Planning to buy an Eichler and it has 60amp electrical boxes. I plan to put new appliances in the kitchen. Do I need to update electrical to 100amps?

Asked by Ken Shuman, San Francisco, CA Thu Oct 20, 2011

We are not changing the total number of appliances or even the location, just pulling out the old stove, oven, dishwasher and fridge. We plan to update with newer, modern appliances. Would this still require a major update to our electrical? If yes, does this mean getting permits from the city and having PG&E come to the house to do the major upgrade?

Thanks in advance for the help and guidance - Ken

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6
K, , Sausalito, CA
Thu Oct 20, 2011
Hi Ken,

What Steve said could be true. You might not need to upgrade to a new 100 amp service.

However, it might also prove prudent to upgrade if you are purchasing the home for a couple reasons

The first would be resale value. 100 amp service is the minimum which most modern households are run on. With today's demand for computing power and AV systems, 200 amp service is fairly standard. It might prove a determent to you if you ever sell the house to have only 60 amp service.

The other reason is dovetails with the first in that in Eichler's day, we did not have the demand for electricity we now require. You might find you need the 100 amp service for computers, video monitors, AV equipment, etc.


I would recommend calling an electrical contractor and getting a professional opinion. A good one will do a free consultation and give you good advice. A contractor can also do much of the prep work for the upgrade therefore saving you some cash otherwise spent on PGE. PGE will have to do the final hookup.

The cost of upgrading might be able to be rolled into a mortgage if you are getting. A home improvement loan is another option.

Hope that helps!

Where is your Eichler?

Kevin Cullen
Web Reference:  http://kjcullen.com
3 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Oct 20, 2011
Ken:

“We are not changing the total number of appliances or even the location, just pulling out the old stove, oven, dishwasher and fridge. We plan to update with newer, modern appliances. Would this still require a major update to our electrical?”

I would start with an appliance schedule that lists amperages and/or BTU measures. Then, start to look at how you currently use the kitchen to get a feel for whether electrical/btu usage of the new appliances might be a problem. For example, do you cook and run the dishwasher at the same time?


“If yes, does this mean getting permits from the city and having PG&E come to the house to do the major upgrade?”

It may come to pass that new efficiencies of the appliances will allow you to bypass costly capacity upgrades; however, if this is not be the case (and you do not want to change how you cook/clean) you will need to get permits to upgrade the electrical panel capacity and/or the PG&E supply.

-Steve
2 votes
Joe Nernberg, , Calabasas, CA
Thu Oct 20, 2011
Currently, the minimum electrical service is 100-amps. You definitely need PG&E to spot the new panel/meter for you. The utility company has the right to move the panel/meter from the back to the side yard (as an example). A city permit is required. The difference in cost between a 100-amp and 200-amp panel is less than a pair of nice running shoes.

Consider a kitchen in a "new" home usually gets 6 circuit breakers. That should tell you that Joseph Eichler didn't factor in the power needs of personal computers, a microwave oven, sub zero refrigerator, flat screen TV and an X-Box.

Does this home still have the radiant heating system?
0 votes
Nigel Faulkn…, Agent, San Rafael, CA
Thu Oct 20, 2011
Hi Ken;

Whats the short / long term plan, are you moving in / buying , rerenting or considering selling?

Agreed with most comments below, if just repalcing appliances with new more energy effecient ones, would not think you need to upgrade to 100 AMs, but would be nice is it worth the cost. Have an electrician check the condition of current system & panel. Outlets in kitchen & bathrooms should be changed to GFI plugs -(grounded fault breaker outlets).

Yes need a permit for Electrical upgrade for sure, a licensed electrician to do it.

You also mention it needs some other upgrades, what else needs updating. depending on your end plan will change how much and where you want to spend the money. Check, what are the comparable houses in Terra Linda worth, don't over improve for the short term.

Happy to help provide resources for contractors / electricians / painters once we look at the property together see what your plans & budget are?

Good luck. Nigel
0 votes
Mary Kay and…, Agent, San Rafael, CA
Thu Oct 20, 2011
Ken,

A contractor or an electrician would be the best resources for that question. If you are having a contractor's report done as part of the inspection process, just ask during the inspection.

We have good contractors and electricians if you need a referral!!

Mary Kay and Kathy
0 votes
Ken Shuman, Home Owner, San Francisco, CA
Thu Oct 20, 2011
Thanks, guys! I appreciate the advice.

Kevin - the Eichler is on Montecillo Rd and has been a family home for 30 years and a rental for the last 16 years. Definitely needs some upgrades. Trying to figure out the right sequence to get it all done. Can't do everything at once so trying to determine what is most important!
0 votes
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