The term panel upgrade can seem very scary and confusing. A lot of questions may come to mind:
- How much does a panel upgrade cost?
- How long will a panel upgrade taken?
- Do I even need a panel upgrade?
Let’s start with: What is a panel upgrade? In simplest terms, it is just that an upgrade to your electrical panel, which can also be called the main service panel. You home’s electrical panel is the grey box that contains the fuses or circuit breakers used to bring electricity into your home. This is where you run to when the power has “tripped”.
What could be a reason for a panel upgrade? There are quite a few reasons one might need a panel upgrade. A recent house rewire, addition of appliances, just an old, outdated panel.
A house rewire updates all the wiring in your home so naturally a panel upgrade only seems logical. When rewiring your home, the wiring is replaced with newer wiring that better suits your needs. Your panel then should be upgraded for the same reason.
Adding large appliances to your home such as refrigerators, air conditioners, or car chargers may overload the panel if it’s not big enough. Older homes were built with 60 amp panels, which were fine back then. Now that technology is advancing and TVs are getting bigger, a need for more electricity is necessary. Today 100 amp panels or even 200 amp panels are the recommended size for a traditional home. When you upgrade you panel to stay up to date you are also helping keep your family safe at home.
Preparing for a Panel Upgrade
A lot may need to be done before a panel can be upgraded but a professional electrician should be able to help you through the process.
Many states require the utility company to come out before the upgrade starts to ensure that the panel is placed in the right spot. This is usually called a Meter Spot. If the placement of your meter is in a spot that violates any safety or code violations it may be moved to a different location. The meter spot is an important part of a panel upgrade as it makes sure the job can be completed correctly the first time.
Access is also a very important part in preparing for a panel upgrade. If a meter spot is require, access for the inspector will be necessary. To be sure the electrician and the inspector can access your panel, clear any plants or bushes than might have grown around your panel. Dogs should be kept inside on both the meter spot day as well as during the upgraded. Any gates that may be blocking access to the panel should be left unlocked or left open.
The panel upgrade itself should take from 4 to 8 hours to completed. Combined with waiting for the utility company to come out it may take a few days for the whole process to be completed.
Panel Upgrade Costs
The cost of a panel upgrade greatly depends on the amperage needed as well as the size of your home. A larger home will require a larger panel. The panel upgrade cost can range anywhere from $800 to $3,000. This may seems like a giant range but an electrician and surely narrow it down for you after reviewing your situation.
Elcon Electric is proud to have served South Florida for over 25 years. We have provided many panel upgrade to the residents of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and the surrounding cities. Our technicians have the expertise to provide the best panel upgrade near you. If you need an estimate for a panel upgrade at your home, don’t hesitate to call us: (800) 446-8915