Cost Involved to Replace an Electrical Panel in Calgary
You might be surprised to learn that the average price to replace an electrical panel in Calgary can range anywhere from $2,500 – $5,000. That’s quite a large leap, but the price can certainly be justified. Below is a comprehensive guide on when and why to implement an electrical panel upgrade or replacement and other elements that affect pricing you may not have been aware of.
Why and when to upgrade your electrical panel:
Like everything, electrical panels have their own lifespan and, in due time, need to be replaced. It is possible that your older panel is not currently up to the Canadian electrical code and, for safety reasons, needs to be replaced. Outside of this, you may be interested in incorporating additional appliances into your home, and your household’s power needs have now changed. Considering this, an electrical panel upgrade would be in order. Either way, knowing the signs and reasons for an electrical panel upgrade will help you decide on its necessity.
It’s not a bad idea to add a sub-panel into your home if you are looking to expand the power availability but many people find these annoying and confusing. The problem becomes not knowing where breakers are and the frustration that comes with trying to locate them.
Aluminium Wiring can not be used in some panels and breakers and should be taken into consideration when upgrading an electrical service panel.
The electrical panel is due for replacement.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) estimates an electrical panel’s life expectancy expires at roughly 60 years. However, if your panel has been exposed to harsh conditions, including humidity, its lifespan will dramatically decrease, and maintenance or replacement will be required. Some electrical panels have been outlawed (Federal Pioneer Panels) due to breakers not showing that they have been tripped when in fact they have been. Federal Pioneer has been stated as unsafe electrical panels due to the hazards involved for both homeowners and technicians working on them.
What’s more, an inadequate electrical panel, a fuse box, or even some brand of electrical panels can be hazardous!
Ensure longevity, schedule regular maintenance and checkups with a licensed Calgary electrician to keep your panel in excellent condition. This should be done every 3-5 years. That being said, any problems that may arise between scheduled maintenance should not be ignored. Situations such as an overloaded circuit can pose premature issues and should be replaced immediately to avoid any hazard. Knowing the signs of when it’s time to replace your panel will be paramount in keeping your home safe.
You are looking to add new appliances and your electrical panel can’t handle the load.
If you plan to add or update new appliances in your home, you may need to upgrade your panel capacity. Old electrical panels can become quickly overburdened and damage wiring to the new appliance. Upgrading to accommodate new appliances like a Tesla Home Charger Installation or Hot Tub Electrical Installation is one of the most common reasons for replacing a household electrical panel.
You are seeking better protection and energy efficiency.
You may be looking into installing a new electrical panel that provides higher levels of surge protection as well as Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) or Combination Arch Fault Interrupters. Making the switch to a newer panel also provides the opportunity to engage with smart panels, which offer real-time power usage monitoring throughout your home.
Additional tasks that increase the cost of an electrical panel upgrade:
Depending on your unique circumstance, materials beyond a new or additional electrical panel may be required. This may include adding a meter base or main feeder coming from the power lines along with any new wiring necessary. Additional material costs will be taken into consideration when you approach your electrical contractor for an estimate. However, it is important to note that you may incur charges for materials necessary to resolve the task if any new issues inhibiting the replacement process arise.
Outside of charging for materials involved in your electrical panel upgrade, labor hours will also be considered regarding your estimate. If any unforeseen issues arise during the construction process, additional staff-hours may be necessary to ensure the project is completed efficiently and safely.
Moving Panel Location
Moving an indoor electrical panel can vary in cost, considering the amount of work required and the distance it is moved. If the panel is being moved only a few feet away from its original location, it will be less expensive than relocating to a different floor or outdoors. This cost can cover everything from adding new wires, opening and resealing drywall, to even rewiring the house. Each home will be different, and the scale of work will likewise vary. It is always best to speak with a professional electrician up to date with the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) to get an accurate estimate of the final cost.
Core into concrete
Given your home’s specific needs, it may be required to x-ray and core into concrete to run electrical lines where necessary. If needed, this aspect of your construction project will require further staff-hours and additional materials to complete and affect the project’s cost overall.
An electrical permit is required for all new wiring installations and includes extending or altering any existing electrical branch circuit wiring. A Calgary electrical permit comes at a minimum cost of $116.50, according to the calgary.ca website. The final cost of this permit is dependant on the size of the construction project overall. This will be included in your estimate once you speak to a Calgary electrician about your panel replacement project.
Installing Two Electrical Panels
You may have overhead powerlines spanning your backyard; a common solution to remove these powerlines requires an installation of the main service in the garage as well as a sub-feed to your house. A benefit to this method is the inclusion of a secondary electrical panel in your garage, which allows for more capacity to include additional appliances and gives you 100 amps to your garage.
Trenches are often required to install utilities (electricity, gas, water, sewer, cable) underground. The trench’s depth depends on whether the location in question is close to a roadway or requires concrete cutting. Therefore, depending on the circumstance trenching the ground to accommodate electrical wiring for a panel may be necessary for your construction project.
Quoting an electrical panel replacement considers several factors. The above list is only a shorthand of the most common additional tasks that may be required to complete your project. The best way to determine the budget necessary to complete this type of construction is by reaching out for a free quote from a trusted Calgary-based electrical company, such as Ampt Over Electric Calgary Electricians.