Electricians , heavy -up, electrical services
Written by Larry Cook

Does Your Home Need a Heavy-Up?

You might need a heavy-up if your home was built more than 30 years ago. Basically, a heavy-up will raise amperage entering the home through its electrical service panel to allow its system to manage a greater load. Some older homes will also need an electrical system upgrade to meet modern demands. When older homes were constructed, many devices did not yet exist, appliances were smaller, and homes consumed much less electricity.

When You May Need a Heavy-Up

  • An expansion of your home’s square footage.
  • Circuit breakers trip often.
  • Electrical lights dim or flicker when another device or appliance is turned on.
  • Electrical service panel uses fuses rather than circuit breakers.
  • House will have an extensive remodeling.
  • Installing devices like a HVAC system that will consume a great amount of electricity.

Amperage Increase Expected

Usually, a heavy-up for an older home consists of an upgrade from a 100 or 150 amp electrical service to one that is 200 amp, the standard for new homes to meet modern electrical needs.

Electrical System Upgrade

An outdated knob & tube electrical system may require replacement. Although not necessarily less capable than modern plastic-coated wires, years of wear and tear may cause the knobs to break and the rubber on wires to become brittle. In addition, they are less safe because they are not grounded.

Not a DIY Project

For safety and performing the project to code, an experienced licensed electrician should be hired for a heavy-up. The project will require shutting off the power from the utility and then the replacement of the entire electrical service panel. As mentioned above, an upgrade of the electrical system may also be required. Additionally, a grounding rod that is connected to the service panel will have to be installed. Finally, the service drop cable may require replacement.

Estimated Costs

Typically, a heavy-up increasing an electrical service to a 200 amp service will cost from $1,000 to $3,000. Most of the bill is comprised of labor costs as materials are generally affordable. A 20-amp circuit breaker costs up to $5 each, while an electrical service panel costs up to $200.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.