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    Cost of converting fuse box to circuit breakers

    Asked May 22, 2007, 08:44 PM 18 Answers
    I have a 100 amp electrical service using a fuse box to which a small circuit breaker panel was added (see photo). I would like to convert the whole service to a 150 amp circuit breaker panel. I live in Rochester, Minnesota. What is your estimate of the cost of this conversion?

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    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,850, Reputation: 487
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    #2

    May 23, 2007, 05:14 AM
    Aprox. $500.00=$800.00 should be able to get panel swapped out. Labor and Materials.
    Pulling new(Bigger wire may be necessary)1/0 is OK for 150 Amp. Smaller and you can't.
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    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,285, Reputation: 2274
    Home Repair & Remodeling Expert
     
    #3

    May 23, 2007, 07:29 AM
    Tell us a bit about the sub panel below your main. What is it controlling?
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    macbb61's Avatar
    macbb61 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    May 23, 2007, 06:36 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ballengerb1
    Tell us a bit about the sub panel below your main. What is it controling?
    We remodeled our kitchen and added a 3 season porch and deck about 10 years ago. The subpanel has five 20 amp circuits for the porch and deck and recessed lights and microwave in the kitchen. I think that the electrician who added those circuits should have recommended replacing the old panel. I won't be hiring him again. I assume that whoever replaces the main panel will get rid of the subpanel as well. Thanks for asking.
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    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,285, Reputation: 2274
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    #5

    May 24, 2007, 07:56 AM
    Sub looks OK but you would likely do well to have it all in one panel. Can't quite see by the pics but you should consider GFI for the deck and porch areas.
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    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,850, Reputation: 487
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    #6

    Jun 5, 2007, 02:38 PM
    All in one panel is better. Your Electrician was not bad. That little panel saved you money at the time. Didn't necessarily need to upgrade. I would have suggested converting to breakers, when adding those 4 circuits.
    Did he miss the board?
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    macbb61's Avatar
    macbb61 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Jun 5, 2007, 09:31 PM
    You are right – the electrician did a good job overall and probably saved me money by using the little panel. But I think he should have given me the option of going to a single panel with circuit breakers. Home sellers in my area often have to convert to circuit breaker panels prior to selling. It is my understanding that it is the insurance companies that are forcing the issue and that it is one of the things that realtors always check on.
    Miss the board? He added a mounting board for the small panel directly below the fuse panel.
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    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,850, Reputation: 487
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    #8

    Jun 6, 2007, 08:00 AM
    I see the board. Part of the panel is on and part is off. It is safe enough. Just not how I do.
    I'm kind of picky.
    If all phone wiring is from above, and if you're capable of relocating phone connections,
    Would consider moving box up, cleaning up wiring. Don't cut wires too short.
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    Washington1's Avatar
    Washington1 Posts: 798, Reputation: 36
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    #9

    Jun 6, 2007, 11:18 PM
    If you would like an estimate for a service change--depending on your over head service conductors, or service laterals, then you should consult an electrical contractor.

    Just to give you an idea--our area is no less than $2200 for a service change, and could run you close to $4000-$5000 (mainly union shops) with some contractors. If your service wire from your serving utility can accept the load, then you may just need a panel change. It depends!

    $800 is not realistic in our area
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    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,850, Reputation: 487
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    #10

    Jun 7, 2007, 05:56 AM
    I did miss "existing 100 Amp service", I was talking about panel, breakers, 3 Hours.
    Closer to $800-$1000.00
    The cost of Copper will greatly affect the cost.(Length of run). Meter and riser wires could be good. I see it is difficult to give estimate for job not seen.
    I live in an area where Money People moved in, Many of the older and good people down here have been dropped. Most Electricians going after The Developers, and "Big Money"Leaving Regular People screwed. I do Ok at $80.00@ Hr, No real Overhead.
    Bigger companies I have worked for would create unnecessay work, or drag jobs out to keep help working.
    In an 8 Hour day, I would toun in 10 hous of billable time. Boss wou say"How do you do that in 8 Hour day"?I would say"30 minute to trouble shoot and repair, I still charge an hour" He would say he can't get the others to put in 6.
    I was running him out of work. These BOYs I worked with were unqualified helpers,
    Who bragged about running off Masters and Journeymans. It was like a day care gone bad. I HAD to start own company.
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    Washington1's Avatar
    Washington1 Posts: 798, Reputation: 36
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    #11

    Jun 7, 2007, 01:27 PM
    I see!
    Strat,

    Are you an Electrical Contractor, or any of the listed contractor ratings in your State?
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    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,850, Reputation: 487
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    #12

    Jun 7, 2007, 05:10 PM
    I printed some cards up, Put Electric, Phone, Alarm, Automation, Integration, and Satellite Systems, I Still get calls.
    What do you do or your qualifications?
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    Washington1's Avatar
    Washington1 Posts: 798, Reputation: 36
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    #13

    Jun 7, 2007, 10:40 PM
    Licensed Electrician/Licensed Electrical Contractor/Licensed Electrical Administrator
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    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,850, Reputation: 487
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    #14

    Jun 8, 2007, 05:47 AM
    That's nice, do you do the work, or do you have cell phone, and 10 helpers. I live where Many of the Contractors and Electricians here are "Movie Stars" They have multiple cell phones, and hire the cheapest help. I was offered job as Electrical Inspector. I refused , I can't stand what I see in the field.
    I am a Licensed Master Electrician, Fire/Burglar/Electrical Contractor/Automator Integrator
    Licensed US Pilot, Have built machines for the military to use in remote areas of the world,
    And make them UL/CSA Approved. I designed, built and installed a supervised board
    Using optocouplers, to provide protection to our Court Room, and the Judges Chambers.
    Flown to remote military bases, To deal with the dangerous and hazzardous. I have made
    Final connections and testing using Laser, at very secure base. I take on the work others won't or can't do.

    I repeat, I missed the Upgrade Part(Yes I know it's their in big letters.)
    Main wasn't tripping, I was talking ( remove fuse panel, install breaker panel and breakers.
    How many hours or days do you think to identify wires, remove panel, install new panel,
    And connect. It's not like solid conduits across bottom, and across top. One of the easiest
    I have seen in long time.

    What exactly are you asking, I am not here to compete. I already had 1 "Electrician"
    On this site, he had less than 10 post, Some one ran 12-2 from switch to switch, for a 3 way, and asker wanted to know if he could tape #12 THHN to side of romex and he didn't have? More wire.
    I replied" If you have hot end in 1 switchbox, and switch leg in other switch box. you could use the 2 that are ran for travellers.
    He jumped up and down "Where are you going to put 3rd wire."(Hot and switchleg in box)
    He was an idiot, and left me a red mark. I have yet to leave reds marks, as I am not here for that.

    On this site, I make no money doing this, like to figure things out,
    What exactly are you saying?
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    Washington1's Avatar
    Washington1 Posts: 798, Reputation: 36
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    #15

    Jun 8, 2007, 09:43 AM
    Wow! You've done a lot! That's great!
    Well, I'm no superstar, we have no room for that at my company--I'm too busy working.

    I'm just here to help out once in a while. I found the site, and decided to put my one cent in.

    :)
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    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,850, Reputation: 487
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    #16

    Jun 8, 2007, 03:46 PM
    Welcome, the more the better. I don't know everything, have done a few things.
    I don't know why you asked if I was licensed, or qualified to speak,
    I don't know what you mean, you are too busy working.
    This is my work also, but it has been my hobby, since young teen.
    My desire was to Duplicate or make possible, things I seen on James Bond, Batman, The Movies.
    For me it is a Hobby and My Trade. I love to learn, Love to teach.
    I am sure you have done a few things, You can't help but run into some good jobs.
    Many of the Posters don't give enough info, and have seen arguments, and no one could be wrong with info provided.
    Take Care, Wish you the Best.
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    Washington1's Avatar
    Washington1 Posts: 798, Reputation: 36
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    #17

    Jun 8, 2007, 04:29 PM
    I don't know what you mean, you are too busy working.
    I was responding to what you wrote:I
    live where Many of the Contractors and Electricians here are "Movie Stars" They have multiple cell phones, and hire the cheapest help.
    I closely reiterate:
    I'm a contractor, and it is almost mandatory that we work long hours. I also work in the field. There's no free ride if you want to succeed as a small business. It takes hard work! I guess once I land that big contract, and earn over 3 million per year (with a 20% profit magin) I'll be able to be one of those superstars:D

    Thanks for responding!
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    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,850, Reputation: 487
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    #18

    Jun 8, 2007, 05:05 PM
    If you are a Master and work in the field. I respect That. I am referring to down here.
    There are those Here that "Whore" their license. Many of them are not masters, working under someone else's license. Like You, I don't Ride around with the Boss in AC. I work.
    I am not a Superstar. I am a 1 person company, I Take all the Credit and all the Blame.
    One of these "Supestar" companies down here, Ran a pair 0f #10's couple of hundred feet,
    For an Electric Gate. 2 conductors, No ground, On a 150 Amp Breaker that was upside down. He eats lunch with one of the inspectors. I can't say anything. I will be a Rat.
    Code Enforcement doen not handle that. They only deal with Unlicensed Activity.
    I steadily see people get screwed and conned, I have pissed off some because I was able to repair the board. Which kept them from a big profit job.
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    Washington1's Avatar
    Washington1 Posts: 798, Reputation: 36
    Senior Member
     
    #19

    Jun 8, 2007, 07:05 PM
    Yeah,

    U are right!
    Helpful

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