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Robart Electrical Services Ltd. in cooperation with the city of Edmonton, Epcor meter room and the inspection group, has created a simple system for identifying the size of an electrical service in residential homes. Over the past 12 years we have offered this tool to thousands of realtors and home inspectors, in an effort to help them deal with this problem, created by the insurance industry.

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To be an upgraded 100 amp service, the following must exist:

  • a 100 amp main breaker in the main electrical panel,
  • the meter socket must be square or rectangular
  • the height of the mast above grade (3779 mm or 12’4″) above your feet standing in front of the meter.

Today, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada and the City of Edmonton, the residential services are not classified as a 100 amp service unless they meet the minimum requirement of the Canadian Electrical Code and have a 100 amp main breaker. All of the equipment ratings and the rating of the service conductors must be rated for 100 amps in order to have an upgraded service. With the push for safety, this is now a minimum standard.

A new panel with a 100 amp breaker in the basement is not an indication of a 100 amp service. Until about 6 years ago, electricians were allowed to only change the electrical panel of a 60 amp service, installing a larger newer panel with a 100 amp main breaker. Then the city decided that this practice was no longer allowed because the new 100 amp rated panel did not correct the 60 amp wiring and equipment on the outside of the house.

60 amp round meter sockets were 2.5″ deep. These were installed up to approximately 1956. The newer 100 amp rated round meter sockets were 4″ deep. After discussions with Epcor meter foreman, it was decided that because the rating of the round meter sockets could not be verified, all round meter sockets were to be classified as 60 amp.

In approximately 1956, electricians started installing round meter sockets with 2″ masts going through the soffits. In many cases, these new masts only contained #4 RW90 wiring rated for 70 amps.

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