Questions to Ask an Electrician Before an Electrical Panel Upgrade

Here’s What to Ask Before Scheduling This Service!

Looking to upgrade your electrical panel? There are many questions to answer before any work can be done on your home’s electrical systems. In fact, asking the right questions can ensure you get the exact panel upgrade you need for your current needs, as well as for future electrical projects you may be planning for your home.

At TCA Electric, panel upgrades are a frequent and key service we offer to home, property, and business owners throughout Vancouver. Upgrading your electrical panel ensures your entire electrical system operates smoothly and safely. So before you upgrade your panel, here are some key questions to ask your electrician, as well as answers to questions you may already have about this service.

Will I need an electrical permit?

Before upgrading your electrical panel, a permit is always required. Not all electrical projects require a permit, but any alterations made to your electrical system—especially your panel—must first be approved. 

Asking this question ensures that the electrician you’ve chosen for the project doesn’t cut corners when it comes to safety and regulations. If any electrician tells you a permit is not required to upgrade your panel, or claims that it’s your responsibility to get the proper permit, it’s time to find a different electrician.

Should I also upgrade the service coming to my home or building?

If your home still uses a 100-amp panel, it’s a good idea to upgrade to a 200-amp panel or larger. However, it may also be a good idea to upgrade your service at the same time. Upgrading your service is an excellent way to future-proof your home for future electrical needs, such as additions, suites, EV chargers, or new power-hungry appliances.

Before scheduling your panel upgrade, have a conversation with your electrician about your future plans for your home. Ask them if you may need a service upgrade for the electrical upgrades you’re hoping to make. If you do, you may be able to save money by upgrading both your panel and your electrical service at the same time!

Can I reuse the old breakers in the new panel?

We frequently get this question from customers looking to upgrade their electrical panel. Unfortunately, reusing old breakers in a new panel is not recommended. While it may seem like a way to save money on your panel upgrade, many breakers become obsolete over time. This can be due to defects or simply the age of these electrical components. 

When breakers become obsolete, it presents a safety hazard—and if you then replace the breakers, it will likely wind up costing more than if you had replaced the entire system in the first place. For these reasons, we almost always recommend replacing all breakers with new ones that are approved for the new electrical panel!

How much will a panel replacement cost?

The cost of an electrical panel replacement can vary! In a previous post on reasons to upgrade to a 200-amp panel, we provided a range of around $2,000 to $5,000 for a service upgrade. The reason for this range comes down to the fact that the electrical systems of every home and building are different. Some electrical systems use older components or present more difficulties in accessing key areas needed to complete the upgrade.

Luckily, your electrical contractor will be able to provide an estimate before starting the project. Simply ask them for a quote on the project and they will give you a price based on the information they have from you and from a preliminary inspection. This will enable you to make a more informed decision!

Call TCA Electric to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel!

The safety of your home or business depends on your electrical panel. If your panel is obsolete or outdated, it’s important to install an updated device sooner rather than later!

TCA Electric provides reliable, high-quality electrical solutions along with friendly customer service. Our knowledgeable experts will be able to recommend the right panel and level of service for your home or business, then complete any necessary work to get your electrical systems up to speed. Contact us today to get started with an inspection and quote!

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