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How many amps does your display pull? 345?


Bobby&Bobbie

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I had Virginia Power call me last week about our Christmas display. They are concerened about the total power draw on the electrical system. Keep in mind we are two homes side by side with a total of ove a million lights. This morning they came by to do a total amp reading on the lights alone. My mothers home has two 150 amp panels and I have two 200 amp panels. They only did a reading on my home. We turned on all the breakers that are dedicated to the Christmas display along with what is normally on in the home just for living comfort. Our water heater and heat is by natural gas so no power draw there. Keep in mind this is just for my home. One panel is pulling 174 amps and the second is drawing 173 for a total true amp draw of 347 amps out of the total 400. They were amazed so was I. With such a large amperage draw they along with the county I live in have agreed to let us install a seasonal power pole with up to 400 additional amps of power that will be permenanetly installed. The meter would be installed in and out as I needed at no cost. Imagine what I could do with another 400 amps. This would be set with its own meter. This will cost me on my part about $900.00 out of my pocket. I am sure I will have this completed by next year.

Knowing how big our dislay is I am courious how much power others use. Our power bill for last December just for my home was over $1,200.00 additional for the month and my mothers was over $900.00.

Bobby

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Dang Bobby! That's a lot of juice..... I'm not entirely sure how much I'm pulling total, was just mainly concerned with the individual circuits. Using twin 200 amp panels for a 400 amp service and it can really get humming at times. I'll check it once I'm totally on and post the totals. Thankfully, as I go over more and more to LED's the electric bill is going down not up as I grow.:)

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Holy crap! You need to animate it or go to LED or something and can cut down on that power bill big time.

I think they already have! Combining the measured 345 A with the power bills leads to an estimate of 600 A for the combined million light display. 1,000,000 incandescent minis would draw 1000000 / 50 * 0.15 A = 3000 A if they were all on at the same time. A million LEDs would draw 1000000 / 35 * 0.02 A = 575 A without animation.

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I have four pictures of the houses in 2008 posted in my profile. My house We is the one with the red & white stripped shutters. Just did my moms house. We are pulling 237 out of 300 on her house. She has two 150 amp panels. If you have seen the Crazy Christmas Lights show on TLC then you have seen my mothers house with a few shots of mine as a starter.

Bobby

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I had Virginia Power call me last week about our Christmas display. They are concerened about the total power draw on the electrical system. Keep in mind we are two homes side by side with a total of ove a million lights. This morning they came by to do a total amp reading on the lights alone. My mothers home has two 150 amp panels and I have two 200 amp panels. They only did a reading on my home. We turned on all the breakers that are dedicated to the Christmas display along with what is normally on in the home just for living comfort. Our water heater and heat is by natural gas so no power draw there. Keep in mind this is just for my home. One panel is pulling 174 amps and the second is drawing 173 for a total true amp draw of 347 amps out of the total 400. They were amazed so was I. With such a large amperage draw they along with the county I live in have agreed to let us install a seasonal power pole with up to 400 additional amps of power that will be permenanetly installed. The meter would be installed in and out as I needed at no cost. Imagine what I could do with another 400 amps. This would be set with its own meter. This will cost me on my part about $900.00 out of my pocket. I am sure I will have this completed by next year.

Knowing how big our dislay is I am courious how much power others use. Our power bill for last December just for my home was over $1,200.00 additional for the month and my mothers was over $900.00.

Bobby

If you have 2 200 amp panels, you actually have 800 amps to work with. Panels are rated at 220-240 volts, your breakers are 110-120 volts which gives you the 800 amp for total use.

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If you have 2 200 amp panels, you actually have 800 amps to work with. Panels are rated at 220-240 volts, your breakers are 110-120 volts which gives you the 800 amp for total use.

How can I determine how many amps I have in my panel?

If the main breaker is 100A, that means I actually have 200A of 110-120V and should be able to find more power somewhere?

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I guess I have the same question...

Our main breaker says "200A". It's one breaker for the 2 main "legs"..

Do we really have 400A @ 120v / 200A @ 240v service?

I thought each leg was 120v so the total of both legs combined was 240v?

Confused now....

In any case, we draw just 63 amps, all on.

But we have electric hot water (30A), electric oven (50A), dryer (30A) and 2 high amperage water pumps (wet basement and leech field holding tank) so we don't want to go much more than 90 for the display...

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I guess I have the same question...

Our main breaker says "200A". It's one breaker for the 2 main "legs"..

Do we really have 400A @ 120v / 200A @ 240v service?

I thought each leg was 120v so the total of both legs combined was 240v?

Confused now....

In any case, we draw just 63 amps, all on.

But we have electric hot water (30A), electric oven (50A), dryer (30A) and 2 high amperage water pumps (wet basement and leech field holding tank) so we don't want to go much more than 90 for the display...

your main breaker-in your case says 200 amps. this means you can not exceed 200 amps on each main leg coming in. You have 400 amps to work with.

Just as a side note i ran down stairs to take my amp reading this year. I have 110 amps on one leg and 107 on the other for a total of 217amps.

This is down from last year even with adding 50,000 more lights. Less inflatables equals way less amps.

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How can I determine how many amps I have in my panel?

If the main breaker is 100A, that means I actually have 200A of 110-120V and should be able to find more power somewhere?

you got it---100 amp service = 200 amps total to play with. the problem with most 100 amp services, is there are not enough breakers to work with. You could find some extra power if you need it, by using your air conditioning circuit if you have one

bob

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I know what you are saying about the 400 amps per panel. Pull 350 amps out of a 200 amp panels and you will have one hot and loud buzzing panel. I do not believe that a 200 amp panel will pull even 300 amps continuously and safely. The power company told me this morning not to add any more to what I have now. Now if I could pull 400 out of a 200 safely why would they say to stop where I am at now? If it was safe I would not think they would offer up a pole with up to 400 more amps to use. They said that 345 amp continuous draw is about as max I could get safely. With them saying that, are you saying that I could safely pull all 345 amps out of a 200 service? Safely with all being continuous?

Bobby

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I know what you are saying about the 400 amps per panel. Pull 350 amps out of a 200 amp panels and you will have one hot and loud buzzing panel. I do not believe that a 200 amp panel will pull even 300 amps continuously and safely. The power company told me this morning not to add any more to what I have now. Now if I could pull 400 out of a 200 safely why would they say to stop where I am at now? If it was safe I would not think they would offer up a pole with up to 400 more amps to use. They said that 345 amp continuous draw is about as max I could get safely. With them saying that, are you saying that I could safely pull all 345 amps out of a 200 service? Safely with all being continuous?

Bobby

Lat year i pulled over 350 amps on my panel and had it checked by 2 electricians who usually do commercial work and gave me a passing grade. We ran into problems with not having enough power in the neighborhood and they gave us our own transformer. The usual rule is not to exceed 75% of your capacity. I exceeded that last year, but when you are computerized, you have some leeway.

with 2-200 amp panels, you actually have 800 amps to work with. you are running at 43% capacity which is fine. If your lines being fed from the pole to the panels is sized correctly there should not be an issue. It doesn't make sense to add another pole just to split the load. I suggest you bring an electrician in to check into this a litlle more. The electric company might be doing this to cover them selves. You have to remember that when they plan out the electric grids, they only figure on most homes using 30 to 40 amps on their houses.

you are not the norm and they have to provide the power you need. They could be worried about power surges coming into your house and the neighborhood and want to split it up to lessen the effects.

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Robert please know I am not arguing with you, but just getting an education on this along with what appears to be other pcrs aswell. You said that you were pulling 350 amps last year? I thought that the animated setups like yours pulled far far less power since the lights are only on for short burst most of the time. With this in mind how can you have pulled 350 amps on that? I am a old schooler here. This is my 33rd year decorating. I have been doing big trees for over 26 years. I do not know nothing about the animated stuff.

Bobby

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Robert please know I am not arguing with you, but just getting an education on this along with what appears to be other pcrs aswell. You said that you were pulling 350 amps last year? I thought that the animated setups like yours pulled far far less power since the lights are only on for short burst most of the time. With this in mind how can you have pulled 350 amps on that? I am a old schooler here. This is my 33rd year decorating. I have been doing big trees for over 26 years. I do not know nothing about the animated stuff.

Bobby

I know you are not arguing. I just wanna make sure the electric company doesn't get you to spend money you don't have too. It looks like your electrical system should handle the power.

Yes going animated does bring down your amp total. I had alot more static elements last year (inflatables and more lit blowmolds) that are energy hogs. I have also switched out for more leds which brought my total down. I have actually been adding lights to our display for the last couple years and watching my amp total drop. We used to have over 40 inflatables and know only have a few.

I just don't want you to spend the extra money for another pole if you don't have to

bob

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