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Electrical Circuit Panel Upgrade Cost

Electrical Circuit Panel Upgrade Cost

National average
$2,500
(replace an existing panel with a new model with new housing)
Low: $800

(upgrade to a 100 amp panel only with no housing)

High: $4,500

(upgrade to a new 400 amp panel with new housing)

Cost to install an electrical circuit panel upgrade varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from electricians in your city.

The average cost of installing an electrical circuit panel upgrade is $2,500.

In this guide

Cost to Replace an Electrical Panel
Cost to Upgrade an Electrical Panel
Cost of a New Electrical Panel
Labor Costs to Upgrade or Replace Electrical Circuit
Fuse Box vs Circuit Breaker
AFCI vs GFCI Breakers
Cost to Move an Electrical Panel
Advantages of Updating Your Electrical Box
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Additional Considerations and Costs
FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Electrical Circuit Panel Upgrade?

If you live in an older home, your current circuit breaker may not be meeting your electrical needs, or maybe you are planning on upgrading or adding onto the electrical work in your home. If so, you may need to replace or upgrade your electrical circuit panel. Many older panels are unsafe and pose a risk of an electrical fire, and most homes have increased their electrical use over the years, putting a strain on older systems.

There are a variety of ways to upgrade or replace your existing panel, which leads to a wide range of associated costs. Most people spend between $1,500 and $4,000 for a new circuit panel, with most paying around $2,500 for a full installation and inspection of a replacement panel with a new box.

Electrical Circuit Panel Upgrade Costs
National average cost$2,500
Average range$1,500-$4,000
Minimum cost$800
Maximum cost$4,500


Cost to Replace an Electrical Panel

Replacement of an electrical panel, or circuit breaker, are among the most common projects affecting the wiring in a home. There are many reasons to replace your old panel model, from a Stab Lok that has a fire risk to experiencing burn marks on your current panel. If your electrical needs have changed, it is possible to upgrade your panel at the same time you replace it. Replacement costs of an electrical panel depend on the make and model, amperage, and location:


Cost to replace an electrical panel

Cost to replace an electrical panel


AmpsAverage cost
100$1,500 - $2,500
125$1,700 - $2,700
150$2,000 - $3,000
200$3,500 - $4,500


In addition to the panel itself, you also have other components of the box that may need replacing, which also have a range of costs:


Cost to replace an electrical panel

Cost to replace an electrical panel


ComponentCost to Replace
Circuit breaker switch$150 - $250
Main breaker$200 - $300
Meter Box$500 - $700


Cost to Replace Circuit Breaker Switch

The circuit breaker switch keeps power moving through the panel. They are designed to trip and break the current in the event of a problem. Replacing them costs between $150 and $250 on average, including parts and labor.

Cost to Replace Main Breaker

The main breaker is the switch that shuts off power to the entire home at once. Replacing this switch costs between $200 and $300 on average.

Electric Meter Box Replacement Cost

The meter box is installed on the exterior of your home and holds your meter and needs to be weathertight and lockable. A new meter box is $500 to $700 installed.

Cost to Upgrade an Electrical Panel

Many homes, particularly older ones, have panels that are too small for their electrical needs. For example, if you notice your lights flickering or newly installed appliances are not running at peak efficiency, it could mean that the existing panel is too small and should be upgraded. Upgrading from an 80 or 100 amp panel to a 150 amp panel provides room to grow. Likewise, upgrading to a 200 amp panel allows you to add on a new addition, garage, or several new appliances without stressing or overloading the system. You can upgrade your existing system in several ways:


Cost to upgrade an electrical panel

Cost to upgrade an electrical panel


UpgradeCost
Upgrade to 100 amps$800 - $1,200
Upgrade to 150 amps$1,100 -$1,500
Upgrade to 200 amps$1,300 - $3,000
Upgrade to 400 amps$2,000 - $4,000
Replace fuse box with circuit panel$1,500 - $4,500


Cost to Upgrade Electrical Panel to 100 Amps

If you have an older home, you may have a panel with 60 or 80 amps and need to upgrade to 100 amps to meet your current electrical needs. Today, 100 amps is considered the minimum that most households need. You can upgrade from 80 amps to 100 amps by using a subpanel to add the extra amperage, or you can replace the panel in its existing box if the box is large enough. Upgrading to 100 amps typically costs between $800 and $1,200, depending on what you currently have and its location.

Cost to Upgrade Electrical Panel to 150 Amps

150 amps gives your home additional space and room to grow regarding electrical use. It is also a better fit for homes that use a lot of power strips or have many appliances. In some cases, you can use a subpanel to upgrade to 150 amps, but you may need to upgrade the entire panel. This costs $1,100 to $1,500 on average.

Cost to Upgrade Electrical Panel to 200 Amps

200 amps provides your home with flexibility in electricity usage. Large properties, properties with additions, garages, many appliances, dual car chargers, and other high-energy needs benefit from upgrading to 200 amps. This typically costs $1,300 to $3,000, depending on your current setup.

Cost to Upgrade to 400 Amp Service

This is a fairly rare project for most homes unless you have a large number of specialty equipment and electronics that require a lot of electricity. 400 amps can handle an enormous load and is often much more than what the average household needs. However, if you need the extra capacity, it is possible to upgrade to a panel this size for a cost between $2,000 and $4,000 on average.

Replacing a Fuse Box with a Circuit Panel

Fuse boxes were installed up until the 1960s and did the same job as a circuit panel, except with small fuses that contained a filament. While a breaker trips, fuses blow, meaning the filament melts and breaks, interrupting the flow of energy. Most still function well, but they cannot be upgraded without replacing them. If you have a fuse box that no longer meets your needs, you need to replace it with a circuit panel, which costs between $1,500 and $4,500, depending on the amperage desired.

Cost of a New Electrical Panel

Electrical panels have many options that impact their cost. They come with or without the box and are available in several sizes, possibly allowing room for additional circuits for growth. For example, prices vary for the panel alone, depending on the amperage.


Cost of a new electrical panel

Cost of a new electrical panel


PanelCost
100 amps$800 - $1,200
125 amps$1,100 -$1,500
150 amps$1,300 - $3,000
200 amps$2,000 - $4,000


Labor Costs to Upgrade or Replace Electrical Circuit

The bulk of the cost when you have an electrical panel upgraded or installed comes from labor. Electricians charge $65 - $85 minimum, with many charging more. A panel installation takes a minimum of 8 hours and may take several days, depending on the wiring in your home and whether it needs to be upgraded as well. It is not uncommon for labor to cost from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the job.


Electricians repairing switches in electric control


Fuse Box vs Circuit Breaker

Fuse boxes and circuit breakers do the same job, allowing electricity to flow to different parts of your home. They both interrupt that flow in the event of a power overload or surge that could start a fire or damage the wiring. A circuit breaker has a switch that trips to break the current. To reset it, flip the switch back to the on position. A fuse box utilizes fuses that contain a filament wire. The wire is designed to break when it is overloaded, so to fix it, you must replace the fuse.

Fuse boxes were installed up to the 1960s and are very uncommon to find today. They still exist and continue to work, but because electrical needs have grown since that time, most fuse boxes are now too small and need to be replaced.

AFCI vs GFCI Breakers

Both AFCI (Arc Fault Connection Interrupters) and GFCI (Ground Fault Connection Interrupters) are integral to safety. AFCI breakers protect against fire from a faulty wire or circuit, while GFCI protects people from fatal electric shock.

Your electrical circuit panel must do both, although you will only notice the difference in the types of outlets your home has. AFCIs are located in most rooms, and GFCIs are for wet areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Cost to Move an Electrical Panel

There are times when your electrical panel disallows expansion or cannot be easily accessed. Other times, codes and regulations may mean that it must be installed in certain areas to meet code. In these circumstances, you may need to move the panel. This typically takes several days to complete, with the project cost varying depending on how far it is moving, the amps, and whether you upgrade or replace the panel at the same time. Costs start at around $1,000 but can go as high as $4,000 if a lot of rewiring must be done to accommodate the move.

Advantages of Updating Your Electrical Box

Updating your electrical box has many advantages. If your home is older, you likely do not have the capacity to run your electronics efficiently. You may experience flickering lights or slowly charging devices. You may also notice more tripped circuits, which means you constantly have interruptions in your electricity.

If you have an older panel, it may be one that has been linked to electrical fires, such as Stab Lok. Updating may prevent this risk.

Newer panels are more efficient, so if you have a high electricity load, updating your panel may lower your electricity costs. New panels also allow you to use more power. If you plan on adding more appliances or expanding your home, a larger panel will help manage the new load comfortably and safely.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Repair Existing Wiring

Depending on the age of your panel, you may need some of the existing wire repaired or replaced. This costs $6 - $8 per linear foot for the needed wiring.

Remove Old Panel

Before new panels can be installed, the old one must be removed. This is usually added as labor in a replacement job because a large part of the project involves both the removal of the old and installation of the new. Expect removal to take at least an hour at $65 - $85 an hour.

Copper Grounding

Your panel must be grounded, which is usually done through a type of wire. Copper grounding is the most common at a cost of $1.50 a linear foot for materials.

Schematic Drawings

Having a schematic drawn of your electrical wiring is very helpful for homeowners. It provides the locations of the electric system components, making future repairs easier. This is done on an hourly rate at $65 - $85 by your electrician.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • In many areas, electrical panels must be installed outside so that firefighters and other professionals can shut off the power in an emergency. Older homes may need them relocated, or you may need a master switch added to the exterior, which increases costs.
  • Panel upgrades are often done in conjunction with other projects. You will likely find the panel has older parts, worn outlets, or outdated fixtures that must be replaced. Always get a quote for the entire project, taking these items into consideration, to understand your true cost.
  • If you choose to upgrade your panel while burying an overhead line, be advised that you may need to hire a separate service provider to dig the trench.
  • Panel work requires a permit, which costs between $20 and $100 or more. Speak to your electrician to find out if this is covered in their estimate.

FAQs

  • Should I upgrade my electrical panel?

If your home is older and you notice that your lights flicker or your appliances do not run at peak efficiency, consider upgrading your panel.

  • Can I upgrade my electrical panel myself?

No, this work requires a permit, inspection, and a licensed electrician.

  • How often should you upgrade your electrical panel?

There is no one answer, but if you notice that your panel is older, has burn marks, or does not seem to be working well, you should upgrade.

  • What is the difference between a 100 amp and 200 amp panel?

The amps refer to how much electricity the panel can manage without overloading. A 200 amp panel can comfortably run many more appliances and power strips than a 100 amp panel.

  • How do I know if my electrical panel is overloaded?

If your circuits trip frequently, you notice burn marks, or your lights flicker, it means your panel is overloaded.

Was this guide helpful to you?
  

Cost to install an electrical circuit panel upgrade varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Electrician Upgrading Electrical Circuit Panel

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Anchorage, AK
+35%
Arlington, TX
+6%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Chandler, AZ
-2%
Chesapeake, VA
-6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Eau Claire, WI
-5%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fayetteville, NC
-20%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Myers, FL
-7%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Garland, TX
+8%
Gilbert, AZ
-2%
Hampton, VA
-18%
Hialeah, FL
-2%
Houston, TX
+24%
Huntington Beach, CA
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Kokomo, IN
-24%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lavonia, GA
-31%
Little Rock, AR
0%
Longview, WA
-8%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Montrose, CO
-29%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
New York, NY
+77%
Newport News, VA
-12%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Labor cost in your zip code
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