Cost to replace electrical panel?

12 Replies

Trying to buy a property around the Worcester MA area that needs a new electric panel. Trying to get a handle on how much that might be. I've heard anywhere from $1000-$4000. It's a 100amp panel for a small unit and I don't believe any updated wiring is needed. Also if anyone has someone great they use around that area, I'd be happy to give them business and have a good electrician on hand for future things.

it is super hard to find anyone.  I figure around $2500-3500 depending on the number of breakers, the issue is that once you pull the permits you need to bring everything up to code.  You will need GFCI's in the kitchens and bathrooms, along with a whole list of other things.  That is where you might get up to $5k.  Also you now have to use AFCI breakers for everything which is minimum $50 per breaker just to buy them.  Most electricians are 4 weeks out at this point to do a new project

If you have to change the exterior meter socket, install an exterior switch and perhaps a new weather head, the costs could go up. I'd check first with your municipality and see what other upgrades they require. Why does the box need to be changed out? If you're not upgrading the service, usually it's not necessary unless you have a Federal Pacific or other "bad" type of set up.

@John Teachout I was told my the sellers agent that previous home inspections yielded nothing significant. The water heater had a little corrosion, which I saw (and frankly means it needs to be replaced) and he said one previous inspector noticed a little condensation in the electric panel. He said one inspector noticed it but didn’t say it was an issue and another didn’t mention anything at all. I’m going to be getting my own inspection but for the moment I’m assuming both of those need replacing. 

Condensation in the panel probably is due to a lack of insulation behind the box (ie, the insulation is removed to make room for the box between the studs.) Changing the panel box isn't going to solve that. You're chasing the wrong thing.

@Tony Alvine . I typically do not recommend home inspectors. That being said make sure if you hire in inspector they have been doing it for a while so they know where to look. Also if you know something is wrong. Get someone in that trade as well. Think of thr inspector as a general practitioner and you may want a surgeon

Thanks @Jonathan Bombaci

@Tony Alvine if it really is just the panel and all wiring is to code then is shouldn’t be too bad. I can’t put a price out there without seeing but certainly not less than $1000.

You do not need to upgrade everything to gfci and arcfault due to a panel change as your not modifying the circuit. You should have gfci on counters regardless.

Based on what you have described above I’m unsure why the panel needs to be replaced. Moisture is not good but if there’s no damage/corrosion of the live equipment then it’s not necessary yet and your better off dealing with the source of the moisture. If you want to send me some pictures shoot me a message and we can connect.