If you just bought a new home, you may have never thought to check on your electrical panel box.
However, if you’ve been a long time homeowner, it’s almost a necessity to check on your panels. More than likely, there may be hidden signs that your panel needs to be updated.
Would you charge yourself a lot? Are you able to do a do-it-yourself panel replacement? In this article, we’ll be answering your question, “can a homeowner replace their own electrical panel?”
Read on to find out!
An Introduction to Electrical Panel for Homeowners
An electrical panel is also called a breaker box, fuse box, or breaker panel. It’s a box made of metal that contains the fuses and circuit breakers that powers your entire home.
These electrical panels connect the wires from the city or county electrical service going straight to your house.
Do you know where your electrical service panels are located? They could be situated in your basement, closet, or garage. Some also have theirs installed outside or in the back of their homes.
It’s important to know when it’s time to change and update your electrical panels. Watch out for these signs to know when it’s due for a panel box replacement:
- Main breaker trips, fuses are blown, or wires get overheated often
- Power becomes insufficient and circuits fail frequently
- Damage due to weather and aging because of an outdated panel
- Experience heat or subtle shocks when you touch on outlets or appliances
Can Homeowners Replace Electrical Panels On Their Own?
The short answer: Yes. However, there are many risks you are putting yourself under a DIY electric panel box replacement.
Not only is this a dangerous task to do by yourself, but it can also result in you violating certain local codes in the process.
The best person to consult is a local electrician who will be well aware and updated about the regulations listed in the 2020 National Electrical Code.
The National Fire Protection Association released these guidelines as the standard for safety during the installation of electrical wiring and other equipment.
In addition to that, you also have to consider whether or not your home insurance will cover expenses if you incur damage or injury while working on your panel box.
In certain cases, there may be exceptions. Some electrical problems can easily be fixed by upgrading the wiring or replacing outlets.
Panel boxes that are still in good condition may not even need to be changed at all.
However, the older the house is, it’s more likely that the electrical panel may need to be replaced.
Commonly, the increasing need for power may mean the breakers require more spaces or a new panel box is required for your home.
Circuit breakers ware out over the years. In this case, you’re better off having a professional electrician take a look at your electrical system to find any other issues.
Safety Precautions When Working With Electrical Systems
Local governments put these strict electrical codes in place for a reason.
It’s already a cause for concern when you have a broken or outdated electrical panel. Replacing it on your own puts you and your house at even higher risk for danger.
If you’re not a trained and experienced electrician, maneuvering through service lugs can result in a fire or fatal injuries, particularly when you’re upgrading to a higher amperage.
Does Replacing An Electrical Panel Require a Permit?
Although there are some home repairs you can do without a permit, you still have to secure a permit if you want to start working on upgrading your electrical panel on your own.
Critical electric projects, especially those that pose a potential risk, should be performed by a licensed electrician who can acquire the correct electrical permits when working in your home.
Thinking of selling your house? According to Arizona’s state laws, homeowners are required to provide a list of needed repairs and remodeling that may have been done to their homes, regardless if these have been done with a proper permit.
These permits are necessary as they state the documentation of electrical work that has been done and put into the record the people who worked on it.
This gives future homebuyers safety and security whenever they purchase a new house.
It’s advisable to always check first on your local laws and regulations to know specifically the permit requirements you must have when doing advanced electrical projects.
If you’re still unsure, you can call on us and we would be delighted to offer you a free estimate and a consultation to discuss all the legal requirements for different electrical tasks.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace An Electrical Panel?
The costs to update electrical panels differ depending on the amperage (the size of the panel), the age, and the condition of the different parts of the electrical system.
Consulting with an experienced and licensed electrician will give you a more precise estimate of the cost.
Some electricians are willing to give free quotation so you know what to expect and how much you need to prepare.
In addition, hiring professionals can save you time and money while putting you out of danger.
You Can Rely On The Electrical Experts
Assurance Electrical is here for your home. We provide a wide range of essential electrical services for both residential and commercial clients in Yavapai County.
Get in touch with us today for a free estimate! As your trusted electrical experts, we will give you the peace of mind you deserve, knowing well that your electrical panel and breakers are in good hands.