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Old 12-04-2016, 06:18 PM   #1
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Question Service Panel Parameters

This is my first post. I am just an electrician's helper with a few questions of my own.

There is presently a 60A main breaker in a NovaLine 125A panel. This has been the configuration for 35 years. Is it ever feasible to simply install a larger breaker i.e. 100A in the said panel? Does the service line need to be upgraded to handle the larger main breaker?
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:21 PM   #2
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If there is only one disconnect making up the service, then that OCPD needs to be sized to the service entrance conductors.
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:36 PM   #3
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Like Hack says, your wire size needs to match up with your breaker size. If the existing wire is the right size, you're good to go.

I'm a little confused, though, about the old Novaline panel. Typically, it's impossible to replace a 60 amp main breaker with a 100 amp because of the physical difference in size. I have worked on Novalines but never really paid attention to the main. They're an old Westinghouse panel but you can replace the breakers with Eaton BR series.

When I upgrade a 60 amp service, I toss everything including the panel and replace with new.
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:37 PM   #4
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The service entrance conductors will need to be at least #2 THWN in Cooper in order to be able to upgrade the breaker up to 100Amps. If the service entrance conductors are less than that size, then your service entrance conductors (your lines coming from your utility) MUST be upgraded.
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:49 PM   #5
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The service entrance conductors will need to be at least #2 THWN in Cooper in order to be able to upgrade the breaker up to 100Amps. If the service entrance conductors are less than that size, then your service entrance conductors (your lines coming from your utility) MUST be upgraded.


This post is wildly inaccurate. Every part of it.


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Old 12-04-2016, 06:53 PM   #6
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This post is wildly inaccurate. Every part of it.


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No way, he has a 400 IQ, he is a surgeon, and has never made a mistake while doing electrical work.
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:57 PM   #7
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No way, he has a 400 IQ, he is a surgeon, and has never made a mistake while doing electrical work.


I'll give him points for confidence but that's it. I was going to elaborate my post but I honestly don't think it'll matter


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Old 12-04-2016, 06:58 PM   #8
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This post is wildly inaccurate. Every part of it.


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I'm impressed. #3 RW90 copper in Canada for resi .
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:02 PM   #9
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I'm impressed. #3 RW90 copper in Canada for resi .
#4 cu here in the US.
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:02 PM   #10
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If there is only one disconnect making up the service, then that OCPD needs to be sized to the service entrance conductors.
If the service entrance conductors are old enough, could they be undersized enough to require upgrading in order to handle a larger OCPD i.e. 100A main breaker?
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:04 PM   #11
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If the service entrance conductors are old enough, could they be undersized enough to require upgrading in order to handle a larger OCPD i.e. 100A main breaker?
I'm not sure what you mean by how old they are.

Chances are that you will have to upgrade the service conductors if you want to upgrade the panel to 100A.

The first thing to do is determine what size they are.
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:10 PM   #12
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Now I know how you really are.

It seems that being that way makes you happy, but the truth is it's very sad and you know it...

At least it is now proved that I am more mature, respectful and grateful than you are.


Keep having a lot of fun in life kids.
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:10 PM   #13
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I'm impressed. #3 RW90 copper in Canada for resi .
I was slow posting my above reply. I see you have answered my question regarding the conductor size and type, unless anyone is going to argue with you?
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:12 PM   #14
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I'm not sure what you mean by how old they are.

Chances are that you will have to upgrade the service conductors if you want to upgrade the panel to 100A.

The first thing to do is determine what size they are.
I was wondering if the size might be estimated by the age of the installation but thanks, you hit it on the head... 'Check The Size'
Thanks
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:12 PM   #15
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I was slow posting my above reply. I see you have answered my question regarding the conductor size and type, unless anyone is going to argue with you?
99cents knows what he is talking about and is from your area so I would go with what he said.
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:18 PM   #16
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I'm impressed. #3 RW90 copper in Canada for resi .


I didn't see the op was from Canada. It's #4 cu in the states and we have absolutely zero say regarding the size of the service drop from the utility.


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Old 12-04-2016, 07:19 PM   #17
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Now I know how you really are.

It seems that being that way makes you happy, but the truth is it's very sad and you know it...

At least it is now proved that I am more mature, respectful and grateful than you are.


Keep having a lot of fun in life kids.
Judging from what the others are saying, maybe the code is #2 where you are. Maybe #2 would allow for a higher OCPD in my area i.e. 125A, 200A etc.?
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:20 PM   #18
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If the service entrance conductors are old enough, could they be undersized enough to require upgrading in order to handle a larger OCPD i.e. 100A main breaker?
Not sure if I understand your question but, since you're a sponge for information, I'll throw some things at you:

Service changes can be a little complicated because we have to follow our code, the regulations required by the utility and municipal regulations. Epcor and Fortis, for example, have Service and Metering Guides in excess of 200 pages (most of it doesn't apply to residential, though).

There is a section in the code book and various tables dedicated to conductors. The current carrying capacity (ampacity) of a conductor is determined by the wire size and the insulation value. If we are going to use existing conductors, we need to make sure that both the wire size and insulation type are compliant with the current code.

In Canada, RW90 is a common conductor type that is very versatile. It can be exposed to the elements and can be used for aerial services.

Copper doesn't degrade with normal use but insulation can be damaged under short circuit conditions. I know a guy who knows a guy who hooked up a panel wrong and watched insulation bubble until the breaker tripped .
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:21 PM   #19
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99cents knows what he is talking about and is from your area so I would go with what he said.
Thanks HackWork. I will go with 99cents. Thanks 99cents
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:22 PM   #20
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Judging from what the others are saying, maybe the code is #2 where you are. Maybe #2 would allow for a higher OCPD in my area i.e. 125A, 200A etc.?


Not likely. He probably saw 100 amps and flipped through a shirt pocket ampacity chart and saw #2 copper. This isn't wrong technically, but it's not correct either.


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