An electrical panel is responsible for protecting the circuitry and sensitive electrical components affixed to a breaker box. Hence, the integrity of a panel is of utmost importance in your home’s electrical circuitry.
However, untoward circumstances may cast a shadow on the integrity of your electrical panel. Perhaps the current location of the breaker box is unviable for protecting the circuitry. So, moving an electrical panel could be the only solution to your breaker box problem.
Before acting rash, you must first know the cost of moving the electrical panel. But, how much does it cost to move an electrical panel? As of this writing, the total fee is estimated to be between $900 – $2000.
Table of Contents
- The Total Cost to Move a Breaker Box
- Reason to Move an Electrical Panel
- Steps Involved in Moving an Electrical Panel
- How Long Does Upgrading an Electrical Panel Last
The Total Cost to Move a Breaker Box
As written above, the total cost to relocate electrical panel ranges from $900 – $200. However, some electricians use a more loose estimate: $500 – $4000.
These exorbitant estimates are due to the type of work that would be done throughout the renovation process.
Considering the amount of work put in moving electrical panel, a professional electrician regularly charges a per-hour labor fee of $70 to $120 to do the job.
As such, labor alone from moving the electrical panel can cost you around $50 to $2000, depending on how long the project takes.
Aside from labor, you’d also have to shoulder the material fee incurred from buying new necessities needed in moving the circuitry panel.
For instance, your electrician would need new figure junction boxes, wires, covers, cable connectors, and a new electrical panel should you also want it changed.
To give you an idea: connectors typically cost around $10 to $15 per cable connection.
New wires are priced per foot, ranging from 50 cents to $1 – that is, depending on the brand of cable that would be utilized for the project.
Don’t fret after seeing these material cost figures, as they are my ballpark estimates for conducting this type of project. You’ll never know; maybe the materials from your area cost a little cheaper.
Adding the total costs, we’re looking at a range of $500 to $4000 as the total cost to relocate the electrical panel.
Reason to Move an Electrical Panel
Moving an electrical panel is a daunting task. There are a couple of common reasons that could motivate homeowners to relocate their circuitry panels.
Whether for aesthetic or practical reasons, I have listed some of the common reasons why people relocate their panels: how much to move electrical panel.
- For safety
In older homes, electrical panels are often installed within cabinets and areas that often encounter considerable foot traffic.
The motivation by home builders back then to install panels in conspicuous areas is due to the element of physical ease.
Back then, there were no electrical guidelines that guided electricians and home builders, which set a precedent for installing panels within reach for easy access.
However, the advent of the National Electric Code put an end to this practice. For safety reasons, older homes are encouraged to move their electrical panels to areas that aren’t frequented by people and aren’t near flammable objects.
- To move the electrical panel inside
Just like above, external circuitry panels are often spotted in more aged homes. The increasing awareness of electrical safety is also a leading factor in relocating a breaker box towards a more concealed manner.
- Moving the box between floors
This is among the common reasons that I encounter from aging homeowners seeking to relocate their electrical panels.
Particularly, as we get older, our ability to climb to and fro between floors becomes difficult. Some people take the initiative in this, choosing to relocate their circuitry panel instead ahead of time to mitigate the difficulty of climbing up and down.
- For aesthetic reasons
While my previous enumeration is geared towards the elderly demographic – homeowners relocating their panels solely for remodeling are often in the younger age group.
But I digress. If you’re seeking to extend and renovate your home, then having to relocate your electrical panel is an electrical job that you probably couldn’t skip.
In some cases, houses being extended require an installation of a more accommodating electrical panel due to the added consumption of electricity. For others, it’s merely because the electrical panel is either blocking a facet or is being an eye-sore.
Steps Involved in Moving an Electrical Panel
Aside from discussing the cost to move the circuit breaker panel, I have also taken the chance to inform you what the process behind the relocation of electrical panels is.
The steps should give you an idea behind the justification as to how much to move electrical panel work is being done.
Step 1: Turning the house’s main power off
Before conducting anything, electricians often secure their safety by ensuring that there is no live power running through your home’s circuitry.
Your electrician could even install a lock-out tag to ensure that no one would accidentally turn the power on.
Step 2: Removing the panel’s cover
This step is to ensure that there isn’t anything that could block the electrician and the panel itself while they’re doing the relocation process.
The external panel is often secured by four to six screws. Electricians would accordingly unscrew them and store the removed screws in a safe place for later use.
Step 3: Location and disconnection of wires
This step onwards marks the most tedious part of this project. In this step, your electricians would accordingly remove each of the wires that are connected to the breakers.
The eventual goal of removing all the wires is to reach the main service wire, which supplies electricity to your home.
Some electricians elect to take pictures of the panel itself before conducting this step to ensure that the wires are correctly attached later on.
Step 4: Wire markings, the denotation of functions
Electricians then take the liberty to mark and imprint any sort of note to the disconnected wires. This is done in order to prevent mistakes from being made while reinstalling these wires to the circuit breakers later on.
To illustrate how important this step is: an incorrectly connected wire to a breaker could result in a fire.
Each wire removed must be installed to the same breaker it was connected to beforehand. Each breaker regulates different amounts of electrical flow – which also applies to the electric wires.
Hence, an incorrectly installed wire could result in a breaker ineffectively managing the power, which could eventually start a fire.
Step 5: Main power line disconnection
After all the wires connected have been removed from their respective breakers, electricians then accordingly disconnect the primary electrical wire so that the rest of the panel box can be removed from its attachment to the wall.
The lugs securing the main power line are distinctively different from those securing regular wires within the panel. As such, you may need to use larger tools in order to loosen them.
Step 6: Detachment of the box and reinstallation
The steps preceding the prior procedures are a cakewalk compared to the brunt undertaken in the earlier panel box operations.
After detaching the box, the electricians then accordingly refit the panel to the area of relocation. The wires are also, therefore, rerouted to the new location for installation.
How Long Does Upgrading an Electrical Panel Last
To be frank, moving a panel is quite troublesome and difficult to undertake. However, the timeframe of accomplishment all rests on the capacity and commitment of the electricians to get the job done.
For some electricians, this job may take weeks due to their long list of clientele. On the other hand, some electricians may accomplish the job in 3-5 days.
The process of relocating an electrical panel also needs confirmation from the local power utility company before conducting the project. This alone could add days to your timeframe.
Moving an electrical panel is typically influenced by multiple reasons. Likewise, there are also a lot of processes behind electrical panel relocation. The time frame is also a key factor for homeowners who want to know how long this project would take.
“How much does it cost to move an electrical panel?” I hope that I have answered your question regarding the topic well.
I am Andrew Wright. With 8 years of experience designing, installing, and maintaining electrical power systems. I love my job, and I have always wanted to offer others the necessary help so they can take care of their houses.