't the guy buy the house, and upgrade it to 200A himself? In the long run, even 100A will seem anemic.
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cuz there's this litle thing in real estate: you don't pay top dollar for a house that needs a minimum of a couple a thousand dollars in repairs and upgrades, not to mention that they advertised the house at 100 amp.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:16:54 AM EST
Originally Posted By ARLady: hey, guys (and gals) got a client with an offer on a house. house currently ha 60 amp service and seller refuses to upgrade to 100 amp. though we may have a legal recourse to "force" this change, we're working on the assumption at this point that we won't. so here are my questions: 1.) how critical is it to upgrade to 100amp? what are the dangers or quirks of having 60 amps? 2.) what's a very rough, ballpark figure of what it would cost to upgrade one box from 60 to 100? thanks so much everyone!
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General rule of thumb for house, assuming no big equipment: 12 watts per square foot (3w for receptacles, 3w for lighting and 6w for misc). let say a 2000sq.ft. house that would be 24000watts total or 100amps minimum (24000watts/240Volts) 60amp is still ok! because in general you do not use all the power at the same time.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:22:17 AM EST
Originally Posted By Trigger: General rule of thumb for house, assuming no big equipment: 12 watts per square foot (3w for receptacles, 3w for lighting and 6w for misc). let say a 2000sq.ft. house that would be 24000watts total or 100amps minimum (24000watts/240Volts) 60amp is still ok! because in general you do not use all the power at the same time.
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what constitutes "big equipment?" [:)]
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:23:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By ARLady: hey, guys (and gals) got a client with an offer on a house. house currently ha 60 amp service and seller refuses to upgrade to 100 amp. though we may have a legal recourse to "force" this change, we're working on the assumption at this point that we won't. so here are my questions: 1.) how critical is it to upgrade to 100amp? what are the dangers or quirks of having 60 amps? 2.) what's a very rough, ballpark figure of what it would cost to upgrade one box from 60 to 100? thanks so much everyone!
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1. Not critical usual service to one family dwelling from power company is size for 100amp service minimum, so the service conductors will remain the same. All you have to do is to check if the house panel is rated for 100amp if so just replace the main circuit breaker to 100amp.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:25:30 AM EST
[/quote] what constitutes "big equipment?" [:)] [/quote] welder, heavy duty compressor, lathe machine, etc...that's design for manufacturing
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:27:39 AM EST
With a 60 amp service the house is probably older, maybe pre-WWII, I assume. The good thing is that it has been in service for a long time with just 60 amps. The bad thing is that a 70 year old house wasn't designed with the kind of electrical gadgets we have in the 21st century. What service entrance and breaker box to install will depend on the National Electrical Code and local requirements, and the local electrical inspector. I saying that 100 amps may not meet current upgrade requirements. The way it works is nobody cares what you have until you go to upgrade. Current Code requires a 200 amp service entrance (the cable from the mast or weatherhead down the side of the house to the meter box, the meter box itself, and te breaker panel). If you go ahead and put in a 100 amp unit, the inspector may not approve it because your area requires 200 amp equipment. Find out what is required by calling the local electrical utility and asking who does inspections of new and replacement service entrances. Get that number, and tell your inspector what you posted above, but ask "If I want to upgrade, can I installa 100 amp panel or if not, what do I need?". He'll be happy to tell you. That said, as an experienced electrician and engineer, I would spend the extra $$$ for the 200 amp entrance and panel. Most of the cost is in the labor. The cost varies widely depending on locale and the rate that electricians charge. Some areas require the work to be done by licensed electricians. Other areas will accept work done by "anyone experienced in the trade, and performed in a workmanlike manner." My estimate on materials for a 200 amp entrance, two ground rods and ground wire, breaker panel, and breakers only (no labor) would be about $300 to $500 depending on how high the service drop is and how many circuits that you have to buy breakers for. I'm saying that you will need the disconnect breaker (200 amp)and a 50 amp two-pole for the oven/range and a 30 amp for the electric dryer, unless those are natural gas. I'm also allowing for four or five 15 amp lighting breakers and five or six 20 amp outlet breakers. Count on having to replace the existing service entrance from the utility's connection down the side of the house, the meter housing, and the cable inside to the breaker panel. All of that will be sized for 60 amps. Now, to do the same thing for 100 amps might be $50 to $75 less for the hardware. To me it makes sense to go 200. Labor, I can only guess at, but it will take the better part of a day for one guy to do it, or four hours if two guys work the entrance installation and reterminate the breaker panel at the same time. Figuring $75 an hour for the labor, (a guess) you'd be looking at $600. That might be low for licensed work, but somebody's experienced buddy could do a decent job for half that if the local inspector allows it and you can find a good guy. The total might be as much as $1200, as low as $600. One other thing, sometimes there isn't enough branch circuit cable going into the old fusebox to hook up to a new, larger breaker panel. Some of the individual circuits might need rewired to the first device, and this would be extra. HTH, and good luck with the house! Noah
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:41:35 AM EST
Typical service for a house would be 100-125A, or 200A if it were a really large (say 3000 sq ft) or it had electric heat ($$$$!). More than that would be appropriate if the owner had specific needs, like for example setting up a large arc welder in the garage. 60A would be more typical for an apartment, or a very small house with gas stove/dryer/water heater. If the house has an electric stove, dryer, or water heater, or if the potential exists down the road to either build an addition or build out unfinished space (like an unfinished top floor of a Cape) then 100A service would be warranted. If not, and there are no plans to switch over or to add something like central A/C, 60A may be tolerable. If I were the potential buyer, my offer would take the cost of an upgrade into consideration, since I would have the work done. The price to replace would be specific to the installation. Most likely the wiring from the entrance cap to the breaker panel would need to be replaced, depending on the panel originally used it may or may not need replacement as well. It's also possible the electrician may find other necessary work only when they begin the project, or additional work may be necessary to conform with changes in the local electrical code. ]
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:43:07 AM EST
A lot of aeras only allow 1 220 line in a 60mamp sevice.1a/c,1 dryer,1stove ect.Too much chance of using more than 1 of these at once.I would go with the 200 amp.Less than 80.00 diffrence in price from the 100amp.In the midwest it would be about 125.oo for a box,conduit and metter mount.100.00 or about for breakers.100.00 or less for wire to the mast head.25.00 misc.Its a one day job so fiqure about 350.00 in labor.Have the guy knock 800 off the price.If he wont he doesnt make a sale.If the buyer is worried someone else will buy as is then its a deal and have him fork over the money to fix.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:49:03 AM EST
cuz there's this litle thing in real estate: you don't pay top dollar for a house that needs a minimum of a couple a thousand dollars in repairs and upgrades, [red]not to mention that they advertised the house at 100 amp[/red].
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OHHHHHH!!!! Therein lies the rub! "What we have heah...is...a failure to communicate!" A 60 amp house is NOT a 100 amp house...for the reasons already stated here a couple of times. Legalities and lies notwithstanding, if your buyer moves in and begins to hook up all of the electronic/electrical niceties that most of us spend far too much $$$ on thesedays, he'll be blowing breakers constantly. Then he'll call the electician to find out what's up...and THEN, the SHTF. Just think...TVs, stereos, computers & printers (laser printer heaters are a big power drain, electrical steam irons, your curling iron, the garage grinder, the A/C unit[s] reefers, washers/dryers and so on, ad nauseum. I built my home in '96 with the max allowable code legal load carrying capacity (200amps I think...). When I get everything going like the dryer, the iron, the computer, the printer, and so on, when The Boss fires up her iron or glue gun...the lights flicker. I say make "current" owner lower price to cover cost of upgrade to new owner. Otherwise, I'd walk if I were the prospective buyer. Oh...and since the home is probably quite old considering the low load carrying capacity, I'd have the electrician check the wiring too...since the 60A wiring will most likely not take the additional load. Don't do that and you could overload the wiring and burn the house down.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 9:59:59 AM EST
I noticed the advertiment pat.Did the buyer know it was 60amp before the deposit on the offer.If they did even by word of mouth or inspection[self or paid]then ther out of luck.If they found out after then they have recourse.They have to ofer full asking price or the seller agrees to theirs with no stipulations to the electrical service.In other words did he say no to the upgrade.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 10:16:15 AM EST
Upgrading the electrical service is only necessary if there is a problem (like breakers popping or fuses blowing) or if you need to add some circuits and the existing box is already full. Chances are, a 60 amp panel in a house currently in use is fully populated with breakers or fuses, so doing any kind of addition or upgrade (like finishing a basement or attic, or upgrading your kitchen) would be difficult. If you are going to upgrade it, upgrade to 200 amp service. You'll have a nice big breaker box with 40 slots for breakers. The materials cost difference is neglibible compared to the labor cost which will be the same. I had mine upgraded from 100 amp to 200 amp in 1996 and it cost about $500. Current cost in the Northeast would probably be about $800, I would guess. This is just to run new lines from the power company's lines to the meter and from the meter to the new box, and to install the new box and hook up all the existing cables that go to the house circuits. I did it because I turned the basement into a workshop and upgraded the kitchen. My kitchen had only one circuit in it and that circuit also supplied the basement lights and outlets. To observe common practice (which in this case exceeded code requirements) I needed a circuit for basement lighting and one or two for basement outlets, plus 3 for the kitchen (4-5 additional). The 100 amp box was full. The 200 amp service was a lifesaver. I have since added 220V service to my detached garage, and separated some of the various light and outlet circuits in the house. Good Luck. -RJ
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 10:50:44 AM EST
Originally Posted By ARMALITE-FAN: I noticed the advertiment pat.Did the buyer know it was 60amp before the deposit on the offer.If they did even by word of mouth or inspection[self or paid]then ther out of luck.
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no, buyer did not know. sellers advertised TWICE that it was 100 amp service. inspection is what clued us in to the fact that it was 60 amp.
If they found out after then they have recourse.They have to ofer full asking price or the seller agrees to theirs with no stipulations to the electrical service.In other words did he say no to the upgrade.
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not sure what you're saying exactly, but if i am reading it right, it's not correct. nobody has to offer full asking price for any reason and seller doesn't have to accept any lower-than-asking price if there are no strings attached. the price is agreed upon before the inspection is done although it is always negotiable up to closing. the price can be changed pending the results of the inspection and/or the buyer's or seller's response to the inspection.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 11:29:54 AM EST
Let me clarify. In other words no matter how it was advertised it doesn't matter if the buyers knew before the offer. Since they didnt they have recourse in these two instances. Either full price offer which is a contract without the sellers acceptance.As long as they meet all the terms.Or a lesser offer the seller accepts and makes no correction or additional terms that involve as is or the electrical. Thats the way it is in Illinois anyway.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 12:33:50 PM EST
Originally Posted By ARMALITE-FAN: Let me clarify. In other words no matter how it was advertised it doesn't matter if the buyers knew before the offer. Since they didnt they have recourse in these two instances. Either full price offer which is a contract without the sellers acceptance.As long as they meet all the terms.Or a lesser offer the seller accepts and makes no correction or additional terms that involve as is or the electrical. Thats the way it is in Illinois anyway.
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weird. there's no such stipulation in IN real estate law. the price is contractually agree upon in the purchase agreement, as i said, prior to the inspections. what happens after that, either with price or repairs, is 100% completely negotiable. matters little whether the buyer knew beforehand or not (barring legal requirements for upgrading, of course).
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 2:21:34 PM EST
ARLady Greetings from Texas. The feeder size and panel size is based on numerous factors. First you need the load of the house, then the feeder size, then the panel size. But to do it correctly you must refer to the National ELectrical Code. Examples are in Appendix D. It's a pretty straight forward but laborious task to figure it out. Here's the beginning of the formula. 1. Assume a 2000 sq ft single family house(dwelling). The lighting load is 3 x the sq ft of the house. So the lighting load is 6000 volt/amps. Of this 6000VA, 3000 is figured at 100%. The next 3000 is figured at 35%. As you can see it can get involved. My best advice to you is to hire an elctrician who knows the National Electrical Code. Or sell the house as is.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 2:30:16 PM EST
continued: How critical is it to upgrade to 100 amps? Critical only if the house is using more than the service is rated for. Then you'll have fuses/breakers tripping often. What are the dangers/quirks...? Dangers: None IF the service is installed correctly. If/when the house pulls more amps than the system is designed for, a circuit breaker or fuse trip/blow. Again, IF the system was designed/installed correctly. Some one mentioned folks who install larger fuses/breakers. A tragic act. I think I remember reading somewhere that was the number one cause of electrical fires in homes. Ball park figure to upgrade? Can't help you there. I only work on commercial buildings- HATE working on houses. I'm currently working at the SBC Center (New Spurs Arena. Good Luck, Don
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:07:14 PM EST
A house this old will not have a three wire system installed ,that means that the wall outlets will not have the third hole in the lower middle (grounding circuit) Case ground to earth, or GFI circuits in the bathroom and around the sink and outside. Unless your friend really wants this house and is willing to spend some money to bring it up to code walk away. sparkchaser Al.License electrican
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 3:31:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/1/2002 3:34:55 PM EST by prk]
There is the amperage issue, the ungrounded outlets issue, and I'll bet a lack of adequate number and distibution of outlets. Not to mention old wire and the other issues about upgrading the service. I hope you didn't let him make an offer without an inspection and estimate by an electrical contractor or his choice. A contingency for this electrical issue do you have? Hmmm? My guess is it will be in at least the thousands, not hundreds.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 5:59:32 PM EST
Upgrading a electrical service can be like opening up a can of worms. First there is the service itself, 100amp or 200amp, pretty basic. In some states & towns you might have to upgrade the whole house wiring. If no ground in wiring, knob & tube type, etc. Adding GFCI plugs in kitchens, bath rooms, outside, garage, basement. Branch circuits in kitchen. Also might have to wire up the house for smoke detectors too. It can get very expensive..... Call a local lic. electrican(s) to find out what may be required for your area.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 8:02:44 PM EST
First, the service will be coming in on two legs, basically an A and B side on which you will use your electricity. When you have only 60 amps, balancing the load on the legs is important. I make do with 60 amp service - have for a few years. It wasn't that great at first, but I had the circuits switched around on the legs and things improved quite a bit. It really depends on the the things you have running all the time. If you have your refrigerator on and you need a dehumidifier for the basement, have them on different legs. If you have a window air conditioner, put it on a lower use leg because the compressor is going to pull a lot of amps. If you have central air, either upgrade or get a subpanel dedicated for that unit. If your client has battery backups for their computers, they may notice them beeping a lot if things are imbalanced. You may also get sags in power depending on load. I don't know if it can be traced back to the service, but I keep having night lights destroyed. And when the legs are imbalanced, I seem to go through more light bulbs. I manage to run a pretty good sized workshop, complete with some tools that can pull about 25 amps at startup. Everything works, and it's only mildely inconvenient. And besides the electrician, check with the power company to see if there will be a charge for the upgrade in service.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 8:18:02 PM EST
I wouldn't worry about the 60A service if you don't have any major electrical appliances like heaters, water heaters, A/C, dryers, stoves, ovens, cooktops, or arc welders. But the fact that they lied about it would seem to me to lower the value of the house by the cost of upgrading the service. If upgrading, I would definitely go for a 200A service. Of perhaps greater concern is the rest of the wiring in the house. In my case, my service was upgraded from 60A to 100A in 1970 to add central air. The problem was that they just spliced in the old wiring, much of which was original (1926 vintage). The original wiring wasn't really that bad, but it was really messed up by some later renovations. I was surprised the place didn't burn down, although the house next door did. It must have had some of the same electricians working on it. When I bought it, I shut off the main breakers before the sale closed. Then I tore out all the connections to the old wiring, installed a few outlets on their own circuits next to the entrance panel, and lived off of extension cords for quite some time. Since then, I've replaced everything except the entrance panel. Anyway, I'd inspect the wiring carefully wherever you can see it. Look in the attic, basement, and open up some outlets and fixtures to look for evidence of shoddy workmanship, crumbling insulation, loose connections, etc. Make sure the fuses/breakers are not too large for the wiring they protect. My fancy new panel had an old hidden fusebox spliced into it that supplied circuits wired with #14 wire, fused at 30A. If it looks dangerous, it probably is. Good luck!
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 5:11:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By prk: I hope you didn't let him make an offer without an inspection and estimate by an electrical contractor or his choice. A contingency for this electrical issue do you have? Hmmm?
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maybe real estate in indiana is different, but most sellers aren't going to let you just pop in for an inspection without some show of earnest in purchasing. you generally get the inspection AFTER you have an accepted purchaese agreement and the sale is almost always contingent upon the results of the inspection and the response the sellers have to what the buyer has asked be fixed. fwiw, guys, i'm fairly competent at my job and well aware of the other issues with the house. like i said before, we had the inspection. that is how we know about the 60 amp service (remember they advertised it as 100amp). the other details that some of you are focusing on have already been consired and decided upon. the point right now is the 60 amp question alone. i think it's hilarious that the answers varied as much as they did. i called a bunch of electricians here and no one gave me the same answer here either. guess the electrical code on upgrading isn't nearly as standard as we're led to believe, heh?
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 5:33:47 AM EST
Get an estimate. Be aware an upgrade is potentially Pandora's Box. Up to the seller and buyer how they want to handle it or walk away. Seller is a fool to have the upgrade done. Only should discount price based on lowest estimate if REALLY want to sell house to this buyer. 60amp is adequate quite often. Only real issue is the false advertising and fact the selling agent failed to notice.
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