Re: Electric Service Amps

Steve Kraus wrote:
> When someone refers to 100A service that means per leg, right? Or is it
> summed?
> Here's the issue. It said in the local paper today that my town is upping
> the code requirement to 100A service and existing homes must upgrade when
> they change hands. Naturally the article didn't go into greater detail.
> What we have is a setup with two main breakers (two pairs). One is a
> double-50A that feeds the rest of the panel. The other is a double-30A
> that feeds just the dryer outlet. I presume that is considered 80A
> service, not 160A.
> The panel itself is a "Stab-Lok" from Federal Pacific, circa 1957.
> There's a pair of connector blocks in the top half and another pair in the
> bottom half. Incoming power from the meter goes to the bottom two blocks.
> Main #2 (2-30A) is plugged into the bottom right position and as described
> goes to feed the dryer outlet. Main #1 (2-50A) is in the bottom left
> position and the output consists of short jumpers going from the breaker
> terminals to the upper connector blocks of the panel. Up there there are
> places for 4 single pole breakers (2 to each side) off the top block and
> off the bottom block. One leftover space on the bottom block. And then
> there is space between for two pole breakers that will plug into both top
> and bottom blocks. The left side double pole space has the 2-pole for the
> A/C condensing unit. The right side previously held a 2-pole for a large
> room A/C but I removed the wiring and breaker long ago.
> The panel is rated 125A so that sounds like it ought to be good for 100A
> service but does that mean each connector block is only good for 50A?
> Can one just have the utility give us a new drop, replace the 2 ft of wire
> from meter socket to panel and the internal jumper (assuming it's not
> already correctly sized, pop in a 2-100A breaker and that's that? Or is a
> whole new panel a necessity? I don't want to make a small job into a major
> one unnecessarily. (Moot for now as the house is not for sale but good to
> know and maybe take care of in advance.)

Regardless of what your town wants you to do, you may want to replace
the panel anyway. Google for "Federal Pacific Stab-lok", and you will
see all sorts of things talking about those panels starting fires,
class action lawsuits, etc.