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Question DetailsAsked on 9/2/2014

Should the cost of a replacement vs upgrade of electrical panel be different?

I had asked my contractor to upgrade my electrical panel to go from 100 to 200 amps. He charged $1800 and put in another 100 amp box. he explained that the cable coming to the house only supported 100 so a new 100 box was installed with additional subpanels. I think I got ripped off. Because he replaced my panel and didn't upgrade it. He said that the cost of the 200 amp box isn't that much more. He also said 100 amps is just fine for a 2000 sq ft house. Yet in researching this, 200 amps is typical for new homes and upgrades to 200 seem common. I'm just trying to understand what I paid $1800 for. Is a replacement box with additional circuits worth $1800? How much does a replacement typically cost? Is replacement of a box the same cost as an upgrade?

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2 Answers


Misunderstanding?? If you wanted a 200 amp panel, you didn't get one. Here in Florida with an all electric home, 200 would be the minimum most would have for 2000 sq ft.. If you have Gas for major items, water heater , clothes dryer, etc., 100 amp may be fine.

Cost for 200 Amp would be more, and the cost for a new cale would e added.

Did they get a permit and have the utilily compay pull the meter, to do the work? If not , depending on your location, this may be a violation of code/law.


Answered 6 years ago by BayAreaAC


Like he said - you asked for 200A and did not get it, and should have. The 200A box is not much more than 100A - maybe $100 or so more for the box itself, plus about $25-50 for each new breaker needed. Also, for $1800 you should probably have gotten a full upgrade to 200 amps from the breaker box through to the meter including new master breaker - sounds to me like he is trying to rip you off by delivering less than contracted for, to put if plainly - hope you have not paid him.

There are a number of prior responses to 100 to 200A upgrade questions in the Home > Electrical section of Browse Projects, at lower left that you can look at.

If the cable from the meter to your panel could not carry 200A, he should have replaced it - only about $2/LF for the cable, so not a big thing unless a very long run, which would be very unusual - usually within 10 feet.

If your service drop from the utility and/ormeter base can only handle 100A, he should have checked that out beforehand - upgrading that can be from very cheap or even free with some utilities (they figure they will recoer the cost in the increased utility usage charges), to thousands with other utilities or if a transformer upgrade is needed or if your service line has a long long run to just your house.

I would tell him you want it done right - and if he does not, put in a claim on his bond. Of course, you do have the scope of work in a contract, right.

If permit called for a 200A service you could call city buiklding inspector to come and fail it - which I suspect he will just onthe basis of adding subpanels to existing line, as it probably now has more connected load than code allows.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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