Moving An Electrical Panel: Things You Should Know

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Mark Jardine
May 19, 2024
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Breaker panels - also known as electrical panels or breaker boxes - play a crucial role in controlling the flow of electricity to different parts of your home. It provides power from the main energy source and acts like an overseer that detects irregularities and faults by isolating them before they can cause any harm. This remarkable panel electrical device is invaluable to any domestic electrical system.
Despite its importance, an electric box panel is prone to wear and tear over time, making replacement or repair necessary. Suppose your building has a circuit breaker box. In that case, several risks are associated with moving the panel board to another spot in the home, like getting electrocuted or short-circuiting the entire system. Before attempting such a project, you must ensure you have the right knowledge and tools.
This blog post will discuss the criteria and requirements for moving an electrical panel box in your home. We'll talk about the reasons to move a breaker panel, the legal guidelines you need to be aware of, the step-by-step process of moving an electric panel, and how to assess the cost and timeline of the project. With all this information, you'll be able to undertake your panel box moving project safely and responsibly.

Reasons to Move Your Electrical Panel

Moving an electrical panel is a complex and sensitive process, so it's important to understand why you may want to relocate your panel. Some of the most common reasons include the following:
  • Renovating your home
If you are renovating your home and need more space, moving the electric panel will free up some much-needed room in other areas of your house. In addition, relocating your electrical panel to another area of the house can make wiring much easier.
  • Upgrading Your Home's Electrical System
If you need to upgrade your building's electrical system or install new circuits, moving the electric panel is a good way to free up space in your home for the new breakers. In addition, upgrading your home's electrical system will help ensure that your electrical panel is safe and up to code.
  • Need More Power
If you need additional power in certain areas of the house, you may be tempted to install a bigger fuse box. However, before buying a larger grid box, it might be wise to talk with an electrician who can help assess your system and determine if moving the electric panel is necessary.
  • For Safety Reasons
Suppose you think your home's current electrical panel has become a fire hazard. In that case, it's important to have an electrician assess the situation and determine if moving the box is necessary for safety reasons. In older homes, the electrical panel is more likely to get hot and start a fire. And this is especially true if you don't have enough circuit breakers or if too many high-powered devices are connected to the system.
  • For Aesthetic Reasons
If you don't like how your electrical panel looks or it is blocking a view, it might be necessary to relocate the panel. However, before moving an electric box for aesthetic reasons, it's important to consult with an electrician who can ensure that the panel will still function properly after being moved.

Assessing the Cost and Timeline of the Project

Before tackling any project involving changing the location or upgrading your electrical panel, it’s important to assess the cost to replace an electrical panel and the timeline associated with such a project. And some factors, like obtaining all necessary permits or hiring qualified professionals to carry out certain tasks, cover all electrical panel relocation. It also involves researching potential locations, identifying potential hazards (including fire risk and understanding exactly what needs to be done to prepare for a safe power transfer from one area to another.
To legally move an electrical panel, you must obtain a building permit from your local government agency. And this will ensure that you follow all the legal guidelines for moving an electrical panel. In addition, it's important to work with qualified and experienced electricians who can assess the current system in your home and help you choose the right panel for your needs.
Once you have determined all these elements, it’s time to consider additional precautions when transferring a Power Distribution Unit (PDU). And this includes ensuring that there are no exposed wires or combustible materials near where work will take place, using surge protectors if necessary; restraining equipment properly once transferred; replacing fuse boxes when needed; as well as checking cords regularly for signs of fraying/damage – something which may lead further repair/replacement depending on the severity.
Finally, even after everything has been safely transferred over, it is best practice to double-check power supplies and document tests – this documentation should include test results indicating performance along with notes outlining each step involved in proper installation processes, e.g., wiring diagrams used, etc. And this ensures everything has been installed correctly and within accepted regulations meaning any possible future troubleshooting becomes much easier due to clear evidence detailing how the work is carried out during transfer operations.
Expertly carrying out an electrical panel upgrade requires considering various costs, safety requirements, and other considerations. Understanding the project before getting started is essential to avoid potential risks, such as property damage or harm inflicted upon personnel via faulty wiring. Proactive caution about the cost of upgrading the electrical panel and planning are key to a successful project!

Step-by-Step Guide For Moving an Electrical Panel

Electrical panel replacement is a complex and time-consuming project, requiring careful planning and attention to detail. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you successfully relocate your electric panel, especially a 200-amp electrical panel:
  • Step 1: Turn off the power to your electrical panel.
It would be best if you never attempted to move an electrical panel while it is still connected to a power source, as this can lead to serious safety risks and damage to your home or property.
  • Step 2: Remove the cover from your electrical panel.
After powering off your electrical panel, it's time to remove the electrical panel cover. Doing so will give you access to internal breaker box wiring and enable a thorough assessment of your existing system.
  • Step 3: Locate the nearest compatible electrical panel.
You will need to find a new location to wire a panel close enough to where the current system connects to your home's wiring but not so close that it is still exposed to possible fire hazards or other risks.
  • Step 4: Wire markings.
When wiring your new panel, label each wire for easier reference and reconnection later. And this will help prevent electrical mishaps and ensure that your system is properly connected when you're finished.
  • Step 5: Test the new system.
Before you reinstall your breaker box cover on the new electric panel, test that it is working properly to prevent any issues or power outages in your home.
  • Step 6: Reconsider the equipment you are using.
When moving an electric panel, it's important to consider not only the physical aspects of the project but also the quality and safety of the equipment you are using along the way. Consider hiring professional contractors who use high-quality tools and materials to minimize risks and ensure a successful project.
Whether you're moving a circuit breaker panel for aesthetic reasons or because your current one is no longer meeting your home's power needs, it's crucial to proceed with caution and work carefully at every step of the process. Following this step-by-step guide, you can safely relocate your panel and ensure that your home's electrical system runs smoothly for years to come. Check this residential breaker box diagram for help.

Safety Precautions for Working with Electricity

When moving a residential electrical panel, it's essential to take several safety precautions, including:
  • Ensure all circuit breakers are off before starting work and avoid using electrical equipment like power tools and flashlights when working near the panel.
  • Always wear protective gear, including safety goggles, gloves, shoes with steel toes, a hard hat, and a long-sleeved shirt. In addition, you may want to consider using a respirator when working with potentially hazardous materials, such as dust or fumes.
  • Make sure your workspace is well-ventilated and free of clutter debris, which could pose a safety risk.
  • Replacing old electrical wiring, cords, or equipment that may be damaged or at risk for failure. Seeking the help of a professional electrician if you are unsure how to properly move an electrical panel or working with electricity in general.
By taking these and other safety precautions, you can safely relocate your electrical panel and ensure that your home's electrical system is running smoothly. For more information or if you require assistance with your project, be sure to contact our trusted electrician at Home Alliance today. We have been one of the leading experts in the electrical services industry for years and can help you with all your home wiring needs.