How to Know If I Need an Electrical Panel Replacement

Knowing if it is time for an electrical panel replacement is not as easy as it seems, but there can be a few indicators that it might be time to check it out. But first, let’s cover the basics of electrical panels.

An electrical panel, also known as a circuit breaker box or an electrical box, is a metal box that contains your home’s circuit breaker switches. The switches can turn off or “trip” when a power surge is detected, or you can turn them off manually. 

Each switch controls the electrical current to a specific part of your home. For example, there are switches for kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and more. 

You probably repair or replace electrical components like outlets and wires regularly. But an electrical panel might go under the radar. It isn’t used very often and is built to last many years. 

However, an electrical panel will need replacing eventually. 

Here at Mister Sparky Electrician, we’ve found answers to some of your most pressing questions regarding electrical panel replacement. 

If an electrical emergency arises and you need help, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Mister Sparky Electrician! 


How to Know If I Need an Electrical Panel Replacement

When should I replace my electrical panel? 

At Mister Sparky, we recommend that you replace your electrical panel every 25 years. If you have a panel that’s 25 years old but it seems to function correctly, we recommend having a licensed electrician inspect it for you. 

Another good time to have an electrician inspect your electrical panel is when you move into a new home. You might not know exactly how old the electrical panel is, so having an electrician inspect it for you will tell you if it needs replacing or not. 

Can I replace my electrical panel myself? 

While testing an electrical panel is relatively simple, replacing one is not. However, if you are qualified, experienced, and licensed to work on electrical components in homes, you could replace an electrical panel. 

But if you’re not, you should call a professional. 

Where are electrical panels located? 

You can often find electrical panels in a house in a garage, laundry room, or basement. In an apartment, they can be anywhere except in bathrooms or closets. 

What is an electrical panel upgrade? 

An electrical panel upgrade, also known as a main panel upgrade (MPU), is a panel replacement. You ‘upgrade’ the old one with a new box and new breakers. 

A replacement is an excellent time to increase the amperage of your box, too. You should consider upgrading if you want to add some large appliances to your home or heavy machinery. 

Is it worth upgrading my electrical panel? 

Old electrical panels are the leading cause of electrical fires. So, having an old panel is a fire hazard to you, your family, and your home. 

Upgrading can be a worthwhile investment to help ensure safety from electrical fires. 

How much is a new electrical panel for houses? 

The cost of a new electrical panel depends on the amperage. Panels that can handle 100 amps start at around $850. Expect 200-amp panels to cost anywhere from $1,300 to $2,500. 

A 400-amp panels costs between $2,000 and $4,000. Low-amp subpanels start at $500. 

Older homes typically require more amperage than modern homes. (All figures are industry estimates. Price may vary depending on location.) 

How many amps do I need my electrical panel to handle for my home? 

Most homes require at least 100 amps. However, one hundred amps will satisfy most medium-size homes with multiple large appliances and a central air conditioning unit. 

Homes over 2,000 square feet with multiple appliances and a central air conditioning unit may need a 200-amp panel. 

Homes with a sauna, a pool, or heavy machinery may need a 400-amp panel. 

How many electrical panels are there in a home? 

There is usually one electrical panel in a home. However, additional subpanels sometimes control electricity to a specific area, like a guest house or area added beyond the original home. 

How can I tell if my electrical panel is full? 

First, take a look inside your panel. If every slot is filled with a breaker, you might assume you’re at maximum capacity. But look closely at the panel’s door. 

A marker of 20/40 means you’ll have twenty slots, but they can handle up to forty circuits. 

If there isn’t a marker to indicate your panel’s capacity, you’ll need to call an electrician to determine the actual load. 

How long does an electrical panel replacement take? 

A simple electrical panel replacement takes between four and eight hours. If the electrician needs to access the wiring in the walls, labor costs can increase to $450. 

(All figures are industry estimates. Price and time may vary depending on location and company.) 

Where can I get an electrical panel replacement service near me? 

Electrical panel replacement with Mister Sparky Electrician Houston is the choice for you. Here’s how it works! 

  • Make an appointment online: Online or over the phone is the best way to make an appointment with us! Let us know what you’re looking for and when you’re available. If it’s an emergency, call 911. Let us know if it’s not an emergency but needs immediate attention from an electrician. 
  • Get an estimate: Mister Sparky Electrician Houston will give you an estimate for our services to the best of our ability. However, if you aren’t satisfied with your estimate, let us know! We can adjust our services depending on your needs and budget. 

In conclusion

Here at Mister Sparky Electrician Houston, we hope to have answered some of your most pressing questions regarding electrical panels and electrical panel replacement. 

If you’re interested in replacing your electrical panel, give us a call or visit our website to schedule an appointment. 

Mister Sparky Electrician Houston can provide you with many electrical services. We have experts who can quickly get the help you need for repairs, maintenance, installation, and replacement.

Mister Sparky Electrician Houston, America’s On-Time Electrician, serves Houston, Texas and the cities of Katy, Sugar Land, Cypress, Spring, The Woodlands and others with a team of certified electricians. In addition to emergency electrical repairs, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections. Call us today at: 281-907-8418.

Need Electrical Service?

Contact the experts at Mister Sparky.

Call us at 281-907-8418!