Electrical Panel Replacement

Cornelius Electrical’s licensed and certified electricians provide a range of professional services required and necessary for an electrical panel’s optimum performance.

What is an Electrical Panel?

An electrical panel – also referred to as a circuit breaker, service entrance panel, fuse box, main breaker, or fuse panel – is the heart of your home’s electrical system. Much like the jets and pumps in a lazy river keep water flowing along with the intricacies of the pool system, circuits and wires keep the electricity flowing throughout your home … and the system is anything but lazy!

Electrical panels receive and control the distribution of the electricity flow to each circuit branching out through the house, and it is crucial that they are working properly to ensure that the rest of the electrical system can function. If there is a problem with the fuse box, there will most certainly be issues with the electricity in the entire household.

To intercept and hopefully avoid any such problems, it is recommended that homeowners regularly schedule maintenance with a certified electrician.

Electrical Panel Services

Cornelius Electrical provides a range of services required for an electrical panel’s optimum performance:

  • Changes – When your electrical panel has performance issues or safety hazards.
  • New Installations – When you need to install a new electrical system.
  • Upgrades – When your home has an old or outdated electrical panel.
  • Replacements – When the electrical panel needs to be completely replaced.

Potentially Hazardous Electrical Panel Manufacturers

Sometimes electrical panels need to be replaced. There are panels made by certain manufacturers that tend to need replacing at a higher rate than others. These panel manufacturers include Zinsco, Kearney, Federal Pacific Electric, Sylvania, ITE Pushmatic and GTE.

Zinsco, GTE, ITE Pushmatic, and Zinsco-Sylvania electrical panel brands have a high risk of fire and shock hazards due to faulty clip-to-buss connections. When the bus connections overheat, they cause the circuit breaker to overheat, rendering it unable to function normally and creates a safety hazard.

Federal Pacific Electric company (FPE) electrical panels are replaced more often than any other brand due to the company distributing millions of improperly tested panels from the 1950s to the 1980s. These panels did not meet the required safety standards, and through the years have been found to malfunction at a much higher rate than standard panels, causing overheating and fire hazards. To avoid potential disaster, it is recommended that anyone who still has any of these electrical panels installed in their homes get them replaced with a newer panel that has been tested accurately and proven to trip when required.

Panel manufacturers that are typically reliable include Square D, Cutler-Hammer, Murray, ITE, Siemens, GE General Electric, and Eaton.

Replacing an Electrical Panel

If you discover that the electrical panel in your home was manufactured by any of the above companies that produced unreliable panels, you should seriously consider replacing it. With Cornelius Electrical, it takes an average of one day to complete an electrical panel replacement, with an average time of anywhere from 4 to 16 hours, depending on the amount of work required.

A permit from the local building department is required prior to a panel replacement, and an inspection from the same is required after installation. In residences, electrical work, including and especially panel replacement, must be done by a licensed electrical contractor. In certain cases, a home’s electrical utility provider may need to be involved in the panel replacement. The electrician performing the replacement will coordinate with any other parties needing to be involved.

It is our goal to maintain integrity and efficiency through every step of a project, from labor to communication and cost.

Service Costs for Panel Replacement

With Cornelius Electrical, the average cost of a residential electrical panel replacement ranges from $350 to $1,500. The price is determined by many variables, including the size of the main breaker, number of circuits, location of the panel, condition of existing wires, and age of the electrical system. “Hidden” costs include variables that are not able to be pre-calculated, such as to permit fees, utility fees, electrical issues discovered during the replacement, or the occurrence of damage/error due to previous electrical work performed by an unqualified technician.

It is not recommended that an unqualified person do any electrical work on a residential electrical system, as it could create a seriously dangerous situation. The reparations necessary from improper electrical work could be more costly than hiring a certified technician in the first place.

Main Overcurrent Device and Grounding

It is very important that the main breakers be maintained by a certified electrician to be certain they are working properly. If there is a power surge or malfunction in the electrical system, it will go through the main breaker first, and thus affect each individual circuit.

To protect the main, the Main Overcurrent Device is installed in the main breaker, which is also known as a distribution panel, to turn off all electricity in the house in the event of a surge or malfunction. Also in place to protect the distribution panel (and by extension, the entire house) from such malfunctions, homes have service and grounding equipment that provides essential grounding. Grounding (or “electrical grounding”) is an important safety measure that prevents accidental electrocution while helping surge protectors function more efficiently.

Electricity Meter

An electricity meter, also known as an electric meter or energy meter, is a device that measures the amount of electricity a home consumes. Typically this meter is on the side of the house but can be located by the front sidewalk for easy access to readings by the utility provider. These meters are an important part of the electrical system and require maintenance and upkeep, and may at some point need to be changed, replaced, or upgraded. Fees for any of these services regarding a residential meter, including installation of a new meter, are the same as the average costs for service on a residential electrical panel.


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