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Question DetailsAsked on 2/21/2018

What is ballpark cost difference between replacing 100 amp breaker box with another 100 amp vs. upgrading to a 200

Purchasing home and breaker box needs replaced. Want to know what kind of quotes to expect between 100 amp replacement or upgrading to 200 amp.

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Voted Best Answer

Since this is factoring into your house purchase decision, you should have a firm bid from an electrical contractor, good for say 90 days after contract closing date, so you have a firm number to figure into your offering price.

Certainly (if allowed in your area) putting in a second box is almost certainly cheaper IF you are running new circuits to it - like for power tools in a garage or adding an A/C or electric water heater or such.

If talking upgrading the box with mostly existing circuits (so using existing circuits mostly, but the total load on the box was tripping main breaker) then removing the existing box and replacing with a larger capacity one would be cheaper because you are not running wires to a new location. A lot depends on where circuits are coming from for any new circuits and where the new box is going. Also on how much you dislike the idea of running a lot of high-amperage circuits into a breaker box - I am not a fan of that if the major loads (A/C, water heater, electric dryer and range, electric furnace, etc as applicable) can be run out of a separate box - just keeps the box fire risk down.

Below are links to a number of related previous questions with answers on box upgrades - the first few directly applicable to your question, the rest related but not exactly on target:

If you meant just keeping the existing circuits in place, and want more expansion capacity but putting hte box the exact same place - difference between the boxes themselves and installation probably only a hundred to maybe $200 installed - very little difference in the box cost. This would not include the typcially $25-50 per breaker for additional breakers if putting in spare breakers ahead of the wiring. However - upgrading the box to 200A also means the wiring from the meter has to be upgraded, master breaker (if separate one) upgraded, and possibly incoming service upgraded to higher capacity - which can run into the $500-1000 range for your electrician depending on how much needs upgrading - plus whatever the utility charges to upgrade the service drop if your incoming capacity if not enough. Some on that in the answers above.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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