Inevitably, your electrical panel will come to the end of its life, and you will need an electrical panel upgrade to keep the electricity coursing through your house regulated. Even if you maintain your property and take good care of your appliances, you may still need to upgrade your electrical system and home wiring.

Most homeowners avoid getting an electrical panel upgrade because they believe that such an upgrade is costly, or worse, needless. The truth is that an electrical panel upgrade is vitally important because now, more than ever, we are using more electricity, and your twenty-five-year-old panel may not be strong enough to handle the increase in energy requirements.

In this article, we get into the nitty-gritty of electrical panel upgrades. Read on to discover the necessity and value of investing in a new electrical panel.

What Is a Panel Upgrade?

A panel upgrade (PU) is a service that involves upgrading the existing electrical service to a new one with new circuit breakers. If the breakers in your electrical breaker box can no longer handle the additional electrical load, you may need a panel upgrade. Also, if you have an older breaker box, you may need to replace it to reduce the risk of an electrical fire in your house.

If you need to upgrade an electrical panel, you can count on Absolute Electrical Service, Inc. to do the job. Panel upgrades require work that an electrical contractor should complete. Our trained, licensed, and experienced electrical contractors can perform the job correctly the first time and ensure that the job is done in ordinance with power company regulations. Contact us today. When you need us, we are ready to assist you with any electrical project.

How Much Does a Panel Upgrade Cost?

The cost to upgrade to a 200 amp service panel is between $1,300 and $1,600. The retail price of a new electric panel ranges between $40 and $1,250; however, in some instances, your power company may need to install a new power supply or a new electric meter for about $200 to $500. Labor is the highest cost for most electrical work. Most electricians charge hourly rates of $40 to $100 per hour; therefore, you can expect to spend about $400 and $800 for labor costs.

Installing an electrical box outdoors or indoors costs around $800 to $4,000. In most homes, the electrical box is located outside the property where the electricity enters so that it is easy to find in case of an emergency.

If you are looking for superior residential electrical services at a competitive price, you have come to the right place. Absolute Electrical Service, Inc. offers great services, premium products, and skilled workers at a competitive price. With us, you do not have to break the bank to access our services.

Why Would I Need a Panel Upgrade?

You may need to upgrade your electrical panel if:

You Have a Fuse Box

If you have a fuse box, you should consider getting an upgrade. Old fuse boxes create additional safety concerns because they can be fire hazards. Moreover, they can be a reason why home insurance companies refuse to cover your home or give you the compensation you deserve if you get coverage.

You Are Adding Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers work by breaking the circuit and preventing the flow of electricity when the current in a circuit gets too high. If you are adding circuit breakers in your home, you will need panel upgrades.

You are Installing New Appliances

 If you plan to install a major new appliance in your homes, such as a hot tub or an air conditioning system, your existing electrical panel may not cut it.

You Use Power Strips

Just like fuse boxes, many electrical panels cannot handle modern electrical usage. If you use extension cords or power strips in your home, this is a strong sign that you are using more power than your panel can handle.

You Notice Flickering Lights

If your lights flicker or dim regularly, it may indicate a faulty electrical panel since it is connected to the entire electrical system. Usually, when electrical connections begin to come undone, the lights in your home will start to flicker.

You Hear Crackling Sound Coming From the Fuse Box

If a crackling, sizzling, or buzzing noise is coming from your outlets, you may be due for an electrical upgrade.

Can I Upgrade My Electrical Panel Myself?

Since the biggest cost involved in a panel upgrade is labor, you may be tempted to cut costs by performing the upgrade yourself. We do not recommend doing the work yourself because you may not have the training and experience needed to handle electrical wiring, and it is just not worth taking the risk of serious injury to save a few bucks. Therefore, it is better to leave this work to a professional electrician from Absolute Electrical Service, Inc.

However, if you are a skilled electrician, the following steps will guide you through the process:

1.  Turn Off The Main Circuit Breaker

First, you need to cut the electricity to the electric panel by turning off the main circuit breaker. Next, ask the utility company to shut off the electrical cables to your home.

2.  Remove the Outer Panel

After you ensure that the utility company has turned off the circuit breaker, unscrew the outer panel. Once you have unscrewed the outer panel, take it out carefully to avoid touching the wires underneath. Avoid touching the two black wires that go into the panel from above because they are live.

3. Remove Wires

Before you remove the wires, label them as follows: live, neutral, and ground. After doing this, take the individual fuses or breakers out of the panel and set them aside. Remove the ground line attached to the ground bar, and then disconnect the neutral bar. Lastly, remove the main breaker. Use extra caution because this wire is live.

4. Prepare New Panel

Create space in the new breaker panel for the breakers, then connect the neutral wire to the neutral bar, the ground wire to the ground bar, and the ground bar to the neutral bar. Then attach the new panel to the wall, individual wires to individual breakers, and label all breakers with the correct house circuit to make your job easier should you need to repeat this process.

We do not recommend upgrading your electrical panel yourself because this is a complex process that requires a specific set of skills. A licensed electrician from Absolute Electrical Services, Inc. can handle the inspection process, get the necessary permits, and ensure that the job is done correctly and safely.

Is It Worth Upgrading an Electrical Panel?

Upgrading an Electrical Panel is a worthwhile investment because it keeps your home safe. Home electrical fires account for around 51,000 each year, resulting in over 500 deaths each year. These fires are mainly caused by overwhelmed or outdated panels.

Having such panels put you, your family, and your home at risk; therefore, upgrading your panel is a worthwhile investment protecting you from fires. Panel upgrades also eliminate the risk of overloaded circuits and keep your electrical system functioning at its best.

Contact Absolute Electrical Service, INC. For Electrical Panel Upgrade in Cambria Heights, NY

Absolute Electrical Service, Inc. is a full-service electrical contractor that serves the greater New York Metropolitan area. We perform minor service upgrades such as expanding your existing panel with a sub panel and major and more complex upgrades such as replacing aging panels with new panels that allow for higher energy capacity.

Our upgrades bring about various attractive benefits, such as improved electrical performance,   improved electrical system safety, and improved home safety. So, if you are a homeowner or business owner looking for premium electrical services, get in touch with us today, and we will start working on your property to ensure that your electrical systems are functioning as they should be. We will also help you avoid issues with homeowners insurance eliminate concerns with outdated equipment.

Contact our Nassau office at 516-520-4700, our Queens office at 718-229-9300, and our Suffolk office at 631-567-1500. You can trust us with your minor or major electrical service upgrade.