An electrical panel goes by many different names, including a distribution board, a panel board, a breaker panel, an electrical panel, a fuse box, or a breaker box. Regardless of what you call yours, if you are considering replacing it, you may be looking to obtain an estimate before you make the decision to replace it. If you have talked to friends or family who have had theirs replaced, or looked up the information online, you may have a ballpark idea as to what it costs to replace one. But there are many factors that can cause the price to increase. Here are a few of the factors that can affect the price that you are quoted for an electrical panel replacement.
If the Electrical Panel is Being Moved
One of the factors that can drastically increase the cost associated with electrical panel replacement is moving the electrical panel. If you are looking to replace your panel, that is the perfect time to move a panel that may be in an awkward spot or inconvenient area. Some older homes have the boxes inside of closets or near a kitchen, while newer homes may have the boxes outside or in the garage. You can move the box anywhere you want, either inside or outside. But in order for it to be moved, a lot of rewiring needs to occur. This causes the price increase.
If You Are Upgrading the Amp Service of the Panel
Another factor that will increase the cost of an electrical panel replacement is upgrading the amp service of the panel. This is commonly done when replacing the electrical panel on older homes. When older homes were constructed, people weren't using as much electricity as they do today. They weren't plugging in cellphones, modems, or gaming systems. As such, an older home may not be able to supply enough power. Upgrading the amp service of the panel helps to increase the electrical output, supplying enough power to your home. But this comes at a price.
If You Are Switching From a Fuse Box to a Circuit Breaker Box
The last factor that can increase the cost of electrical panel replacement is if you are switching from a fuse box to a circuit breaker box. Circuit breakers are preferred over fuses. If you blow a fuse, you have to replace the entire fuse, which is costly and time consuming. If you trip a circuit, you can reset it, which is faster and easier. In order for a circuit breaker box to take the place of a fuse box, the area around the box needs to be rewired to accommodate the new system, resulting in an added expense for you.
Moving an electrical panel, upgrading the amp service of the panel, and switching the type of panel or box you have can increase the costs associated with replacing an electrical panel. Before selecting a company to do your electrical work, get quotes from at least three companies to help you determine which company offers a fair price for the work you need performed.