their electricity for the amount of time it takes to install a new panel, usually a few hours. To my understanding, there is no charge for this service as it is included in the permit fee. At the end of my research, I decided it was easier to hire a certified electrician to swap my 100-amp service for a newer and larger one. As a dedicated DIYer, this decision was not easy for me to make. However, at the same time, I was not prepared to jump through all the hoops required to obtain a permit. Moreover, I’m getting too old to climb a 10-metre ladder to disconnect the #3 wire from the pole to the house and connect a new length of #3/0 wire required for a 200-amp service. Also needed would be a larger mast and connectors to receive the heavier wire at the house. Though I couldn’t get Hydro to confirm it, I believe the switch and wiring on the pole may have needed to be upgraded as well. My story has a bittersweet end. Though my DIYer’s ego received a shocking blow, the electrician I hired did save me a lot of time and, as it turned out, money. He pointed out that a 125-amp service was more than sufficient to meet my home’s power needs as I don’t have an electric furnace, air conditioner, dishwasher, hot tub or any other power-sucking amenities that require a 200-amp or larger service. Also, the new 125-amp panel did not require the #3 overhead wire to be replaced by #3/0 cable, and the mast did not need to be replaced by a heavier one. The happy result was I saved at least $1,000 on material costs, and the electrician pulled the permit with no problem. In spite of this, I remain a dedicated DIYer... if only I was 20 years younger.
To upgrade from a 125-amp to a 200-amp service, the wire from the hydro pole to the house must be increased in size to handle the extra power load. In the country,
many hydro poles in the yard have a switch located below the meter (enclosed by small grey box) that will turn off the power to the service panel inside the
house. A DIYer must ensure this switch is in the off position before he undertakes any work
on his home’s breaker box.