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Cost to move an electrical panel

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Guys,

My wife and I are toying with the idea of opening up our kitchen, dining room, den, and utility room into one big great room. One of the issues that we have is that the main circuit panel is on an interior wall, and would be very much in the way of our plan.

So, I'm sure that it's a pretty big job, but how big of a job is it to move the main circuit panel? Would the cost be effected by how far it was moved? We could move it just to the other side of the doorway where it is now (about four feet away from its current location), or move it into another part of the house (say 20 feet away). I'm not sure if the distance has a major effect on the cost or not.
post #2 of 11
doyle, my parents re-did work on their house, and had to move a box because so many years ago, it was legal where it was. Stuff changed, and it was illegal, even if we didn't touch it, it would have to be changed.

I think a lot would depend on the service to the house(amount of amps). However, I do not think it would be that much. The bonus here is that there will likely be a LOT of sheet-rock work done, and ripping a big hole in one to run wiring and what not would not be that big of a deal, as long as you mount it in the already-being-renovated area.

The wire is expensive, so keeping the length of wiring extensions minimal will keep your costs down somewhat. Biggest issue is seeing where it "can" go w/ regards to codes.
post #3 of 11
Anyone know what the codes are...my box is in the kitchen pantry cabinet adjacent to an outside wall...i was going upgrade my service also and think the box is not up to code anyway.
post #4 of 11
Assuming you will be contracting all of the work out, your biggest cost for the panel relocation will be labor. If you are going to redo the kitchen, dining, den and living room, the panel relocation cost will probably be relatively small compared to everything else (cabinets, counter-tops, appliances, flooring, etc..).

You can no longer have an electrical panel in a cabinet, broom closet or above a counter.
post #5 of 11
In re-locating a main service panel, every circuit will have to go into a junction box and new circuit wire run to the new service location. These junction boxes will have to remain accessible. That means no buried boxes, or splices not in a box. The easiest location for all these junction boxes is in the ceiling covered by a removable panel. Fire-proofing has to be considered also.

I wrote this a few months ago;

On my house here in NC, I wanted to build a garage to store my trucks & camper in, I had to re-locate a 400Amp service. Included in the job was reconfiguring one panel to serve a 200Amp transfer switch for a 20K water cooled propane generator and relocate the meter for the 400A service. The code had changed here which required main disconnects for each panel located outside & accessible to the fire dept. While the new garage was being built, we had to run the house of a 400A temp service.
So relocate 2 200A panels, install 2 main disconnects, install 1 200A transfer switch with a picky inspector (small town) plus we were living in the house, so everything had to work at the end of each day. I was also recovering from 2 major back surgeries done days apart. Doing this would require abandoning conduit runs to and from the temp service, while reusing the wires, as they were going to be under the slab floor.
The inspector required us to have a junction box for each wire amperage, 15A, 20A, 30A, 40A, 50A, 60A. He would not allow just a couple of big splice boxes for it all. He would not allow double romex connectors. The contractor fought hard to not abandon conduit, I was paying, what did it matter.
All the junction boxes had to go into the garage ceiling, which is a fire rated ceiling, that’s the reason I didn’t like so many boxes.

Now about relocating a service for cosmetic reasons; The abandoned fuse or circuit breaker box, can’t be used as a splice box, each and every splice has to be readily accessible. A route from the splice boxes to the new main breaker box will have to be figured out. The best one could end up with is a wall full of splice boxes instead of one big breaker box. Some wires might not be long enough to get into a splice box with it’s brother so there could be splice boxes in the ceiling near where the old breaker box was.
It is not cheap to relocate a service, before I hired an electrician, I would hire one or several interior decorators, to deal with the problem in a more creative fashion. The box can be hidden by drapes, artwork or faux doors.
post #6 of 11
When I remodled my old house, I upgraded the panel and hid the panel inside a set of book shelves with removable shelves. I don't know if that is allowable by code, but its cheaper than moving the panel.

Seabasstard
post #7 of 11
Moved bow about 3 feet on same wall and upgraded from 60 to 200 Amp.

Cost about $1200. They had to add a bunch of junction boxes in the attic to extend the runs. My box is on the end of the house.

Suggestions....

If you're going to move it, upgarade to 200.

If you can, try to get the box closer to the main loads (or a central location). This will save a little $ because of less I squared R loss.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by windknot View Post
Moved bow about 3 feet on same wall and upgraded from 60 to 200 Amp.

Cost about $1200. They had to add a bunch of junction boxes in the attic to extend the runs. My box is on the end of the house.

Suggestions....

If you're going to move it, upgarade to 200.

If you can, try to get the box closer to the main loads (or a central location). This will save a little $ because of less I squared R loss.


I squared R ...used to do that stuff in my sleep 7 years ago...did you have to get a new meter outside also? Who did you get to do it?
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by windknot View Post
Moved bow about 3 feet on same wall and upgraded from 60 to 200 Amp.

Cost about $1200. They had to add a bunch of junction boxes in the attic to extend the runs. My box is on the end of the house.

Suggestions....

If you're going to move it, upgarade to 200.

If you can, try to get the box closer to the main loads (or a central location). This will save a little $ because of less I squared R loss.


about 3 yrs ago had a panel replaced in a house in PA.

was about $1000.00
figure NJ being a little more,
add in extra costs for extra possible work, depending on exact work you require.
post #10 of 11
FBN, I don't remember if I needed a new meter. The person who did it is a friend. I'll ask him about the meter. New box and new breakers.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Guys,

Thanks for all of your input. It really helped me to figure out that moving the box is a no-brainer for what we want to do. The box is on a wall that splits our utility/laundry room from our den. We want to get rid of that wall, in order to open up the house. I was thinking that moving the panel is such a big job, that we would have a small wall in the way of otherwise open space. It doesn't look like that will be the case after the information that you all provided me.

You all rule.

By the way, I may change my screen name from doyle007 to "I squared R". I have absolutely no idea what it means, but it sounds cool.

Enjoy your weekend.
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