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The 200 AMP Panel & Its Requirements

An image of a circuit breaker

The fuse box, also referred to as the breaker box or the electric panel, is the main element in the electric system that controls the currents flow from the power grid. It then distributes this power to the various circuits connected to it. It is a paramount feature as it makes sure that the system functions optimally and that there is a sufficient flow of electricity to meet the current demand of the household.

The electric current that flows are measured in amps. The electric panel will have to manage a certain amount of electricity and accommodate several circuits depending on the amperage, which is the electrical flow rate. The circuit panel should have a minimum of 100 amps. However, it is important to note that this panel size will not be ideal in most cases and so the 200 amp panel has become the most common panel that is recommended and already in use in most homes. The 200 amp breaker panels are rapidly becoming the norm as they are capable of handling the average electrical needs without compromising on the safety or flow of the currents.

Is A 200 Amp Panel Upgrade Necessary?

Many buildings that run on a 100 amp system reach the maximum capacity and because of this, it is advisable to upgrade to a 200 amp system to make sure that the current and future electricity demands are met in a safe and efficient manner.  While many circuit breakers still feature the 100 amp panel, new regulations are in favor of updated systems that feature the 200 amp panel. The size of a house is a crucial factor when it comes to determining the ideal size of the panel to use. The 200 amp panel is recommended for houses that are more than 2,000 square feet as they will require more power to run.

 

When Should You Upgrade To A 200 AMP Breaker Panel?

Apart from instances where the breaker panel is showing signs of damage or inefficiency, there are other situations where upgrading to a 200 amp circuit panel is a great decision.

Outdated Panel

An outdated panel will in time fail to competently handle current electrical needs. If you are still using a fuse box or a 100 amp panel and you are frequently overloading your circuits or using numerous extension cables to power your appliances, then it’s time to upgrade to a 200 amp panel.

Home Generator

If you acquire a home generator, you will need additional wiring and a sub-panel to your current panel in order to operate the machine. To achieve this, you will require a 200 amp panel. This will ensure that there is a safe supply of electric current when the generator is in use.

Extension To The Home

100 amp panels are suitable for smaller homes and if the house space is increased a 200 amp panel upgrade will be required to ensure the demands of the additional square footage are accommodated by the electric system.

Heating And Air Conditioning

A 100 amp panel is not able to meet the demands that come with central heating and air conditioning. They are just able to supply power to lights and appliances and a few of the smaller things. The 200 amp panel offers the power needed to smoothly run heating and air conditioning systems.

EV Charging Base

If you have or plan to get an electric car then you will need to consider upgrading to a 200 amp breaker panel to be able to charge your automobile at home with ease.

What You Stand To Gain With An Upgrade

There are several benefits to upgrading to a 200 amp panel. They include:

Increased Capacity

A 200 amp panel offers more current than a 100 amp panel. This enables safe power use of multiple electrical appliances at the same time. This is the main benefit of upgrading to the 200 amp panel. There will be an increased supply of electricity.

Safety 

Though a 100 amp panel is efficient it can prove to be less safe in the long run due to the frequent tripping due to heavy power consumption. Ideally, no circuit should supply power that is more than 80% of the maximum capacity.  For instance, if your system is running on a 100 amp panel, the power consumed at any given time should not be more than 80 amp. Upgrading the panel will reduce trips and electrical accidents and enable the system to distribute more power in a safe manner.

Additional Circuits

To avoid overloading circuits, you need to have more circuits to power and operate different electrical equipment with the same electrical capacity. A 100 amp panel limits the number of circuits to have in one system but with a 200 amp panel you will be able to add more circuits. 

Eases Building Upgrades

If you would like to add an office or a pool or an outdoor kitchen to your home, getting a 200 amp electric panel will offer you more power for the extended space. Not just adding to the house, lifestyle changes such as adding a home theater or getting powerful electrical equipment will require your electrical system to have enough capacity to handle the required power consumption.

Increased Flexibility

Due to their greater size, a 200 amp panel will enable the system to have more flexibility and capability due to the increased number of circuits that can be accommodated. This will offer the homeowner flexibility to power every corner of the house by distributing the circuits evenly ensuring that appliances can be used without the inconvenience of moving to a different location or the risk of tripping. If one anticipates increased consumption in the future due to expansion or more appliances, upgrading to 200 amp will enable a smooth transitioning process when the changes happen. 

Extends The Lifespan Of Electrical Devices

Due to minimizing power surges that come with overloading circuits, an upgrade to a 200 amp panel will mean that there will be more power to comfortably use your devices without constant tripping. This in turn preserves the performance and extends the life of the gadgets.

Apart from the above, utility bills will reduce, and the value of your home will significantly go up due to the safety aspect that this panel upgrade comes with.

How to Upgrade The Circuit Panel

It is illegal and not wise to do an electrical upgrade on your own. It is very risky to undertake such a project without the right permits or knowledge of the best electrical practices. Dealing with amperages can be extremely dangerous and if a service panel is wired incorrectly there is a greater risk of an electrical fire or electrocution.  Hire the professional services of reputable electricians who have the expertise and knowledge to successfully complete the panel.

Platinum Electric Services has done hundreds of electrical 200 amp panel upgrades. We have highly specialized electricians who will do a thorough upgrading job. Call us today for your electrical upgrade or any emergency electrical issue.

200 AMP Panel - FAQ's

The number of circuits that can be on a 200 amp electrical panel varies depending on the manufacturer. If you have access to a 200 circuit panel there is no stopping you from that capacity as long as you are not exceeding the load of the service which is determined by doing a load calculation for your home.

A 200 amp service panel can be as little as 300 and as high as 1200 dollars depending on the size in which you wish to get. The cost to have a 200 amp service panel installed can vary depending on if you have the adequate size electrical wire or if you require a service upgrade to 200 amp.

A 200 amp panel is safely assumed to be enough power to supply very large homes. A house load calculation should be conducted if you truly wish to know if this size of a panel is required for your particular situation.

The difference between a 100 amp and 200 amp electrical panel is the size of the main breaker, the rating of the busbar in the panel, the rating of the panel enclosure, and the size of the wire supplying power to your home. A 200 amp panel can supply more power to your devices but a 100 amp panel is enough to do the job required.

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