Size of electrical service is expressed in Amperes (Amps) and is limited by the ampacity of the main breaker eg. 100A or 200A. Virtually all homes connected to power grid have both 120 and 240 Volts coming in. The electric service upgrade doesn’t change the voltage. The only thing that changes with a service upgrade is the amount of electricity available in your home. Service upgrade doesn’t change your branch circuits and the house wiring. Your breakers will still trip if the circuits are overloaded. What was not working right, will remain not working until it is specifically addressed. Installing a new service to eliminate this problem will most likely end in a disappointment. Service upgrade gives you the potential to add more circuits for the new addition, kitchen or appliances to be installed and used.
Typical upgrade includes following:
- Removal of all existing electrical service equipment – mast/riser, meter socket, service entrance conductors, electrical panel etc.
- Furnish and install new electrical equipment
- Properly ground and bond per code – new ground wire to main water line jumped over the water meter in addition to new ground wire to 8 ft grounding rod
- Label all breakers in your new electrical panel
- Upgrade of overhead conductors from utility pole to the service point (house). This part is usually done by the utility company (ComEd in Chicago area) free of charge if they even determine it’s necessary.
Many municipalities in Chicagoland have set a minimum electric service size when upgrading. Usually 200A. Park Ridge sets the size by the square footage of the house. If your house is bigger than 3500 SQF including the basement and the garage you’ll be required to have 400A electric service. In most cases the service should be upgraded to 200 Amps even if it’s not required by the city or the village. The cost difference between a 150A and 200A service is minimal.
If you have questions about your electrical service call ComEd Electrical Service Department at 866-639-3532.
Why do you need to upgrade electric service?
- Unsafe due to age or water damage
- Adding A/C unit (HVAC)
- Adding an double oven, hot tub, spa, welder, power equipment in your garage, etc.
- New home additions
- Kitchen renovations
Water damage is very common reason for electric service upgrade. Improperly installed service head, fork bolt or eye plate may cause water to drip into the meter socket and/or panel causing corrosion of connections, bars or even breakers. This will increase the resistance of connections and produce heat. Possible symptoms are flickering lights, crackling sounds, warm breakers and burning smell, all signs of fire or shock hazard.
What to expect?
- Your new electrical panel will have at least 40 breaker positions and plenty room for future expansion
- We will install breakers according the feeder wire size (15A for 14AWG, 20A for 12 AWG) and label them properly
- You could be without power for 2-8 hours during the upgrade. We will not leave your house until the power is back on.
Call us today at 312-404-6948 to schedule free consultation about electric service upgrade.