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Electrical Panel Replacement Costs: The Complete Guide

  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Nova Kainen
  • 9 minutes

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¬†We all live in a world where it would be impossible to survive even one day without electricity.¬†¬†Therefore, it is imperative to maintain the electrical system in your home in good operating order. The ongoing problems of flickering lights, blown fuses, and broken home equipment are something that nobody wants to deal with. But once these problems arise, it means that it’s time to fix or upgrade the electrical panel in your house. Knowing the cost in advance helps you to replace the electrical panel helping you to encounter these issues.¬†

What you need to know about this crucial home repair, including when it’s time to undertake the job and how much a typical electrical panel replacement costs, will be covered in this article. ¬†

Cost to replace electrical panel

What is an electrical panel? 

The electrical panel is the foundation of your home’s electrical system as long as it relies on electricity rather than solar power or another alternative source. An electrical panel is often a sizable grey box hidden away in your home; consider the basement, garage, or even a closet. The panel comprises rows of switches, each of which regulates energy for a separate component of your house, including systems and big appliances like your refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, and dryer.¬†

The switches may “trip” due to a power surge, cutting off power to that specific area of your home (or appliance). If this happens frequently, it could be time to fix or upgrade your home’s electrical panel. However, if it only happens occasionally, turning the switch on will bring the power back on.¬†

How much does it cost you to replace your electrical panel? 

The average cost of replacing an electrical panel is about $2,500. Still, depending on whether you’re upgrading to a newer, more powerful one or replacing it with an identical one, you may pay as little as $800 or as much as $10,000.¬†

You could spend as little as $800 to replace a basic 100-amp panel without any surrounding housing. However, it will cost roughly $2,500 to replace a panel with a new model and housing. A 400-amp panel replacement will cost you at least $10,000 in new housing. 

Depending on how much energy needs to be controlled, different electrical panels will cost different amounts to replace.  

Right amperage for your home and the corresponding cost incurred

  • The standard for most typical homes is 100 amps, which is the minimum. Costs range from $500 to $1,500 on average to upgrade an electrical panel for 100 amps. ¬†
  • If your homes operate numerous appliances simultaneously, then you may consider upgrading to 150 amps. Unfortunately, replacing an electrical panel will cost you between $500 and $1,750.¬†
  • For residences larger than 1,800 square feet or those with high energy needs, 200 amps are advised. A 200-amp electrical panel upgrade will cost you between $750 and $2,000.¬†
  • 400 amps upgrades are reserved for residences with the highest energy demand, such as those with specialized equipment or a garage or workshop. The price for this upgrade ranges from $1,000 to $4,000.¬†

Last but not least, the cost of a unit may vary depending on whether it is a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) or an AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter). You might have to pay between $30 and $100 for each of these parts if your region needs them. You’ll have to pay up to 10 times as much for this added security. Your electrician should take care of this but be prepared for an additional fee.¬†

How do I know if the electrical panel needs to be replaced? 

Even though an old electric panel might not seem like a huge concern for you, it can be the reason for a fire hazard. The Electrical Safety Foundation International estimates that household electrical fires cause 51,000 fires annually, more than 500 fatalities, and $1.3 billion in property damage. 

It’s time for you to upgrade the electrical panel, especially when living in a home over 25 years old. By doing so, you can avoid severe dangers.¬†

Here are some of the signs that tell you that it is time for you to upgrade or replace the electrical panel: 

  • Regular power surges or tripped breakers¬†
  • Hot electrical panel emitting smoke¬†
  • Lights flickering frequently¬†
  • Rusty or broken panels that produce strange noises¬†
  • More outlets to be installed¬†

Get your electrical panel upgraded or maintained for any of these good reasons. It’s crucial to have a panel that complies with current industry requirements can manage the amount of power needed for your home, and can handle those two things at the same time.¬†

What are the factors that affect the cost of replacing an electrical panel? 

There are several factors to consider when estimating the price of replacing an electrical panel. To begin, keep in mind that the average hourly pay for an electrician is between $50 and $100. This means that the labor cost will increase proportionally with the complexity of your electrical project. 

You should take into account the following before calculating the cost of replacing the electrical panel: 

  • Types of electrical panel¬†

The cost to replace the panel varies based on the type of electrical panel. Some of these are the main lug panel, the main breaker panel, subpanels, and fuse boxes. 

  • The amperage of the electrical panel¬†

For different amperages, the cost incurred will also vary. The different amperages involved and related costs are explained above. 

  • Location of the electrical panel¬†

An increase in labor costs is expected if the electrical panel is located in places where it is difficult to access. 

It costs an average of $1,500 to $2,000 to relocate an electrical panel to an outside location. It will be more expensive if we have to relocate the electrical box as well. The typical price range for drywall repair is $300‚Äď$850 or roughly $1.50 per square foot.¬†

  • Materials required¬†

You need to replace electrical wiring, circuits, and outlets in addition to the panel if it is to function properly after upgrading or replacement. As a result, as the demand for supplies increases, you will expect a rise in the total cost. 

  • Labor and Permits¬†

The labor involved in changing an electrical panel drives up the price. The hourly rates of many electricians might range from $40 to $120 or more. An increase in labor costs from $100 to $450 is common if an electrician must access wire behind walls. In addition, expenses would increase due to the need for drywall maintenance like repair and patching. 

Changing out an electrical service panel calls for a permit. Permits can cost anywhere from $50 to $300 or more. 

Why is upgrading your electrical panel worth the cost? 

An electrical panel is usually placed in the basement of your house, making you completely ignorant of its presence. As a result, it is usually too late when you come to know that it is time to replace the electric panel.  

Now you will know the various reasons why it is useful to upgrade the electrical panel. 

  • Option to install additional outlets¬†

Repairing or installing electrical wiring is not a simple task, and it does not come cheaply. However, when you improve your electric panel, you can install additional outlets at strategic locations throughout your home. In addition, electricians can more efficiently complete all the work at once, saving you tons of money on labor costs if you schedule them all at once. 

  • Efficient power usage¬†

Over the past few decades, a dramatic shift in the efficiency requirements for the electricity used to power devices occurred. As a result, an up-to-date electric panel and electrical system throughout the house ensure that each outlet and appliance receive the required electricity, reducing wear and tear on equipment and costs associated with running them. 

  • Ensure home safety¬†

Studies suggest that electricity starts about 51,000 residential electrical fires each year, making it the second leading cause of structure fires. Therefore, upgrading your electric panels to industry standards is imperative to minimize the risk of fire. 

How can you save money on electrical panel replacement costs? 

Though you shouldn’t attempt a DIY electrical panel upgrade, there are still some ways to save money: ¬†

Replace what needs to be replaced 

It can be less expensive to replace individual circuits than to rewire an entire house if the existing wiring is in good repair. However, don’t skimp if you’re told you need to rewire the entire house. You can avoid two hazards like overloading and fires by replacing the wiring in your home.¬†

Get multiple quotes 

Find reputable electricians in your area and try to get at least three quotes. 

  • Combine renovation projects¬†

It is sometimes cheaper to replace the electrical panel at the same time as other electrical work, such as installing additional outlets or wiring an addition. Inquire of your electrician whether or not including a replacement project would reduce the cost. 

  • Upgrade your panels at the right time¬†

Although the upfront cost of upgrading solar panels may seem high, you will save money in the long term and see a return on your investment when you sell your home. 

  • Determine the electrical load¬†

Knowing the electrical load in advance will help avoid picking an electrical panel larger than what you need and help avoid power wastage and unwanted costs. 

Can you replace the electrical panel yourself? 

Trying to install an electrical panel without proper training and skills can lead to costly repairs or even a fire. In addition, if an untrained homeowner installs an electrical panel, the insurance company may refuse to pay for any damages to the home.  

A licensed and qualified electrician should only attempt the replacement of an electrical panel and associated wiring. 

It is good to have home insurance to protect yourself and your home. For example, homeowners’ insurance normally covers electrical panel replacement. It happens usually when unexpected risks like fires and those listed in the insurance policy cause damage.¬†

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