Cost to replace breaker box?

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  #1  
Old 03-02-14, 02:53 PM
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Cost to replace breaker box?

I'm building a work shop external to my house and I'm going to need to run electrical to it. First step is upgrading my 100 amp breaker box.

What is the average an electrician would charge on the east coast to replace the box? Should I purchase a box that uses the same type of breakers or would it be cheaper if the electrician supplies it?

 
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  #2  
Old 03-02-14, 03:10 PM
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Regional costs vary too much to quote a job over the internet. Permits fees will also affect the cost of the job.

A demand load calculation will determine if a service increase is even needed.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 03:46 PM
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Should I purchase a box that uses the same type of breakers or would it be cheaper if the electrician supplies it?
Get three quotes and ask each of them this question.

One other thought is to keep this panel and use it as the subpanel in the shop.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 03:51 PM
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loving the thought to keep the panel as a sub panel. nice.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 06:01 PM
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loving the thought to keep the panel as a sub panel
Well, get started calling some contractors to ask for a quote tomorrow and tell them you want to use this panel as a sub.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 06:34 PM
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Where are you in MD? .........
 
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Old 03-03-14, 01:40 PM
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Bel air. About 25 miles northeast of Baltimore.
 
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Old 03-05-14, 01:52 PM
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Ok, I got the first estimate and I need some advice from electrical contractors here. I'm a small business guy and self employed so I appreciate hard work but this estimate seemed high. The guy quoted $1985 which is an all-inclusive price. He assured me it would not be one penny more. Includes time, materials, permit, etc.

I guess I don't understand the severity of the job. Here is what would be done according to him:

1) remove meter
2) replace service box (this part seems like no more than 2 - 2.5 hours work - no?)
3) ground box to main water inlet (about a 20' run, stapled to an open joist ceiling)
4) replace main wire from meter to where the utility connects to the house. This looks like about 20-25' of cable total
5) install ground rod outside
6) pull permit / administrative tasks

I've included some pictures of my current setup for reference. Thoughts?

CABLE EXITING HOUSE


CABLE GOING UP EXTERIOR WALL



CABLE EXITING METER TO EXIT HOUSE (about 3')


OVERVIEW OF PANEL
 
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Old 03-05-14, 02:49 PM
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Sounds reasonable to me. Have you included the cost of the permit and the time spent waiting for the POCO to come by and approve it. Plus, maybe, waiting for them to kill it?

I paid $800 in 1983 for less labor and fewer materials for a service upgrade.
 
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Old 03-05-14, 03:01 PM
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I know it's done but in my 60+ years I have never seen a meter mounted in the house. It is stupid, especially where it would have been easy to mount outside. How the heck does the power company pre smart meters read it? Even worse is all that unfused cable just waiting to start a fire while you sleep. Just don't understand. Much more sensible to have at least the meter outside and a short steel mast or riser running up as high as needed by the drop but that opinion doesn't seem to be shared by people elsewhere. I don't care that much about looks but even I think that cable wandering down the wall is an eyesore.

Here, you would have seen a mast, a meter socket, and below the socket the breaker box or if very old the fuse box on the inside directly behind the meter socket. <End today's opinionated rant.>
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-05-14 at 04:13 PM.
  #11  
Old 03-05-14, 03:04 PM
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I agree with Ray. I wouldn't re-work that setup in its present configuration.
 
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Old 03-05-14, 03:23 PM
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BGE may not allow the meter to stay inside.

I think the price may be low considering. What brand panel was specified? The panel may need to move closer to where the cable enters the house. You are lookin at 8-10 hours of work for one person.
 
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Old 03-05-14, 04:19 PM
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What am I looking at? Pros, is that code compliant?

Name:  52V32oX.jpg
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Old 03-05-14, 04:30 PM
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Ray, looks like the anchor is on the fascia board and parallels the house to connect to the leads from the weatherhead.
 
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Old 03-05-14, 04:42 PM
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Well, the contractor said it would be more money to move the meter outside. So, I like the idea of less money. So this price is completely legit. That's all I'm looking for. I don't care where the meter is. What does it have to do with starting a fire Ray?
 
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Old 03-05-14, 05:11 PM
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If the cable shorts except for the Kernies at the pole there is nothing to stop it from burning in two and the Kernies aren't likely to blow but the risk of that happening is very small.
Well, the contractor said
Is he a licensed master electrician? If not will it be done by a real electrician.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-05-14 at 05:45 PM.
  #17  
Old 03-05-14, 08:24 PM
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Unless your gas meter is inside or BGE is willing to offer a waive the meter will go outside.
 
  #18  
Old 03-06-14, 10:20 AM
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The winner

They guy that came out this morning really knew what he was doing. He said he does service upgrades all the time and was already familiar this the houses in my neighborhood. He quickly spouted off $1450. He will be moving the meter outside as well.

Thanks for all your input.
 
  #19  
Old 03-06-14, 10:46 AM
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I would certainly get a second quote, though the price seems reasonable. I had a 200A service upgrade (meter, panel, service drop, etc) done for $1500, but I don't think that included permit fees, and that was ~8 years ago.

Actually, that was just a panel update? That does sound high... I would have expected you would want an upgrade to 150A or 200A, with the new meter pan, new service entry wires, etc.

Definitely get another quote.
 
  #20  
Old 03-06-14, 06:12 PM
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I would have expected you would want an upgrade to 150A or 200A, with the new meter pan, new service entry wires, etc.
With no substantial increase in load, why would you think the capacity should be increased?
 
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