Is there any reason I can't install a 200 amp main breaker panel on a 100 amp service if I remove the main breaker and install a 100 amp breaker on the bus? I need to replace my old panel but I'm not upgrading to 200 amp at this time. Nothing else will be changed, just installing a new panel. Upgrade comes later.

  • What make and model is your new panel? Not all panel lines support a 100A breaker in a 200A frame size... Nov 5, 2018 at 1:55
  • I'm considering EATON using the CH breakers. Hope that's answered correctly. Model - not known yet.
    – KCB3rd
    Nov 5, 2018 at 3:33
  • CH is a great panel, and it's especially a good idea if your existing breakers are already CH. Nov 5, 2018 at 7:18

2 Answers 2


This is fine

Eaton panels (CH and BR) with buswork upwards of 125A all use the same main breaker frame size these days (the CSR frame), and breakers in this frame are available from 100 thru 225A. So, you can take a 200A or 225A CH panel (which you can get in sizes up to a whopping 60 spaces!) and install a CSR2100 main breaker into it, and be good to go for your application.


Yes, that's fine - heck, it's practically mandatory.

Manufacturers vary, but looking in the big box stores, you almost can't get a 100A panel larger than 20 space - and that's just too darned small for a house.

We see plenty of 20 space panels totally filled with double-stuffs, a tactic no longer practical now that so many circuits need to be AFCI or GFCI. It's plain from the panels we see that even 30 spaces are not enough and are likey to totally fill, with the person coming back here going "How can I add to this panel?" Really I wouldn't consider less than a 42 space unless the situation was very special. Maybe even dual 30‘s depending on layout (mich cheaper than a 60-space).

The problem is all of those large-enough panels will tend to come with 150, 200 or 225 amp breakers. You have to swap in a 100A to get a useful panel.

Or alternately, get a 100A breaker in the upper left spaces, and backfeed it and just don't use the main..... but you'd want very good coverup and labeling to steer your panicked girlfriend or fireman working by flashlight to the correct main.

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