How to Replace Your Own Electrical Panel

How to Replace Your Own Electrical Panel

Replacing an electrical panel in your home can seem like a daunting task, but with the right planning and safety precautions, it's possible for a homeowner to DIY. Here's how to replace your own electrical panel safely and correctly.

When You Should Replace Your Electrical Panel

Knowing when it's time to replace your electrical panel is the first step. Here are some signs that indicate your panel should be replaced:

Dangers and Precautions

Replacing an electrical panel comes with risks of electrocution or fire. Here are key safety steps:

Choosing a New Panel

When selecting a replacement residential panel, keep in mind:

Steps to Replace an Electrical Panel

Once you have a new panel, follow these key steps to safely replace your old one:

1. Turn Off Electrical Power

Start by switching off the main breaker in the old panel and calling the utility to deactivate power to the meter. Verify electricity is off using a contactless voltage tester.

2. Remove Old Panel

Take out all the circuit breakers. Unscrew the cover plate and very carefully disconnect and remove all the wires from the old panel. Remove panel from the wall.

3. Install New Panel

Mount the new panel securely in place on the wall. Thread the incoming electrical wires through the new panel and re-connect them to the main lugs or main breaker.

4. Connect Circuits to New Panel

Referring to your circuit labeling, connect each of the existing circuit wires to a new circuit breaker in the panel. Follow code for wire size.

5. Inspect and Close Panel

Double check that all circuits are correctly connected. Attach the cover plate securely. Call the utility to reactivate the meter power.

6. Test Operation

Turn the main breaker on and carefully test each circuit at the outlets to verify proper operation. Your new electrical panel is now active!

Replacing an outdated or malfunctioning electrical panel provides safety and opens up capacity for home improvements. With caution and proper materials, a DIY replacement is feasible. If in doubt, hire a licensed electrician to ensure it is done correctly. Stay safe!