Electrical Upgrade

Businesses and homes are using more electricity than ever and the electrical power systems and services that were installed decades ago no longer have the capacity to safely and properly handle today’s electrical loads and demands. Upgrading your electrical service will make your electrical system safer and prevent electrical hazards.

Commercial and residential are two types of electrical upgrades:

Residential Electrical Upgrades

  1. Cost to upgrade from 100 amp to 200 amp service/cost to upgrade electrical panel to 200 amps
  2. Cost to upgrade from 60 amp to 100 amp service
  3. Relocating electrical panel and updating electrical box cost
  4. Cost to replace 100 amp electrical panel
  5. Electrical mast replacement, raising electrical mast
  6. Electrical meter replacement, relocating electrical meter
  7. Cost to install electrical sub-panel

Commercial Electrical Upgrades

  1. Upgrade commercial electrical service
  2. Cost to upgrade from single phase to three-phase
  3. Cost to upgrade from 120/208 V to 347/480/600 V
  4. Cost to install three-phase sub-panel

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Electrical Upgrade

Upgrading 60 amp service in house to 100 amp

Why should you upgrade from 60 amp to 100 amp service? Most households use numerous electrical appliances and equipment that require more power. For example, if you have an electrical range and an electrical dryer, the electrical code book requires an upgrade to 100 amp service because with the rest of your power outlets and lighting, you will most likely overload the 60 amp electrical service. In some cases your insurance company will request the electrical upgrade, too.

Other reasons you should upgrade your electrical service to 100 amp or more are:

  • Installing A/C
  • Installing sauna
  • Installing hot tube
  • Installing steam shower
  • Installing second kitchen
  • Large house (large sqf/ sqm)
  • Installing electric car charger
  • Installing second laundry room
  • Planning to develop a legal suite
  • Planning to develop garden suite
  • Planning to develop a basement suite
  • Developing a workshop on your garage
  • Planning to do home renovations and extension

Reasons to upgrade or replace an Electrical Panel

There are many reasons why people upgrade or replace their electrical boxes:

  • If your box is a fuse box
  • If your breakers are tripping
  • If the house is 20 years or older
  • If your electrical panel warms up
  • If your electrical box is buzzing or making crackling noises
  • If your lights flicker or dim regularly or when you use appliances

Why should you upgrade or replace your Electrical Panel Box?

  • If breakers keep blowing
  • If you have an old fuse box
  • If lights are flickering and dimming
  • If the breaker panel is old and outdated
  • If your insurance company is requesting it

If the breaker box is full and you need to add more breakers

What to consider and know when upgrading your Electrical Panel and Electrical Service

  1. Get at least three (3) electrical estimates for electrical service or panel upgrades
  2. Hire an electrical contractor who is experienced and specializes in panel and service upgrades. Upgrades can be challenging and full of surprises.
  3. Hire an electrical contractor who is reputable, insured, certified and licensed.
  4. Ask the electrical contractor the right questions when meeting them for electrical upgrade estimates. (You can use our frequently asked questions about electrical upgrades at the end of this article.)
  5. Ask the electrical contractor why you should you upgrade your electrical box or electrical service …. to analyze their knowledge
  6. Ask your electrical contractor to do a load calculation/demand calculation according to Canadian Electrical Code Book, to make sure you are getting enough power and your service upgrade is what you need.

At Can Electric Ltd, we specialize in 60 to 100 amp service upgrades and panel upgrades and can complete the disconnected, reconnected, inspection and installation within one day. We take care of everything to make sure your service upgrade is easy and hassle free.

 

 

The Costs of Service Upgrades Based on Different Amperages

How much does it cost to upgrade service?

The average cost to upgrade overhead electrical service is between $1,600 to $4,000 and for underground electrical service upgrade cost is $2,700 to $6,000.

How much does it cost to upgrade service to 100 amp?

The average cost to upgrade overhead electrical service to 100 amp is $1,600 to $2.500. In rare cases it can be around $200-$300 more when you have numerous sub-panels and need to relocate wiring and panel.

How much does it cost to upgrade service to 200 amp?

The average cost to upgrade overhead electrical service to 200 amp is between $2,000 to $3,500. In rare cases it can be around $400-$700 more when you have numerous sub-panels and need to relocate wiring and panel.

The Costs of Panel Replacements Based on Different Amperages

How much does it cost to replace an electrical panel?

The average cost is between $800 to $4,000

How much does it cost to replace 100 amp electrical panel?

The average cost is between $800 to $1,500

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

The average cost is between $1,200 to $2,100

How much does it cost to replace 300 amp electrical panel?

The average cost is between $1,500 to $3,000

How much does it cost to replace 400 amp electrical panel?

The average cost is between $1,700 to $4,000

What to consider when replacing your electrical panel?

  1. The size of electrical panel (how many circuits your panel is rated for)
  2. The size of electrical panel (how many amps is your electrical panel)
  3. The quality and type of electrical panels and breakers

Cost to replace circuit breakers

The cost to replace the circuit breakers is between $150 to $400 labour and material. The main factors identifying the cost of breaker replacements are types, sizes, and brands. For example, GFCI and AFCI breakers are expensive. The cost of breakers might be 20% difference between different brands.

Cost to replace fuses

The cost to replace fuses is similar to circuit breakers and can be between $150 to $500 labour and material. The main factors identifying the cost of fuses are types (DC fuses, ACf, over voltage fuses, over current fuses, etc.), sizes (voltage and amperage), and brands.

Cost to replace the main circuit breaker

The cost to replace the main circuit breaker can vary depending on size and types. In houses, for example, to supply and replace the main (100 amp-220V) breaker cost between $250 to $400 based on brand and types as different brands of breakers will vary in cost depending on material. Sometimes old breakers are discontinued and hard to get which will add to the cost of your main breaker replacement.

Cost to replace electric meter box (service meter socket)

The cost to replace the electrical service meter depends on the type and current situation of your meter. Often when the electric meter is replaced you will need to bring it up to current electrical code which may mean changing your entire service which will add to the cost of service upgrade. However, if your meter meets the current electrical code it will cost $200 to $700 for supply and replacement. For example, 100 amp meter box will cost $200 to $600, 200 amp meter box will cost $400 to $800, and 400 amp meter box will cost $500 to $900.

Types of service electrical meter

Main residential electrical meters can be three types (older electrical meter boxes contain mercury and are poisonous, second generation of electrical meters, and current electrical meters which are smart electrical meters).

Contact us today for FREE site visit and estimate on your electrical meter replacement.

 

Cost to install New Sub-Panel

Sub-panel supply and installation costs range from $500 to $1,500 on average based on how far it is from the main panel, the size of the sub-panel, and how many breaker spaces you want in your sub-panel. The other consideration factoring into the cost of your sub-panel installation will be whether the power runs over head or underground. To supply and install a 60A-220V sub-panel in the garage will be $600 to $1,000 for overhead and $800 to $2,000 for underground.

Cost to move an electrical panel

The cost to relocate an electrical panel box is $750 to $2,500. Factors that identify the cost of panel relocation are distance, number of circuits, and the cost to rewire between electrical meter to new electrical panel location.

Indoor vs. outdoor electrical panels

Supply and installing an electrical box outdoors and indoors are similar in labour. However, panels that are outdoors are more expensive. Sometimes to meet electrical code requirements you will need to install your panel or your main breaker outside of your house especially when you have to run the service wire inside your house for more than 3 metres.

Additional costs of Updating your Electrical Panel

Other costs to upgrade your electrical panel include permit fees, and some companies charge a fee to arrange with the utility power provider for power disconnect and reconnect.

Top Service Panels Brands

Square D, Siemens, General Electric (GE), Eaton, Leviton

Advantages and disadvantages of updating electrical panel/ replacing your electrical box

Upgrading or replacing your electrical service or panel will make your home safer, you will have more power, you can add new appliances and equipment and run them together. The disadvantage is the cost of the electrical upgrade or panel replacements and being without power for 4 to 8 hours.

We are Experienced, Licensed and Insured Edmonton electrical contractor with specialty in service upgrade and panel replacements contact us today to get a FREE electrical estimate for your service upgrade.

 

 

Electrical Service Upgrade Frequently Asked Questions

Is an electrical upgrade necessary to remodel my home?

It will depend on what is included in your remodel. If you are planning to upgrade your electrical appliances and add A/C or a hot tub, you will need an electrical upgrade. However, if you are not adding or changing your electricals when you remodel you might not need to upgrade.

What is the main electrical panel and service panel?

This is where the power comes into your home and is installed right after your electrical meter and is inside your home. It’s also call a load centre, service panel, and circuit breaker box. It is the most important part of your electrical system when it comes to safety.

Is upgrading the electrical panel the same as rewiring my house?

No. Upgrading your electrical panel only includes your panel and electrical service. It does not include any wiring inside your house.

What is the electrical service size of my house that I will need an electrical service upgrade?

If you have 50 amp or 60 amp or 70 amp electrical service, it is most likely you will need a service upgrade to 100 amp or more.

When do I need to change my electrical panel?

If your panel and circuit breakers are old, you will need a panel change. Old breakers sometimes don’t protect from overload and short circuits which are the breaker’s main function. You may also need to change your panel if you are planning to install GFCI or AFCI breakers as most old panels don’t offer those breakers or they are expensive.

What size electrical service do I need?

It depends on if your service upgrade is for a single-family, multi-family, commercial or other applications. It is best to consult with an electrical contractor and ask them to do an electrical load calculation for your situation according to Canadian Electrical Code Book- Section 8

When I upgrade my electrical service what does my utility provider company need to know?

It is your electrical contractor’s responsibility to inform your utility provider and get the approval for electrical upgrade and ensure the electrical grid and transformer in your area are able to handle the additional load which will result from your service upgrade.

How long will I be without power when I upgrade my electrical service?

4 to 8 hours.

What do I need for my electrical load calculation?

The square meters of living space, kitchens, laundry rooms, heating and cooling loads, electric water heaters, EV, hot tubs, sauna, steam showers, machinery, equipment, and any additional loads and equipment.

When should I do load calculation?

You need to do a load calculation prior to doing your service upgrade to make sure you get the right size of electrical service.

What are the benefits of demand calculation (load calculation)?

It will help you to decide if you need electrical service upgrade or just panel upgrade. If you need service upgrade, the calculation will determine the size of service upgrade.

Do insurance companies make decisions based on my electrical panel?

Yes. Because your home’s electrical safety is directly impacted by your electrical panel and electrical service, they consider your service as a factor in your home insurance rates.

Why do my circuit breakers keep tripping?

When your circuit breaker is tripping, it might be overloaded, short circuits, ground fault, or defected old breakers that need replacement

What is the right size electric service for my home?

It depends on your home square meters of living area, appliances and equipment.  Have a certified electrician do a load calculation.

Why would I need to change my panel?

If your breakers are old you will need to change your panel. Old breakers don’t trip when a short circuit happens, so they will not protect your home or business. If you need to install AFCI or GFCI breakers or need more space on your panel, I recommend you consult with an electrical contractor or master electrician to see if you need to change your electrical panel.

What will I need to know about the day of service upgrade and panel box upgrade?

The power will be out for 4 to 8 hours, so you will need to plan for heating and cooling and keeping your freezers and fridge cold for that period. Unplug all sensitive devices, equipment, and electronics and your electrical contractor may need power for that period to complete the electrical service upgrade.

How can I hire the best electrical contractor for my service upgrade?

Hire reputable electrical contractors who are certified, insured, and have good reviews and accreditations specifically in electrical upgrades.

Why is my 60 amp main breaker tripping?

If you are running a range, dryer and some other electrical items you will overload the circuit that is 60 amp. Your range is rated to carry up to 40-amp 220V and your dryer is rated to carry up to 30 amp 220V and include other electronics and you will be using more than 60 amp power for which your house is rated.

What is GFCI breaker?

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI): This types of breaker or outlet is required when electrical devices are close to water. GFCI plugs or breakers will cut off the power when the water gets in the electrical devices.

What is AFCI breaker?

AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter): AFCI circuit breaker or outlet is designed to interrupt power when it detects arcing. In most cases arcing happens because of overheating which may be caused by overloading or damaged wires.

What are the differences between GFCI and AFCI breakers? (GFCI vs. AFCI circuit breakers)

GFCI is required where electrical is close to water. AFCI is required almost everywhere in the house for electrical receptacles. GFCI interrupts because of wetness and moisture. AFCI interrupts because of arcing. And GFCI breakers are more expensive than AFCI breakers.

What are the differences between circuit breakers and fuses?

Fuses are cheaper, more sensitive to current and overload, easy to be replaced, and must be replaced when tripped. Circuit breakers are easy to reset, can be used with as AFCI or GFCI, less sensitive to overcurrent, and more expensive.

Where is ground connected in the houses?

In most cases it is connected to the street side of the water meter, but it can be connected to the ground plate or ground rod. This may differ for different electrical jurisdictions and local and national electrical codes.

What is gas line bonding?

Grounding the gas line in the houses which is required by electrical code is called gas line bonding.

What will I get from a panel change?

You will get a new panel, new breakers and all new terminations and connections inside your panel which will provide for an overall safer and better panel.

What will I get from service upgrade?

You will get new service mast, meter, service wiring, grounding, bonding, panel, new breakers and all new terminations and connections inside your panel and meter which will provide for an overall safer and better panel.

What are old and discontinued types of breakers and breakers panels?

Federal Pacific panel, Federal Pioneers, Westinghouse, Commander, and etc.

What are new types of breakers and breakers panels?

Siemens, Cutler hammer, Square D, GE, and Eaton.

What is the difference between the main electrical panel and sub-panel?

The main electrical panel is the source of power distribution in your home and it receives power directly from your meter. The sub-panel is a branch of your main electrical panel. The main panel has the main breaker and all branch circuit breakers including the breaker for your sub-panel feed.

What does electrical service upgrade mean?

Electrical service upgrade means bringing more power to your home or changing your electrical service devices and equipment to newer electrical mast, meter, panel, breakers and wiring. In most cases electrical upgrade is changing your service from 50 amp, 60 amp, or 70 amp to 100 amp, 200 amp or more. This will enable you to add A/C, hot tub, EV charging stations, etc.

What are the benefits of an electrical service upgrade?

Safety is the first and most important benefit of an electrical service upgrade. The upgrade will also provide you with more options for adding new appliances and electrical equipment to your home. It is also a good investment and it will add value to your house. It might lower your home insurance premiums.

Do I need to contact the utility company before hiring an electrician for a panel upgrade?

No. This will be done by your electrical contractor or electrician.

What warning signs suggest it’s time to upgrade an electrical panel?

If your electrical panel is overloading, tripping, warming up, smells, and is making noises, or there is anything unusual, you need to immediately consult with a licensed electrician about upgrading your panel.

Should I hire a licenced electrician to do my service upgrade or panel replacement?

The answer is 100 % yes. It will save you time, money and headache, because in most cases this involves working with 220V- 100 amp power and any mistake and wrong wiring and installations will be very dangerous and jeopardize your family’s safety.

Why should I choose a licensed electrician for my service upgrade?

Because a license electrician is familiar with electrical and building codes and regulations for service upgrades, is experienced and has the right tools. Additionally, your electrician is insured and bonded.

Can I upgrade my electrical panel without a permit?

No. It is not allowed by the electrical code enforcement authority and you can double check with your local electrical code enforcement authorities.

 

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Also Read:

Light Fixture Installation: Everything You Need to Know

6 tips you must consider when choosing an Edmonton electrical technician

All About Electrical Systems

Residential Electrical Services: Wirings and Installations

What to consider on hiring an electrical contractor or Electricians

The Home Electrical Safety Tips that You Need to Know

Understanding Electric Panels & Overview of Residential Electrical Panels