How much does it cost to replace electrical panels and wiring?

Knowing the cost before getting an estimate can equal big savings

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Upgrading your home’s wiring and electrical panels can bring your home up to code and help you avoid electrical fires and shocks. This process can be expensive, though. Here’s what you need to know about the costs of giving your home an electrical upgrade and how to save.


Key insights

Replacing your electrical panels can cost $521 to $2,096 on average.

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Wiring costs around $6 per linear foot to replace.

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Your home warranty may cover electrical repairs and replacements.

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Electrical panel and wiring replacement costs

Generally, replacing an electrical panel will cost $521 to $2,096 on average, but it could cost more than $4,000. The total cost varies depending on the size of your home, the type of panel you need and any other additional costs. The labor alone will probably cost $50 to $150 per hour, or $1,000 to $4,500 total.

When a professional electrician says you need to replace your electrical panel and wiring, they probably mean a lot more than just the panel. When the panel is switched out, many other things need to be replaced. For example, if you upgrade your panel from a 100-amp panel to a 200-amp panel, the exterior wire and meter box will also need to be upgraded to 200 amps.

Some items that an electrician may need to replace include:

  • Circuit breaker switch: This is like the boss of your electrical panel. It flips off to stop the flow of electricity if there’s ever an overload or a short circuit, helping prevent electrical fires.
  • Electric meter box: This is where the electric company keeps track of how much power you’re using. It’s usually outside your house, counting up the kilowatts your home uses so your energy bill can be accurately calculated.
  • Main lug panels: A larger breaker upstream feeds these panels. They are a type of subpanel and are like the middle managers in your electrical system.
  • Subpanel: This smaller service panel branches off your main panel to provide more circuits. It’s handy for distributing power to specific areas, like a garage, workshop or a newly finished basement.
  • Main breaker: This is the main switch in your electrical panel. It controls the power to all of the circuit breakers in the panel and can shut everything off at once. It’s your go-to for a complete power down or reset.
  • Fuse box: Older homes often have these. A fuse box uses fuses instead of circuit breakers. Each fuse is designed to burn out if the current gets too high, cutting off power to that circuit to prevent danger. Typically, these get switched out for a circuit breaker during an upgrade.

Here is a cost breakdown, including parts and labor:

When it comes to wiring, you can expect to pay $6 per linear foot. Rewiring an entire house can set you back $4,500 or more. If you want to add some new outlets while you’re at it, that will cost around $100 to $185 per outlet.

Additional electrical panel and wiring replacement costs

Various factors can change the cost of your panel and wiring. For example, if you need to move your electrical panel, that could add an extra $1,500 to $2,500 to the price. If you need permits, those could cost around $50 to $300. Trenching, or burying the electrical wire that comes from the electrical panel, can cost $600 to $2,100. If the drywall is damaged during wiring installation, it can cost $1.50 to $3 per square foot to replace it.

Can you DIY the electrical panel and wiring replacement?

It’s always best to go with a professional to ensure your panels and wiring are safe and up to code. One area that you can do yourself, though, is any drywall work your home may need after the installation. There are plenty of online tutorials that can help you get started.

How do you know there is a problem with your electrical panel and wiring?

There are several signs that will let you know if there’s something wrong with your electrical panel and wiring. Here are some of the most common:

  • Lights flicker or dim randomly.
  • The outlets or switch plates get hot.
  • You can hear buzzing noises.
  • Your outlets or switch plates give off a strange smell (sometimes referred to as “fishy”).
  • You smell a burning odor from outlets or light switches.
  • Fuses are blowing or breakers are tripping frequently.

Does your home warranty cover electrical panel and wiring replacement?

Even though you may not be able to save money by DIYing your electrical, you may still be able to save money. Typically, home warranty companies offer electrical as part of their coverage. The company will pay for parts and labor. All you’ll need to pay is your deductible.

Whether your home warranty company covers electrical panel and wiring replacement depends on your specific plan. Most standard home warranties include coverage for electrical systems, which typically means the wiring, service panels, switches and outlets are part of the protection plan.

However, it's always a good idea to check the details of your contract. Some policies might only cover repairs, not total replacement, or they may have certain conditions or exclusions. If you're looking to be fully covered, make sure to read the fine print or talk directly to your warranty provider to understand exactly what's included in your coverage.

Quick and easy. Find a home warranty partner now.

    FAQ

    How long does an electrical panel and wiring last?

    Generally, they can last the duration of your home as long as you’re not overloading it.

    How much does it cost to replace a 200-amp electrical panel?

    It typically costs $1,300 to $2,000.

    Does homeowners insurance cover electrical panels?

    Yes, if something like a flood, fire or lightning strike caused the damage.

    Bottom line

    Replacing an electrical panel and wiring in your home can be a significant investment, and the cost varies widely depending on several factors like the size of your home, the complexity of the existing wiring, local labor rates and the type of panel you choose. Luckily, you may be able to save some money by DIYing the drywall repair and by filing a claim with your home warranty.

    Overall, it's a good idea to get multiple quotes from licensed electricians to understand the scope and cost of the work needed for your specific home. They can provide a more accurate estimate based on your home’s layout, the local code requirements and the job's complexity.


    Article sources
    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. UL Solutions, “8 Signs You May Have a Problem with Your Electrical Wiring.” Accessed April 18, 2024.
    2. Angi, “How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Electrical Panel?” Accessed April 18, 2024.
    3. Angi, “How Much Does It Cost to Upgrade an Electrical Panel?” Accessed April 18, 2024.
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