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How Much Does It Cost To Upgrade Or Replace An Electrical Panel?

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Typical Range
$509 - $1,713
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The average homeowner will pay between $509 and $1,713 to replace or upgrade his or her home's electrical panel. Nationwide, this type of project averages $1,109.
A low-amperage unit can run as little as $125 excluding labor, permits, and other materials. Depending on the amperage, the type of home, and the number of circuits, the job could cost as much as $3,000.
Whether it's a farm home in the country or a large commercial complex in the city, electrical systems are the lifeblood of modern properties. Electrical boxes control power in the house. When an upgrade is needed for added power usage or modernization, many factors can decide the costs. Before a home or business owner decides to commit to an upgrade, he or she should carefully consider all of the factors involved.

On This Page

  1. Costs to Replace & Upgrade
    1. Upgrading to 200-Amp
    2. Changing from a Fuse Box to a Circuit Breaker
    3. Moving a Panel
    4. Installing a New Breaker Box or Sub Panel
    5. Replacing a Circuit Breaker Switch or Fuse
    6. Inside vs. Outside Electrical Boxes
  2. Electrical Panel Costs
    1. AFCI vs. GFCI Breakers
    2. Top Service Panels
  3. Additional Costs
  4. Reasons to Upgrade or Replace
  5. Pros & Cons of Updating
  6. DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

Labor Costs to Replace & Upgrade

When upgrading a panel, labor will be the most sizable part of costs. An average upgrade takes about 8 to 10 hours to complete. Electrical professionals charge anywhere from $50 to $80 per hour. Clients can expect to pay between $500 and $800 for their project labor. Electrical contractors are highly trained professionals. They earn a good hourly rate for their services. Typically, wages are set by an official body like the National Electrical Contractors Association.
Prices fluctuate depending on site conditions. An electrician may need to do extra work when existing wiring and conduits, copper grounding, split circuits, new sub panels, or access to the exterior source need repair. A quote from a professional should include any of these extra tasks, as well as disposal of old equipment.

Upgrading to a 200-Amp Service - $1,300 - $3,000

A homeowner should expect to pay between $1,300 and $3,000 to upgrade an existing unit to a 200-amp service, including professional install. Alone, a 200-amp box will cost $100 - $220. In comparison, a 150-amp version runs between $100 and $150.
100$800 to $1,200 or $1,500 to $2,500 if a new box is needed
200$1,300 to $3,000
400$2,000 to $4,000
Older homes often run low-amperage boxes because they didn’t have central air, modern appliances, or today’s electronics in mind. Many homes with 60- to 100-amp units run close to maximum capacity. An increase to 150- or 200-amp service gives you room to grow. Homes with additions or large garages and hefty electrical equipment may need added amperage to support the extra power draw.
A homeowner should contact the power company to decide if the supply line to the home needs an upgrade to support the added power. Costs could more than double if extensive work, such as trenching, is required. However, if your existing line can support 125, 150, or 175 amps, you can save money by changing your box to a lower amperage. While the units themselves do not vary a lot in price, you will save money on labor to both install the new model and replace the power line. Call a licensed professional for specific project costs and to plan for your specific electrical needs.
Consult an Electrician before installation

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Costs of Changing from a Fuse Box to a Circuit Breaker Box - $1,500 - $2,000

Some older homes have a fused electrical service. While there are positive aspects of both, some homeowners may wish to update the fuse box to a modern circuit breaker. Replacing a fuse box with a breaker box runs between $1,500 and $2,000.
CIRCUIT BREAKER Advantages & Disadvantages
  • Easy to reset
  • No Fuse replacement
  • Works with GFCI breaks
  • Works better with modern electrical needs
  • Less sensitive
  • Slower to react to surges
  • More sensitive to sudden movement and vibrations
FUSE BOX Advantages & Disadvantages
  • More sensitive than circuit breakers
  • Inexpensive
  • Sensitivity can lead to more frequent blown fuses
  • One-size-fits-all circuits support any amp fuse (can lead to fire hazards)
  • Does not work with GFCI circuits
  • Harder to maintain/repair
If new wiring is necessary, or the homeowner wants to add additional circuits to the home, the price of materials and labor increases. Rates to upgrade an old circuit breaker box to a new one will be close to replacing a fuse box. Homeowners, especially those in older homes, should consult a professional for a quote.

Moving an Electrical Panel - $1,000 - $2,000

Estimated rates for moving a panel from one area of the home to another range from $1,000 to $2,000. Actual costs can vary depending on project factors such as:
  • whether the unit is indoors or outdoors
  • how many floors are in the home
  • how many circuits will move
  • whether code allows using the existing box as a junction point
Where extensive work is required, the project may be considered a rewire. Price will change accordingly.

Average Price to Install a New Main Breaker Box or Sub Panel - $500

The cost to install a new electrical breaker box or sub panel is about $500. Exact cost depends on the number of circuits and the amperage of the unit. If the main box is full, installing an extra one will allow homeowners to add more circuits. You may also need to provide power to new rooms when remodeling or building additions.

Replacing a Circuit Breaker Switch or Fuse

Standard, 15- to 20-amp circuit breaker switches cost $5 to $10 each. Standard, 15- to 20-amp fuses come in packs of three costing $5 to $10. Homeowners should expect to pay at least $100 for professional installation. Older circuits and fuses may be difficult to find and cost up to $70. Price for installation should be about the same.

Inside vs. Outside Electrical Boxes

Electrical box regulations now require they be attached outside of the home. In a fire, firefighters can turn off the home’s electricity safely and quickly from the exterior.
Homes more than 12 - 15 years old may still have indoor boxes. Moving it outside could be necessary and add to the cost of the project. Otherwise, location shouldn’t affect the price of installation. Project cost increases if a professional must tear out and replace drywall or plaster to perform the necessary work. Expect to pay about $1.50 per square foot for professional drywall repair.
Have a Local Electrician Inspect Your Panel

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Electrical Panel Costs

Retail price of the panel itself is $100 to $220. Total material costs depend on the type of unit and features you choose. In some cases, the local power company will need to install a new power supply and meter to meet the property's new electrical needs. Meters cost $300 to $500 to replace. Small materials like fittings, connectors, and fasteners usually total less than $100.
The panel itself will be the biggest expense. How much power you need will affect the total price. Some older homes have their original 60-amp units, but modern homes typically need 100 to 200 amps of power to handle the everyday electrical load of computers, air conditioning, and appliances. Installing a box with more amperage and more circuits can prevent the expense of future increases.
100$50 to $100
150$100 to $150
200$100 to $220

AFCI vs. GFCI Breakers

AFCI and GFCI breakers can be as much as 10 times the price of standard versions, between $35 and $70 each. Specialty breakers offer extra protection to help reduce the likelihood of electrical hazards, like fires or electrocution. Code requires this type of protection in areas of the home such as common rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens.
  • Arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers protect against damaged wiring.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) models protect against water damage.
When the system needs both types of protection, you have two choices. You can either use a combination AFCI/GFCI breaker or an AFCI breaker with a GFCI receptacle. Combination breakers cost about $50 at home improvement stores. Combo units are usually more cost-effective than buying the specialty breaker and receptacle separately.

Federal Pacific & Other Top Service Panels

In addition to amps and number of circuits, the brand you choose will affect how much you pay. Some manufacturers offer warranties on their products when installed by a licensed professional.
Home Depot Product Pricing
BrandModel or Product LinePriceWarranty
Square DQO$50-$270Lifetime
Square DHomeline$30-$27010 Years
SiemensAll$50-$50010 Years
General Electric (GE)All$60-$3001 Year
Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) and Zinsco were two of the most common manufacturers of circuit breaker boxes from the 1950s to 1980s. When these units did not meet safety standards, retailers stopped selling them. However, these brands are still installed in many homes across the country. If your home has one, you should contact a professional to replace it as soon as possible.
Get Your Old Circuit Breaker Replaced

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Additional Costs

Panel upgrades are not always independent projects. An old unit may also have old wiring, worn outlets, outdated fixtures, and damaged circuits. Electricians who notice extensive wear and tear may recommend upgrades to other components. Necessary updates can significantly increase the costs of a given project, but they support a safe and functional power system.

Reasons to Upgrade or Replace

You can upgrade your panel for both functional and financial reasons. Modern homes need more power than decades-old homes and businesses. As technology grows, power requirements will continue to increase. Prospective homeowners may look at old panels as a sign of an obsolete electrical system in disrepair. Updating can make a difference for resale.
Update systems with safety hazards and urgent signs of failure immediately. FPE or Zinsco models, known to be safety hazards, should be replaced as soon as possible. Conditions that show an immediate need for attention include:
  • flickering lights
  • buzzing
  • crackling sounds
  • blown fuses
If you see any of these symptoms, contact an electrician as soon as possible. In some cases, heat can build up in the walls and cause a fire. While repair may be enough, pros will often recommend an upgrade to improve the overall quality of the system and prevent future hazards.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Updating Your Electrical Box

Updating a panel has a lot of advantages. Most older homes only used enough electricity to need 100 amps, but modern equipment often requires as many as 200 amps. Homeowners who upgrade can install new devices and appliances without the fear of running out of juice or breaking their system.
The main disadvantages to panel upgrades are the upfront costs and the turmoil construction often brings. Address both disadvantages by starting the project during a planned renovation or addition. When walls are already being torn down for other purposes, an electrician can jump in and make the necessary upgrades. The savings earned by coordinating projects can be significant.
Have a Pro Upgrade Your Electrical Box

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DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

Electrical repairs are dangerous. The perils of replacing your box are too many to consider doing it yourself. When a property owner has decided to upgrade, he or she should find a licensed and insured electrician. Leave electrical system issues to trained professionals who know exactly how to handle them. Pros pull the proper permits and work with your local power supplier. A professional will also be familiar with current code and safety requirements. This will ensure your family is safe from hazards, as well as prevent expensive repairs in the future.
To keep expenses as low as possible, homeowners should request quotes from at least three different contractors. Use a combination of trust, cost, experience, and reputation to make a final decision.
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Debra Kirchner More than 1 year ago
If a Home Owner wishes to simply change their Electrical Service Panel, and keep the same power then the fee is much lower, more in line with what has been talked about.  However, for an actual upgrade from let's say a 100 amp panel to a 200 amp Electrical Panel, or 200 amps to 400 amps, depending on the size of the homes, there would have to be an Electrical Permit pulled through the county where the project is located to make it Legal.  The prices of the panel upgrades vary between the counties, because of the different permit fees.  The amount of time needed to complete the work would depend on how many circuits are in use, and/or have to be wired into the panel.  With all of the new electrical components for our homes, electrical upgrades are needed to help run them all!
Steven Phillips More than 1 year ago
Don't forget the potential upgrades necessary for a 100 amp to 100 amp panel change. Existing grounding is frequently inadequate and needs to be brought up to a safer condition. The 2011 NEC requires AFCI breakers ($60-$80@ installed cost) in all living-dining-bedroom areas, 2014 NEC adds many more areas to this AFCI requirement.
John Stolec, Jr. More than 1 year ago
The above mentioned Labor Costs; Material Costs and Additional Costs are certainly NOT accurate for cities and unicorporated areas of San Diego County, CA.  The costs for permits have risen dramatically.  Last week, I pulled a permit for a Main Service Panel Upgrade (from 100 Amps to 200 Amps) in the City of Oceanside.  Cost was $211.34  With the local utility company being overwhelmed with the amount of solar instllations, the lead time for the utility to plan/approve your upgrade can take up to 14 weeks.  My average price for a 200 Amp Main Service Panel upgrade is $2,200.00
Karina Hutton More than 1 year ago
Skilled labor is not cheap, and cheap labor is not skilled.
Leonardo Villarreal More than 1 year ago
Cost of panel upgrades is incorrect! Must be Handyman prices someone who is not licensed. What about permits, most AHJ want you to be onsite, Thats an additional charge. 
MICHAEL singh More than 1 year ago
an average panel change out 200 amp should be between $1,800.00 and $2,200.00 , copper wires to meter can will be at extra cost ,,,200 amp meter/combo change out ,$1,600.00 grding to code , add $350 for permit or home owner pays fees
Louis Roselle More than 1 year ago
Doug Dorsey More than 1 year ago
i like this site better than Angie's list its more friendly usable
Shane Daly More than 1 year ago
Excellent information. We have received wildly differing quotes so far from $2000 - $7000, maybe this market needs more regulation?
Steven Phillips More than 1 year ago
Market regulation would likely place the cost closer to the $7K estimate. 
Joshua Wilson More than 1 year ago
In my area usually a panel upgrade ranges from $1200 for a 100 amp and $2500 for a 200 amp. This does include all materials and permits. Now when you get into a 400 amp the cost will reach $4000-$6500 dollars. To me i try to just make a living not a killing. I try to work with people and help them. I’ve read some of the cost in bigger cities and you couldn’t expect the cost to be the same in the country as what it would be in like New York City. 
Joan Salamon More than 1 year ago
I want to add a circuit to my panel to add an outdoor outlet for my Christmas decor approximately how much would this cost panel is in the garage, out let would near the outside of the garage?
Richard Devine More than 1 year ago
project not started...waiting on estimate.
shirley-george clabron More than 1 year ago
Excellent information.well we still need to get 2 more estimates and reference .
Matthew Stanley More than 1 year ago
The prices of electrical permits and inspections are so high and although copper is at a low price right now, the amount of available electrical journeyman to hire is really low in the shadow of the demand for them. This has driven electrician wages up and therefore prices of such services. We charged 1200-1500 last year on average and now we have to charge 1800-2000 just to cover rising costs.
ruth smith More than 1 year ago
how to determine how many amps are needed for my home?
Frank Hunt More than 1 year ago
well our upgrade to a 100 amp service ,new panel I was charged 700.00 took about 4 hr's
Thang Duong More than 1 year ago
Whom did you use? Could I have your electrician's contact?
Mark Miller More than 1 year ago
Would like to contact this electrician. It's half of  the price that I was given.

Melvin lowell More than 1 year ago
Break tat down and he's getting paid $55 an hour for him
KELLY DORMAN More than 1 year ago
Thank you for the information. This gives us a good idea of what price range to expect to pay.
Robson Silva More than 1 year ago
this price includes material ?
Armando Cordoba More than 1 year ago
this is not true no major electric company will do this job for that price their minimum is like 3,000 since its at least a man job. The cheapest we do them for as a small business is for about 1,300 including material and that price depends if the wiring in the panel is long enough that it would be able to be connected in the new panel
Melvin lowell More than 1 year ago
Not if the work is 80℅ done and all they have to is snap they meter in and they are donr
ruth smith More than 1 year ago
window treatment is the most needed  at this time
mike wolfe More than 1 year ago
I want to put a 2  switches in from the top floor to the basement 
Melvin lowell More than 1 year ago
Me and my brother just got done putting a 100 amp main in and we paid in total cost was $485.71. tat was for electrician to come and do his and also having the light company come and put they menter in new box
Steven Phillips More than 1 year ago
This one speaks for itself, good luck selling your house!

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