Electric Service Upgrade
How do I know what I need?
Whether or not an electric service can support a swimming pool installation ‘as is’ can be a tough questions for a homeowner to answer on their own. In fact sometimes the margins are tight enough that even pool builders and installers need to consult their electricians for verification as to what’s needed. SOMETIMES the service potential load is SOOOO tight the electrician himself has to do what’s called a ‘load calc’ on the house and electrical appliances to be submitted with the permit application.
Those special instances aside, the easiest way a for you to know if you need a service change or upgrade is to look in your circuit breaker panel. If you have two slots available (or more) there is a pretty good chance that you could be ready for your pool with no changes needed. If you are just full with no space left...not to worry you still could be ok with some reworking and a visual inspection IN the panel by our electrician.
In the case where you have a full panel and/or have a subpanel in your house, we’ll probably need to look at an upgrade or service change. This can be done a couple of ways. One way is to remove the existing service panel and install a new one with more capacity. Another way is to install an outdoor panel and meter replacement, thereby making your original panel a subpanel. This is a great option when there are a lot of circuits in place and working on the exiting would be challenging. This scenario can range from $1600-$2400, depending on the specifics.
The last component is the service drop itself. By that I mean the actual wire coming from either the pole OR underground, from that green box in the back yard. Just because we have changed out the electric box or perhaps added a new one, doesn’t mean that the drop the electric company put in is big enough to handle the load. Typically, it is oversized for the house. There are those situations, though, that require a new drop. In this case it becomes necessary for you, the property owner, to contact your electric service provider. AEP, South Central, etc. They will come out and give you a price for the new drop (wire). Their quote could range from $800 - $2000 depending on how far the run is and if they feel they can splice into the existing. There is almost no rhyme or reason for how they quote. It may even seem like they are guessing a little.
Once you have accepted and paid for the drop to the electric company, we simply schedule their crew and our crew to come out and perform all the work at one time.