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Question DetailsAsked on 10/16/2013

Electrical Service Upgrade

I am building a garage addition with a master bedroom suite above. The project includes adding a sub panel onto my 100 amp service. I am considering upgrading to 200 amps or would I be able to add a seperate 100 amp service for the addition. What would be the most cost effective or best way to approach this?

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3 Answers


I'm a home inspector and not an electrician. An electrician would be better to answer this. But from my perspective upgrading to 200 amp service would be recommended. You will need a new service panel and possibly a new service line to your panel and a new meter. This may also require you to upgrade some or all the electrical system throughout the house. Like GFCI outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms. An electrician will be able to properly inform you what the code will require.

This would give you enough power to do your project unless you plan on having the garage as a work shop. But even then your power supply may be big enough with a 200 amp service.

This will also help the resale of you home. An upgraded/updated electric system is alway a benefit.


Answered 6 years ago by Homefront Inspection


In reality you maybe need three 20 amp circuits to complete the addition as you describe it. I don't understand why you need another 100 amps of service. As the AHJ above described, by upgrading your service you are opening a whole can of worms and their associated expenses.

Answered 6 years ago by Steve0512


As alluded to in the other comments, if you upgrade your main panel then, by law and code in most areas, you will have to upgrade ALL the breakers to new GFCI/AFCI breakers, may have to do some wiring upgrades, etc - which if very old might be a good idea anyway, but definitely more expensive than adding a separate panel run on an independent fee from the main service connect outside.

Either way, you will have to upgrade your service for higher amperage. You say you have a 100A service - so that will have to be upgraded to 200A, which may just mean upgrading the outside main disconnect/breaker box and breaker, or may mean replacing your service feed from the utility's transformer and the meter as well.

There are a number of other answers to the panel / service upgrade issue in the Home > Electrical link right under your question.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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