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Question DetailsAsked on 8/8/2013

how much would it cost to change a fuse box to breakers? Some electrical is low voltage.

House is a rambler, built in 1952 and is 1000 sf with no basement.

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Voted Best Answer

I really love these older home rehabs - they have such unique and challenging issues. Unfortunately, that does not add up to a good situation $-wise for the homeowner, so you have my sympathy on that issue.

When you say some electrical is low voltage, I presume you mean you have low voltage lighting like 12V or 24V lights in a kitchen or bathroom, that runs off a local transformer. That makes no difference.

If you mean some voltage is low around only some parts of the house or certain circuits, that is a sign of serious overloading of those circuits, or a very bad connection somewhere, and sign of a definite safety hazard.

If you mean you have a 1946-1970 low voltage distribution system like the Leviton Low Voltage Power-Plus or Zenith or GE 24 or 28V relay switching systems, where a portion of your house (usually all the ligths) was wired low voltage to relays at the switch, then 120V to the fixture, that is likely to be a real problem because I don't know an electrician who will touch a house with that in it, other than to completely rewire to 120V.

Therefore, really hard to say what you cost is likely to be. A major problem comes in with code requirements - basically, it is illegal, in general, to upgrade a circuit box without ensuring the attached wiring is up to code, so you will have to bring that item up with the electricians you bring in to do bids, or better yet see if you can anonomously ask the question of your town building or permits department electrical inspector, who would be the one who would likely catch this problem and require a complete rewire.

For a total rewire, if your house is Knob and Tube (possible but not likely from 1952) or ungrounded wiring (possible) or aluminum wiring (fairly possible) or fabric-insulated (quite likely) then you are talking probably 2 to 3 thousand $ PLUS the fusebox changeout.

If you can get away with just a fuse to breaker box changeout, assuming there is a bit of excess wire where needed in the box so existing wires do not have to be spliced to be attached to breakers, then changeout could be about $500-1000, depending on wiring difficulty and how many breakers you will be needing. Because this will be a new box, they will HAVE to, by law, install GFCI/AFCI breakers instead of the cheaper regular breakers, or a whole-house protection system on your main breaker, which drives the cost up about 15% from what it would have been a few years ago.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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