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

Typical Range: $504 - $1,725

Find out how much your project will cost

The average homeowner will pay between $504 and $1,725 to replace or upgrade his or her home's electrical panel. Nationwide, this type of project averages $1,111.
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

Electrical Panel Upgrade Cost Calculator

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National Average
Typical Range
$504 - $1,725
Low End - High End
$125 - $3,000

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 14,417 HomeAdvisor members in .

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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