As mentioned before, the electrical service equipment is the electrical heart of your home or business. There are many benefits to having your electrical service upgraded. Upgrading your service can lower your electric bill, improve the aesthetics, increase the value of your home, and will also, in some cases, lower your insurance premium.
In recent years we have been called to many pre-sale inspections done by the buyer. In most cases these inspectors continuously made note of outdated electrical service equipment. We have seen cases where the selling price of the home was negotiated down $10K, roughly 10 times the cost of a panel upgrade. You may find that the electrical service equipment on your home or the home you are looking to purchase has a Federal Pacific Electric or Zinsco panel. If this is the case, you will most definitely need to replace the panel or panels.
The average cost for a service upgrade ranges from $750.00 up to $1500.00 depending on the size of service and the conditions of installation. A home may have both an interior and/or exterior panel which can cause the price to fluctuate. Some have a meter and main disconnect on the outside and what is called an interior sub-panel on the inside. In Phaze Electric service managers usually install 200-amp equipment. There is a minimal cost difference between 150-amp and 200-amp equipment and it is best to allow for future additions on the property or the home. It is recommended to replace all of the equipment, wire, and all breakers.
During the installation of the upgrade it is also recommended to have your overhead service drop installed underground if feasible. There is usually no cost from the power company. They will take down the existing overhead line and install the new one underground at no cost to you. We also recommend that you contract the dig or dig the ditch yourself to save money. We would not suggest paying In Phaze or any other electrical company’s hourly rate to dig a ditch. We have various companies that we can recommend.
Upgrading the electrical service of your home not only offers the previously mentioned benefits, it also adds neatness to the home and a sense of security knowing your home is electrically safe.