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How Long Does it Take to Replace a Breaker Box? – Answered

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

how long does it take to replace a breaker box

An older breaker box is needed to upgrade to improve power and safety assurance. However, an electrical panel upgrade may take time, giving you inconvenience in utilizing electricity. As a result, it is best to schedule your panel upgrade when you don’t require a lot of electricity.

So, how long does it take to replace a breaker box? Indeed, depending on what types and ratings of your old circuit breakers, the working time may be doubled.

In general, upgrading from an older circuit breaker panel, fuse box, or installing a new panel breaker may differ. It can cost you around $1500 to more than $2500 and takes 4 hours to half a day’s work.

How Long Does It Take to Replace an Electrical Panel?


There are two main reasons you should replace your current electrical box. The first is because of damage and the second is because it is more than 20 years old and outdated.

On the other hand, if you plan to change breaker box, it might cost you $1,500 to $2,500.

So, how long does it take to replace a circuit breaker? In most cases, it typically takes an average of six hours. Even if you have a substantial amount of knowledge of home electrical, this job needs to be done by a licensed electrician.

The reasons why you need a licensed electrician for this job:

  • Some work on changing electrical panels may require replacing the wirings or relocating the whole unit.
  • Moreover, it is also required to terminate a power company’s connection before replacing main circuit breaker switch.
  • A licensed electrician can easily change a breaker switch, get an electrical permit, and call the power company to terminate the electrical connection on your house.
  • Also, they may have connections for getting the materials at a lower cost. At the same time, your electrical system is covered by their insurance if an electrical problem occurs after installation.

You can watch this following video by This Old House explaining what to do when upgrading the home electrical system to a 200 amps circuit.

Please note that it is only the first part where he replaces the electric meter connection. The second part is in this video, where he completed the replacement of the panel breakers.

How Long Does It Take to Change a Fuse Box to a Breaker Box?

Same as upgrading an old breaker box, the job of upgrading a fuse is also very time-consuming.

  • This job may take as fast as 4 hours and can take up to 8 hours. It depends on what electrical works need to be done.

The fuse box is common in most older houses, and replacing it with a new circuit breaker may vary depending on the work needed. In most cases, an increase in power demand due to a newer appliance and safety purposes is the main reason for upgrades.

It is worth it to upgrade your fuse box if it is also your reason why you need an upgrade.

Some works like repositioning panel breakers and upgrading the wire used for the main switch cause the job to take longer.

Additionally, since your purpose is to meet the electricity demand of your appliances, you may also need to install or upgrade some circuits, including its lines.

Advantages of Installing a New Electrical Panel


Installing or upgrading new electrical panels has the most significant benefits in terms of safety.

  • Since electrical standards continue upgrading as technology grows, electrical panels also need to keep up with the upgrades. The newer version of an electrical panel, particularly circuit breakers, has more accurate and advanced safety features.
  • Some of the circuit breakers with advanced features are the AFCI, GFCI, Dual Function circuit breakers, and Combination AFCI breakers. These breakers have advanced features to detect damageable arc and ground faults that can potentially cause fire and injuries.
  • It can bring more power supply and good flow of electricity. You don’t even have to worry about replacing your circuit breaker every time it trips, as circuit breakers are highly reusable.


An electrical panel is a vital part of your home that goes bad as your house gets old. Before planning an upgrade or replacing your old electrical system, it is good to ask the question, “How long does it take to replace a breaker box?” This way, you can avoid the inconvenience that is caused by the process of changing electrical panels.

Did you find this article helpful for deciding when and why you need electrical panel upgrades? If yes, you can share these articles with others to help them too.

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