Large Home Electrical Demand

200 amp meter and main breaker. One, full main panel, and two sub panels: one 100 amp for addition, one for separate A/C of 50 amps. Total of 1,180 amps of breakers, 13 of which are all 220’s.

Too much? Local licensed electrician says that by NEC code, it totals up to be 190 amps, and the meter is adequate for this size of home.

7,500 Sq. Ft, three A/C units, two kitchens. 6 Baths.


Guessing I would say no but that doesn’t mean anything without a load calculation. Has the 200 amp OCPD ever tripped?

Adding up the sum of breakers is a worthless venture, and nothing can be determined from this practice.

I have seen very large homes supplied with 200A services. Without performing a load calculation, it’s nothing more than a guess.

I also have had that size home on 200 amps. In past cases I just say its uncommon and advise a load calculation to ensure propper sizing.
…which sounds as if it were done, so now your job is also done.

I never seen one with that size of breaker. But I guess how much of it is gas operated? Almost everything here is electric.

If the furnaces, ovens, ranges, air conditioners, and most of the larger power consuming appliances are gas operated, I can see where that might work…or you missed a panel somewhere.

All double pole 220+ breakers; all at least 30 amp: 3 for A/C units, two for electric stoves, two for clothes dryers, one for air compressor in garage, one for pool, one for hot tub, one 100 for sub panel (addition), one 60 for sub next to main panel, one for sauna in master bath. All on one 200 amp meter.

Did the electrician that signed off on the service load being NEC compliant also state that the work area clearance was compliant? How about the lack of panel covers?

I would recommend another licensed electrician give this a look see. Nothing wrong with a second opinion where fire safety is concerned.

Nice working clearances. Not.

BTW, it is 240, not 220.

It’s old style here, when talking volts: 110, 220…

I did mention the clearance and lack of metal covers, but the “master electrician” still said that it is all “compliant”.

It took me two days to write the report in October, and it has taken this long to get all of the repairs made. Agent is asking for another inspection soon, when it is all “completed”.

Think I will call Dan B. and ask him to assist.

Had my re-inspection on this home this week. Original inspection was last October. Home has been rented since. ($5K per month).

During the re-inspection day, some work was in progress. Behind a closet wall in the basement two more sub-panels were discovered by workers. This raised the demand on the 200 amp breaker considerably. I counted another 760 amps, bringing up the total on this 200 amp main to 1,940 amps. Total of 5 sub panels, all with no main breakers. Total of 240 breakers is now 19.

How many still think that this 200 main is not large enough? A master electrician has signed off on it, saying it is OK.

Pool pump was working, along with two central A/C units. I should have taken a video of the spin on the electrical meter.

I guess my job is done.

So yes the service is likely too small but you’re off the hook. Not sure what kind of electrician said that this is OK.

Back to Jim’s point, since 120/240 volts is in line with a national standard you should be using 120/240 when descirbing the system voltage. People use 110 all of time and for the most part it’s incorrect.

Please read what Jeff said above. It will add credibility to your reports vs quoting an irrelevant number from adding up the breaker ratings.

By design I could have a 20 amp circuit for a sump pump that never runs or for a future radon pump. The breakers say you just added 40 amps to the panel load while the truth is you added nothing. Adding the breaker handles also ignores load diversity from items like A/C and electric heat that do not run at the same time.

There are demand load calculation sheets on-line to help you understand what you are dealing with.


Perhaps the electrician is correct, perhaps he is incorrect. The only way to know for sure is to do a load calculation.

Your method is completely incorrect. You do not add the total of all breakers to come up with the total load. Where/How did you come up with this method? It doesn’t matter.

The pool is on it’s own 50 amp 240. There’s a separate 240 for the exterior hot tub, three 240’s for three large central A/C units, a 240 for heated tile floor, one 240 for sauna, two 240’s for clothes dryers, 5 240’s for sub panels, two 240’s for stoves, two 240’s for wall ovens, etc. etc.

If the buyer uses them all at once on a 200 amp main and meter…

The home was not occupied at the re-inspection. The pool pump was on, along with two A/C units. The 200 amp meter was spinning “blurry” fast, and the glass of the meter was warm when I touch it quickly.

Now, it’s good luck home buyer.

Well…the details are in the calculations and not in counting breaker values. Would have been interesting to have the electrician clip on an amp meter during your visit. However, again the details are in the calculations. If the Electrician says he has done the Calcs (standard or optional method) then he retains the liability if it’s incorrect…just note what the electrician said and I warn you against making added comments otherwise.

Why do I warn you?..well if it is determined later that the electrician was full of BS…you noted what he said but did not elaborate on your personal none advanced skill sets so in court you are not cited for negligence. Your adding up CB’s and personal observations are only speculations or theories until you perform your own calculations or other testing which is beyond your scope of inspection.

Just some advice and opinions is all…I know you will do the right thing my friend.