The cost for replacing the electrical panel?

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  #1  
Old 04-13-06, 08:08 AM
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The cost for replacing the electrical panel?

What is the possible cost for converting a fuse controled panal to a breaker service panel? I wish to know before contacting electricians. It is a small house with about 10 lines.
 
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Old 04-13-06, 08:16 AM
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There are a lot of factors involved. You will also have a choice of service size: 100A, 150A, or 200A; the electrician you hire should do a demand load calculation to determine which size is most appropriate for your home. You can choose to go larger for flexibility of future expansion. Somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 is typical depending on the particulars of the job, the prevailing labor rate in your area and the size of service you select/require.
 
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Old 04-13-06, 09:15 AM
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Thank you for your reply.
It should be 100A only. No 220V power. Labor cost can be anywhere between $60 to $90per hour. But I know they prefer charging by job, not by hours.
Should the electrician pull the permit or I have to apply for him? I'm in NJ.
 
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Old 04-14-06, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by lzhang
It should be 100A only. No 220V power.
I think you're confusing amps with volts. They are not the same thing. Your new panel will provide electricity at both 120 and 240 volts. The amp rating is how much of that electricity you can use at any given time.

This is basically a function of how many and what type of appliances you have in your home. The demand load calculation I mentioned earlier will figure up how much electricity your installed appliances can use at one time.

For a small home with mostly gas-fired appliances, a 100A service can be appropriate but doesn't leave much room for expansion. A larger home with electric stove, air conditioning, electric water heat, etc may require a 200A service. A 150A service is adequate for most homes.

Should the electrician pull the permit or I have to apply for him?
The electrician usually pulls the permit and makes the needed calls to the power company.
 
  #5  
Old 04-14-06, 04:32 PM
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Just had ours replaced 100A fuse -> 100A breaker for $540. Took about 2 hours. We are mostly gas so the electrician recommended staying with 100A panel.
 
  #6  
Old 04-14-06, 05:07 PM
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3 tips I'll give you..

1) Don't call anyone from the yellow pages with full or half page adds, they will be the most expensive and slickest talkers.
2) If the electrician wants money up front to give you an estimate, hang up the phone and move down the list. Chances are they will charge you $99 just to come out and look for 10 minutes, and then give you a $5000 estimate. This way they made $99 for 10 minutes and don't have to do the work they quoted.
3) If you have a contractor open a pricing book, smack him. They will use words like industry standard pricing, better quality parts ect. Truth is, all supply houses sell kits pre-made up for this type work. The kits run about $4-$500 for everything you probably going to need. Now pay a decent guy $75/hr, and it pobably will take him 4-5hrs to install everything by himself. Should be around $1000-$1200 tops. The guys that charge by the job, will quote you $3-6K, this hides their labor rates. Hense the reason the charge by the job, would you know they are charging you $1000/hr for a 3-4 hr job?

They will claim the horror stories of guys charging on a T&M basis, to scare you into their "flat rate pricing"...

Call around, you'll be surprised. Just remmember if anyone wants to charge you to come out and look, hang up the phone. Legit guys will usually quote you a price for free...
 
  #7  
Old 04-14-06, 06:48 PM
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Cool

I'm in Los Angeles but if it's a 1 story house and the cold water isn't too far away, I would charge $1595 for this and that would include the permit which is about $175 here.

Whoop! Whoop!
 
  #8  
Old 04-14-06, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Dnkldorf
3 tips I'll give you..

1) Don't call anyone from the yellow pages with full or half page adds, they will be the most expensive and slickest talkers.
2) If the electrician wants money up front to give you an estimate, hang up the phone and move down the list. Chances are they will charge you $99 just to come out and look for 10 minutes, and then give you a $5000 estimate. This way they made $99 for 10 minutes and don't have to do the work they quoted.
3) If you have a contractor open a pricing book, smack him. They will use words like industry standard pricing, better quality parts ect. Truth is, all supply houses sell kits pre-made up for this type work. The kits run about $4-$500 for everything you probably going to need. Now pay a decent guy $75/hr, and it pobably will take him 4-5hrs to install everything by himself. Should be around $1000-$1200 tops. The guys that charge by the job, will quote you $3-6K, this hides their labor rates. Hense the reason the charge by the job, would you know they are charging you $1000/hr for a 3-4 hr job?

They will claim the horror stories of guys charging on a T&M basis, to scare you into their "flat rate pricing"...

Call around, you'll be surprised. Just remmember if anyone wants to charge you to come out and look, hang up the phone. Legit guys will usually quote you a price for free...


Circuit extensions, a new dedicated circuit, breaker replacement, these seems to be the jobs that lots of contractors avoid knowing they will be time consuming and not profitable. they don't want to take the bad with the good they usually turn this stuff down as they know they cant charge fairly with T&M.

So some companies have decided that they will take on this work, make the customer feel special and respect there homes
maybe do a little up selling like new lighting in the kitchen or notice that they could use some more outlets as they see extension cords running all over for table lamps and that fish aquarium etc.

they may even notice that front door light that was added with extension cord and offer to give a price to make it safe.
I don't think all up front pricing companies will be so called ripping off there customers. they have inputted into software what there overhead and burden costs are . A reasonable mark up on materials. then they add a profit oh my isn't that what business is all about.

That profit mighyt even be as high as 100 percent I wonder what Walmart and grocery stores mark up to cover costs.
 
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Old 04-16-06, 07:20 PM
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FWIW I'm in the bay area, CA. Upgrade from a 60A fused service to 200A panel was quoted at 1500-2000. Not from a big yellow page ad, though.
 
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Old 04-17-06, 08:04 AM
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Thank you all for your knowledgable reply. Hope I am in CA so that I could use your service.

I think you're confusing amps with volts. They are not the same thing. Your new panel will provide electricity at both 120 and 240 volts. The amp rating is how much of that electricity you can use at any given time.
I know more amps give you more capacity to share the line, usually they came with thicker wires and bigger breakers. But bit confused about volts. I believe the electric dryer needs 240 volts with at least 30 amps. Is it because 120 volts could not go beyond 30 amps?

The electric companies supply the 2 types of volts, using 2 separate lines feeding the service panel, correct?
 
  #11  
Old 04-17-06, 08:37 AM
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In North America the utility companies are required to supply a split-phase 240 volt (+-5%) feed to your house. This works out as two 120V +- 5% legs. To get the ~240 you you basically parralell two contact points in your panel. This adds the 120 together to create the 240. The dryer needs this because that's what the heater/motor requires. You can have 120 volts give 100 amps if that's what your circuit breaker put out. Likewise you can draw only 1 amp on a 240 line. (In the UK and other 240 volt areas of the world they run cell phone chargers off 240.)
 
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Old 04-17-06, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by lzhang
I believe the electric dryer needs 240 volts with at least 30 amps. Is it because 120 volts could not go beyond 30 amps?
No. The reasons are that the heating element would have to be thicker, and you would need #6 Cu wiring instead of #10 and the load on the transformer would be very unbalanced.
 
  #13  
Old 04-17-06, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by socal7
To get the ~240 you you basically parallel two contact points in your panel.
Those two points have to come from opposite poles of the step-down transformer.


> This adds the 120 together to create the 240.
All voltages are figured using subtraction as they represent a potential difference between two points. It is incorrect to say that they are added (though mathematically, adding a positive gives the same result as subtracting a negative). Addition fails to explain why reading between two points on the same leg reads 0V. Only subtraction correctly explains this.


> The dryer needs this because that's what the heater/motor requires.

Only the heating element uses 240V.
The motor, control circuitry, and lights use 120V just like on a gas-fired dryer.


> You can have 120 volts give 100 amps if that's what your circuit breaker put out.
Circuit breakers are pretty much gatekeepers (so you might say "it allows 100A to pass through").
 

Last edited by bolide; 04-17-06 at 04:41 PM.
  #14  
Old 04-17-06, 04:20 PM
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Nice explanation to my murkiness
 
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Old 04-17-06, 07:03 PM
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Prices start at 2k for a service upgade in NJ.
 
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Old 04-18-06, 06:47 AM
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Prices start at 2k for a service upgade in NJ.
Good to know!
 
  #17  
Old 04-18-06, 11:09 PM
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wow. I had a 200 amp panel replaced for 500$ here in the sticks of indiana.
nothing fancy, just a direct rip and install. Guys caught a double loaded breaker to the garage, and cut one of the sets of wires so noone (aka 'i') wouldnt try to reconnect it. I was fine with it, and suprised previous owners wouldve had that done (though I shouldnt be having seen what previous owners do)

Anyways, Im happy with just 60 amps to the garage, since all I have is garage door opener, 1 light circuit and 2 outlets.

Someday when i add heavy equipment (ie welder, compressor etcc.... dare to dream), I'll get that wiring upgraded.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RpmQ
wow. I had a 200 amp panel replaced for 500$ here in the sticks of indiana.
nothing fancy, just a direct rip and install. Guys caught a double loaded breaker to the garage, and cut one of the sets of wires so noone (aka 'i') wouldnt try to reconnect it. I was fine with it, and suprised previous owners wouldve had that done (though I shouldnt be having seen what previous owners do)

Anyways, Im happy with just 60 amps to the garage, since all I have is garage door opener, 1 light circuit and 2 outlets.

Someday when i add heavy equipment (ie welder, compressor etcc.... dare to dream), I'll get that wiring upgraded.
A 200 amp panel and what else? meter , service drop? you may have not gotten a deal, you may have gotten bad advice.

As for the double feed to the garage, what are you talking about. If you had a parallell feed and they just cut one off, you are worse off then you were to start.

I would not be so proud of purhaps being ripped off by someone who is making my home unsafe.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 02:53 PM
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> As for the double feed to the garage, what are you talking about?
> If you had a parallel feed and they just cut one off

Have you ever seen a parallel feed from a 200A panel?

Have you ever seen a breaker in a 200A panel that could handle a parallel feed?

I guess I need to get out more.


> I would not be so proud of perhaps being ripped off by someone who is making my home unsafe.

Are you grousing that the price was so low that he was actually conned by unskilled dudes, or the $500 is too high for such a simple job?

Code does not require removal of most abandoned wiring. I'm not sure why it wasn't removed. But how it it unsafe?
 
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  #21  
Old 04-20-06, 06:50 AM
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service upgrade buffalo, ny

Here in upstate NY, I recently paid $1350 total to upgrade a duplex from two 30 amp fuse services to one 100 amp, and one 150amp Square D QO breaker boxes. Only six or so circuits per service. The guy did nice work, and he pulled the permits. Only complaint was that he only put in a single ground rod, which passed the inspector, but struck me as weak. Small outfit - no full page add in the phone book. Took one guy one long day, plus an hour for the inspection.
 
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Old 04-20-06, 06:59 AM
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One ground rod is allowed if there is another grounding means, such as the incoming water pipes.
 
  #23  
Old 04-20-06, 07:17 AM
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or if the resistance is 25 ohm or less (250.56) (who can say that it wasn't the day they were there?).
 
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Old 04-20-06, 07:38 AM
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One ground rod is allowed if there is another grounding means, such as the incoming water pipes.
If you are using metal underground water piping as a grounding electrode, and you use a single ground rod to supplement the water pipe according to 250.53(D)(2). Then the ground rod is subject to 250.56 and must meet the 25 Ohms or less requirement, or have a second rod installed.

Chris
 
  #25  
Old 04-20-06, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jwhite
A 200 amp panel and what else? meter , service drop? you may have not gotten a deal, you may have gotten bad advice.

As for the double feed to the garage what are you talking about. If you had a parallell feed and they just cut one off, you are worse off then you were to start.

I would not be so proud of purhaps being ripped off by someone who is making my home unsafe.
The double feed (2 sets of #4 wire) was connected to a 100 amp breaker, and fed a 100 amp garage panel. The single #4 wire left was sufficient to feed 60 amps, hence they installed 60 amp breaker in main panel, and replaced main breaker in the garage panel. The choice was up to me whether I wanted a new wire run or not. I shouldve clarified that they dropped the breaker to a smaller size. It was just the panel, breakers, gfi's, removal and install.
They connected my ground wire as well (woopee). I put in the rod and ran the conduit under the sidwalk prior.
 
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Old 04-21-06, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bolide
>
Are you grousing that the price was so low that he was actually conned by unskilled dudes, or the $500 is too high for such a simple job?

Code does not require removal of most abandoned wiring. I'm not sure why it wasn't removed. But how it it unsafe?
Without knowing what the double feed to the garage was, we don't know if what was done is safe. Good practice requires the removal of un-used wiring, and the code does in several cases.

What I am saying is that the cheep price may very well be due to less professional work being done.
 
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Old 04-21-06, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by RpmQ
The double feed (2 sets of #4 wire)
I know of no circumstances under which this is ever allowed the the NEC.


> The single #4 wire left was sufficient to feed 60 amps
In fact, if copper, it is sufficient to feed 100A. Is this aluminum?

> they installed 60 amp breaker in main panel
Okay if aluminum.

> and replaced main breaker in the garage panel.
Not really necessary.


> The choice was up to me whether I wanted a new wire run or not.
> I should've clarified that they dropped the breaker to a smaller size.
Doesn't matter if copper.


> It was just the panel, breakers, gfi's, removal and install.
And included the 60A breakers or did they take two 100A breakers in exchange?
 
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Old 04-21-06, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jwhite
Without knowing what the double feed to the garage was
It was a violation of NEC 310.4. Also it is likely that the breaker lugs didn't allow more than one conductor apiece.
 
  #29  
Old 04-24-06, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by lzhang
What is the possible cost for converting a fuse controled panal to a breaker service panel? I wish to know before contacting electricians. It is a small house with about 10 lines.
here in pa i charge around 650 for a pannel upgrade hope this helps you good luck
 
  #30  
Old 04-24-06, 11:27 PM
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I charge anywhere from 1000 to 2500 to change panels. Depends on what's needed. Why? Simply it's because I feel that is what I am worth. Down here in NOLA the power company can't always get to locations and cut power off and at times I change out meter pans hot which is extra. Do I just change out the fuse panel to breaker panel and leave. No I upgrade the grounding and I give a visual inspection of the interior of the home to see if any upgrades are needed. Also I check disconnects and appliances wiring to make sure everything is intact. I do ask for 25% down just to make sure that 1) I can pay my helper and 2) That I'm not working for free. Looking for an electrician is not that hard. Don't shop for money because I can tell you now that a good qualified electrician is not cheap. What you should look for is company that's been around a long time and have all license required. Hire a cheap electrician, you may be sorry and it may cost you double in the end. Like I always say "Pay me now or pay me later" Just do your homework
 
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Old 04-24-06, 11:41 PM
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Parallel huhh?

Originally Posted by RpmQ
The double feed (2 sets of #4 wire) was connected to a 100 amp breaker, and fed a 100 amp garage panel. The single #4 wire left was sufficient to feed 60 amps, hence they installed 60 amp breaker in main panel, and replaced main breaker in the garage panel. The choice was up to me whether I wanted a new wire run or not. I shouldve clarified that they dropped the breaker to a smaller size. It was just the panel, breakers, gfi's, removal and install.
They connected my ground wire as well (woopee). I put in the rod and ran the conduit under the sidwalk prior.
Where do you get all this parallel feed from? That might be some fancy talking but that doesn't even pertain to this system. All this is , is a single-phase 3-wire 120/240v system.

There's no parallel system in any of this. That's only for large systems for example 480v carrying 3000 amps.

I really don't see the big deal about the garage. #4 would work and for a couple of outlets and a light. What's the most it would pull 10 or 12 amps. just make sure they are on adiquate breakers in the sub-panel and make sure not to bond the neutral to the ground and if subpanel is further than 50ft then put in a means of disconnect.
 
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Old 04-25-06, 12:21 AM
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> Where do you get all this parallel feed from?
Did you read response #17?


> That might be some fancy talking but that doesn't even pertain
> to this system.
Says your crystal ball? Are you a remote viewer?


> All this is, is a single-phase 3-wire 120/240v system.
Thank you for this information. Do you know how many amps?


> There's no parallel system in any of this.
Correct. There was never a parallel system.
The parallel feeder was disconnected because it didn't belong there.


> That's only for large systems for example 480v carrying 3000 amps.
It wouldn't even have to be 1000A.


> I really don't see the big deal about the garage.
Who was making a big deal?


> #4 would work and for a couple of outlets and a light.
Do you think it would be safe?


> What's the most it would pull 10 or 12 amps.
Is that a rhetorical question.


> just make sure they are on adiquate breakers in the sub-panel and
What do you consider to be adequate in the sub?

> make sure not to bond the neutral to the ground
Remember: he hired electricians to do it.


> and if subpanel is further than 50ft then put in a means of disconnect.
What if he has only two breakers?

What if the main isn't within sight?
 
  #33  
Old 06-03-09, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by lzhang View Post
I know more amps give you more capacity to share the line, usually they came with thicker wires and bigger breakers. But bit confused about volts. I believe the electric dryer needs 240 volts with at least 30 amps. Is it because 120 volts could not go beyond 30 amps?

The electric companies supply the 2 types of volts, using 2 separate lines feeding the service panel, correct?

Amps and volts measure different aspects of electric. You can have high amps and low volts or you can have low amps and high volts. The two are mutually exclusive.

Your house in the U.S. has 120 volts in any regular outlet, and you probably have a few outlets for bigger appliances that take twice that (240). These come out of the same panel, with bigger two-space breakers for the 240 volt circuits.

Anything you plug into the wall expects 120 volts of power coming into it, and it pulls as many amps as it needs to from the circuit to operate.

If you have too many things plugged in, you'll pull too many amps from the circuit that your wires will start to get hot and create a fire hazard. That's why we have circuit breakers. In that case the circuit trips.

The point is no matter how much is plugged in, no matter how many amps are being pulled from the circuit, the voltage remains the same... 120 in most cases, 240 in a few other, when it comes to houses.

The 'other voltages' that need separate panels you only see in commercial, industrial, and large scale residential (mulit-dwelling) applications. It's not in your house.
 
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Old 06-04-09, 10:03 AM
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Note that the original question was from April 2006. I hope they've gotten this sorted out by now...
 
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