Electrical Panel Changes: What You Need to Know
Are you old enough to remember your grandmother’s fuse box? That beast in the basement that seemed to blow a fuse every time someone turned on a television? Fuse boxes were thankfully replaced by more reliable, longer lasting breaker boxes. The common circuit breaker panel came onto the scene in the 1960s and has remained the home’s standard electrical supply control for over 50 years. Unlike fuses that needed replacement every time they blew, the newer panels can be reset with the flip of a switch. Improvements continue to appear as electrical innovation races forward and this means upgrades are often necessary.
Currently, there are many electrical panels in older homes that utilize 100-amp service. These are being phased out however with each new renovation and are being replaced with 200-amp service. The beauty of the newer panels is that they provide extra space for adding circuit breakers. This is especially helpful when you are planning a home addition. They feature a main breaker and two separate circuit breaker rows which each provide power to branch circuits. In short: they give you greater control over your home’s power with room to expand.
Upgrading your Electrical Panel
If you are in an older home (1992 or earlier) that has an electrical panel serving under 100 amps, please be aware these panels are no longer allowed in any building. Homes with 100-amp panels should be upgraded both for safety and function. If you plan on remodeling your home or are having a new home built, a 200-amp panel is the way to go. Following are some other conditions where you should consult with Custom Electrical Solutions, Inc. to determine if your home requires an upgrade:
• Your lights dim when your air condition or refrigerator cuts on
• Your electrical panel feels hot when you touch it
• You have a recalled panel, including GTE/Sylvania, ITE Pushmatic, Zinsco, or Federal Pacific
• You have a “split buss” panel (it has up to six main breakers)
• You have a fused load center electrical panel (parts are impossible to find)
If any of these situations apply to you, we will come assess your needs immediately. Once we evaluate the situation, including the panel’s age, condition, model, and other factors, we will provide you an accurate price quote. In many cases, a panel can be repaired or upgraded with very little time spent without power to the house. We also complete full panel replacements quickly and safely. Our main concern is protecting the safety of your family and home.
Cost and Time Frames
While it is impossible to provide a quote over the phone because every case is unique, you can expect – worst case scenario – to pay up to $4,500 for a complete panel upgrade. Upgrades typically range between $550 to $1600, depending on the situation. The average time to replace a home electrical panel is about one workday. This means you will only be without power for about 6-8 hours. If your home has more than one panel, these estimates will be higher. We always recommend you call us for an on-site inspection to give you more accurate pricing. Also, please remember work permits are required and these are not included in the totals we quote, as they vary by the city and the work to be completed.
Electrical panel upgrades are only to be performed by a licensed and insured professional. When the time comes to call in a professional for your breaker box problems, call our fully licensed and insured team at 954-464-5507.
Custom Electrical Solutions, Inc. proudly serves the entire tri-county area, including Parkland, Tamarac, Sunrise, and Plantation.