Electrical Panel Upgrade
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Upgrading your electrical panel may be a necessary improvement for the safety of your home and proper function of your appliances and fixtures. A panel upgrade requires the expertise of a licensed electrician and should not be undertaken without the proper skills, tools, and precautions.
Do I Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade?
If your electrical panel is a dated fuse box or if you are experiencing problems with the electrical supply in your home, an upgrade may be necessary to provide safe and adequate service. Additionally, if you are expanding or renovating your home, an upgrade may be in order to supply power to new or changed areas. Since replacing or improving your electrical panel involves working with the electrical supply to your home as well as extensive wiring, and requires adherence to strict local codes, the job should be entrusted to a qualified electrician.
What are the Benefits of Upgrading My Electrical Panel?
Improving your electrical panel can provide more a consistent power supply throughout your home, resolving problems like flickering lights and frequent breaker trips or blown fuses. Upgrades can also allow for future expansion of your electrical system, or for the addition of a just few needed outlets. Overheating or unusual sounds emitted from your electrical panel may indicate potential fire hazards; updating the panel can resolve dangerous issues and improve the safety of your home.
What Types of Electrical Panel Upgrades Exist?
Electrical panel upgrades may range from installing additional circuit breakers in the existing box to adding a subpanel for expansion, or replacing an old fuse box or inadequate panel with a model that can provide higher energy capacity. Your electrician can evaluate the condition of your current panel with any problems you are experiencing to determine how extensive your upgrades will be.
How Long Does it Take to Upgrade an Electrical Panel?
Adding breakers to an existing panel can be completed in less than an hour, while installing a subpanel may require a few hours, depending on its location. Replacing an entire fuse box or main panel could take several hours or an entire day, considering the condition of wiring and the placement of the new panel.
What Materials are Needed for an Electrical Panel Upgrade?
In addition to the panel or box, your electrician will install circuit breakers using pliers, wire strippers, and screwdrivers. If your panel is installed in a new location, wire, wire nuts, and junction boxes may be used to extend existing wires to the new site.
Do Electrical Panel Upgrades Have any Hidden Charges?
Your electrician can evaluate the condition of your panel to accurately estimate the cost of upgrades. Though the job is generally straightforward, placing a panel or subpanel in a new location may involve extra time and materials that can increase the cost of the project. Installing and upgrading wiring, outlets or switches throughout your home is not generally included with panel upgrades however, so be sure to discuss these improvements with your contractor to price them separately or coordinate changes with your panel project.
How Much Does an Electrical Panel Upgrade Cost?
Prices for electrical panel upgrades vary by location, typically ranging from $246 to $1069, nationally. A number of project considerations and upgrade scenarios are addressed in our Electrical Panel Upgrade Price Guide. This guide, along with the recommendations of your electrician, can help you plan and budget for electrical upgrades that will improve the service and safety of your panel.