Flickering lights and sputtering appliances are signs you may need to upgrade your electrical panel. Here’s how much to set aside in your budget.
In This Article: Average Cost to Upgrade | Cost Factors | Pros and Cons | DIY vs. Professional | What Size Do You Need? | How to Save | Our Conclusion | When to Upgrade | How to Hire a Pro |FAQs
Your home’s electrical panel connects public utility lines to your electrical system, distributing power throughout your house. These panels can last for decades, but if yours is outdated or too small for the amount of electricity you’re using, you risk both low efficiency and system overloads. In this cost guide, we’ll explain what you can expect to pay to replace or upgrade your electrical panel, plus how to tell when it’s time to do so.
Upgrade Electrical Panel
The average cost of an electrical panel upgrade is between $1,300 - $3,000.
Move an Electrical Panel
The average cost of moving an electrical panel ranges from $800 - $3,000.
Electric Panel Rewiring
Rewiring an electrical panel typically ranges between $800 - $4,000.
Average Cost to Upgrade Electrical Panel
The average cost of an electrical panel upgrade is between $1,300 and $3,000. This is the typical range for upgrading from 100 amps to 200 amps; for smaller or larger upgrades, you may pay anywhere from $800–$4,000. Below are the factors that determine the total cost:
- Panel size: Panel size ranges from 60–400 amps.
- Installation vs. upgrade: It’s more expensive to install an entirely new system than to upgrade an existing panel.
- Other services: If the panel needs relocating or your meter box needs replacing, you’ll have to pay more.
Cost to Upgrade Electrical Panel to a 100-Amp Service
Most residential buildings have at least a 100-amp panel, but some older homes may have circuit breaker panels as low as 60 amps. Upgrading to a service of 100 amps is only suitable for homes that use very little electricity.
|Upgrade to 100 amps||Cost|
|Panel plus installation||$800–$1,500|
Cost to Upgrade Electrical Panel to a 200-Amp Service
Given the number of electrical devices homeowners use daily, the standard panel size for modern homes is 200 amps. Most electrical panel upgrades involve replacing a 100- or 150-amp panel with a 200-amp panel.
|Upgrade to 200 amps||Cost|
|Panel plus installation||$1,300–$3,000|
Cost to Upgrade Electrical Panel to a 300-Amp Service
Upgrades to 300-amp panels are less common since homeowners who need more than 200 amps typically upgrade to 400 amps. You can still find these panels and have them installed, though.
|Upgrade to 300 amps||Cost|
|Panel plus installation||$1,800–$3,500|
Cost to Upgrade Electrical Panel to a 400-Amp Service
Only large, luxury homes need 400-amp electrical service panels. An upgrade of this size is the most costly, especially if it’s a smart panel.
|Upgrade to 400 amps||Cost|
|Panel plus installation||$2,000–$4,000|
Cost to Replace vs. Upgrade an Electrical Panel
Replacing an old panel with a new one of the same size versus upgrading to a larger size won’t save you much money, since roughly the same amount of labor is required to install it. You’ll save about $50–$100 on the new electrical panel itself, but pay the same amount in labor costs.
Cost to Install a Main Breaker
A panel’s main breaker controls the flow of power to the other circuit breakers. The cost to replace the breaker switch itself is relatively low. If the circuit is worn out, the replacement cost for the breaker is nearly as high as the whole panel. If this is the case, it’s usually a good idea to install a new breaker panel.
|Replace main breaker switch||$200–$300|
|Replace entire main breaker||$500–$2,000|
Cost to Install a Subpanel
An alternative to electrical panel replacement is installing a sub-panel to increase amperage, usually to one specific area of a home, like a new addition, garage, or workshop. A subpanel is a good option if your main panel is still in good shape and relatively new.
|Panel Size||Installation Cost|
Cost to Move an Electrical Panel
In some cases, upgrading may mean moving the electrical panel to fit new building codes or improve access to it. The cost of this process will depend on how far the panel needs to move and how much new wiring is needed.
|Low-end (e.g., moving panel 10 feet)||$800–$1,000|
|High-end (e.g., extensive rewiring)||$1,000–$3,000|
Cost to Install an Electric Meter Box
If you get an electrical service upgrade, you may also need a new meter box to measure the energy usage in your home. The meter box will need replacing if it’s old or damaged. Typically, this service is performed by your local electrical company instead of an electrician.
|Meter box only||$50–$250|
|Meter box plus installation||$1,800–$3,500|
Cost Factors for Electrical Panel Upgrades
On top of circuit breaker panel replacement, here are some other potential upgrades your electrical system may need:
- Replacing a fuse box with a circuit breaker box: This will cost approximately as much as installing a new electrical panel at $1,200–$4,500, depending on size.
- Replacing a circuit breaker switch or fuse: This is comparable to replacing a main breaker at $150–$250 per switch.
- Indoor versus outdoor electrical panels: Moving an indoor panel outdoors is labor-intensive and will usually cost $1,000–$3,000.
- Outlet breaker replacements: Arc fault connection interrupters (AFCI) costs $35–$50, and ground fault connection interrupter (GFCI) breakers cost $35–$60.
- Labor costs: Licensed electricians typically charge $50–$120 per hour.
- Permits: Your electrician will help you get a permit, which may cost $50–$300, depending on your location.
- Additional repair work: If the panel is moved or rewiring is necessary, you may have to pay for separate repair costs, like new drywall.
Free Quote: Get your quote on electrical panel upgrades today
Pros and Cons of Upgrading Electrical Panels
Here are the benefits and drawbacks of an electrical panel upgrade:
✔ Increases power output and efficiency within your home
✔ Protects against electrical fires
✔ Increases your home’s resale value
✘ Is expensive
✘ May be disruptive
DIY vs. Professional Electrical Panel Installation
Working with household electrical systems is dangerous, and there’s a reason electricians must be trained and licensed. Upgrading or replacing your electrical panel isn’t a job you can do yourself. 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.
What Size Electrical Panel Is Best for Your Home?
Your home’s size and electrical needs—referred to as its electrical load—will determine the best amperage for your new panel. You can find online calculators to help you come up with a ballpark number, but a more specific figure will require an in-home consultation with an electrician.
Since 2015, new homes have been built with at least 200-amp service, which is the standard. If you have a small home or lack large electrical appliances like HVAC systems, however, you can sometimes use a 100-amp panel without problems. It’s unlikely that you’ll need more than 200 amps unless you have a very large home or run a home business with commercial electrical equipment.
You should recalculate your home’s electrical load if you add any of the following new appliances or renovations:
- Hot tubs
- Convection ovens
- Air conditioners
- Commercial welders or saws
- Electric vehicle charger
- Finished basement or garage
- Room additions
Free Quote: Get your quote on electrical panel upgrades today
How To Save on Electrical Panel Costs
While you shouldn’t try to save money by doing the job yourself, below are some ways you can cut electrical panel upgrade costs:
- Calculate your electrical load: A precise calculation will ensure you don’t pick a larger panel size than you actually need.
- Replace the panel, not the old wiring: Entirely rewiring a home can cost upwards of $15,000, so you can save by opting to upgrade just your electrical box.
- Get multiple quotes: Request written estimates from at least three local electricians.
- Think long-term: Panel upgrade costs may be steep, but you’ll save money in the long run and get a return on your investment when you sell your home.
Upgrading your home’s electrical panel comes with a high price tag, but you’ll see an immediate difference if you choose to do so—especially if it’s been a long time since your home was upgraded. This isn’t a DIY home improvement project, but you can exert some control over the process by ensuring you understand the workings of your home’s new electrical panel.
When to Upgrade 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)
How to Hire a Professional
Here are some tips for hiring an electrician:
- Make sure the person working on your home is currently licensed, bonded, and insured.
- Check the electrician’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) page and online reviews from previous customers.
- Ask about their experience with this type of job, especially if you want an upgrade of more than 200 amps.
- Look for an electrician that offers a warranty on their work.
- Get all estimates in writing.
Free Quote: Get your quote from electrical panel upgrade pros today
FAQs About Electrical Panels
Is it worth it to upgrade my electrical panel?
Yes, it’s worth it to upgrade your electrical panel, particularly if your home is old. You’ll greatly reduce the risk of electrical fires due to an overload, and your system will work more efficiently.
Does upgrading your electrical panel increase your home’s value?
Upgrading your electrical panel does increase your home’s resale value by making it safer and more efficient. Potential buyers will know there’s far less risk of shortages and system overloads.
How much does it cost to upgrade an old electrical panel?
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 should a panel upgrade cost?
A panel upgrade should cost between $800 and $4,000. Most electricians charge $50–$120 per hour for labor, and panels tend to cost between $100 and $500. Here’s how that adds up by the size of the new panel, including both materials and installation:
How much is it to upgrade an electrical panel from 100 to 200 amps?
Upgrading an electrical panel from 100 to 200 amps will usually cost between $1,300 and $3,000.
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How much does it cost to upgrade electrical panel from 150 to 200 amps? ›
The electrical panel replacement cost is $500 to $1,750. 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.How much does it cost to upgrade electrical panel 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. Expect to spend $1,000 to $2,000 for this upgrade, or more if you opt for a higher amperage.How much does it cost to upgrade electrical panel from fuses to breakers? ›
Replacing a fuse box with a circuit breaker box costs $1,500 to $2,000, though this price increases if the wiring requires a complete overhaul. Replacing a pre-existing fuse box with another fuse box of a similar type costs $200 to $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.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.
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 your electrical panel increase house value? ›
Upgrading your electrical panel does increase your home's resale value by making it safer and more efficient. Potential buyers will know there's far less risk of shortages and system overloads.How long does it take to upgrade an electrical panel? ›
How long it takes to upgrade your electrical panel will depend heavily on the upgrade. But a typical electrical panel replacement will take 8 hours with a 2 man crew.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.How much does it cost to rewire a 1500 sq ft house? ›
|Square Feet||Average Cost|
How many amps should a house have? ›
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.Can you sell a house with an old fuse box? ›
Yes, you can sell a house with an old fuse box. But should you? Selling an older home that still has its original wiring and an old fuse box may not be easy, but it's definitely doable.Is 100 amp service enough for a house? ›
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.How many breakers are allowed in a 200 amp 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.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.How much can a 200 amp service handle? ›
A 200 Amp Panel Supports up to 48,000 Watts
It's not recommended you run your electrical system at full capacity. This is where the 80% rule comes in. The demand on a 200 amp panel should not exceed 160 amps.
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.How many amps is a standard house outlet? ›
Household wiring emits 120 volts, on average. This means that household circuits are designed to carry 15 to 20 amps. Electrical outlets are rated based on amperage, either 15 or 20 amps.What is the difference between 200 amp and 400 amp service? ›
“200-amp service will handle the same load as 100-amp service, plus electric appliances and electric heating/cooling equipment” (in a small to medium-sized home). “400-amp service is recommended for large homes with all-electric appliances and electric heating/cooling equipment.How many outlets can you have on a 20 amp circuit? ›
A good rule of thumb is to assume that there will be a maximum power draw of 1.5 amps for each outlet, allowing 10 outlets for a single 20-amp circuit.
Are electrical panel upgrades tax deductible? ›
25C provides households a 30 percent tax credit for an electrical panel upgrade, capped at $600 per year, if it's upgraded in conjunction with another upgrade covered by 25C (like a heat pump or heat pump water heater). The credit resets each tax year, effectively becoming available again for additional projects.How do I know if I need to upgrade my electrical panel? ›
- Breakers Trip Repeatedly.
- Your Home Has a Fuse Box.
- Odd Sounds from Breaker Box.
- Home Is More Than 20 Years Old.
- Burning Smell from Breaker Box.
- Melted Wires and Scorch Marks.
- “Heavy Up”
- Benefits to an Electrical Panel Upgrade.
The average panel can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years, depending on multiple factors. If your home experiences frequent power surges or if your panel has been subjected to wear and tear, a replacement may be needed sooner rather than later.Should you replace an old electrical panel? ›
Electric panels usually need to be replaced every 25-40 years. Even if the panel has not reached this age yet there may be warning signs that it needs replacement. These signs include: Flickering lights.What is the life expectancy of an electrical panel? ›
Typically, electric panels last 30-50 years, more or less. That means even the electrical panel in a house built as recently as the late 80s could be worn out, putting you at risk of an electrical fire.When should you upgrade your panel? ›
Electric panels typically need replacing every 25-40 years. Even if the panel has not reached this age yet, there may be warning signs that it needs replacement. These signs include: Flickering lights.How do you tell if your house is 100 amp or 200 amp? ›
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 many amps does a fridge use? ›
Amperage for most household refrigerators, is anywhere from 3 to 5 if the voltage is 120. A 15 to 20 amp dedicated circuit is required because the in-rush amperage is much higher. The average amperage is lower because the compressor isn't running all the time, this is often measured in kilowatt hours KWH.How much can you run on 100 amp service? ›
100-amp service is generally large enough to power a small- to moderate-sized home's general branch circuits, plus one or two electric appliances, such as a range, water heater, or clothes dryer. This service may be sufficient for a home under 2,500 square feet if the heating appliances run on gas.Can you rewire a house without removing drywall? ›
As most homeowners are concerned with the disruptiveness of the process, a question electricians get a lot is “can a house be rewired without removing drywall?”. The answer is usually yes, and even a whole house rewiring can in some cases be done with minimum disruption.
Does homeowners insurance cover rewiring a house? ›
Although most homeowners policies cover electrical wiring through dwelling insurance, there are cases where coverage may not apply. Depending on your home insurance choice, electrical wiring may need upgrading. You may have to make some changes for your new coverage to go live.Does a 1970s house need rewiring? ›
If a property is more than 30 years old and has the original wiring, it is likely to need updating, at least in part, to meet modern standards, including replacing the fuse box with a modern consumer unit. A sign a rewire is necessary, is dated rubber, fabric or lead-insulated cabling.Are most houses 15-amp or 20-amp? ›
Most homes in the U.S. are wired with a combination of 15-amp and 20-amp, 120-volt circuits. Because 15-amp receptacles can be used with 20-amp circuits, most of the outlets you see in American homes are the standard 15-amp variety, with two slots and a U-shaped grounding hole.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.What runs on 30 amps in a house? ›
The 15-amp and 20-amp breakers often handle baseboard heaters, 30-amp serve water heaters and electric dryers, 40- and 50-amp are for electric ranges, and the 70-amp could serve a large air conditioner or a subpanel.Should I rewire my house before I sell? ›
No, you don't need to rewire your house to sell it. Strangely enough, electrical safety is not a legal requirement in the transfer of property ownership - but an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) may be requested by a buyer prior to an exchange of contracts.What year did they stop using fuses in houses? ›
NOTE: Beginning in the 1960s, fuse boxes were phased out in favor of electrical systems controlled by circuit breakers. It's important to replace an old fuse box with a circuit breaker system as soon as possible—not just for code compliance, but also for safety and convenience.Does a house have to be rewired to sell? ›
While nothing says you have to rewire your home to sell, you may want to so you can get as much money as possible out of the sale of your home.Is 150 amps enough for a house? ›
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 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.
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.How much does it cost to replace a 150 amp electrical panel? ›
|100-Amps||$1,200 – $2,500|
|125-Amps||$1,500 – $2,700|
|150-Amps||$1,800 – $3,000|
|200-Amps||$2,000 – $3,500|
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.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.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 long does it take to upgrade electrical panel? ›
Replacing an electrical panel can take between 4 and 8 hours, not including any additional rewiring or moving the panel. If the electrician needs to access wiring inside the walls, labor costs can increase, often from $100 to $450.What is the difference between 100 amp and 200 amp panel? ›
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.