Tips for an Electrical Panel Upgrade

Tips for an Electrical Panel Upgrade

Have you been thinking about an electric panel upgrade for your house? Have you seen signs that you want an upgrade? Was an upgrade recommended to you? Have you been looking for ways to add value to your house? Are you wondering just how much an electrical panel replacement costs for your house?

You will find any number of reasons for pondering an electrical service upgrade. Many homes today require them, although, and it’s something homeowners tend to put off doing.

So, great for you for beginning to consider that!

We will be speaking about the whole process – start to finish – in this article.

What’s an Electric Panel Upgrade?
Understanding what the electric upgrade process entails is actually crucial, although many folks do not know. Unfortunately, if you have not had noticeable problems with your electrical system, you have not had much incentive to find out about upgrades.

In fact, though, you must know about electrical upgrades and why they’re usually needed. Circuits that are actually faulty or perhaps overloaded could be dangerous and perhaps start a fire in your home.

Signs You Want an Electrical Panel Upgrade

Many common electrical issues are actually connected to a faulty electrical panel since the panel is actually connected to the entire electrical system. Therefore, when the panel is actually malfunctioning, the harm is actually likely spread throughout the house.

As one electrical contractor put it: “Your electrical panel is actually like the heart of yours – it is essential to the all-around health of your system.”

The following sections explain some reasons you should think about an electric panel upgrade for the home of yours shortly:

Your Home Still Has a Fuse Box, or perhaps Your Electrical Panel is actually Unsafe for Other Reasons.

Fuse boxes were the norm for homes through the 1960s, and quite a few homes still have them today. If yours is actually one of them, the fuse box should be changed.

It is not that the fuse box is actually dangerous in and of itself, although it can be pretty inconvenient to have to keep replacing fuses. Instead, it is the different stopgap measures folks may have taken over the years to help keep the boxes functional.

These include inserting other metal objects and coins into the fuse slots to stay away from buying new fuses. Marginally useful, that’s – and at risk that is great.

For both fuse boxes and circuit breakers, you must inspect the power panel, checking for things such as:

Whether it’s unusually warm or perhaps hot
You hear crackling sounds coming from it
You see rust or perhaps corrosion on the circuit breakers
Name of the manufacturer There are still some known faulty panels out there, so check yours is not one of them. If it’s, have it replaced instantly. The makers of these panels are actually Federal Pacific Electric (FPE), Zinsco, and Pushmatic.

If you are concerned that your electric panel might be a faulty or perhaps recalled model installed many years ago, do a search for the manufacturer’s name or perhaps call the utility company of yours or perhaps an electrician to learn for sure.

Circuit Breakers that Often Have to Be Reset

Even in case you (or a previous owner) got rid of the old fuse box long ago, the circuit breakers that replaced it might be outdated now too.

If your house was built before, say, 1990, it most likely has a hundred to 150 amp service, which was good for meeting most 20th century home electrical needs. Nowadays, however, the standard is actually 200 amps.

See the discussion below of the “heavy up” for more on what this means.

Inappropriate Electrical Outlets throughout the House
Look for:

Outlets that are actually damaged Outlets with only 2 prongs, which means they’re not grounded, and there is a threat of electrocution or perhaps a fire.
In areas around water, there are actually no ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Unfortunately, this also can result in injury that is serious or perhaps even death by electrocution.

Types of Electrical Panel Upgrades

Upgrading your electrical panel can mean a couple of different things depending on your home’s power, the age, and power needs of the existing panel, whether there is damage to the panel, and other factors.

Repair of Individual Circuit Breakers Yes, it’s possible to replace individual circuits; however, we recommend consulting with a licensed electrician before deciding to replace only a single circuit breaker by yourself since there might be other problems underlying its failure.

Panel Replacement (with no accompanying service upgrade)

Reasons, why a panel will have to be replaced, include:

Water damage
Mouse droppings
Broken wires
Old age More often, although, a circuit breaker panel replacement accompanies an all-out service upgrade.


With all of the high-tech gadgets, other machinery, appliances, and video technologies in use today (often, a lot of them simultaneously), the needs of many households exceed the supply of theirs, along a major service upgrade is actually required.

Known to those in the industry as a “heavy up,” this type of upgrade is going to equip the home of yours – typically an older home – for today’s heavier electrical usage.

“A typical heavy up is actually one in which an older house needs to be upgraded from hundred or perhaps 150 amp to 200 amp service, and that is the regular now.”

Exactly how Much Does It Cost to Upgrade Electrical Panel?
You will probably be concerned about the price of an electric panel upgrade for the home yours.

And rightly so. Yes, electrical panel upgrades can be costly. Expect to pay up to $2,000 for the labor, plus more for supplies. It may wind up costing much more, based on what the electrician finds when he actually gets into the job.

Previously unknown problems could be discovered while the electrician is actually doing the work of his. For instance, he might discover ungrounded electrical outlets in the house, outside mast or a meter that must be moved, or perhaps any number of other items.

Remember, there is a great deal going on inside your walls that cannot be recognized at the time of the estimate. And so when the work starts, it is very likely that adjustments will be made, particularly so that the work done will pass final inspection (see below).

But something that makes such a difference in the general safety of your house is actually well worth some money. And this type of service upgrade takes a great deal of time and materials – sometimes days, particularly with just one electrician working.

Choosing the best Electrician for the Job

In today’s world, checking companies’ local reviews on Facebook or Google is actually among the best way to find an electrician or perhaps any other contractor. Generally, a company with a lot of opinions and a higher star rating values the reputation and will make sure you’re totally taken care of.

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