My electric panel faces inside the kitchen wall and limits my remodeling options - specifically, where I can locate the refrigerator. Can you give me an idea of how much work it would be to reverse the panel to the other side of the wall - facing the dining room instead?

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    Cost will be different in different locations and depending on the work needed to be done. A photo of the panel and the same space on the other side of the wall would be helpful. can this be done? probably as long as the wall behind the panel is not located in a bathroom. – Ed Beal Mar 7 '17 at 14:58
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    Where on the planet are you located? (What country) – Tyson Mar 7 '17 at 15:23
  • well, I was going to attach a photo but I don't see how to do it. Consider an exterior wall with a perpendicular interior wall separating the kitchen and dining rooms. The panel is on the kitchen side of that wall and I want to flip it (on the same wall) to face the dining room. – UJW Mar 7 '17 at 15:24
  • I also read elsewhere that you cannot have an electric panel above a counter - so that might be my answer...I have to move the panel regardless of the cost. – UJW Mar 7 '17 at 15:26
  • check local codes or a local licensed electrician to get proper information about what's allowed and what isn't. Codes vary widely based on location. – ratchet freak Mar 7 '17 at 15:34

Having recently had my panel (~20 circuits, 150A service) relocated to the opposite side of the wall it was on (though mine went from exterior to interior, along with a panel upgrade), it took the better part of a day for the electrician to get everything unhooked, taken out, the new panel in, and everything reconnected. The power company took their sweet time reconnecting my meter, but the electricians' work was done by mid-afternoon.

A rough step-by-step of the work involved:

  1. Have the power company disconnect the meter
  2. Label and disconnect all of the circuits in the panel
  3. Prepare the wall where the panel will be moved to
  4. Remove the panel, and install it (or a new panel) in the new location
  5. Feed all the wires through to the new panel
  6. Reconnect all of the circuits
  7. Get it inspected, if needed / desired
  8. Have the power company reconnect the meter
  9. Drywall repair, trim, cabinet, whatever to hide or improve appearance of panel - this is typically not done by the electrician though

Some things can be done in parallel if there are multiple people available, and some things may involve a lot of waiting.

Make sure to check local codes, permitting requirements, etc.

If you're just planning to flip the panel to the other side of the wall, keeping it in the same stud bay, you won't have any issues relating to obstructions, too-short wires, etc so it may be even easier. Everything being interior makes it a bit easier as well.

I'd strongly urge you to consider how much space your existing panel has and whether a bigger (number of circuits and/or max amperage) panel would be useful. Panels are cheap, compared to the cost of upgrading later on, so if you can swing it to get a bigger panel now (and your existing one is close to full), now is the time to do it.

  • Heck yes. Get the biggest panel you can bear. Panel space is cheap. Don't get hung up on the beautiful large panel having too large a main breaker. You can change those; or; you can disregard that breaker or get a panel without one, and backfeed the panel through a regular breaker. Breakers are bidirectional, except GFCI or AFCI. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 7 '17 at 19:30
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    Also, if you have unimproved space in crawlspace or attic where you would likely route added circuits, run a half dozen empty conduits from the panel to that space, and terminate them in 120mm junction boxes. That way you don't have to fish or tear into walls. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 7 '17 at 19:34

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