The electrical panel gives life to your home. It powers your appliances, your light fixtures, and entertainment systems. A properly designed electrical system in a home should deliver uninterrupted power that never fails, even if you want to run multiple appliances simultaneously.
But if you have an older home, or you find that your family is simply outgrowing your home’s current electrical supply, it may be time to consider replacing your electrical panel. It does cost some money, but knowing that your electrical panel has been safely upgraded by an experienced electrician, like the ones that work at Ontime Electric, will give you peace of mind and ultimately increase the resale value of your home.
Older homes have their charm, but generally speaking, their fuse boxes or electrical panels leave something to be desired. Some only offer 60 amps of service, while the standard for modern homes is at least 200 amps of service. An overloaded panel can be a danger to the people living in the home, and a terrible inconvenience. Who wants the lights to go out every time they use the microwave?
Upgrading your electrical panel is a good idea especially if you’ve had your unit for over 25 years. But here’s a more in-depth look at the numbers behind electric panel costs, courtesy of the friendly and expert electricians at Ontime Electric.
Electrical Panel Replacement Costs
- The total cost of replacing an entire electrical panel in Canada is $3,200, but the cost can end up ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $12,800.
- Wiring costs approximately $8 to $10 per square foot.
- Rewiring your whole house if required costs the average Canadian homeowner between $3,850 and $10,300.
- Replacing switches and outlets will cost between $130 and $260 per switch and outlet.
- Upgrading your electrical panel, rather than replacing the entire unit, will cost a little less, typically between $1,400 and $5,125.
- If you want to replace your old fuse box with a modern electrical panel, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,900 and $5,800.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Electrical Panel
- If your circuit breakers are constantly flipping or fuses are blowing because your electrical lines are overloaded.
- Your service is at 60 amps instead of at least 100 amps or the modern standard of 200 amps.
- You find yourself having to unplug one appliance to run another, otherwise, you risk blowing a fuse or flipping a breaker.
- If the wires running to and from your panel look incredibly messy or unorganized.
You also need to determine what size of electrical panel is suitable for your home. Electricians talk about this in terms of “electrical load” so we know how to give you exactly what you need. That’s why an in-home consultation with a professional electrician at Ontime Electric is so important. If you’re having problems with your current fuse box or panels, or you’re planning to add any of the following renovations or appliances, you’ll need to get a panel replacement or upgrade:
- Hot tubs
- Room additions
- Air Conditioners
- Commercial tools like welders or saws
- Charger for electric vehicles
But once you’ve figured out why you need to replace your old electrical panel it’s time to learn more about how much it will cost to get the work done for your particular situation. And remember, calling Ontime Electric will get you a comprehensive, honest and competitive quote — no matter what type of electrical work needs to be done in your home and around your property.
Electrical Panel Replacement
The average cost of replacing an old electrical panel with a new one of the same capacity costs the average Canadian homeowner about $3,200, although that range could be anywhere from $1,025 to more than $12,800. But everything depends on how big the panel is and how much power your home needs. For example, the power requirements for a small bungalow will be dwarfed by the needs of a luxury home of more than 4,000 square feet.
The other part of the job you’ll have to consider is updating old wiring. A new panel means your old wires may not be compatible.
For this, you can expect to pay anywhere between $8 to $10 per linear foot, which for the average Canadian home amounts to somewhere between $3,850 to $10,250 if the whole home needs to be redone. But this can vary depending on your situation. For an accurate estimate, be sure to speak to a professional electrician.
And finally, many people like to upgrade their old electrical switches and outlets for increased capacity, efficiency and aesthetics. If you have a professional electrician do this swap for you, expect to pay anywhere between $130 and $260 per switch or outlet.
Cost to Upgrade Electrical Panel to 200 Amps?
So what’s the cost to upgrade to a 200 amp service? The minimum standard for electrical amps today is 200 amps. If your panel’s capacity is less than 200 amps, you are not up to code and run the risk of overloading your home’s electrical system. This means that it’s time to upgrade.
If you need to double your amperage from 100 to 200 amps, then you should be budgeting approximately $1,400. However, if you want to take the next step and expand for future coverage, you’ll want to consider a 400 amp panel.
If you do decide to go this route, then you can expect to pay about $5,125 for this service done by a professional and certified electrician.
Wondering how the costs all break down? The materials cost between $385 and $640, while the rest of the estimated cost will go towards permits and labour. Electricians in the Greater Toronto Area typically charge between $70 and $110 per hour, while permits can run you anywhere from $65 to $385.
Cost to Replace Fuse Box With Breaker Panel
The fuse box was the original electrical hub of homes up until about the 1980s. Fuses are disposable and need to be replaced every time they burn out, and it’s getting harder and harder to find fuses in hardware stores with the rising prevalence of circuit breaker panels.
If you need to switch your fuse box to a circuit breaker, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,900 and $5,800 — depending on the size of your desired panel, amperage and any rewiring that needs to take place. Also, keep in mind that with a fuse box replacement, your electrician will need to contact the city to temporarily shut off your power while the swap takes place.
Cost to Replace Single Breaker Switch or Fuse
If you don’t mind a little DIY handiwork around the home, then here’s something you can do on your own with your electrical panel. Often you need to replace fuses and every so often you find it necessary to replace a circuit breaker. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to do. A standard fuse can cost anywhere from $6 to $50 while circuit breakers are more expensive, ranging from $190 to $260.
So why are fuses so much cheaper? The install time is seconds. It’s like screwing in a light bulb. Replacing a circuit breaker however is a bit more of an advanced process, which includes disconnecting and reconnecting wires before flipping it back on. If you don’t feel comfortable tackling this on your own, don’t hesitate to contact a professional electrician like the ones at Ontime Electric for help.
Main Circuit Breaker Replacement Cost
The main circuit breaker is the switch usually located on the top of the electrical that cuts off or allows power to the entire panel. It’s an important part to have for renovation and safety purposes.
But don’t worry, despite its starring role in your circuit panel, it doesn’t cost any more to replace than a standard circuit breaker, meaning you’re looking at a cost of around $190 to $260.
For years, Ontime Electric has been providing the best electricians in Toronto. All of our electricians are fully certified, licensed and insured to be working on your home. They know the ins and outs of all building codes so you can rest easy knowing that your electrical work was done up to code. Our team is also up-to-date on all building regulations in the region.
Electrical is the one part of a home that you don’t want to mess around with. Trust the professionals at Ontime Electric to teach you about your different options when it comes to electrical upgrades. We promise to meet your expectations and communicate effectively through every stage of the renovation process.
Whether you need an electrical panel replaced or an electrical panel upgrade, Ontime Electric is standing by to help with all of your electrical needs — both residential and commercial. Call us today to book your appointment. We’ll take care of everything so you can get back to the important things in life. Contact us now.