You may feel proud of keeping your house clean and well repaired alone. You should be. But in larger cases, such as replacing an electrical panel, should you do that by yourself? As a prudent homeowner, you may ask yourself can a homeowner replace an electrical panel. Let’s see the answer.
If you’re a licensed electrician with years of experience, then there shouldn’t be any question of whether you should approach. Even if you have a good knowledge about electricity you can move on. But having less proficiency in this field and replacing the panel by yourself won’t be a good idea.
Yet, in this modern era, everything can be done by watching YouTube videos, that’s what you’re thinking, right? Let me elaborate on this fact.
Can A Homeowner Replace Electrical Panel; Dos and Don’t
If you follow a YouTube video for replacing electrical panels, it’ll only guide you through the mentioned process. But what if there’s any faulty wiring or fault circuit? In that case, you’ll run into another crisis.
That’s why having proper knowledge of electricity is the only condition that will allow you to replace the electrical panel. However, in some legal terms, changing the electrical panel is forbidden for someone who doesn’t have an electrician license. That means, quite a little knowledge isn’t enough if you want to have this stuff legally permitted.
But if you are experienced in it and have done it so many times before, you can do it. The only thing is, you must know what you are doing and be aware of everything.
Should You Replace An Old Electrical Panel
An old electrical panel is something that needs to be replaced without having any bad signs. And while replacing old electrical panels some other issues can occur. So, approaching a certified electrician is your best course to do in this case.
If your electrical panel is 25-30 years old and has some wiring issues, then replacing it is a must-do. Here are some more signs you should replace it with a professional hand.
- Your electricity panel is 25(standard duration) years old.
- The circuit breaker keeps tripping.
- Your home is a bit old.
- The light flickers.
- If you notice a burnt odor or the panel feels heated.
These issues above are the simple indication that you should replace your old electrical panel with a professional.
Why Shouldn’t You Replace an Electrical Panel?
There are several reasons why you shouldn’t replace an electrical panel by yourself. Because this project is quite dangerous and has a substantial amount of risk. Here are some technical reasons why you shouldn’t do it alone.
Can Compromise Entire Circuit
Replacing an electrical panel increases the risk of underlying fire on the property. It can compromise the entire circuit of the area if anything goes wrong. That’s why most states don’t permit homeowners to replace it by themselves. As it involves legal issues, you shouldn’t approach replacing it alone.
Increase the Risk of Fire
One silly mistake can cause significant damage. It increases the risk of fire if you aren’t careful. But most homeowners think that the job is straightforward. That’s the main reason why the problems occur. One little disconnection and or other little issues can fire up all the electrical systems.
Can Damage Surrounding Components
The electrical panel is just a part. Other components also play a huge role in the circuit when the power is rushing through. But, if one of those components is compromised while doing your job, you may have to deal with serious trouble.
If by any chance you install the new electrical panel improperly, it won’t regulate the voltage smoothly. Then overloading will happen. Even a good surge protector won’t be able to do its job. But a qualified electrician will certainly know which thing to look at and will prevent this problem from happening.
Benefits of Replacing An Electrical Panel by Professionals
An electrician should be the one to replace the electrical panel. Why? Because the work involves a dangerous amount of electricity. A well-trained electrician can get the job done for you. Here are some benefits you can get if you call a professional.
- An electrician can protect your family from anything as he knows the safety measures.
- They are aware of modern-day electrical code information. So, they can get the job done easily in a quick time.
- They are insured for any hazard. That means if anything goes wrong on your property, you’ll be paid off.
- They are trained, experienced and knowledgeable in this field. So, if there are other issues in your electrical system, they’ll let you know and fix them.
Things to Remember Before Replacing an Electrical Panel
Whether you are an amateur or a professional, these things must be remembered while replacing an electrical panel. Ignoring any of this can sometimes result in several problems.
- Keep the essential tools ready such as Rubber Mat or Plywood, Insulated Flashlight, Safety Goggles, Hammer, Screwdriver, Voltage Tester, Cable Connectors, etc.
- Turn off the power starting the work.
- Disconnect the wire from the original breaker.
- Ensure all branches of the circuit are off.
The replacement cost of an electrical panel ranges from 850$ to $2500 depending on the amperage. Yes, the electrical panel replacement cost is high. But if you can realize the necessity of it, you’ll understand that this huge amount of money is worth it.
Depending on your task, it’ll take 4 to 8 hours to replace an electrical panel. If you include other stuff such as rewiring or moving the panel from one place to another, it may take a few hours extra. Also if the electricians need to take the wiring access inside the wall, it will cost you extra both time and money.
So, can a homeowner replace an electrical panel? The answer is a big NO if the person has no idea about this work. Replacing electrical panels is some kind of task that you need to go into with a hundred percent confidence.
So, after reading all the information above and considering the safety of your family, taking help from a professional will be a wise decision to make. Therefore, be in contact with your nearest technician and enjoy the upgraded electrical system in peace.
Palash is an entrepreneur in the tech industry and the author of the Smart Home Protector. As a tech entrepreneur & reviewer of a home safety gadget store, his job helps customers remain on top of what’s coming next in our rapidly changing world.