house electrical questions

boydo

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hey all, we just bought a old farm with a 30 amp service iin the house. the insurance company wants us to change it to a 60 or 100 amp service. just wondering whats involved with that. i dont want to rewire the house because its a 1955 and after we build the other house we will prolly put our excavator and dozer through it!! Sooooo what are my options? can i just change the 30 to a 60 or 100? any help would be great, thanks in advance!!!!
 

mxz sledhead

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I check with inspector before a do what the insurance company want their
on dope you should have good copper wiring inthe the house but for sure
check with the electrical inpector
 

ZRrrr

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I had a 1955 house and the insurance co gave me a hard time. I told them it fell under a "Grandfathered" clause and they left me alone. Not sure why, but this was advice someone else had given me. I did have an inspector check what the house had, just to be sure it wasn't over loaded or something byt the previous owners.
 

2003Summit

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Ask inspector for sure. You don't need a permit to talk to them, just call and talk. If your doing to keep it, don't put anything less than a 100amp service in even it they let you.

Often you can put a new panel in and new service and feed the old panel with the new one and leave most existing wiring in place. Just move high current items like dryer, stove, kitchen plugs, pumps, furnace over to new panel, leave the rest. If the outlets are all 2 wire (likely) you will need to replace them with three wire. You can add a ground wire to each outlet/switch. You do not need to necessarily replace the wire, just pull green wire to each plug/switch and tie it all back to the panel (you can branch it but watch gauge, check with inspector). Its not too hard to get the small green wires into the box - you can do a house in a day if its a 1 story. Some times you have to replace the old physical panel as well, but this is not a biggie. It does not need to be a split panel if you are feeding it from another panel, it can be a little 60A one and maybe fit in the same spot. Were they put the old panels often does not lend itself to putting a big new split panel there. You can also just put a single junction box there (like an 8"x8"x4") and just run all your branch circuits back to the the new panel (usually there are only 6 or 8) - inspectors will like this better as it centralizes all the breakers but is not necessarily required.

The gauge of the wire servicing the house will be more of a problem then the wire in the house

It all has to comply with todays electrical codes all around as it's a significant upgrade. They WILL inspect it. Don't cheat on this, if the house burns they will find it in the fire inspection and your insurance will not cover you if you defrauded them. Be honest with them.
 

Haggis

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Have gone through this to some extent with my 'flip' in Tofield. House had upgraded 100 amp panel that existing panel was tied onto as a sub panel - just like 2003Summit said with big power draw items being given their own breaker on the new 100 Amp panel.

Your house will likely have 2 pin outlets with no ground. You could pull ground wires to all outlets from the new 100 amp panel but that is a major pain so just install GFCI outlets instead. As long as the GFCI is placed in the correct position it will protect all other outlets on that circuit which can then be changed to normal 3 pin outlets also. This meets code and is way easier than pulling new ground cable to all the boxes.

If it is aluminum wiring or the insulation on the copper wire is brittle - it is a rewire for the whole house. I would suggest having an electrician come in and have a look and go from there. Good luck.
 

tbosch

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hey all, we just bought a old farm with a 30 amp service iin the house. the insurance company wants us to change it to a 60 or 100 amp service. just wondering whats involved with that. i dont want to rewire the house because its a 1955 and after we build the other house we will prolly put our excavator and dozer through it!! Sooooo what are my options? can i just change the 30 to a 60 or 100? any help would be great, thanks in advance!!!!

By the sounds of things you need a cheap temporary fix.You will need to obtain a permit to perform this work. Once thats in place, take the info off of your current main breaker and call your local wholesaler such as eecol, westburne, nedco etc. Get the equivalent breaker in 60A. You will also need to check the incoming wires feeding the main breaker. I believe you will need # 8 awg wire but you should check code first, this may be the biggest PITA depending on how the main is run (above ground, below ground). Chances are being a farm theres a distribution point somewhere with a number of meters and disconnects. All you have to do is swap new wire with old (sounds easy but this may be after diggin 100' of wire in):eek: . As the home owner you can do all the work yourself with no problems if you feel comfortable, but you need to have an inspector from your regional municipality come inspect and sign off on the work. PM me if you have any questions.
 

Top Dog

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Check out oldmanwinter he is an electrician just north of edmonton about 1/2 hr:d
 

boydo

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thanks for the info!! i want to rent this house for a while so i dont want to do a mickey mouse job...but i dont want to be in this for big bucks either
 

2003Summit

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Have gone through this to some extent with my 'flip' in Tofield. House had upgraded 100 amp panel that existing panel was tied onto as a sub panel - just like 2003Summit said with big power draw items being given their own breaker on the new 100 Amp panel.

Your house will likely have 2 pin outlets with no ground. You could pull ground wires to all outlets from the new 100 amp panel but that is a major pain so just install GFCI outlets instead. As long as the GFCI is placed in the correct position it will protect all other outlets on that circuit which can then be changed to normal 3 pin outlets also. This meets code and is way easier than pulling new ground cable to all the boxes.

If it is aluminum wiring or the insulation on the copper wire is brittle - it is a rewire for the whole house. I would suggest having an electrician come in and have a look and go from there. Good luck.

Ya I forgot about the GFCI plugs. That is a good option as well. Cheep and easy if the municipality lets you do it, most should, I think it's code. We did ours with the ground wires because the access was good and it wasnt too big of a job. Good point on the brittle wire too. Most 1955 should be ok, but you got to check it carefully. Aluminum wire will break if you bent it about 3 times, this is normal. Be very careful with it and don't bend it much. You can pig tail copper wires onto the AL if you use the right connectors and the anti-oxidant gunk they sell.

Like others are saying, if you are not sure, get an electrician in at least to tell you what needs to be done if nothing else.
 

Summiteer

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All plugs and switches you can get now are for copper wire only, you must pigtail copper onto the aluminium properly.........just have an electrician check it out.
 
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