Regular checks on the electric panel are very important. If you live in older homes and add electric gadgets to your house, then it is strongly advised to check your electric panel. Your current circuit breaker may not be catering to your electric needs quite efficiently. The old electric panels may not be safe and may pose a risk of electric fires also. As the need for electric gadgets is increasing exponentially in today’s generation, it is strictly suggested that the maintenance of electric panels should be a part of your routine. Moreover, sometimes electric panels may even need a replacement or up-gradation.
It is a thumb rule, to replace electric panels after every 25-40 years. Sometimes we miss common signs that indicate that the electric panels need an urgent replacement! If you ever see flickering light bulbs, experience shocks when you touch a small appliance or sense warmth around the electric panel. Then, my friend, you should immediately check the panel.
The cost to upgrade your electric panel may vary from 500$ to 4000$. This could not be done by yourself, so the cost to hire an electrician also has to be considered. This may vary from 50$ to 100$ per hour. A person may have to incur an expense of almost 200$ to 2000$ to complete the whole up-gradation process. On average, it requires almost 4 to 8 hours to upgrade an electric panel. This time average does not include the time taken to rewire or install new wires.
The exact cost of up-gradation depends entirely on the amperage to which you want to upgrade. To upgrade to a 200 Amps Service panel, the cost will range from 1300$ to 1600$. The cost may rise to 1800$ to 2500$ if a new service panel is required. To upgrade to 100 Amps, it will cost around 1000$. The cost of the box is around 50$ to 200$. So, the labour cost takes a bigger part in the total. The cost to upgrade to a 400 Amps service panel varies from 1500$ to 2000$. This also includes the label cost and the cost of the new service panel.
The total cost of installation depends entirely on the setup. Sometimes electricians may install two 200 Amps panels, using one of them as a sub-panel. This cost almost half compared to when you buy one 400 Amp setup. But on the other hand, the labour charges increase. Upgradation to a 200 Amp electric panel provides the scope to grow electric appliances at home. It may even allow hefty electric gadgets to run smoothly.
In modern times, to live a luxurious life and buy all the latest gadgets in the market, upgrading the electric panel is mandatory. It has become more of a necessity than a luxury as some homes’ wirings have not been changed since the late 1980s and even plugging in gadgets like iron or washing machine can bring the whole fuse down or cause serious accidents.
Replacing electric panels has no disadvantage except the fact that it may cost too much. It can sometimes burn a hole in your pocket. But this is a one-time investment. Once upgraded, you will not have to worry about the wirings for a long time. But while this process is going on, you have to completely cut off the electricity from your home. So you cannot use your kitchen lights or fan as the up-gradation process is going on.
Better safe than sorry. It is always better to check and make the changes required in your electric panel rather than living in danger that it might cause an accident at any time.