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pandora
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The renovation continues ... today new 400 amp service!

My home renovation continues, today was 400 amp underground service install day.

The utility installed shunts, and will pro-rate my service until a meter is installed (in a day to 3 according to the foreman ... it's a different union).

On the first picture in this post, under the meter are a few rows of my cement siding. It is in 10' long by 12" high strips that resemble clapboard. It is a cement / fiberglass / resin siding in blue. The apparent defects are mud, it was raining during install of the siding and some mud got on the siding.

Framing is almost complete, wiring and HVAC are well under way, plumbing has started but is a bit behind.

The area added to the house is currently calculated as 1,800 on to a 3,200 sq ft house. In the front the house will run 85' long and 26' in depth with a 2 story addition in the back. Only the upper portion of the addition will be a 4 season room.

It seems like this project is taking forever, but work is slowly being completed.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
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It's funny, they go underground for the last 30 feet from the pole to the house?

Either way, woah, no wonder service upgrades cost so much. Look at that team!


pandora
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1 edit

said by alkizmo:

It's funny, they go underground for the last 30 feet from the pole to the house?

Either way, woah, no wonder service upgrades cost so much. Look at that team!

The underground conduit length is almost 75' from pole to rear of the meter box. The charge from the utility was $638. Our electrician is backfeeding the old service from the new, but will begin to migrate circuits from the old boxes (we had split 200 amp service to 2 100 amp boxes) to the new stuff over the next few weeks. The goal is to have all circuits powered by the new boxes. Sigh, a lot of interior dry walls are going to need repair.

The house was built in the early 70's had no Tyvek, and the circuits are a mess. The plan is to isolate each room, and provide every room with its own power breaker (20 amp minimum to each room) and lighting (15 amp to each room). This means opening walls inside the house during tracing, and replacing a lot of 15 amp romex with 20 amp. At the same time, a wired security system, extensive Internet infrastructure will also be installed or upgraded.

The electrician will wire the house traditionally, BUT install Insteon devices, each box will have a hot and ground even if its part of a 3 or 4 wire circuit to facilitate Insteon or Z-Wave (where necessary) interfacing. The home automation software is Homeseer (»www.homeseer.com). We estimate 8,000' of Cat 6 will be run, and 3,000' of RG 6. All cameras will be PoE IP. The house is moving to the 21st century.

It took almost 2 hours from start to finish. During install, they determined the neutral was bad coming off the transformer, this affected 4 homes in addition to mine that were shut off for about half an hour.

The utility indicated the transformer primary (feed?) was 8,000 volts. The transformer takes the 8,000 volts down to 240 volts and serves about 5 homes.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to pandora

Interesting, the 400 amp residential installs we usually see in these parts have a twin mast, sealed remote meter box feeding a single 400 amp switch that in turn feeds a bus duct that 2-3 breaker panels come off of, interesting to see how its done in other parts.



Draiman
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reply to pandora

I'm curious what one needs 400 amps in a house for? My parents have a 4,000 sq. ft. house with 200 amps then an oversized 4 car garage with half of it being a full woodworking shop and that is only 100 amps.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!



Jack_in_VA
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said by Draiman:

I'm curious what one needs 400 amps in a house for? My parents have a 4,000 sq. ft. house with 200 amps then an oversized 4 car garage with half of it being a full woodworking shop and that is only 100 amps.

I was thinking the same thing. I have a 300 amp but that is misleading as the POCO would install that free underground or I could pay to have the existing 200 amp relocated underground. My house is still 200 amp and I take off the meter base with a 100 amp circuit breaker for my garage. All wiring from the POCO is the same as with the 200 amp. In fact it's the same as it was when my service was 100 amp.

pandora
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reply to Draiman

said by Draiman:

I'm curious what one needs 400 amps in a house for? My parents have a 4,000 sq. ft. house with 200 amps then an oversized 4 car garage with half of it being a full woodworking shop and that is only 100 amps.

Your parents obviously have different electrical demands than my family. When this home was purchased it had 100 amp service and some large appliances which were acquired for business purposes required an extra 100 amps.

There was no cost increase from the utility for 400 amp conduit, only on my end for the circuit breaker boxes and automatic throw switches. The extra cost was about $2,000 (mostly the 2nd Generac automatic transfer switch). The utility would have run over the air 400 amp service at no cost (but it would have to be to the quadrant of the house nearest the pole, with conduit I'm able to tuck the meter behind the house, closer to the generator.

My home is now entirely heated by electricity (a Geospring for hot water) and by heat pumps (for hot or cool air). Auxiliary heat requires 20KW per air handler (we have 2 air handlers). The electric heater can draw 4,400 watts, if two are installed (which may happen) I'll need 8,800 watts.

Running to my attic are 2 100 amp lines for the air handlers and auxiliary heat. My guess is your parents have a different home configuration.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"


Draiman
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reply to pandora

Actually that sounds nearly identical. You have 100 amps in business stuff they have 100 amps in power tools. You both have 2 air handlers and electric heat. Thanks for the info I was just curious.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!



Cho Baka
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reply to pandora

When I was living in Japan, the service in the place I lived was 30 amps @ 100V.

A friend lived in a detached house, her service was also 30 A.

I can't begin to imagine the need for 400A.

Thanks for the pictures though, they were interesting.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


pandora
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30 amps at 100 volts, really?

said by Cho Baka:

When I was living in Japan, the service in the place I lived was 30 amps @ 100V.

I think my cappuccino maker would cause your Japanese home main breaker to trip.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Cho Baka

Re: The renovation continues ... today new 400 amp service!

said by telco_mtl:

Interesting, the 400 amp residential installs we usually see in these parts have a twin mast, sealed remote meter box feeding a single 400 amp switch that in turn feeds a bus duct that 2-3 breaker panels come off of, interesting to see how its done in other parts.

Commercial installations though have single mast with single meter.
It's probably just a "code" thing that we can't have single mast 400A in residential installations in Quebec. Maybe it's a run lenght thing.

said by Cho Baka:

When I was living in Japan, the service in the place I lived was 30 amps @ 100V.

Must have been rural Japan. I lived in Osaka for a year. While i don't know what we had, I know we could have 3-4 space heaters running at the same time. Hot water was electrical as well.

said by Cho Baka:

I can't begin to imagine the need for 400A.

Sometimes it's because of the house's livable sqf that puts it in the 400A requirement, not because there are enough appliances needing it.


Draiman
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said by alkizmo:

said by Cho Baka:

I can't begin to imagine the need for 400A.

Sometimes it's because of the house's livable sqf that puts it in the 400A requirement, not because there are enough appliances needing it.

I wouldn't even want to take a guess at the size of that house!
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!


ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA

said by Draiman:

said by alkizmo:

said by Cho Baka:

I can't begin to imagine the need for 400A.

Sometimes it's because of the house's livable sqf that puts it in the 400A requirement, not because there are enough appliances needing it.

I wouldn't even want to take a guess at the size of that house!

From OP:

The area added to the house is currently calculated as 1,800 on to a 3,200 sq ft house


IIIBradIII
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join:2000-09-28
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I think he was referring to the size of house that would require 400A based on sq footage alone.



ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA

said by IIIBradIII:

I think he was referring to the size of house that would require 400A based on sq footage alone.

And I think that may be the case with the OP which is why I posted what I did. No where have I seen the OP mention that he needed due to demand.

Here is a post from 2010 for a 4900 sq foot home requiring 400 AMP service.

»400 amp single phase service wire size residential

1800 + 3200 = 5000 Sq ft


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Draiman

said by Draiman:

I wouldn't even want to take a guess at the size of that house!

I'm not sure on the math, but considering I see it's a proper "fall" weather at his place, he needs heating.
If he has electric heating, then that will push the total heating load over 200A over a certain number of SQFT.

Clients of mine "upgraded" their house from 2,500 sqft to 4,170 sqft. They had to go from 200A to 400A because of the electrical heating demand factor.

So yes, it's a big house now, but not HUGE.

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

said by telco_mtl:

Interesting, the 400 amp residential installs we usually see in these parts have a twin mast, sealed remote meter box feeding a single 400 amp switch that in turn feeds a bus duct that 2-3 breaker panels come off of, interesting to see how its done in other parts.

Commercial installations though have single mast with single meter.
It's probably just a "code" thing that we can't have single mast 400A in residential installations in Quebec. Maybe it's a run lenght thing.

Up here in quebec you rarely if ever see a 400 amp commercial install, once you get into that kind of power demand you usually jump straight to a 3 phase service. most strip malls and the like that have individual services for each storefront will normally only have a 200 amp connection (light the lights run the cash register) and heat with gas. You start seeing the 3 phase at the bigger service stations, restaurants and car dealers.

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to Draiman

said by Draiman:

said by alkizmo:

said by Cho Baka:

I can't begin to imagine the need for 400A.

Sometimes it's because of the house's livable sqf that puts it in the 400A requirement, not because there are enough appliances needing it.

I wouldn't even want to take a guess at the size of that house!

up here 400 amps is pretty common. We have cities that zone for "intergeneration" houses which are basically a 3-4 bedroom house with a bungalow hanging off the side. Since they dont want people buying these and using the bungalow as an income suite they wont let them be separately metered or heated. Since in quebec we are majoritarly heated with electricity a house this big on a single service needs a big entrance. One house i visited with a collegue had an electric forced air furnace heating a 4 bedroom house and a 3 bedroom bungalow attached, the furnace alone called for 150 amps. The bungalow had a 100 amp panel and the 4 bedroom a 200 amp panel. I have a feeling when it gets cold in the winter and that furnace fires up you will get a breeze from the disk on the meter!


cdru
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reply to pandora

said by pandora:

My home renovation continues, today was 400 amp underground service install day.

You may have two 200 amp panels, but your service wire doesn't appear rated for 400 amps.

pandora
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said by cdru:

said by pandora:

My home renovation continues, today was 400 amp underground service install day.

You may have two 200 amp panels, but your service wire doesn't appear rated for 400 amps.

Ya got me, I'm not an electrician or utility worker. The service says 400 amp on the bill to me, my electrician says 400 amp. He talked about 80% load calculation, not certain what that means. I've seen both 400 amp and 320 amp mentioned, somehow they are related, but exactly how is beyond my understanding.
--
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"


pferrie3

join:2005-01-27
Boston, MA
reply to telco_mtl

said by telco_mtl:

up here 400 amps is pretty common. We have cities that zone for "intergeneration" houses which are basically a 3-4 bedroom house with a bungalow hanging off the side. Since they dont want people buying these and using the bungalow as an income suite they wont let them be separately metered or heated. Since in quebec we are majoritarly heated with electricity a house this big on a single service needs a big entrance. One house i visited with a collegue had an electric forced air furnace heating a 4 bedroom house and a 3 bedroom bungalow attached, the furnace alone called for 150 amps. The bungalow had a 100 amp panel and the 4 bedroom a 200 amp panel. I have a feeling when it gets cold in the winter and that furnace fires up you will get a breeze from the disk on the meter!

the disk would prob spin fast enough to be used as a table saw


Draiman
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reply to telco_mtl

I don't see how not allowing people to separate meters stops them from generating income on a bungalow. I'd just include electric in the month fee and rent it out anyways. That or I'd install a TED on the circuits that go to that bungalow and charge them for their usage each month.

»www.theenergydetective.com/
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!



ropeguru
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Mechanicsville, VA
reply to cdru

said by cdru:

said by pandora:

My home renovation continues, today was 400 amp underground service install day.

You may have two 200 amp panels, but your service wire doesn't appear rated for 400 amps.

How did you determine that?


Killa200
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Southeast TN
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said by ropeguru:

said by cdru:

said by pandora:

My home renovation continues, today was 400 amp underground service install day.

You may have two 200 amp panels, but your service wire doesn't appear rated for 400 amps.

How did you determine that?

I'm assuming by the 350kcmil marking on the underground feeder wires from the utility. 350kcmil aluminum is rated for 250amp @ the 75c rating, which is more than likely what those terminations are rated for.

However, I've not seen service installed for rated around here in a long time. That is a "400amp service", which is really a 320 split phase setup, and that seems like the right amount of underfeed as compared to your typical service feed on 200amp, which the utility around here at least usually runs 2/0 alum.


ropeguru
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said by Killa200:

I'm assuming by the 350kcmil marking on the underground feeder wires from the utility. 250kcmil aluminum is rated for 250amp @ the 75c rating, which is more than likely what those terminations are rated for.

But he was not referencing the terminations. He stated that the service wire was not rated for 400 AMPS. Additionally, would you ever expect one leg of a residential single phase to have to supply a full 400 AMPS? Wouldn't the total be more balanced across both?


Killa200
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Fixed a typo above and added my thoughts. While he wasn't referring to the terminations, you have to in order to get the correct handling capacity of the feeder run. The wire alone isn't what determines what it can carry, but also what it terminates into.

If you want to focus in the wire alone and in all technicalities, it as well isn't rated for 400 amps, even at 90C.

Do i ever expect 400amps @ 240v worth of load on his service regularly? I have no idea, but it isn't plausible, as if a load calculation pushed him to that point they would have oversized again.

IN technical terms is the service setup as rated? No. But the utility also isn't bound by the NEC, but their own set of guidelines on how to install things.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
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reply to ropeguru

Looks like they used the same type of wire for the overhead (which can be 400A for neutral support overhead).



mattmag
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reply to pandora

Where's nunya See Profile when ya need him???



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
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reply to pandora

Two transfer switches, for two generators?



cdru
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Fort Wayne, IN
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reply to Killa200

I was just going by the wire being stamped 350 kcmil, which by NEC table 310.15(B)(7) seems to indicate a max of 300 amps. I was under the impression that the service wires had to be at least as big as what the combined main disconnects protected to, but maybe not.

said by Killa200:

But the utility also isn't bound by the NEC, but their own set of guidelines on how to install things.

Aren't service entrance cables covered under NEC, but not transmission lines?