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Old 09-02-2006, 02:49 AM   #1
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Circuit breaker panel - Advice needed


hi. My house has a 100 amp circuit breaker panel and its too old. I've tried to buy a 20 amp circuit breaker to replace the old one and it costed around 60 dollars too expensive for me. I want to add more breaker. What option do i have? I was thinking about adding a small sub panel, where i could connect it to the 100 amp breaker. OR do i have to replace the whole breaker box? I notice that newer breaker box have an 200 amp breaker. During september of 05 they have replaced the electric pole and ran new power cable to our house, so the power cable is good. If i get the box replaced. what are the procedures? i think the power company will be involve right? How much do u think it would cost for a new box to be installed? i definely know that i have to hire an electrical contractor. by the way my circuit breaker panel is outside, embed in a wall. And do i have to hire an electrical contractor to do all of my electrical? because i know how to "diy" on electrical and plumbing. I've heard and known about the codes. I will add pic of my current circuit breaker panel if needed. thank you in advance.

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Old 09-02-2006, 04:34 AM   #2
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You have to have a permit and inspection by your Building Inspection Department.
Here, a new 200 amp replacement panel with all new breakers, etc. costs about $600-$700 to have done properly to code (turn-key) by an electrical contractor.
This is normally well beyond the average DIYer, but IF you're an advanced and highly experienced DIY "electrician", you may be able to DIY, IF your local code permits it (or not).
Electrical work is NOT something to guess about. If you are an expert at this, then do it. If not, hire a pro or don't attempt it at all. You're only asking for a fire or electrocution.
Good Luck!
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Old 09-02-2006, 09:45 AM   #3
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Thanks mike. i know thats not starting soon. i've heard of the codes but don't know where i can obtain my local codes. i should keep learing in school and then get a license in electrical, plumbing, and framing. thanks again.
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Old 09-05-2006, 04:12 PM   #4
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wow $600-$700 for a 200 amp upgrade here in NY that would cost you 2000+ and there is no licenses here
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Old 09-05-2006, 04:45 PM   #5
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Where are you getting $2000 for a 200 amp upgrade? That is way high for my area of the HV.
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Old 09-05-2006, 07:07 PM   #6
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Dutchess county

Im not in the trade no more but I know someone that charges $1850 . Average is $2000....My uncle just got jacked by some con for $2800 he told him $1600 and then when they were half done and needed to come another day they said we need $1200 more to come back.
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Old 09-07-2006, 03:57 PM   #7
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well I agree, for 600, 500, go for contractor, it is cheap for what you get back in return...

for 2000... it is a different story... the problem is you need to ask the government to turn off/on the switch before and after your work.. this is headache to me... when they learn that you are DIY, I am afraid they will give you hard time...not that they are wrong... who wasn't when it may cause fire...
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:49 PM   #8
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Well, I am in "very rural" northeastern NC (Washington Co. pop. 13,300). But, that's about what it costs here.
NY and NYC are another story. I have no real idea, but I would guess 3-4 times as much, as we see.
Mercy, thank God I'm a "country boy"!
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:32 PM   #9
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Circuit breaker panel - Advice needed


Check with the Building Inspector in your area to see if you (as the homeowner) are allowed to do your own work. Here in NC, in most locales, the homeowner is permitted to do this work, although, you will be subject to having it inspected.

Since you're a homeowner, I would NOT recommend that you work with the service cables (wires from the street) "hot". So, you'll need your local power Co. to de-energize those lines while you complete the work, & they will most certainly require a building/electrical inspector to assess, & sign-off on the job prior to re-energizing the conductors.

Just a guess, but I'm willing to bet that that old breaker that's going to cost $60.00, is a Federal Pacific (FPE) breaker. Am I right?

If so, you really should upgrade. FPE has been out of business for many, many, years. One of the things that led to their demise, is the fact that a LOT of house fires were attributed to their panels! If you think that breaker is expensive, wait till you find out that, should you ever need to replace the 100A main breaker, it'll set you back $300.00+!
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotusAmazingus View Post
Check with the Building Inspector in your area to see if you (as the homeowner) are allowed to do your own work. Here in NC, in most locales, the homeowner is permitted to do this work, although, you will be subject to having it inspected.

Since you're a homeowner, I would NOT recommend that you work with the service cables (wires from the street) "hot". So, you'll need your local power Co. to de-energize those lines while you complete the work, & they will most certainly require a building/electrical inspector to assess, & sign-off on the job prior to re-energizing the conductors.

Just a guess, but I'm willing to bet that that old breaker that's going to cost $60.00, is a Federal Pacific (FPE) breaker. Am I right?

If so, you really should upgrade. FPE has been out of business for many, many, years. One of the things that led to their demise, is the fact that a LOT of house fires were attributed to their panels! If you think that breaker is expensive, wait till you find out that, should you ever need to replace the 100A main breaker, it'll set you back $300.00+!
I have a box full in my garage.(various amps)
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:44 PM   #11
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Where are you getting $2000 for a 200 amp upgrade? That is way high for my area of the HV.

2k plus in AZ also.


My first one was $600 back in the 70's. 6 months experience/side job. My boss told me the steps to take from disconnect to reconnect. I loaded up my Pinto and went after it. I remember cutting the SEC with a hacksaw

I wonder if the two screw romex connectors I used to temp it are still in place?
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:02 PM   #12
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Here in my part of California two inspections are required, a utility release before hookup and a final. A new 200 amp panel costs $3995 + $200 for a permit.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:52 PM   #13
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A new 200 amp panel costs $3995 + $200 for a permit.
Four GRAND? I find this unbelievable!

I am right near HVExt and I am in the $1700-$1800 range.
I should re-think my pricing.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:03 PM   #14
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$2k includes the panel here in LA, plus permit and inspection fees and having the DWP meter spotter come out and confirm you can put it where the old one was.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:24 PM   #15
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I should re-think my pricing.
You should ALWAYS be rethinking your pricing. Ten years ago I thought 1600 was high but people were getting it so we followed suit. It's a lot of damn work and requires a lot of damn tools and knowledge not to mention occaisionally putting your life at risk.

Occaisionally on a higher end house our price will approach 4K. It's a dirty job but i enjoy it when we are being well paid.

My business partner does all the quotes because he has a better perspective than I do. The longer you do this kind of work the cheaper you will work for if you don't somehow keep up with the cost of doing business.

Hey, if we don't deserve it, WHO DOES?

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