An electrical panel, also called a breaker box or distribution box, connects outdoor power lines to your home’s electrical system. An upgraded Electrical Panel can help all of the appliances, TV’s, lighting and other electronic gadgets in your home operating efficiently. These panels typical last for decades, but if your panel can’t handle the electrical load of your home, it may be the time for an upgrade. In this article we’ll examine the costs of replacing an electrical panel.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, use a professional licensed electrician for this. This is an extremely complex project that shouldn’t be carried out by unskilled weekend-warriors! According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are an average of 46,700 house fires caused by faulty electrical wiring every year. Electrical work is best performed by those who are trained in the correct electrical codes and procedures.
On average, the cost to upgrade an old electrical panel of 100 amps to a new one of 200 amps is anywhere from $1,300–$3,000. Upgrading from 60 to 100 amps costs $800–$1,500, replacing a 200-amp panel with a 300-amp panel costs $1,800–$3,500, and upgrading to 400 amps costs $2,000–$4,000. The costs can vary depending on a variety of factors. The national average for electrical panel replacement was $1174.00.
If you’re wondering, “How much is a new electrical panel?” a significant part of the cost is determined by the electrical panel’s amperage, or the strength of the electrical current.
100 amps is considered the minimum amount of amp for a home. If your home is small and doesn’t have a HVAC system, high energy-consuming appliances and uses very little electricity, a 100 amp system could be enough. Homes that were built prior to 1960 used 60-80 amp systems and should be replaced. Costs can range between $800 and $1500.
200 amps is the typical amperage size of a modern home. Most electrical panel upgrades involve replacing a 100- or 150-amp panel with a 200-amp panel. Larger homes over 1,800 square feet with additions, high energy demands, garages, and multiple appliances operating simultaneously can benefit from a 200-amp electrical panel. Costs are typically between $1300 and $3000.
This significant upgrade is rare but beneficial for larger-than-average homes or if there is a workshop attached to the house. This type of power is needed for sizable refrigeration systems, hot tubs, and high-energy appliances. Keep in mind that some utility companies may not approve this type of upgrade except for specific circumstances. Costs are around $1800-3500.
An upgrade to 400 amps is needed when specialty equipment or electronics need a massive amount of electricity. This can run from $1,500 to $4,000 or more. This upgrade is typically done with two 200-amp panels installed on opposite ends of the house, and the utility company will need to replace the wiring and meter base. These costs can rapidly rise because of the underground conduit and labor prices for installation. If the home is more than 100 feet back from the street, the cost to upgrade electrical panel components will be much higher.
When to Upgrade or Replace an Electrical Panel
Electrical panels can last anywhere from 25 to 40 years. That’s a wide range, so look out for these signs to determine when it’s time for a replacement or upgrade:
- Blinking, dimming, or flickering lights
- Frequent need to reset circuit breakers
- Buzzing, sizzling, or cracking sounds coming from outlets
- Need to unplug some appliances to use others
- Overreliance on power strips
- Damage to the panel
- Appliances running at low efficiency
- Manufactured by Federal Pacific Electric Panel or Zinsco (known to be unsafe)
If you are unsure about your home’s current electrical panel and want a professional, licensed electrician to give you an honest opinion about your needs, please reach out to GB Electric in Allentown PA. Homeowners and businesses have trusted us since 2002 to handle their residential and commercial electrical needs. Give us a call at 610-508-9525.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Electrical Panel? – Bob Vila