Upgrading Your Electrical Panel

Sometimes, depending upon the age of your home, you may need to upgrade your electrical panel to receive the electrical company’s electricity. The line flows through your outside meter into the electrical panel that controls the electrical current into the home. Panels have 100, 150, 200 or 400 amps capability so your home’s electrical usage can not exceed these amounts. Your home may have sub-panels as well located somewhere else that is a smaller version of the key panel which they are wired through.

This is not a do-it-yourself job. You need to retain a certified electrical contractor to install an electrical panel or any major rewiring project. The amount of electricity fed through an electrical panel is deadly and should never be taken lightly. It’s easier and perhaps guaranteeing a longer life to hire an expert electrician for this job. All the bravado and daring in the world can still stop you dead in your tracks by mishandling an electrical panel. Find a good electrician. End of story.

Typically your costs will run from $800-$1,200 to have a qualified electrician upgrade an existing panel to 100 amps, or $1,500-$2,500 if an entirely new panel is required.

The costs to upgrade to 200 amps will run you $1,300-$3,000 and $2,000-$4,000 for 400 amps. Each sub-panel will run you $500-$1,000.

Electrical panels in an older home might have a lower capacity, but 100 amps is the current minimum required, while 150 amps are common. Many new homes are being built with 400 amps usually achieved by utilizing a 400-amp meter and two 200-amp panels.

A good electrician will help you understand exactly what is included in your quote and required in a specific situation. They will go over exactly every step to be taken, materials to be used and a timeline for installation. They will answer all of your questions, so prepare a list of questions and concerns before speaking with your electrician. This is the beginning of a good relationship with a qualified professional that you’re going to want on your “go-to” list for electrical needs for your home. Make the most of developing this important relationship.

You need to check with your planning department for any restrictions or special requirements and a permit is needed most of the time. Permit costs vary per locality.

The upgrading project can include repairing old wiring, adding a copper grounding pole, removing and replacing the older panel.

When hiring an electrician, check on references and search for complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Be certain the electrical contractor is appropriately bonded and insured and is licensed in your state. Assure they are an employee of the business and not a sub-contractor. Employees tend to take pride and responsibility in their work and consider creating a life-long relationship with their customers. You really do need a “good electrician” in your life so taking care in the beginning selection process is important.

The project shouldn’t take too long after the initial governmental agencies are satisfied. If you think you may need a new panel because of constant power outages, call an electrician today to have your panel and circuitry tested.  Electrical Panel Upgrade

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