How Much Does an Electrical Panel Replacement Cost?
Customers often call us at Hawkins Electric because they’re having issues with circuit breakers in their home or they have just discovered their electrical panel is outdated.
We tell them that this usually means it’s time to replace their electrical panel. The next question we hear is a completely understandable one: “How much will it cost?”
Well, of course, it depends. But it’s safe to say a typical home electrical panel replacement costs around $2,000. That may sound like a lot of money, but let’s look at why it can be important to replace a panel, and what you get when the replacement is done well.
Why Replace an Electrical Panel?
There are two types of electrical panels that are immediate candidates for replacement: a fuse box with blocks of round, screw-in fuses and an FPE panel (which stands for Federal Pacific Electric, a company that manufactured many panels from the 1950s through 1980s).
Fuse boxes usually were installed in the 1960s or earlier. One reason to replace them is simple convenience – the fuses in these boxes “blow,” and when they do, you have to remove them, purchase a replacement and install it. With modern panels, you just flip a switch after a breaker trips and you are back in business.
Fuse boxes are easy to tamper with, as well. Some readers may remember how homeowners would place a coin into a fuse socket after an old socket blew – a highly unsafe practice.
Meantime, FPE panels – see the photo above and the one at the beginning of the post for an idea of what they look like — are known fire hazards and should be replaced immediately.
This website has a good summary of the risks of not replacing an FPE panel in your home: Is My Panel Safe? (Link: http://www.ismypanelsafe.com/fpe_damage.aspx)
We suggest replacing old or malfunctioning panels with a new main breaker panel. For most houses, a box with 150- to 200-amp service will work.
How a Certified Electrician Replaces an Electrical Panel
When replacing a panel, a certified electrician – like the ones Hawkins employs — will start by disconnecting the meter from your house to ensure safety. Your home will not have electricity during the panel change, but the job can be completed in one day, so it should not be too inconvenient.
The electrician will remove the panel and all of the breakers, make sure the wiring and grounding is updated, and then install the new panel.
Once the new panel is installed, the electrician will reattach the meter and test all the circuits to verify they are working correctly.
Lastly, the electrician will label the breakers for your convenience and to comply with code.
Your panel should come with a warranty – likely covering one year. Hawkins Electric also provides a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee and will always return to fix any issues that may occur after we have performed work.
Finally, it’s important to note that electricians like those working at Hawkins replace panels for a flat fee – not charging by the hour and potentially wasting your time by being on the clock.
If you live in the Washington-Baltimore area and think you might need your electrical panel replaced, give us a call at 877-927-0900 or use our online contact form.
No matter where you live, an outdated or malfunctioning electrical panel is a serious hazard in your home. We encourage you to contact a certified electrician as soon as possible.Back to all articles