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Question DetailsAsked on 2/8/2017

How much does it cost to move an indoor electrical load box on same wall of adjoining room? Basically, reversed.

Load box is in the same wall, but I want to flip the panel box so I can access it from another room; the same wall just different (adjoining) room. It's now in the way of where I'd like to put a stackable washer/dryer. If possible, I'd like to have it placed higher on the adjoining wall.

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2 Answers

Voted Best Answer
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OK - if you mean an electrical outlet, answer follows - if you mean the distribution center / breaker panel see below the ==== below.


I would just (assuming the circuit is not overloaded now) have an electrician tap off the existing box (and leave it in place - with child plugs in the sockets if going to be hidden behind an appliance just in case it gets splashed and so lint does not pile up in the outlet slots), run new wire up the wall and come into a new box at the desired location on the back side of the wall. If you mount the new one directly above the existing - so in the same space between studs, just on the back side of the wall - should be able to do it without cutting into the drywall other than to put the new box in. [Caveat on that - if you have fire blocking in the walls, if you go above the fireblocking he may (depending on whether he has a small or right-angle drill) have to punch a hole in the wall to drill that - usually about mid-height on the wall].


IF the circuit loading is a problem, then he can remove the outlet and use that box as a junction box only, run wiring from there to the new box, and just put a blank cover on that existing box - again, avoiding any drywall repair or painting need.


By leaving the existing box you are avoiding drywall repair and repainting. Both of the above presume normal studwall construction - not brick or concrete.


Cost likely minimum service charge of $75-300 (normally about $125-175 in most areas) and about $20-30 materials. This is assuming you are talking just a normal duplex 120V outlet - not 220/240V appliance outlet. If concrete or brick wall, not much more IF he can run conduit on the surface up the front or back wall to the new box and surface-mount the new box - otherwise probably a lot more $ if it HAS to be in the wall.


========


OIK - if you mean the main breaker panel / load center - you (in most areas) have to leave 3 feet clear in front of it, and cannot have any obstruction in that 3 foot area in front from floor to 6 feet in height - from left edge of panel cover to right edge of cover in width minimum (3 foot minimum width in some areas), so putting a washer/dryer in front is illegal - and dangerous if someone needs to shut off a breaker in a hurry. In some areas the clear area around the panel also has to be 3 (or in probably a very few, 6 feet) laterally from any water use point - washer (including hose connections), washtub, etc. Pipes without faucets/hose bibs generally are NOT included in this restriction, though some areas do prohibit pipes within 3 feet also (more so someone working on the pipes doesn't get into the mass of wiring or so a loose/broken wire won't short to the pipes, than because of fear of water, I think).


To flip the main breaker panel around 180 degrees and mount in the back face of the same wall - certainly $500 bare minimum I would say, and considering how skimpy most electricians are on slackness in wires leading to a panel, probably not doable with existing wire for at least some circuits, so that panel would likely to be converted to a junction panel only, running new stub wires to a new panel on the back side of the wall for at leat some of the circuits. Not something I like to do - I don't like junction panels like that because just more connections to come loose or break and short out, plus one burnout can take out all your house circuits for a good several days, but sometimes unavoidable. Incoming main power lead may or may not be a problem too - if pulled tight, may need to be replaced all the way out to the meter box with new wire to fit up right (though if relocating box higher that may or may not alleviate that issue). Just something to avoid if possible.


An electrician would have to look at your panel and work up a bid - but I would not be surprised if it come in closer to around $1000 rather than around $500.


Bear in mind also what use future owners would want that other room to be for too - if they do not like the main breaker panel in there (especially if usable as a bedroom or such) that might detract from resale value - is it possible to relocate the washer/dryer instead ? Also, in some areas, your breaker panel cannot legally be located in a bedroom - they see it as an excessive fire risk if you get a short in there in the nighttime.

=====


BTW - if you are interested - here is a previous question about moving the washer and dryer to the back side of the same wall, FYI -


http://answers.angieslist.com/What-co...

Answered 1 year ago by LCD

0
Votes

Wow! Thank you, LCD! I think you covered everything. It is the main load box and yes, I'd want to turn it around or remount on same wall in adjoining room. The room is an extra, extra large utility room I'm turning into an office. As it stands, the main box is in a kitchen corner I had planned on closing off with a new wall and doors. I wanted to move my w/d, but yes, it would block the panel if not moved. I'm guessing I'll have to leave things as they are. The electrical system was updated about 7 years ago so, it's pretty new. Oddly, my w/d connections (water/electric and gas) are now in the utility room and almost directly behind the main load box. Not quite, but close. They were there (8yrs) when professional electrical co. upgraded my electric. They never mentioned anything about it being dangerous. Grrrrr. My ex was in charge of where things were located. I wish I had stepped in and asked for the main load box to be located in a different spot.


Thank you for your time and thorough assessments.



Answered 1 year ago by Builtin1709

1
Vote

If you wanted to pursue this, getting an electrical contractor out to check out where the wiring comes from should be free - to give you a bid to move it.


But the only way I can see it coming in under $500-1000 range, and probably not much less than that in any case, is if ALL or essentailly all the wiring comes down to the box from above (highly unlikely), so by moving the box up on the wall (in the same stud bay but on back side of wall) you would effectively be providing more slack to make the new connections with. Otherwise rewiring circuits or using junction box(s) to add new wiring to run from the old box location to the new would be required - getting you back up into at least the $500-1000 range almost certainly.


I did not mention this assumes the panel and breakers are all reusable - but if redone in the past decade as you say should be, UNLESS the brand is one of those several brands recalled as defective and now banned from use. Otherwise, for new panel and breakers likely $400-600 additional materials cost likely.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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