How to Replace Electrical Panels in Older Homes

How to Replace Electrical Panels in Older Homes


Replacing an electrical panel in an older home can seem daunting, but with proper planning and safety precautions, it's a do-it-yourself project that can save thousands of dollars. As the homeowner, I'll walk you through the complete process of replacing an electrical panel, from deciding when it's time to upgrade to installing the new panel and making the final connections. Having upgraded the electrical panels in my last two homes, I've learned a lot about what works and what to watch out for. Follow along as I share my tips and experience to help you take on this project with confidence.

When Is It Time to Upgrade the Electrical Panel?

Knowing when it's time to replace your electrical panel is the first step. Here are some signs that indicate an upgrade is needed:

I recommend replacing panels older than 40 years. The improvements in safety and capacity will be well worth the investment.

Choosing the New Panel

Once I've decided it's time for a new panel, choosing the right replacement involves a few key factors:

Also consider surge protection, ground bus bars, and conduit knockouts for a professional installation.

Turning Off Power and Removing Old Panel

With the new panel purchased, I'm ready to replace the old unit. Safety is critical when working with a home's electrical system. Here are the steps I follow:

Shutting Off Power

Removing the Old Panel

Installing the New Panel

Here are the steps to install the upgraded electrical panel:

Mounting the New Panel

Wiring the Panel

Finishing Touches

Restoring Power and Testing the New Panel

The final and most important stage is energizing the upgraded panel:

With the panel replacement complete, I can relax knowing the electrical system is totally up-to-date and running safely. Taking my time and adhering to proper procedures ensures my home's electrics are protected for decades to come.