Cost To Replace Circuit Breaker Box
The average cost to replace a breaker box is$1,475with most homeowners spending between$1,287 and $1,707. A low-amp subpanel costs from$500 to $1,000while a 200-amp panel upgrade runs up to$4,000. Total costs depend on the type of home, the number of circuits, and the amperage.
Our homes are using more energy than ever before, and the electrical system that was installed decades ago may not have the necessary capacity to handle the electrical load required of it today. To keep a house running smoothly, the proper rating of electrical panel can eliminate tripped circuit breakers and prevent fires.
|National Average Cost||$1,475|
|Average Range||$1,287 to $1,707|
Cost to Replace or Upgrade an Electrical Panel
The average cost to replace an electrical panel is$850 to $1,100for 100 amps, or$1,200 to $1,600is a new service panel is needed. To upgrade to 200 amps, expect to spend$1,300 to $2,500, or$2,000 to $4,000to upgrade to 400 amps. A low-amp subpanel costs$500 to $1,000.
|Upgrade from 60 to 100 Amps||$850 – $1,100|
|Upgrade from 100 to 200 Amps||$1,300 – $1,600|
|Upgrade from 200 to 400 Amps||$2,000 – $4,000|
|Install New 100-Amp Panel||$1,200 – $1,600|
|Install New 200-Amp Panel||$1,800 – $2,500|
|Install New 400-Amp Panel||$2,000 – $4,000|
Electrical panel replacement typically takes8 to 10 hourswhich includes 200-amp capability, a new panel with main breaker and ten circuit breakers, labor, and all required materials. The biggest cost for mostelectrical workis labor. With anelectrician's hourly ratesat$40 to $100/hourand with the first hour costing$75 to $120, you can expect to spend between$400 and $800for labor costs.
Cost to Upgrade to 200-Amp Service Panel
The cost to upgrade an electrical panel to 200 amps is$1,300 to $1,600, or between$1,800 and $2,500if a new service panel is required. Installation costs depend on the labor required. New wires may need to be added or replaced, or if anything needs to be brought up to code.
Purchasing a 200-amp panel ranges from$41for a 16-space panel to$387for a 42-space panel, if you were to buy one at a local home improvement store.
Cost To Install 100 Amp Service
The average cost to install a new 100-amp service is$1,200 to $1,600, or between$850 and $1,100if the service panel needs to be replaced. A 100-amp breaker box may be sufficient for households with minimal use of electricity, but most modern homes require 200 amps.
Cost To Replace Fuse Box with Breaker Panel
The average cost to replace a fuse box with a breaker panel is$1,100 to $4,000and depends on what capacity the new breaker panel can handle. There are a few reasons for a new breaker box installation over a fuse box.
Circuit breakers are more convenient. If the electrical circuit trips the switch, you just flip it back on. If a fuse goes out, you must replace it.
Old fuse boxes were never designed to handle the electrical load we now require from our homes.
Installing bigger fuses creates a fire hazard.
Some of today’s appliances require a 220V circuit, and a fuse box can’t deliver that.
Cost to Replace a Circuit Breaker Switch or Fuse
The cost replace a circuit breaker switch is$150 to $200, which includes labor and materials. Fuses can be bought for as low as$5 to $40depending on which type you need for your home. Most of the cost is for labor—the average cost for an electrician is$40–$99 per hour, and this job can take 2–3 hours.
Replacing the Main Circuit Breaker Cost
Replacing the main circuit breaker costs between$40 to $100for the part and another$40 to $100per hour to have an electrician install it. The main circuit breaker shuts off the electricity to the house in one move.
If one of the smaller circuit breakers fails to trip, the main circuit breaker will trip, as a backup. It will also trip if there is a significant surge of electricity, such as lightning. If it trips often enough, soon it will need to be replaced. If you notice them tripping regularly, you might look into getting them replaced or upgrading your panel box.
Electric Meter Box Replacement Cost
The electric meter box replacement cost ranges from$200 to $500on average and depends on the number of circuits it serves, which can number from 8 to 30. Some are more resilient and can be buried underground.
|Meter Size||Average Cost|
|100-Amp Meter Box||$55 – $250|
|200-Amp Meter Box||$85 – $680|
|400-Amp Meter Box||$480 – $765|
Older meter boxes contain mercury, which is poisonous. The newer electric meter boxes operate digitally and provide a more accurate record of usage. They also record other information such as the date and time any electricity was used. This enables you to identify your peak usage hours and find ways to cut back, thereby saving money.
If your meter box needs repair or replacing, it’s not a good idea to try to do it yourself. That can prove to be frustrating, it can take longer than expected, and it could even be dangerous. Hire a licensed electrician to do the job.
New Sub Panel or Breaker Box Installation Cost
Sub-panel installation costs range from$500 to $1,000on average. The cost to install a 40-amp sub panel is$452installed, and a 50-amp sub panel is$482installed. A sub panel box is smaller and usually supplies electricity to a garage or a small building.
The cost is less than what you’d pay for the main electrical panel because it is smaller and has fewer wires running through it. A sub panel is also a good solution to the electrical needs created when you finish out a basement or add on a room. Instead of adding circuit breakers to your main electrical panel, simply add a sub panel.
Cost to Move an Electrical Panel
The cost to move an electrical panel is$800 to $2,500. The lower price is for moving it 10 feet with nothing that needs repairing or brought up to code; the electrician just needs to extend the connections. If you need torewire a houseto bring it outside, upstairs, or add circuits, it will cost more.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Electrical Boxes
Installing an electrical box indoors or outdoors costs the same, about$800 to $4,000, depending on the amperage. The electrical box is usually located outside your home where the electricity enters, for easy access in an emergency. Many homeowners are now moving old boxes outside for this reason. The electrical panel box is usually installed alongside the electric meter.
Placement of the electrical box is guided by The National Electric Codes produced through The National Fire Protection Association. These guidelines affect building codes across the country because of their adherence to safety measures designed to prevent fire.
Additional Costs of Updating Your Electrical Panel
Once you dig into an old, outdated panel, you don’t know what you’ll find. There may be old wiring that needs to be brought up to code, worn parts that need to be replaced, and sometimes drywall that needs to be opened. It’s like any other construction project—you don’t know the actual cost until all is laid bare.
There is also the cost of a permit and the subsequent inspections. Don’t skip this part of the process in trying to save time and money. It may be what keeps your home safe from fire.
New Electrical Panel Costs
The retail cost of a new electrical panel itself ranges from$40 to $1,250with most spending$160depending on the amperage and type. In some cases, your power company will need to install a new meter for$200 to $500or install a new power supply.
After labor costs for installation or any repairs, the electrical panel is the next biggest expense for a homeowner.
|100-Amp Panel||$25 – $199|
|125-Amp Panel||$25 – $233|
|150-Amp Panel||$85 – $360|
|200-Amp Panel||$75 – $870|
|400-Amp Panel||$480 – $765|
In some cases, a new panel will cost less than an upgrade because a new construction installation is open (no drywall to open), the wires are new (no wires to update), the panel is new, and everything goes together much faster than digging through an older installation.
AFCI vs. GFCI Breakers
AFCI, CAFCI, and GFCI circuit breakers costfive times as muchor more than standard trip breakers at$20 to $100 each. Having a professional install an AFCI or a GFCI circuit will cost$130 to $180. You can also have dual-function circuit breakers and outlets (buy one for about $45) installed for about the same price.
Arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) – This circuit breaker (it’s not an outlet like a GFCI) detects heat that occurs as a result of arcing. Arcing can happen when a mouse chews on a wire or when the appliance you just plugged in starts to overheat. The AFCI replaces a regular circuit breaker in the panel.
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) – This type of outlet is required whenever water is nearby, and the GFCI is the one that shuts things down when water gets too close.
|Required in bedrooms, dens (anywhere people may sleep), kitchen, and laundry areas||Required in bathrooms, kitchen, laundry rooms, garages, crawl spaces, wet bars, exterior outlets, pool and spa areas|
|Inexpensive to install||Inexpensive to install|
|Interrupts arcing in the wire||Interrupts current flowing along the wrong path|
|Eliminates some fire threats||Not suitable for use with refrigerators or freezers|
Top Service Panels Brands
Below are pricing samples for electrical panels from top brands. Prices are from Home Depot. The warranty offered can make a difference in your purchasing decisions.
|General Electric (GE)||Midwest||1 year||$1,180|
Zinsco and Federal Pacific Electric Panels
If you have a Federal Pacific Electric panel, you should probably have it replaced. This panel was used extensively in homes built in the 1950s–1980s and are still in many older homes, but they don’t meet today’s safety/building codes. FPE or Zinsco panels fall under the same category. If and when these old panels malfunction, they are considered high risk for fire danger, and it's time to update the entire panel.
Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?
Homeowners are running more appliances, HD televisions, computers, and smart devices, as well as charging stations. Houses need to have adequate power. If a house’s electrical panel is not up to date, it will overload and malfunction. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you should upgrade or replace your old panel and install a new functional electrical system.
Reasons to Replace or Upgrade an Electrical Panel
Replacing or upgrading your breaker box will help to prevent electrical fires in your home, your appliances should work at peak efficiency, and you’ll add value to your home.
Is your home older than 20 years?.
Have you done some remodeling or added people to your family (adding appliances and computers)?
Does your electrical panel feel warm?
Do the breakers trip when you plug in an appliance or while a device is running?(Video) How much does it cost to install a 400 amp panel
Does your home operate from a fuse box?
Is there a smell associated with your electrical panel?
Do your lights flicker or dim regularly?
Is there a buzzing or crackling noise coming from your outlets?
Is it black around some of the outlet holes?
Do you use lots of power strips?
Advantages and Disadvantages of Updating Your Electrical Box
|More power into your home||The initial cost|
|A safer home, as fire dangers from old panels and electrical components are eliminated.||The mess and inconvenience of a construction project.|
|The ability to run all appliances and electronics safely|
DIY vs. Hiring an Electrician
Someelectrical workis fine to DIY, but a licensed electrician should do big jobs like replacing an electrical panel. In fact, in some places, building codes require this kind of work to be done by a licensed electrician. Here’s why.
Safety - wiring installed wrong tends to catch on fire.
Knowledge of codes and procedures – the electrician is up to date on those issues.
Tools and equipment – Electricians already have the best tools and everything they need to do the job.
Experience – they have done the job repeatedly, so they know the safest and quickest way to get the job done.
Contacts – Electricians can get parts and materials at a lower cost than you can.
Training – electricians undergo regular and consistent training with the latest information in building codes and the newest information on parts such as panels and circuit breakers.
Insurance – if something goes wrong on the job (in your home), their insurance will cover the damage. If you do the work yourself and something goes wrong, your homeowners’ insurance may not cover the damage.(Video) When your out of circuit breakers try THIS
Sometimes the best deal cost more money; in this case, hiring the professional is the best deal.
Why Choose a Licensed Electrician?
Updating your electrical system must be done by someone who is entirely familiar with all the building codes and regulations. Errors will lead to electrical fires, which can have devastating consequences. Electrical work needs to be done by a licensed, insured, and bonded electrician. They have the knowledge, experience, and training to do this job safely and on time. It is unsafe to do an electrical upgrade any other way. When choosing your electrician, get three detailed quotes and choose based on experience, insurance, and multiple 4- or 5-star online reviews.
Upgrading an Electrical Panel Without a Permit
Should you upgrade an electrical panel without a permit? Never. You could even get fined for not getting one. Also, the inspection process and accompanying pass will give you peace of mind. A reputable electrician will not skip the permit process. It may cost more and take longer to have inspections done, but in the end, it will ensure the electrical upgrade is done correctly and will operate safely. That alone is worth a million bucks.
|100-Amps||$1,200 – $2,500|
|125-Amps||$1,500 – $2,700|
|150-Amps||$1,800 – $3,000|
|200-Amps||$2,000 – $3,500|
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.How much does it cost to upgrade electrical panel to 200 amps? ›
200 amps: This amount is recommended for homes over 1,800 square feet, or those with heavy energy demands. The cost to upgrade an electrical panel to 200 amps is between $750 and $2,000.Can I change my 100 amp panel to 200 amp? ›
It is not possible to upgrade from 100 amps to 200 amps simply by replacing your breaker panel. To upgrade to 200 amps from a smaller service, you will need a new breaker panel, circuit breakers, meter socket, service conductors, grounding electrodes and bonding conductors.Is it worth upgrading to 200 amp service? ›
Do I Need a 200-Amp Service? Even with a 100-amp service, many homes will run close to maximum capacity. An upgrade to a 200-amp system will ensure your existing and future power needs are met, so you can install new appliances and hi-tech devices without worrying about running out of juice or overloading the system.Does upgrading to 200 amp service increase home value? ›
It increases your home's value
If you decide to put your home up for sale, an upgraded electrical panel that has a high amperage will certainly serve as a key selling point, since more and more people have power hungry appliances and devices.
Simply put, upgrading to 200-amp service lets you use more electricity. However, the installation requires proper permits, a qualified electrician, and inspections. You'll also need to have your utility company disconnect the service.When did 200 amp service become standard? ›
And since the '80s, 200 Amp is standard. The amperage is the rated power it can handle. Modern houses are generally built with 200-amp panels, and a lot of the newer ones are going 300-350 amps as more and more electronic devices and fancy and high-demand kitchen devices and increased lighting are used in homes.Should I upgrade my electrical service to 400 amps? ›
“400-amp service is recommended for large homes with all-electric appliances and electric heating/cooling equipment. This service size is recommended where the expected electric heat load is over 20,000 watts.”How to tell the difference between 100 amp and 200 amp service? ›
But how do you tell the difference between 100 amp and 200 amp service? A panel's total amperage is printed near or on the main circuit breaker, which controls all the circuits in the panel. Most breaker boxes are 100, 150, or 200 amps. Add the amperages of all the individual breakers in the box.
The demand on a 200 amp panel should not exceed 160 amps. In wattage, this equals 32,000 watts, so this is where you should cap the total load of your electrical circuits. And if you use more, then even a 200 amp panel may need to be upgraded.What's the difference between 100 amp and 200 amp service? ›
A 200 amp electrical panel is larger and has more circuits, so it can handle more power than a 100 amp one. This allows it to use more of the electricity that enters your home from your energy provider to run your appliances and other equipment. A 200 amp panel is also more expensive.When should I upgrade from 100 amp to 200 amp? ›
If you live in an older home with a 100-amp or fewer service that's susceptible to overheating or a blown fuse, upgrading to a modern 200-amp circuit breaker can provide modern convenience and safety.How many amps can I run on a 100 amp panel? ›
Irrespective of the number of circuits, make sure that your 100 Amp service and the 100 Amp Panel don't exceed more than 80% of its capacity. This means, all the individual circuits and respective circuit breakers together should consume up to 80 Amps (ideally) in a 100 Amp Service with a 100 Amp Circuit Breaker Panel.How many amps does a 3 bedroom house need? ›
Most homes require an electrical service of at least 100 amps. This is also the minimum panel amperage required by the National Electrical Code (NEC). A 100-amp service panel will typically provide enough power for a medium-sized home that includes several 240-volt appliances and central air-conditioning.When should I upgrade to 400 amp service? ›
The 400 amp service is usually required for larger homes that demand more heating and air conditioning capacity, as well as homes that utilize jetted tubs, hot tubs, saunas, or other large demand appliances and equipment.What is the next size up from a 200 amp service? ›
When you get to homes of this size a 400amp service is the way to go. As you can see from the above examples a 200amp service is large enough for most homes, a 225amp service can be a great inbetween and a 400amp service is typically reserved for very large homes with lots of electrical appliances / loads.Why would you need a 200 amp service on a home? ›
A 200 amp service panel will provide more electrical current than a 100 amp panel, allowing a home to safely power large electrical appliances and heating and air conditioning equipment, and other appliances simultaneously.Does updating electrical panel increase home value? ›
Another way to increase home value is by upgrading your electrical panel. Not only will this increase a home's value, it also increases the safety of your home. Old panels are more likely to experience shortages or other issues, so future homeowners will be grateful that you didn't leave them with this problem!How many amps should a house have? ›
Most homes use between 30 and 400 amps, depending on the size of your home and individual electrical needs. The average American home uses about 200 amps, although some also run well on 100-amp service. Actually, 100 and 200-amp services are the most common types found in homes.
If your panel cannot handle this amp load, then you'll need to upgrade your system. If you are going to increase it by 100 amps, you can expect the upgrade to cost around $1,100 (CAD 1,400), but if you want to install a 400-amp panel, you can expect to pay around $4,000 (CAD 5,125).What is normal household amperage? ›
An amp is the amount of electrical current that flows through a circuit. In most homes, lighting and small appliance circuits are 15 or 20 amps, and major appliances are on 20, 50 or even 60 amp circuits.How do you tell if a panel is overloaded? ›
- Breaker constantly tripping. ...
- Breaker trips when a certain appliance is plugged in. ...
- Burning smell coming from the breaker box or outlet. ...
- Warm or hot electrical panel. ...
- Rust on the electrical panel. ...
- Flickering lights.
It can take from 4 to 8 hours or more to replace an electrical panel.What is the largest amp service for residential? ›
400 Amps is enough for all but the largest residences. Still, as Bill says above, your electrician should be performing a load analysis once all of your equipment is specified.How can I tell if I have 400 amp service? ›
Inspect your electrical panel to determine if it has a label on it indicating its amperage rating. If this is the case, the label will usually be affixed inside the panel door and may have been affixed either by the manufacturer or an electrician or inspector during initial installation or afterward.Does more amps cost more? ›
When you receive your electric bill, what you are paying for is wattage used by your electrical devices, including your grow light fixtures. Volts and amps will not be a factor when looking at your electric bill and when you're looking for electrical cost savings.How many amps does a microwave use? ›
A typical microwave oven uses on average 1000 watts of power, which is equal to about 8.3 amps. So, if you have a standard 120-volt outlet, your microwave will draw about 8.3 amps of current.Does 200 amp service cost more than 100 amp? ›
100 AMP panels are smaller than 200 AMP panels. Because 200 AMP panels are larger, they can fit more circuits and have more room to expand. 200 AMP panels are also slightly more expensive, costing an average of $100 to $200 more than a 100 AMP panel.Can you overload a 200 amp panel? ›
If the total load from all your home's circuits is near 200 amps, then adding more circuits can overload it. However, you could have, for example, 300 amps worth of breakers, but not use them all at once. A general rule is to limit the amount of power flowing through the panel to a total of 160 amps.
In conclusion, a 200 amp service is best for installing a home electric vehicle charger. It's certainly feasible to install a charger on a 100 amp service, but you still may be pressing the limits of amperage your house can handle while charging your EV and running other things.Is 100 amp service enough for a house? ›
A 100 amp panel can meet the electrical needs of a small or medium-sized property (less than 2,500 square feet) with central air conditioning, gas heating, and several standard appliances. However, if you are planning a renovation or addition, it is a good idea to consider upgrading your panel to get more power.Is 200-amp service enough? ›
200-amp service is the current standard for new homes and updated service panels. It can supply all standard electrical needs in a typical family home but may not support a large electric heating system. In large homes, 300-amp or larger service capacity may be needed, particularly if the home has electric heating.Can I run a hot tub with 100 amp service? ›
Your electrical service must be able to supply that load, but almost all houses built in the last 40 years will have at least a 100 amp service. If you have an older home with a smaller service than 100 amps, you will need to upgrade it before installing a hot tub.How many amps does a 3000 square foot house use? ›
You should consider a 150 to 200-amp panel if…
This guideline applies even if you have a smaller home (2500/3000) sq/ft.
Most homes require an electrical service of at least 100 amps. This is also the minimum panel amperage required by the National Electrical Code (NEC).How much does it cost to replace a 150-amp electrical panel? ›
150 amps: Upgrading to 150-amp service costs between $500 and $1,750. If many appliances run simultaneously or if multiple power strips are in use,150 amps offer more electrical flexibility. A subpanel can be used for an upgrade, but some homeowners prefer to install a brand-new box.How many circuits can you have on a 150-amp panel? ›
A 150-amp panel would allow a maximum of 30 circuit poles, and a 200-amp panel would allow a maximum of 40 circuit poles. For panelboards not manufactured as “lighting & appliance” panelboards, there is no limit to the number of circuit breakers allowed.What is needed for 200 amp service? ›
200 AMP METER BASE SHOULD BE 5 FT. TO 5-1/2 FT. ABOVE GROUND LEVEL TO CENTER OF METERBASE. TWO 5/8 INCH x 8 FOOT GROUND RODS ALL CONDUCTORS MUST BE THE CORRECT SIZE AND MUST BE COPPER.How do I know if I need 100 or 200 amps? ›
100-amp service provides enough power for a small home without electric heating. This can supply an electric range and dryer, plus general lighting and receptacle outlets. 200-amp service is the current standard for new homes and updated service panels.
Check your panel for a main disconnect. Most modern electrical service panels will be equipped with one. This main breaker will likely be the largest breaker in the panel. It will usually be labelled as the “main” and will indicate the capacity as 100A, 150A, or 200A.How much does a 400 amp electrical panel cost? ›
The cost to upgrade to a 400-amp service ranges from $1,500 to $4,000. This includes the panel at around $500, plus eight to 20 hours of labor to install the panel. The total for installation depends mostly on the setup. In some cases, your electrician will install two 200-amp panels, using one of them as a subpanel.Is 100 amp panel enough for a house? ›
In general, homes under 3,000 square feet can use a 100 AMP panel as long as they don't use air conditioning or electric heat. Homes over 3,000 square feet and homes that rely on electric heat and air conditioning will typically be better served by a 200 AMP panel.Is it expensive to upgrade the electrical panel? ›
How Much Does an Electric Panel Upgrade Cost? The average cost of an electric panel replacement is between $850 and $2,500. This range is a little large because it depends on how many amps your house needs, and also if you are replacing an existing panel or installing one brand new.How many amps does a dryer use? ›
Most clothes dryers use between 7.5 and 30 amps, and connect to a 240 volt outlet. How much you run your clothes dryer has the biggest impact on how much electricity it uses over time, and households have all sorts of laundry routines.How do I know if my electrical panel is overloaded? ›
The most obvious sign of an electrical circuit overload is a breaker tripping and shutting off all the power. Other signs can be less noticeable: Dimming lights, especially if lights dim when you turn on appliances or more lights. Buzzing outlets or switches.How many amps can I have on a 200 amp panel? ›
The demand on a 200 amp panel should not exceed 160 amps. In wattage, this equals 32,000 watts, so this is where you should cap the total load of your electrical circuits. And if you use more, then even a 200 amp panel may need to be upgraded.How many breakers can I put in a 200 amp service panel? ›
How Many Breakers Are in a 200 Amp Panel? If you're using single-pole breakers, the panel will typically have 40 to 42 slots. When double pole breakers are used, the unit will have 20 slots.