Electrical panel replace

9 Replies

We are in the process of making an offer on a house built in 1959, 2300 sq. ft that needs rehab in Dallas. The inspection report noted the electrical panel in the master closet and aluminum wiring. Does anyone in the Dallas area know if I need to replace and move the panel and re-wire to replace the aluminum? I am also looking for a rough estimate of what this would cost.

Michael,

Aluminum wiring does not meet the current requirements of the electrical code. It was used 40-50 years ago and was found to cause fires. I you buy the home "as-is" and don't make any improvements, you can probably get by with the current wiring. But, as soon as you do a renovation that requires a building permit, you will be required to bring the structure up to code. You are looking at a cost somewhere between $2 and $4 / sq. ft. 

Originally posted by @Barry Hensley :

Michael,

Aluminum wiring does not meet the current requirements of the electrical code. It was used 40-50 years ago and was found to cause fires. I you buy the home "as-is" and don't make any improvements, you can probably get by with the current wiring. But, as soon as you do a renovation that requires a building permit, you will be required to bring the structure up to code. You are looking at a cost somewhere between $2 and $4 / sq. ft. 

 To add to what Michael was saying. The panel can no longer be in a closet per NEC code where Anything that can be flammable can be stored or access to the panel can be blocked. You also need to have 18 inches to the sides and three feet to the front clear. If is a pantry closet and you can meet the clearance requirement then you will not have to move the panel. 

@Michael Kaufman  Also watch out for the old Federal Pacific electric panels. I imagine that's what's in the house and noted in the report. People have different opinions on whether they really need to be replaced, but some insurers won't insure a house with a Federal panel if they're aware of it. Also depends on if you're living in the house or renting it out (you might very well choose to live with the old panel, whereas there's more liability if you put a tenant in there and don't replace it).

Chad


Originally posted by @Barry Hensley:

 To add to what Michael was saying. The panel can no longer be in a closet per NEC code where Anything that can be flammable can be stored or access to the panel can be blocked. You also need to have 18 inches to the sides and three feet to the front clear. If is a pantry closet and you can meet the clearance requirement then you will not have to move the panel. 

another reason we often put smoke/CO detectors close to old panels....they have been known to 'smoke' in older homes before replacement is completed.

echoing others. It can be a pain to update. check the new building/fire codes in the area.  Call an insurance company in the area and ask them if they will insure it?

If you do gov't renting like a section 8 - they will have requirements too and refuse to rent your place unless you update it.

Easily a $5K job and more if you have to re-wire entire building and any agency might require you pull the old stuff out completely.  I ran into something call something like knob and tube in a triplex and its was 30K.

As has been said, it depends on what you are doing.  

I personally wouldn't be scared to live in a house with aluminum wiring, but there's a question in the seller's disclosure about aluminum wiring, it'll show up in any buyer's inspection report and scare off plenty of buyers if you are doing a flip.  I'd be thinking $6-$8k on that size of a house if its got sheetrock up, lots more work to fish it than if the studs are exposed..  

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here