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  • New shop... Electrical questions

    Hi guys, I recently bought the house of my dreams... It has a 24x36 pole barn and it needs electrical power.

    The house was built in 1973 with 100amp service. I'd like to upgrade to 200 amp at the house and run 100amp out to the shop about 50' away.

    Whats the best way to do this? Do I need to upgrade to a 200 amp box in the house which will have a 100 amp breaker for the shop? or, is the main power shuffled out to the shop box which has a 100 amp breaker? Is running a new 200 amp box with two 100 amp breakers, one feeding the original house box and one feeding the shop an option?

    To upgrade the house, any idea on cost? I've called the electric company (xcel energy in colorado) and was told that from the power pole to the house would be a "free" upgrade but I take care of anything in the house.

    Any suggestions welcome!

    Is 100 amp really necessary? I have a Bridgeport CNC, Feeler lathe wish to have a window unit AC (220), a 220 compressor, and someday a tig. At my old house the mill and lathe (and rotary phase convertor) ran on a single 220 30 amp breaker no problem.

    Another option is to buy a gas stove and gas dryer (already have) and steal the 30 amp breaker from each to run 60 amps out to the shop... Or would I regret only 60 amps in the future?

    The barn now has a 20 amp 110 breaker runing to it...

  • #2
    $1400 - 200 amp service up grade

    $10 per ft Above ground
    $16 per ft Underground (300% less maintenance cost over 30 yrs)

    $400 - 100 amp service installed

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    • #3
      You could regret only 60 amps. I have maybe 70 - Tig/mig + lights + compressor = problem. If I forget to turn off the electric heat, even more so. And add the startup from a 10hp rotary converter - lol... then I'd have to walk 378 feet back to the house to reset the breaker.

      I wanted 100-125amps, but.... accidently ran 1 AWG instead of 1/0 20 years go...

      Your house? If you're happy with 100 at the house, just upgrade the panel to 200 and take 100 for the shop.

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      • #4
        I would put a separate meter on the shop.

        When we built my dads shop they didnt charge to hook up. Nor the upgrade of the panel on the house. Everything from the pole to the meter is their responsibility. We laid the conduit for them to run and then they inspected and ran it.

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        • #5
          One other option is to have them run a 200A to the meter, and put in a dual gang base. That allows you to leave the 100A for the house and run the other 100 out to the panel in the shop. This is the way I did mine since I wasn't ready to do a panel upgrade in the house, and a new service to the shop. The meter base was a little difficult to source, but was completely reasonable when we found it.

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          • #6
            Lakeside, good to know thanks. Looks like 100amps would be worth it.

            macona. I agree but another house I looked at in the neigborhood did put in a seperate meter on their shop, problem is the elec company charges $15 per month for another meter. $180 a year for another meter doesn't sit well with me.

            Nosman. That's what I think I want to do, thanks for the terminology. Now I can ask about a dual gang base. What's the "Meter base" you refer to? The meter that spins? I need a bigger one for 200amps I assume?

            Any rough guesses on cost? dual gang base,meter, line out to the shop, box in the shop.

            Comment


            • #7
              A meter base is the fixture the meter plugs in to.

              One trick we used when rewiring my parents place was to use a mobile home bases on the outside. Then the panel inside the house becomes a sub-panel and there is less permitting and inspections required. You could come off one of these bases with your run to the shop as well.

              Like this one:

              http://www.doitbest.com/Load+center-...sku-556033.dib

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              • #8
                The new meter cabinet/base we have has a bus bar below the meter for user connections. IIRC, there are 4 sets of terminals, only one of which is presently in use. Shutting off the mains at the meter kills power to these terminals so I can hook up direct to the meter enclosure. Someday I hope to replace the existing overhead run with underground, but there are numerous projects in line ahead of that.
                Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit

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                • #9
                  Actually if your new house is zoned for agricultural you can check with your utility and building dept to see if you can get a separate agricultural panel. Just tell them it is to run a well for the horse, chicken, sheep, what ever. That way you can have a separate 3 Phase drop and service on your out building. Additionally the Ag rate here is a couple of cents less per Kw then the residential rate

                  They offer them here - I have no idea what they offer in your area

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nosman
                    One other option is to have them run a 200A to the meter, and put in a dual gang base. That allows you to leave the 100A for the house and run the other 100 out to the panel in the shop. This is the way I did mine since I wasn't ready to do a panel upgrade in the house, and a new service to the shop. The meter base was a little difficult to source, but was completely reasonable when we found it.

                    X2 ! This way you don't have to even make an entrance into the house which is a not small consideration. This method was the one I would always recommend to my customers before I retired from my position as District Operator for the provincial electric utility, a 200 A meter box with duplex lugs on the load side of the meter. If you go this way, check to make sure the hole in the lug is large enough to take whatever wire size you will need to run to your shop.
                    Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                    • #11
                      I purchased a house and installed a 40x60 shop out back. I had a 35 foot run to the shop for electric from the house. I upgraded the house to 200 amps with a buried line and buried a line to the shop for 100 amps.

                      When I checked here, an extra meter meant extra monthly billing even if I was not using the shop. Every meter that the power company reads gets a minimum billing to cover paperwork, reading, postal mail, office costs, ceo's pay, etc, etc.

                      I did install a meter inside the shop so that if I ever wanted to write off a business I had a way to calculate what the shop used. An electrician friend of mine encouraged this and also warned that if the meter was on the outside, the electric company would try to read it and send me another bill.

                      I have never regretted doing the work. From learning the calculations and figuring out the runs to doing the work and working with the local inspectors; the whole thing has taught me more than what they did in my college electrical classes. There is only one thing that I would have changed but its minor and I can live with it.

                      Now if your going the agriculture route, which sounds more promising for everything, then you should be able to get 3 phase to your shop as noted in the thread earlier. Might be a good thing if you plan to go hog wild and start a little business. Plus county fees, taxes, permits etc all change for agriculture usage and here the change is for the better. Agriculture gets a more broad brush to build and install buildings plus it allows you to do things in a way that your neighbors have less control over.

                      rock~
                      Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by macona
                        I would put a separate meter on the shop.

                        When we built my dads shop they didnt charge to hook up. Nor the upgrade of the panel on the house. Everything from the pole to the meter is their responsibility. We laid the conduit for them to run and then they inspected and ran it.

                        Where's this wonderful place? Not anywhere I've lived.

                        We had a barn in Massachusetts with a separate meter, maybe 30 amp. It was an obsolete style referred to as an "A" type. I looked into getting it upgraded. The utility's perspective was NOPE - NO WAY - ABSOLUTELY NOT. Does not endorse, support, or recommend doing anything other than eliminating the barn meter. They were happy to provide a free disconnect and removal of their property if I wanted. I said, no thank you, we'll leave it alone for now.


                        Gary
                        Gary


                        Appearance is Everything...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JoeFin
                          $1400 - 200 amp service up grade
                          Yep, that $1400 for a 200 amp upgrade is right on the button.
                          I just had that done on my old homeplace, and that's almost exactly what it cost me.
                          I just happened to run across a temporarily layed off electrician who did it for me. That was labor, service box, weather head and pole/pipe, meter base, breakers, wiring, etc.
                          Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                          • #14
                            Regarding the dual meter box, or meter socket as the power company guys around here call them. I would check with the local power company for a socket. When I have needed them, they gave me socket, insulators, mast head, etc. free of charge.

                            I upgraded the incoming electric on my house many years ago. The power company was responsible for hooking up their wire to my wire. I was responsible for installing the new meter socket and installing a mast through the roof. They said they would un-hook and re-hook up to the new wiring.
                            I saved them the trouble and did it myself. I also didn't need to wait for them to make two trips to un-hook and re-hook up things.

                            Brian
                            OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                            THINK HARDER

                            BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                            MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                            • #15
                              I already had 200 at the house when I built my workshop so I just ran a new feed from the pole and gave the workshop 200 also.
                              "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"

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