If you want to upgrade or replace the electric panel in your home, the cost ranges between $505 and $1725 on average, says a licensed electrician in London. As far as entire UK is considered, this cost averages to $1111. The price of the hardware varies with capacity. A unit with low amperage costs as reasonable as $125 although you have to add the costs of labour and materials in addition to that while calculating the final figures.

The factors that affect the cost of domestic electric panel replacement or upgrading include the following:

  • Amperage of the unit
  • Total number of circuits and
  • The type of a home

A London-based emergency electrician says considering everything it is safe to say the final figures will come around $3000 for an average home.  

Electrical systems are the lifeblood of any modern home or building including a country farmhouse or a commercial property at the heart of the city. An electric panel controls or regulates power in a building. From time to time the panel needs to be upgraded for variety of reasons. There can be an additional power usage or a need to upgrade the existing electric panel to modernise the building.

Let us explore the various factors that affect the overall cost in this blog post.

Cost of labour

Labour is the most costly factor in this range of projects. On average, the time taken for an electric panel upgrade lasts 8 to 10 hours. Electrical engineers charge anywhere between $50 and $80 per hour. Therefore, you can expect shelling out anything between $500 and $800 as the overall labour cost.

The labour cost may vary because of site conditions. Depending on the condition of a property, an electrician may require performing additional jobs like split circuits, copper grounding, install new sub panels, replace or extend existing wiring and others. The total labour cost rises based on these factors

Cost to upgrade an electrical system to 200 Amp service

The expenses should remain between $1300 and $3000. A 200 Amp electrical panel itself costs within $100 and $220, whereas a 150 Amp box costs within $100 and $150.

Total upgrading cost you incur
Capacity in Amperes Cost
100 $800 to $1200 in upgrading and $1500 to $2500 in installing a new box
200 Usually within $1300 and $3000
400 Anywhere between $2000 to $4000

In the older times homes did not have the range of present-day lifestyle appliances and central heating. Thus they required lesser power consumption and installed boxes with low amperage. There are still many homes in London that run on electrical panels with capacity ranging between 60 and 100 Amperes.

On the other hand, a home with 150 to 200 Amperage panels provides you with chances of growth. If your home has a large garage, heavy electrical gadgets or substantial additions, you need a box with greater amperage capacity to make life easy, safe and smooth for you.

The cost of upgrading a fuse box to a circuit breaker

This project costs you anything between $1500 and $2000.

Older homes usually run on fused electrical service and not on circuit breakers as in modern homes. It is easy to upgrade an electrical fuse system to a circuit breaker although both have their advantages and disadvantages. The project costs between 41500 and $2000.

Circuit Breaker
Advantages Disadvantages
Can be reset easily No need of fuse replacement Synchronises and functions better with modern electrical requirements Works smoothly with GFCI breaks Less sensitive compared to fuses Reacts slow to surges compared to fuses Proves more sensitive to sudden vibrations and movement
Fuse box
Advantages Disadvantages
More sensitive and reliable than circuit breakers More budget-friendly More sensitive and so may result in blown fuses more frequently More prone to electrical fire More challenging to maintain and repair Do not work with GFCI circuits

According to an experienced electrician in London, the total cost inflates if your home requires an extra circuit. If you have an old home, do consult a licensed electrician before undertaking such projects. The cost of upgrading an old circuit breaker box with a new one costs more or less the same as a fuse box replacement.

Cost of moving an electrical panel

This project costs between $1000 and $2000.

The expense depends on a number of factors including the following:

  • Whether you have an indoor or outdoor unit
  • How many storied your home is
  • The number of circuits needs to be moved
  • Whether using the old box as a junction pint permissible under the existing code

Standard price for installing a new sub panel or main breaker box

This costs around $500. The final figures depend on two factors:

  • The number of circuits and
  • Capacity or amperage of the unit

If the main box is saturated you need installing an extra box to add more circuits. It is also important adding power connection to the new rooms after remodelling or adding extensions to your home. 

Replacement of a fuse or a circuit breaker switch

A standard 15 to 20 Amp circuit breaker switch is sold at $5 to $10. On the other hand, standard 15 to 20 Amp fuses are sold in packs of three and costs within $5 and $10. A professional electrician charges minimum $100 for the job.

Electrical box: Indoor versus outdoor

As per latest regulations, electrical boxes need to be installed outdoors so that in case of fire, fire-fighters can cut off the total electric supply to a building safely and fast. Homes that are over 15 to 20 years old usually have indoor boxes. You have to move those boxes outside to fulfil the latest regulations and bear a cost in the process.

Cost of electrical panels

Electrical panels are sold for anything between $100 and $220 by retailers. The cost of the materials varies depending on the model and features you select. Meter replacement ranges between $300 and $500. You require small materials in this kind of projects like fasteners, connectors and fittings that are likely to cost within $100 overall.

The electrical panel will cost lump sum. Panels that run on higher power are more costly. Many older homes still run on 60 Ampere units while modern homes depend on 100 to 200 Amps capacity to cater to the power requirement of modern lifestyle. It is a smart approach to install a panel box with greater amperage and more circuits at one go to avoid the expense of upgrading it in course of future.

Price of electrical panel unit
Amperage Cost
100 Within $50 to $100
150 Between $100 and $150
200 In between $100 and $220

Electric circuit breakers: AFCI vs. GFCI

Both these varieties of circuit breakers cost as much as 10 times more than standard counterparts. Their price ranges between $35 and $70 per piece. Both the varieties are speciality breakers that reduce chances of fire hazards and electrocution. As per legislation, you have to install these special types of breakers in bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and common rooms.

AFCI is shortened form of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter and it protects from damaged wiring.

GFCI is the shortened form of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and it protects your home against water damage.

If you need installing both the varieties, you can install a combination of both. That is an AFCI/GFCI breaker, although alternatively you can also make use of an AFCI breaker with a GFCI receptacle. Both these ranges of combination breakers cost about $50 and are widely available at home improvement stores. They save you money in buying both the varieties separately.

Additional costs to take into account

In real world, panel upgrading is hardly an independent project. An old unit is more likely to have old wiring, outdated fixtures, damaged circuits and worn outlets from bygone era. If your electrician sees extensive wear and tear, he can recommend upgrading it to ensure safety and functionality of your home power system. Thus the overall project cost varies.

Upgrading versus replacement

Improving functionality is a common factor behind electric panel upgrading. Modern homes or buildings consume more power compared to those of the past. In fact, power usage is bound to go higher with further evolution of technology. Old panels represent obsolete electrical system from a bygone era. Thus upgrading becomes necessary to ensure a safe and hassle-free life as well as to boost resale value of a property.

Certain conditions are tell-tale signs of immediate electrical upgrading of any building. These conditions include the following:

  • Frequently blown fuses
  • Flickering lights
  • Cracking sounds
  • Buzzing

Qualified and licensed electricians at Electric Works London emphasise on calling an electrician if you face any of the issues mentioned above. If left ignored and unresolved, any of these electrical issues may trigger fire in your building.

Feel free to contact us for replacing the electrical panel in your home.

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