Need to replace pushmatic 100 amp cost figures??

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Old 07-20-09, 05:59 AM
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Need to replace pushmatic 100 amp cost figures??

Sold our house and the inspector report says we need to replace the 100 amp pushmatic box with a new one! Any ideas on cost estimate?

I live in PA
thanks
spankey
 
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Old 07-20-09, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by spankey View Post
Sold our house and the inspector report says we need to replace the 100 amp pushmatic box with a new one! Any ideas on cost estimate?

I live in PA
thanks
spankey
Did you ask your inspector why you had to change this box out? Give us a idea how many 120v & 240 v circuits you have in your panel now. If you do have to change out your panel you will also need new breakers along with the new 100 amp panel.
Jim
 
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Old 07-20-09, 07:10 AM
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They did suggest to replace the entire pannel and breakers.

Roughly 18 120v breakers
roughly 4 220v breakers

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-20-09, 07:39 AM
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No disrespect to the home inspectors in general but some sometimes they make questionable suggestions. If there are no obvious safety issues and only because of age and manufacturer I'd as a seller refuse. I'd suggest you ask him to give details on why the panel needs replacing.

Of course if I were a buyer I'd make a polite attempt to use it as a bargaining chip. In the end though it wouldn't be a make or break issue.
 
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Old 07-20-09, 07:42 AM
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Will do Ray thanks I am going to call some contractors and see their opinions also!
 
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Old 07-20-09, 07:48 AM
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Are you doing this yourself or hiring? For all the materials I could do it myself for $350. If you hire it out it might be around $800 to $1000. I live in Iowa and not sure how they do it there. Again as ray explain, ask why you need to change this out. Is there a safety issue or something else going on in the panel?
Jim
 
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Old 07-20-09, 08:14 AM
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Unless there is a corrosion or damage issue, there is no need to immediately replace a Pushmatic panel. If you decide to replace it anyway, I'd say $1,000 is a rough estimate for a direct swap (100A to 100A panel). If you need to increase the size of the service because the existing one is overloaded (100A to 150A or 200A) then you're looking at closer to $2,000. You or an electrician can do a "demand load calculation" to determine if the 100A service size is appropriate for the house. A larger service could be required if someone added large electrical loads since the house was built like a spa, electric stove or central air (though in PA the AC unit is probably not large enough to matter).

Along with the panel upgrade your local jurisdiction may require some other upgrades too like hardwired smoke detectors, GFCI protection in appropriate areas, and a lot of AFCI breakers (at $40/ea.). The other mandatory upgrades could cost as much as the panel replacement. The local contractors will know what's required in your area.
 
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Old 07-20-09, 03:13 PM
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How exactly do you sell a house and then be asked to change something after.
I also see no need from any safety standpoint that the panel need be changed.

We have a 60 amp 8cct Pushmatic panel that was the original panel for our 1957 house and is now a sub-panel off a new 200 main panel.
I will likely replace it at some point to get a couple of ccts in the area of the panel but until I decide to get off my butt I feel no compelling reason to rush.

I don't even think we are allowed to install a 100 amp panel in a residence.
 
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Old 07-20-09, 03:23 PM
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This is copied and pasted from the inspectors report!

They are calling it out dated! But it works fine and has been doing so for the last 6 years we owned the house!

PASTE
The main electric panel is a Pushmatic breaker panel. These are older devices which are now obsolete. Panels should
be replaced every 20-30 years for safety because older breakers can wear out and cease to provide proper protection.
These are due for replacement.
END PASTE

I want to negotiate as to replace all the pushmatic breakers with brand new ones to allow some sort of peace of mind. I mean isn't that where work is at anyway. Handling the overload and tripping so to speak. Why replace a perfectly working panel just because it's out dated.

Thanks for the help gang. But I am going to try to fight this.

Sold the house for $139,900 (appraised at $150,000!)
Gave them $5,000 seller assist
And am paying for a 1 year home warranty costing me $500

I think I am being more than fair to replace all the breakers new don't ya think vs an entire panel replacement.
 
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Old 07-20-09, 03:40 PM
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New homes I was told I think from what I remember need to be 200amp, this is a 100 year old home and in our township 100amp is perfectly fine according to them.

Even the township code officer said there is NO need to replace the breaker panel! He said the inspectors can get out of hand as they are working for the buyer and being paid by them not me, the seller

I told my Realtor that I will replace the breakers to give them sound peace of mind but I am NOT replacing the entire panel as I see NO reason to do so nor do any of you. Plus I spoke with two electricians today and they said the exact same thing!

Spank.
 
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Old 07-20-09, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by spankey View Post
Panels should
be replaced every 20-30 years for safety because older breakers can wear out and cease to provide proper protection.
These are due for replacement.
As far as I know that is the inspector's opinion and is not supported by any official government or industry publications. Pushmatic/ITE is now owned by Siemens, you could perhaps try to contact them to get a statement. The only issue is really that you cannot add circuits to that panel because there are no compatible AFCI breakers which are required on most types of new circuits now. But that is a future safety issue, not a current one.

I think I am being more than fair to replace all the breakers new don't ya think vs an entire panel replacement.
A panel replacement may actually be cheaper than buying a full set of new/refurb pushmatic breakers. They are still available, but the price has gone up. There are tons of used ones out there, but what's the point of replacing used with used?

New homes I was told I think from what I remember need to be 200amp, this is a 100 year old home and in our township 100amp is perfectly fine according to them.
While most new homes are 200A, 100A is the minimum required by code or utility companies.

Good luck with the sale. Buyers are certainly in a position to be very pushy right now.
 
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Old 07-20-09, 06:04 PM
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Thanks Ben,

I was quoted today at $1,200 and that's with NO surprises.

To replace all the breakers I have for new pushmatics which can be found online easily will run $450 for the breakers and $100 labor so it's half the cost. I think this is a no brainer here.

I just spoke to my realtor and she even said I am being more than generous to even replace them.

This is copied from the FHA website and it doesn't mention anything about breaker type or such.

COPY PASTE ----------------------


FHA Home Loan Appraisals - Electrical and Heating

The following are the general guidelines required for a property. Any condition not met by the list below may require the property to be repaired in order to meet FHA appraisal guidelines. Refer the HUD handbook 4150.2 for more information.

Electrical and Heating:

The FHA appraiser should examine the electrical box to ensure that there are no frayed or exposed wires. Electrical boxes may be either circuit breakers or fuses. Existing 60-amp service is acceptable if it appears that this is adequate amperage for the appliances present in the property, or those considered "standard" if the present appliances appear to be less than found in the "standard" home. Knob and tube wiring is acceptable if found to be in good condition and a minimum of 60-amps.

That in a nut shell sums up my case in point! No need for a new panel period!
 
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Old 07-20-09, 06:17 PM
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With your selling price the buyers are getting a deal. I see no need to change the panel. Big deal its "out of date". It that was true all the electricians would be so busy right now changing panels there would be a stock shortage. Remember this "inspector" is a home inspector. He/she has no authority over anything.
 
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Old 07-20-09, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
If that was true all the electricians would be so busy right now changing panels there would be a stock shortage.
Sounds pretty good to me.
 
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Old 07-20-09, 10:53 PM
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I still can get Pushmatic breakers but they are not getting cheap anymore and with certien size they need a lead time to get them espcally true with 100 amp breakers the last time I have to wait few weeks before I can get it so I keep two spares on hand in case emergcey service call.

Just one 100 amp two pole breaker pushmatic will cost same or more than what basic modern 100 amp load centre will cost { without any branch breakers btw }

For my service change over 100 to 100 amp overhead it will be typically about 1200 USD with UG verison it will bump up to 1500 USD { the cost diffrence due the meterpedstal and local code requirement as well }

For going 100 to 200 amp that typcially about 2500 USD UG verison just little more but not much diffrence due it is pretty much standard size for new construction on resdentail side unless you got very large house or some hevey load then it will go up to 320 class service { basically a 400 amp resdentail service verison } the price that part will be pretty wild difrrence depending on the set up. { but yeah it will be more than double over 200 amp verison }

now to the bottom line if the load center is very clean and no water damage or moisture issue it should last pretty long time.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 07-21-09, 10:21 AM
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I also live in PA. and have a house from the 40's w/ pushmatic 100 amp service. I rewired the house(w/ help from a pro).

If its working why buy new??? Mine works great! Now the breakers at the local store are outrageous but I found them on ebay and have boughten about 5 on ebay for about 60 bucks. 4 of them were new! I bought a used 30 amp to replace one that quite working.

I agree w/ the post above w/ what a great price the buyers are getting!! Yes its outdated but if it works and isn't going to cause a fire then why replace. When we bought our house all the outlets were 2 prong w/ no ground hole! I went and replaced all of them so I wouldn't need the adaptors. Well that is when I found out that the wiring was pretty much falling apart in my hands. We had to leave 2 breakers off b/c the wire was so bad we couldn't turn the power back on to them!! That is when we rewired, about 1 month after we moved in. In my opinion, if I would have known this the previous owners would have had to rewire or we would not have bought the house!! So the inspector missed that!! Even the visible ones were like they were dry rotted.
 
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Old 07-21-09, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by diyplank View Post
have a house from the 40's...found out that the wiring was pretty much falling apart in my hands.
That is pretty common from wiring of that era. The wire insulation used natural rubber, paper and cloth fibers. In later decades you see the introduction of synthetic plastics in the insulation which hold up much better over the years.
 
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