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Electrical Wiring in the Home/replaceing and pricing old breaker box


QUESTION: I live in a condo in florida. We have an old Federal Pacific breaker box which is not acceptable by many of the insurance companies. It is rated at a 100 AMPS. How much should it cost to replace the breaker box as this one is about 25 years old. One electrician says $800 and another says as high as $2800. Thanks in advance

ANSWER: Robert Wilber
Licensed Philadelphia Electrician
Philadelphia License # 3516 - 16765
Electricity is dangerous!
You can be injured or killed!
Improper installations can cause fire, injury and death!
Are you qualified to do this work?
National Electrical Code definition, NFPA 70 2008 Article 100: Qualified Person. "One who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved."
Electricity is death on a leash!
Always check with the local “Authority Having Jurisdiction” for an official interpretation before making installation decisions.
In Philadelphia, it is unlawful for anyone except an individual licensed by the City of Philadelphia to install electrical equipment and wiring.
Homeowners are not allowed to install wiring.
The owner of any property wherein any such installation is discovered shall be issued a violation by the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
The limited exceptions include replacing devices and fixtures at existing outlets.
Contact the Department of Licenses and Inspections for more information.
You are more likely to be killed by 120 volts than any other voltage [120 volts creates the PERFECT fatal current through the human body's electrical resistance!]
This information is provided for the use of parties as they see fit!
I am not responsible for the application of this information by any party, including those lacking sufficient skill or knowledge to perform these steps safely and any hazard created is the SOLE responsibility of the user.
Now, all that being said....
Right, Federal....Landfill
Simple panel swap? $800.00 is a gift. Does this include permit and inspection?
You say panel flush in finished wall or surface-mounted? [recessed replacement costs more]
Updating the grounding to new standards from original requirements? [costs extra]
How about the cable?
What kind of condo?
New meter socket?
Ground rod?
$2,800.00 may be a bargain....

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: $1330 with permit and inspection, panel is flushed in finished wall in hallway, not sure what needs to be updated, 4 story condo with supposedly a line of 4 apts from 1-4th floor are on the same main feed downstairs, so that is all I am sure of, and thank you for the first answer, just trying to figure out but is a licensed and insured electrician, thanks again!


ouch...same main feed?
Please explain that a little better. Are you saying that all 4 units are fed from a common bus that runs up thru the panels with a 250 or 400 amp disconnect in the basement?  ...or is there a separate 100 amp switch in the basement for each condo with a unique cable to each unit? Each unit has a separate utility meter?
I might start asking for pictures....
Flush panel in hall for $1300? Legal? Tie that guy to a chair before he comes to.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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