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Old 03-24-2011, 05:53 PM   #1
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main panel upgrade cost


I'm running out of circuits in my main panel. I had a couple of electricians come in to quote a change of my 100A, 20 circuit main panel to a 30 circuit panel. They both quoted $650. Is this an expected price?

The panel cannot support tandem breakers.

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Old 03-24-2011, 06:45 PM   #2
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Since you are staying with a 100 amp service, I would think a sub panel would work too. It would be a lot easier.

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Old 03-24-2011, 07:58 PM   #3
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I would think a subpanel maybe a little more because there more material needed. Whereas all the material needed is a bigger panel not as much.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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Price sounds good to me; I paid about double that but that is why you have to shop and asking prices here doesn't work unless I lived next door to you and even then conditions/situations are so different that they are usually an apples:oranges comparison.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:27 PM   #5
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Changing over a panel is easy, do you have any knowledge of electrical?
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:10 AM   #6
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Changing over a panel is easy, do you have any knowledge of electrical?
I do have some knowledge of electrical. I've updated some wiring in my house. But I feel like I'm over my head on this one.

I did consider a subpanel but I already have at least 5 future circuits in mind, and would like the capacity for more, so I'd like at least 10 new breakers. There might be subpanels that are that big, but I'd rather have just one panel taking up wall space. Plus, if we decide to put an addition on the house 10-15 yrs down the line, I would just upgrade to 200A altogether, and I figure it'd be easier to switch out the one panel instead of take out two.

I find it interesting that both electricians both quoted $650 without even blinking an eye. I wonder if thats the standard cost for upgrading a panel?
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jerseystyle26 View Post
Changing over a panel is easy, do you have any knowledge of electrical?
Seriously? You do realize this is a DIY board. It is not that "easy" for most people. Maybe for a DIY with quite a bit of experience.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:20 AM   #8
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I find it interesting that both electricians both quoted $650 without even blinking an eye. I wonder if thats the standard cost for upgrading a panel?
I doubt it. Most jobs are bid on an individual basis.

Personally I'd pop for the 200A upgrade now. While $650 might be a decent price, IMO it is a lot to spend for 10 extra circuits.

Also, a sub panel will be considerable cheaper in most cases. It is MUCH easier to add a new empty panel next to an existing one that it is to replace a full 20 circuit main panel.
And i don't know what jersey is thinking. Thee is much more material in replacing a main panel. How about a full panel's worth of breakers?
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:42 AM   #9
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I doubt it. Most jobs are bid on an individual basis.

Personally I'd pop for the 200A upgrade now. While $650 might be a decent price, IMO it is a lot to spend for 10 extra circuits.
Can see your point; I'm sure the cost is mostly labor. A new panel is around $110 and the electrican says he's charged $3.23 per breaker and marks them up to $4.

But I also think spending $1500 (his estimate) to upgrade to 200A is a lot to spend, especially on capacity I probably don't need. I have oil heat, gas range, and my big electric appliances are central air for 1500 sq ft house, electric dryer, dishwasher, OTR microwave.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:47 AM   #10
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Debasio,
You wrote: "But I also think spending $1500 (his estimate) to upgrade to 200A is a lot to spend..."
I thought your estimates were $650 to do this swap?
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:49 AM   #11
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$650 to upgrade to a 100A 30 circuit panel, from a 20 circuit panel

$1500 to upgrade to a 200A service
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:52 AM   #12
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Debasio,
You wrote: "But I also think spending $1500 (his estimate) to upgrade to 200A is a lot to spend..."
I thought your estimates were $650 to do this swap?
The $650 was to change a 20 space 100 A to a 30 space 100 A.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:19 AM   #13
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If you think you will be upgrading to 200 amp in the future have him put in a 200 amp panel now with a 100 breaker in it. Then in the future you will only have to change the breaker and service feeding it. The panel can reamin.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseystyle26
I would think a subpanel maybe a little more because there more material needed. Whereas all the material needed is a bigger panel not as much.
I doub't you've ever installed a panel or sub-panel.
Installing a sub-panel will be cheaper and easier.

My vote is to go 200 amp or add a sub-panel.
Replacing the panel with one with more slots is extra work without much benifit.

Adding a sub-panel is an easier DIY project.
I think that 200amp panels are unnecissary in most cases.
It will add a lot of cost:Probably around triple, depending on your setup.
How many times has someone tripped a main breaker?
I'm not an electrician, but I've never heard of it happening.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
If you think you will be upgrading to 200 amp in the future have him put in a 200 amp panel now with a 100 breaker in it. Then in the future you will only have to change the breaker and service feeding it. The panel can reamin.
You can do that? Are 200A panels significantly more expensive? What distinguishes a 200A panel from 100A?

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