How Do You Safely Replace an Electrical Panel?


Quick Answer

To safely replace an electrical panel, turn off the power, pry off the cover of the panel, label wires, pry out breakers, and install a new panel. A replacement electrical panel, labels, breakers, a pen and a screwdriver are handy in the process.

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Full Answer

Get in touch with your utility company if you can't locate the main switch by yourself. After shutting off power, unscrew the breaker panel cover, and set the cover aside. Use a pen and labels to designate the wires. The live wire is black, the neutral wire is white, while the ground wire is green. Pry individual breakers off the buzz bar, disconnect the ground line from the ground bar, and free the neutral wire from the neutral bar. Be sure to handle the wires carefully to avoid shock because certain wires may still be live.

The main breaker remains live, so remove it with care, or contact your utility company if you find problems removing the breaker. Press the break outs hard onto the new panel to remove them, and insert the wires through the correct holes. Fix the neutral wire to the neutral bar, connect the ground wire to the ground bar, and connect the two bars. Secure the panel to the wall, attach the lines to the individual breakers, and connect the lines to the electrical panel. Ensure that you arrange the circuits appropriately in the panel.

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