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Service Upgrades

Service Changes and Service Upgrades

Three definitions:

  • Service:            This is the main electric power cabling system starting from where the utility company wires connect to the house wires, down to the main electric circuit breaker panel (or fuse panel).  The responsibility of the electric utility company ends at the point where their overhead wires are hooked onto the house by the roof line.  The don't even install the service hook which is screwed into the house to hold the wire from the street.  They do provide the glass electric meter, but only PSE&G provides the metal box for the meter.

  • Service change:  This involves replacing the main service cable from the roof line, the meter box, and the circuit breaker panel (or panels) with the same size cabling and panel.  Since this is typically a repair, there is sales tax.

  • Service upgrade: This uses a larger capacity main service cable, meter box and circuit breaker panel.  As a capital improvement, there is no sales tax for this work.

When we get a call about a service change or service upgrade, our first question is: Why?
It's an expensive project and we want to be sure you're doing it for the right reason.  Although it can solve problems, by itself, it may not solve your basic issue.  If you're tripping circuit breakers or fuses, we need to discuss that and how that needs to be corrected.  That solution may involve the service change/upgrade as part of it.

There are two main reasons why you may need to replace your main electrical panel:

  1. The circuit breaker panel is corroded from water getting in.  This will also require replacing the outside cable since the cable has allowed water to get in.  As you will see from the prices below, you may want to upgrade, or increase, the size of your electrical service at the same time.

  2. The circuit breaker panel is too small for the power requirements of your house.  They didn't use as much electricity in years past as they do now.  We now have more appliances and more powerful devices than ever.  Microwave ovens, powerful hair dryers and vacuum cleaners, all demand more power and more circuits.  An upgrade allows for more electricity to flow and more circuits in the panel to serve more outlets, lights and appliances.  Note, however that a service upgrade alone does not mean you automatically have more circuits.  You simply have the room to add more circuit breakers in the panel where you can connect more wires to feed outlets, lights and appliances.  See our Helpful Hints section on Overloaded Circuits.

If you have to replace the panel, odds are you'll also have to replace the cable on the outside of the house feeding it, and the meter box as well.  And if the cable is in poor condition, it probably has been letting water in to corrode the meter box and circuit panel.  Occasionally, we are called to replace only the panel or cabling.  This is usually because the other part was done a few years earlier without doing the full job, and now the 2nd part needs to be done.

Helpful Hint:  When doing a service change or service upgrade, you should consider adding a surge suppressors at the panel to provide protection at the house.


What's included

100 Amp Cable Replacement

Entire cable, meter box, ground rods, bonding, permit/inspection fees.

100 Amp Service Change

New circuit breaker panel, circuit breakers, entire cable, meter box, ground rods, bonding, permit/inspection fees.

150 Amp Service Upgrade

New larger circuit breaker panel, circuit breakers, larger cable, meter box, ground rods, bonding, permit/inspection fees.

200 Amp Service Upgrade

New circuit breaker panel, circuit breakers, entire cable, meter box, ground rods, bonding, permit/inspection fees.

 House/Panel Surge Suppressor

Surge suppression protection for power, add additionally for up to 4 telephone lines and cable TV