You may have heard the term panel upgrade but might not be sure of what it is. If you don’t know what one is, who will you know when to get a panel upgrade in your home? Worry no more, we’re here to help you determine if you need a new panel for your home.
First off, what is a panel upgrade? It is simply just that – an upgrade to the electrical panel, also known as the main service panel, in your home. This is the grey or metal box that holds all the fuses or circuit breakers used to run your home.
Now that you know what the panel is and where to find it, you might be wondering when you need a panel upgrade. There are many reasons you could need a panel upgrade. If you have just had a house rewire, your electrician might recommend also upgrading your panel to bring it more up to date along with your new wiring. In addition to bringing it up to date, a panel upgrade might be suggested when you are adding new appliances to your home. A new refrigerator, air conditioner, or car charger could cause your current electrical panel to trip because it can’t handle the load. Upgrading your panel with help keep your system up to date as well as keep your family safe.
How Can I Prepare For a Panel Upgrade?
A lot needs to be done before a panel upgrade can be performed. Many electrical contractors can help complete the process for you.
Before the panel upgrade is even started, your utility company must be notified. They will send out an inspector to perform a Meter Spot. This is used to find the correct placement for the new service panel. The inspector may change the location of the panel if it goes against any safety or code regulations. Having the meter spot completed before the service is performed will ensure that your electrician gets it in the right spot and won’t have to do it over again.
It’s also a good idea to make sure the inspector, as well as the electrician, can access the panel without any obstacles. Any overgrown bushes or plants should be cleared out. Make sure that the dogs are kept inside that day. If you have any gates that have to be opened to access your panel, be sure to leave them unlocked so the panel is easy to access.
How Much Does A Panel Upgrade Cost?
It depends on how many amps your home is going to need. Older homes were fine with a 60 amp panel but today’s homes are needing 100 amps or even 200 amp panel upgrade to run all the modern appliances. Another thing to consider is the size of your house. The larger your home, the more it might cost to upgrade the panel. In order to upgrade to the appropriate panel size, the cost can be anywhere from $800 to $3,000. An electrician would be happy to give a closer estimation.
How Long Does A Panel Upgrade Take?
The process from start to finish could take anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks. This will depend on the availability of your utility company as well as how difficult the job may be especially if the panel needs to be moved to a new location. The actual panel upgrade itself can take from 4 to 8 hours.
CLD Electric is proud to have provided residents in the San Diego area with many panel upgrades over the years. With over 20 years of experience, we have the expertise to provide the best panel upgrades near you. If you are wondering whether or not you need a panel upgrade in San Diego, give us a call at (619) 638-0228, we will be happy to help. Learn more about our panel upgrade services.