Replacing an interior circuit breaker is not a challenge for any experienced electrician. There are typically two panels in a home. There is an exterior main electrical service panel that sends power to the inside circuit breaker panel where the circuit breakers are located that shuts off the various lights, receptacles, and appliances throughout your home. It is best that an electrician inspect all of the electrical service equipment of any home so as to make a full assessment of all electrical work that needs to be done to the home.
The usual issue with replacing the interior electrical panel is that sometimes an electrician will damage the wall around the panel in the process of installing the new electric panel. When replacing an interior electrical panel in a condominium or commercial building it is usually impossible to replace an interior panel without first removing some of the wall. Drywall damage is by far the major complaint that I hear from homeowners here in the Orlando area, for which we quickly send out our drywall contractor to patch and paint the wall to its original look.
A homeowner should be very cautious when choosing an electrician to replace any electrical service panel equipment on their home. Any electrical service panel equipment usually carries a high amount of current through it. An air conditioner, furnace, heater or air handler usually carry anywhere from 20 to 60 amps of current to the electrical equipment. The main concern for an electrician when replacing any type of electrical service circuit breaker panel equipment is the tightening and proper torque applied to the lugs or screws inside of the panel or on the circuit breakers. Having loose connections will lead to overheating and a possible electrical fire.
An electrician should also take note as to the age, size, condition and type of service entrance cable that is run from the outside electrical panel to the inside electrical panel. It was common for electrical contractors to install a three conductor service entrance cable prior to around 1965-1970 in homes in Orlando and around Central Florida.
Interior Electrical Circuit Breaker Panels in FL
Federal Pacific Electric and Zinsco
This type of wiring in your home should be replaced with a new three-wire conductor when installing a new electrical interior panel. The issue here is that when you replace this wire you will then want to replace the outside exterior electric service panel and equipment as well. Our price for this type of electrical job is anywhere from $1,500.00 to $3,500.00 depending on the distance between the two panels and ease of installation of the electrical wiring and equipment. Individual panel replacements can be done in the event of immediate safety hazard but my personal recommendation is to have it all done at the same time; it is more economical for the contractor as well as the homeowner.
It should be typical in the residential electrical service industry for a contractor to make the most economical and logical recommendations to any homeowner when given the opportunity. As “Your Electrician” here in the Orlando and Central Florida area both I and my staff of electricians will always make the recommendation to upgrade your electrical service equipment, but only if needed. I have personally inspected many electrical panels here in Orlando and have found many, if not most interior home panels to be Federal Pacific Electric panels in the Orlando and Central Florida area. But, if all of the connections to the breakers are tight and I can reset all of the breakers with no issues and the panel interior is not rusted or damaged then I will make a recommendation to replace the Federal Pacific or Zinsco panel but can base an opinion of safety on my knowledge and experience.
I would also calculate the possible savings in your cost of electricity by upgrading your electrical wiring or service panels and equipment. If loose connections are present in an electrical system a higher amount of electrical consumption will result. Loose electrical connections create heat similar to a light bulb. The greater the heat the more money is out the window. Not to mention that your house is likely to soon catch on fire. If any homeowner in Orlando or anywhere in Central Florida lives in a house that is less than two thousand square feet and is paying more than $350.00 per month in electricity you need to give us a call. There is a possibility of an electrical fire hazard. An educated electrician might ask a homeowner how much their electricity bill is. I know I always do.