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Need New Electrical Box & Breakers

If I need a whole new electrical box and breakers, how do I know what to purchase? I am afraid my old breakers need an upgrade to handle more power since they are from the original build in 1979. Plus it is outside and attaches to my electric meter. Help!
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Posted 2014-07-07T21:50:41+0000  by TEggiman TEggiman
Replacing the service panel is NOT a DIY project.  In some cases the only way to cut the power is to pull the meter and the power company really frowns on homeowners doing that.  Please hire a licensed electrician.
Posted 2014-07-08T11:28:29+0000  by Adam444
Hey TEggiman,

Welcome to the community!

Just as Adam444 states, you really would be better off getting a licensed electrician to do this for you.

While you can easily find the amp service on the inside portion of the door of the panel, updating is something that needs to be code compliant and safe....which is something that a DIY'er wouldn't know but an electrician would.

More importantly, an electrician can go to your home, view what is needed for your upgrade and let you know what is specifically needed.

It's more than just getting a new panel and involves safety and know-how to make sure you don't get injured or killed.

Depending on where you live, we do provide electrical installation services. Contact them for a free in home estimate.

Let us know what your next move is, and we can assist you further if you have more questions.

Posted 2014-07-09T14:56:31+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
Yes, I realize I have to have it done by an electrician, but my question was how much the actual parts would be for the project is all. I was just looking for an approximate estimate and of what is needed. The first electrician I called says it will be $4000 and I thought that sounded pretty high so I was looking into cost of the parts just mainly out of curiosity. I realize there is a reasonable amount of risk involved in doing any electrical work, but $4000 just sounded pretty outrageous and I was curious as to whether it could be done just as well by having the parts and maybe having Home Depot do the install?!?!?!?
Posted 2014-07-09T18:11:44+0000  by TEggiman
Most of the bill is going to be labor and there may be permit fees or fees charged by the power company.  Most contractors aren't going to want homeowners providing parts.  What happens, for example, if you buy the wrong breakers or wrong kind of wire?  Is the electrician supposed to sit there while you run back to Home Depot?

$4,000 doesn't sound completely out of the ball park depending on where you live and the scope of the project.  You really should get several estimates insuring that everyone is bidding on the same job.
Posted 2014-07-11T12:26:36+0000  by Adam444
I realize that $4000 can seem like a lot, but if it means and entire overhaul of your system, then it would be justifiable.

As I stated earlier,

"an electrician can go to your home, view what is needed for your upgrade and let you know what is specifically needed."

Since you did not give us any information on what amp service is running into your home, wires, or what really needs to be upgraded....this is why an electrician who will come out on site can give you pricing.

They can instantly see exactly what needs to be replaced and upgraded better than anyone here on the forum, unless you provide us more information.

If that original quote seems like too much, keep researching and looking for other licensed electricians for a better price. No matter who you choose, make sure they come out and view it on-site, and not just by speaking to them via phone.

Just like anything that involves parts and labor, the high price is there since they are professionals....which means there is more than just a breaker panel and wires in the final price....

Keep us updated on what you have decided to do.

Posted 2014-07-11T12:35:03+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Your existing electric service is 35 years old and likely needs to be completely replaced.  This is a job for a licensed electrical contractor who can take out the required permit and coordinate with the power company and AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) for the inspection and reconnection to the utility's service drop.  Get another estimate from a contractor who will actually look at the job and give you an accurate estimate.  I agree that $4,000 is on the high side, but there may be additional work required that could raise the price, but unless the contractor actually looks at it they don't know.  The grounding of the service will likely also have to be upgraded to current code.
Posted 2014-07-12T15:26:51+0000  by TomB2
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