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Thread: 150 amp cable?

  1. #1
    alain moscoso's Avatar
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    Default 150 amp cable?

    A home inspector advised to change the cable that feeds the house from 100 amps to 150 amps. Is this mandatory? An electrician tells me it's not necessary because the electrical consumption in the house doesn't call for that.

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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    What was the basis for the request? Did the HI perform a demand load calculation?


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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    You haven't told us nearly enough to FULLY or even partially answer your implied question or complaint. Your post reads incomplete and like a seller unpleased with a buyer's renegotiation list following their having exercised their home inspection option/contingency.

    Few points:

    1. This is not a DIY forum. However, although we could possibly address your questions, or at least help provide information to help you on your decision making path, you have not provided even minimal information to address.

    2. "Home Inspectors" versus "Code Inspectors", "housing inspectors" versus your electrical utility requirements. "Home Inspectors" can't "mandate" or "make" you or anyone "do" anything. If a buyer has not accepted the findings of a home inspector and makes a counter list of "demands" for corrections or renegotiates their purchase offer to the buyer based on their "inspection report" that is their perogative. If the seller chooses to not accept, again their perogative. Depends how you wish to negotiate, and if you're willing to "walk away" or lose the deal.

    3. You haven't "identified" the cable type, called it "feeding the panel", haven't indicated if this "panel" being "fed" is the service point or a distribution panel, you haven't indicated if there is circuit protection before this "panel" and if so what (and rating) or if this panel is the primary service, and if so, if there is a "main" or if this is a split bus which has multiple service disconnects, one of which is a "receptacle and lighting main". For example in many parts of virginia it is common to have a meter and main disconnect outdoors, and a feeder circuit to a power panel for the residence. The cable "feeding" a panel requires circuit protection. We have no details, no pictures, nothing.

    4. You did not share the "reasoning" or the full explanation regarding what the "home inspector" ACTUALLY said/reported. You did not share "report language" "summary language" "recommendations" or pictures. For all we know you have an undersided "feeder" and this has nothing to do with your service entrance cables, note you said "being fed" or something to that effect.

    5. You claimed the electrician said something - doesn't sound exactly like electrician language, yet implies some sort of off the cuff "load determination" with no mention of a "load calculation" and yet still fails to provide details.

    If you'd care to actually share the whole "picture" with at minimum some of the DETAILS, perhaps you could be guided to resources that you might find useful. There are a number of DIY sites on the internet, this is not one of them.


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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    Jesus H. Christ- Professor Watson, have some spare time or what?

    Way to scare the average person way from this site. He said the Home Inspector and electrician. Did he mention anything about DIY??

    You're one of the reasons i usually go to friendlier H.I. sites for my relaxation time. I'm sure Brian has his hands full trying to manage this place.


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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    I didn't read anything in the original post that inferred Alain is attempting to perform any electrical work herself so I'm not sure where the whole DIY rant came from.

    But more detail would be more helpful. Alain, please provide some more detail such as what the inspector said in his report and what he told you verbally as to why the cable needed to be bumped up from 100 amps to 150.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by neal lewis View Post
    Criminy, Professor Watson, have some spare time or what?

    Way to scare the average person way from this site. He said the Home Inspector and electrician. Did he mention anything about DIY??

    You're one of the reasons i usually go to friendlier H.I. sites for my relaxation time. I'm sure Brian has his hands full trying to manage this place.
    Neal, we expect this post to be reported to Brian as inflammatory, so please refrain.

    To the original poster, please tell us more - size and age of home, heating system, do you have gas? Electric appliances? Electric heat? Hot tub? Post a 640 X 480 pic of the service panel if possible.

    Some patience is called for all around.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by alain moscoso View Post
    A home inspector advised to change the cable that feeds the house from 100 amps to 150 amps. Is this mandatory? An electrician tells me it's not necessary because the electrical consumption in the house doesn't call for that.
    I answered the only actual question, "IS THIS MANDATORY".
    I covered if this was a "home inspector", or since this question is obviously not from a HI, covered bases if not what WE consider a HOME INSPECTOR.

    Obviously the poster is NOT an HI. OP did not indicate if was HOME OWNER/SELLER, future HOMEOWNER/BUYER, HOMEOWNER, Investor owner, occupant, etc.

    OP did not give information regarding basis of "home inspector's" "advice", or reason for it, assuming OP actually understood and correctly relayed what HI's "advice" actually was.

    Supposedly an "electrician" was consulted - on site, over the phone, on the internet, who knows.

    I covered the bases. I invited further participation.

    There was only one actual question, I answered it, as fully and completely as it could be given the information.

    It was being composed before any other participation had taken place, a prior post moments before was short and was composed and posted while I was already in the process of writing, and previewing, but before I hit post.

    AS an HI, surprised you're not "offended" at the idea suggested by Mr. Port that an HI would endeavor to perform a demand load calculation, or that Mr. Kogel seems to be inviting to do so.


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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Originally Posted by neal lewis
    Criminy, Professor Watson, have some spare time or what?
    ...




    Actually, Neal didn't post "Criminy". I have no problem with what he did post, but it's probably best if we don't edit what others have posted. Slippery slope and all that. If you object to his language, you don't have to include it.

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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I didn't read anything in the original post that inferred Alain is attempting to perform any electrical work herself so I'm not sure where the whole DIY rant came from.

    But more detail would be more helpful. Alain, please provide some more detail such as what the inspector said in his report and what he told you verbally as to why the cable needed to be bumped up from 100 amps to 150.
    Interesting gender assignment. I've only met males named "Alain". Always considered it to be the masculine french form of "Alan".

    Your characterization of my post as a "whole DIY rant" is unjustified.


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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    I read the name in my mind as sounding like "Elaine" but with an "A" at the beginning, hence my assumption the poster is a female. Maybe Alain will chime back in and settle this brouhaha.

    Perhaps "rant" was the wrong term. However, there was nothing stated within the original post to indicate Alain was going to attempt any DIY electrical work. And I never said your entire post was a DIY rant HG. But..... you did open and end it with a bent against DIY electrical work.

    Whether some members of this board like it or not, the fact is that homeowners find this site and use it as a resource and sometimes post questions. It does not bother me. Instead of bristling at their questions, maybe we can appreciate the fact that they view home inspectors as reputable professionals who can be trusted to know what they are talking about and give an unbiased opinion.

    In my opinion (unless they ask for it ), homeowners who post here should be treated with the same tact and courtesy as our paying clients.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by alain moscoso View Post
    A home inspector advised to change the cable that feeds the house from 100 amps to 150 amps. Is this mandatory? An electrician tells me it's not necessary because the electrical consumption in the house doesn't call for that.

    To me ... he sounds like a seller who was told to increase the service size and had an electrician come out who ask "Why?"

    To answer the question in a different way that H. G. did: No, nothing any home inspector writes up is "mandatory" as home inspectors have no enforcement powers.

    That said, many clients of home inspectors (buyers in this example) will want everything which is on the report to be corrected, and frequently, maybe even most of the time, if the home inspector did their job properly, the buyer would be right is asking for all that stuff to be corrected.

    At that point, however, it becomes a negotiation between the seller and the buyer, and if the seller wants or needs to sell more than the buyer wants or needs to buy ... the seller loses. In this market - there are typically A LOT of homes to chose from, and A VERY FEW number of buyers for sellers to find, which means the seller is - in this market - on the short end of the stick negotiation-wise. Although I have seen seller hold their ground and not regret it (but most do regret it as it takes a longer time to hook another buyer, and usually the price has to come down to do so).

    Just pointing out that it is all part of the negotiation, and the answer is: "It depends." You take it from there.

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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    AS an HI, surprised you're not "offended" at the idea suggested by Mr. Port that an HI would endeavor to perform a demand load calculation, or that Mr. Kogel seems to be inviting to do so.
    No, I don't do load calcs for anybody. Just looking for some insight as to why a home inspector made that call.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    To JK, I am not an HI, nor do I know what is within your SOP as an HI. I only asked about a load calculation as that is the only true way to ascertain whether the service is correctly sized or not.


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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    To JK, I am not an HI, nor do I know what is within your SOP as an HI. I only asked about a load calculation as that is the only true way to ascertain whether the service is correctly sized or not.
    I wouldn't argue that a load calc is necessary to find out how large the service needs to be. But, that doesn't seem to be the issue. The issue seems to be whether the wire feeding the main disconnect is of a sufficient size.

    In virtually all areas I work in all the wire prior to the "point of service" (the top end of the wires that enter the mast or the connection to the line terminals of a meter where fed from underground) are sized by the utility to whatever they feel is needed - or sometimes whatever is available on the truck. If these are undersized, or just look that way, it is a utility issue.

    The wires in a mast and between the meter and service disconnect are sized at installation (hopefully) for the service overload protection. This is usually easy to determine if there is a main breaker or fuses. It can get quite confusing if a split buss panel is involved. It also a problem if a bootleg panel upgrade has been done where an old 60 or 100 Amp panel has been changed out to a 125-200 AMP with a main breaker and the service enterance wiring and meter housing haven't been upgraded to feed it.

    It looks like the call should have been that "the service needs to be evaluated by a professional" if there were any questions.


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    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by alain moscoso View Post
    A home inspector advised to change the cable that feeds the house from 100 amps to 150 amps. Is this mandatory? An electrician tells me it's not necessary because the electrical consumption in the house doesn't call for that.
    Seems this was really pretty simple ... there is one question and the answer is NO...

    With that settled ... it now takes all of us to make it complicated....


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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    Seems this was really pretty simple ... there is one question and the answer is NO...

    With that settled ... it now takes all of us to make it complicated....
    That doesn't take near enough posts. Nothing to cut and paste ad nauseum. No arguments. Where's the fun in that? Heck, HG only got seven short blurbs out of this one first go 'round.


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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    To JK, I am not an HI, nor do I know what is within your SOP as an HI. I only asked about a load calculation as that is the only true way to ascertain whether the service is correctly sized or not.
    I understand that, and I saw what you were getting at. Without knowing the load, there's no basis for saying the supply is inadequate.
    The question is ambiguous because the terms used probably don't really reflect what the poster means to say. Not enough info.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    I'm getting away with 60amp service in my early 60's ranch. We have nat gas for heat, WH and cooking so we don't need that much electrical juice.

    We have fuses and we popped one of the mains a few years back. I rearranged a few circuits to balance the loads between the two buses and havn't had a problem since.

    The trick was to keep the kitchen and bathroom circuits on opposite buses. You could imagine the AC and electric dryer on with an electric appliance in the kitichen running. She turns on the hair dryer in the bathroom and there goes on of the mains. All the individuals survive. So, dividing those higher potential circuits to opposite buses solved the problem for me.


  19. #19
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: 150 amp cable?

    I believe that the key is 'the cable that feeds the house.'

    In ordinary circumstances, this is the power company feeder - and beyond the jurisdiction of the homeowner, the electrician, the city, or anyone else. The power company alone, using their own standards, has the say.

    This is one reason that you get permits for service changes - so the PoCo has the opportunity to review your useage, and decide whether they need to upgrade the wires, the transformer, or anything else.

    Open air, different insulation, etc ... all reasons thet only thr PoCo is competent to make this call.


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