Electrician resetting an electrical panel
15 March 2024,

When to Replace an Electrical Panel: The Costs and Steps

Electrician resetting an electrical panel

Do you have an outdated electrical panel and wondering if you should replace it?

This project is an investment because it can cost around $3,000 to $3,500 but it provides many benefits to you as a homeowner.

To mention a few, you can get improved reliability, more safety, and even potentially increase the resale value of your home.

But to get the best price, you will need to compare several quotes from qualified and reputable electrical contractors in your area.

If you want to know when to replace an electrical panel and how much it costs, continue reading this article for more details. 

You can also fill out the short online form on this page at NO COST to get reliable quotes with no obligation.

Signs you need a new Electrical Panel

Overloading an electrical terminal

As a homeowner, you need to make regular repairs and upgrades to your property to keep it in good condition. They all cost money so it is important to prioritize your projects.

When do you need to replace an electrical panel? Below you will see the signs that you need an electrician to upgrade your electrical panel. 

  • Are your fuses constantly blowing due to overloading? This is a signal that you need an electrical panel replacement. 
  • The modern standard is 200 amps but your system is at 60 to 100 amps. 
  • You must unplug a device or appliance sometimes to avoid flipping a breaker.
  • Your electrical panel has wires running here and there that make it look messy.
  • You have added more appliances to your home or had some renovations

If you are also considering the purchase of an older home or living in an older home, you may have outdated wiring. 

Homeowners get excited about cosmetic renovations such as new and modern lighting. However, wiring upgrades and electrical panel upgrades are also necessary.

Examples of additions that may require an increase in your electrical load include:

  • Hot tub
  • Treadmill
  • New rooms 
  • Air Conditioner
  • Commercial welders or saws
  • Electrical vehicle charger  

If you have any of the above, speak to a qualified electrical contractor about getting a replacement for your electrical panel.

What Factors affect the Cost of a new Electrical Panel?

In Ontario, the overall cost of an electrical panel upgrade can vary based on several factors.  These include the type of panel you plan to install, the location, the complexity of the work, and other repairs or upgrades you need.

The Type of Panel

The type of electrical panel you choose will have a big impact on the cost.  Standard panels are 100 or 200 amps which could cost from $3,000 to $3,500.  If your household has a high requirement for electrical power, you will need a bigger panel which will drive up the cost.

Complexity of the Installation

The level of complexity of the installation is a big factor in the cost of an electrical panel replacement.

In Ontario, many homes have unique architectural designs that make the process more difficult.  The extra labor can increase the cost of the installation.

Upgrades or Repairs

An electrician will always check the condition of your electrical system including old outlets, possible improper grounding, old wiring, etc.  He will make sure the wiring is compatible with a new electrical panel.

He needs to resolve any issues with the electrical system with repairs or upgrades. These issues will also increase the total cost.

To make sure you have the best possible price for an electrical panel replacement, get multiple quotes to compare using our short online form at no cost.

The Cost to Replace an Electrical Panel

So what’s your bill going to look like if you replace your electrical panel?

The national average cost to replace an electrical panel is $3,200++ but it could range from $1,000 to $13,000.  We have explained in the section above that your total bill will also be affected by any additional work done.

The price for rewiring is around $10 per square foot and on average, a homeowner could spend from $4,000 to $10,000 for this.

The best way to get an accurate quote tailored to your home and your electrical requirements is to get actual quotes from our partner electrical contractors.

We can quickly connect you with reputable professionals near you if you fill out our short online form!

Upgrading to 200 or 400 Amp System

Modern electrical panel for safety

Why upgrade from a 100 amp to a 200 amp system for your home? Primarily, this is to enhance your home’s safety.  When a panel overloads, it can cause damage to the circuit or even lead to an electrical fire.

How much does it cost to upgrade to a 200 amp system? 

If your current panel has a capacity below 200 amps, you are not yet up to code and may experience an overload of your electrical system. It is a good time to upgrade it with the help of a reputable electrician.

If you upgrade from 100 to 200 amps, you could spend around $1,500++. You could even plan for your future needs by considering a 400-amp electrical panel.

If you choose to do this, you may be charged around $5,000 by a certified electrician.  This estimate includes the materials which cost around $400 to $600, permits, and labour.

For your reference, many electricians in the Greater Toronto Area charge from $75 to $110 per hour.  Permits could cost from $65 to around $400.

Replacing a Fuse Box with a Breaker Panel

Installing cable wires of fuse box

A fuse box used to be the electrical center for residences up to the 1980s. These fuses must be replaced each time they burn out but they are harder to come by nowadays and are not always available at hardware stores because circuit breaker panels have become more popular.

Do you need to switch from a fuse box to a circuit breaker?  The cost can be around $2,000 to $6,000, depending on the breaker’s size, your chosen panel, amperage, and the rewiring needed.  An electrician is required to inform the city to shut down your home’s power while this type of work is being done.


Replacing a Single Fuse or Breaker Switch

Do you like doing DIY work in your home? Replacing a single fuse or breaker switch can be done DIY.  It is not difficult to do.  The cost of a standard fuse is around $8 to $50 whereas a circuit breaker can cost from about $200 to $250.

Fuses are less expensive because they are quick to install – like changing a light bulb.  With a circuit breaker replacement, it requires disconnecting and connecting wires before you flip it back on.  You can call on a qualified electrician to do this for you for convenience and safety.

Replacing the Main Circuit Breaker

Qualified electricians replacing a circuit breaker

The main circuit breaker is generally found on the top of the electrical that controls power for the entire panel.

This is critical to have for safety reasons.  Although it is important, it does not cost much to replace a circuit breaker and could cost from $200 to $280.

Hire a Reputable Electrician for your Home’s Electrical Upgrades

Electrical contractor for all electrical upgrades or repairs

Your home’s electrical system is a component that you never want to mess around with. 

Good and safe electrical power is something you need every moment of the day to make your life as convenient and secure as possible.

When it comes to electrical upgrades, you can count on the qualified and trustworthy partners of Compare Home Quotes to do the job for you!

To find the right electrician or electrical contractor in your area, just fill out the short online form below. Receive multiple quotes without cost or obligation so you can compare and make the right choice!

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