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Don’t Make This Mistake When Upgrading an Electrical Panel


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Working on a house which has 100 amp service which we recently changed from the old fuse type load box to a circuit breaker panel.

Home Electrical Panel Sizes and Circuit Requirements

Question: Working on a house in Philadelphia which has 100 amp service which we recently changed from the old fuse type load box to a circuit breaker panel. The house does not have many electrical circuit demands of the service because the  dryer, boiler type heater, hot water tank and kitchen range are all heated using gas. The kitchen is antique and we intend to upgrade the kitchen with one or two 20 amp appliance circuits and separate circuits for a future dish washer, microwave, garbage disposal. Is # 6 /4 electrical wire o.k. or can I use aluminum wire. Also if some of the wire runs in a soffit can I eliminate conduit or oversize the conduit or future possible wires.
Thanks B.W.

This electrical question came from: Bob, a Handyman from Churchville, Pennsylvania

See more about Home Wiring for Pennsylvania

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Bob
Sizing an Home Electrical Panel When Upgrading
Bob, in my estimation, it was a mistake to upgrade from a fuse box to a panel that was sized at only 100 amps. The square footage and number of bedrooms should be taken into consideration, however I a typical home electrical service panel upgrade is usually sized at 200 amps. Future home owners may desire electrical appliances instead of gas, especially with great electrical energy alternatives being installed at the home and the price of gas fuel going up and down.
Methods for Upgrade Electrical Wiring
Installing wiring inside of a soffit area will provide protection and is permissible depending on what else is being installed in the soffit. Another option is to install a sub-panel in a central area of the home. It may be vary advantageous to install a sub-panel near the kitchen area which may save a lot of circuit home-runs going back to the main electrical panel.

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Learn How to Wire it Right with my
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electrical Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
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Electrical Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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