How much does it cost to replace an outside electrical meter box?
How much does it cost to replace an outside electrical meter box?
$500 – $2,100 average cost to replace
Electric meter box replacement cost
Electric meter box replacement costs $500 to $2,100 on average, depending on the meter size, location, installation complexity, and code requirements. New outside electrical meter box prices are $50 to $750, depending on the amperage. Adding a separate electricity meter costs $1,400 to $4,700.
|Strength||Average cost to replace|
|100 amps||$500 – $1,000|
|150 amps||$700 – $1,500|
|200 amps||$800 – $2,000|
|400 amps||$1,500 – $5,000|
Cost to add a second or split an electric meter
The cost to add a second electric meter is $1,400 to $4,700+, depending on the job size, complexity, and whether the power company splits the existing supply line or must run a new line.
Adding a rental unit or converting a detached garage into a commercial workshop may require a second electric meter.
Splitting a property into multiple rental units may require a meter for each unit and a separate meter for common areas.
Splitting an electric meter when the current system has only one breaker panel may involve extensive rewiring.
Cost factors of replacing outside electrical meter box
Factors that affect the cost include:
Meter box & wire size – Meter box prices increase with amperage. Upgrading to a higher amp service may also involve updating the wire size, increasing labor and material costs.
Labor – Electricians hourly rates are $50 to $130 per hour plus a $100 to $200 service call fee.
Geographic location – Meter box replacement costs more in major cities with a higher cost of living. Building and electrical codes also vary by location and may impact the project requirements.
Project scope – Some areas require bringing everything up to code when replacing a meter box, which may involve replacing additional components, relocating the main disconnect outdoors, or updating the wiring.
Replacing an electrical panel box costs $850 to $2,500.
Rewiring a whole house costs $5 to $17 per square foot, or $10,000 to $30,000.
Materials – Replacing a meter box often requires additional items like connectors, fasteners, and fittings, adding $50 to $100+ to the material cost.
Warranties – Higher-priced models often come with a longer warranty.
Permits –Most areas require a permit to replace a meter box. Electrical contractors typically include permit and inspection fees in the project estimate.
Electrical permits cost $50 to $350, depending on the location.
A full electrical inspection costs $100 to $200 to check the home's entire electrical system.
New power line – Some meter box installations require running a new supply line from the utility pole. The cost to run power is $5 to $15 per linear foot for above ground service or $10 to $25 per linear foot for an underground line.
New electric meter prices
Electric meter prices are $50 to $750 for the meter box alone, depending on the size.
Most modern homes require at least 200-amp service. Larger homes with luxury amenities like a high-end kitchen, pool, sauna, car charging station, or home theater often need 400-amp service.
|100 amps||$50 – $150|
|150 amps||$60 – $300|
|200 amps||$100 – $350|
|400 amps||$320 – $750|
*Not including installation.
Electrical meter riser / mast replacement
Electrical mast replacement costs $500 to $1,700 on average, including labor. The meter riser, or service mast, is rigid metal conduit attached to the siding and sometimes extending through the roof, connecting the utility power lines to the home's electrical meter.
Electric meter box cover replacement
Electric meter box cover replacement costs $20 to $40 on average for the cover alone or $120 to $370 including labor. Replacing a meter box cover requires the power company or an authorized electrician to unlock the meter.
The meter box cover protects the internal components, so replacing a damaged cover may involve replacing other parts if they are rusted or sustained damage. Older, obsolete meter boxes may require complete replacement, increasing the cost.
Meter lug replacement cost
Meter lug replacement costs $5 to $40+ for the part alone or $100 to $240 installed. An electrician may replace the lugs if the box and other components are in good condition. Lugs connect the wires to the meter socket and can damage the home's electrical system if loose or broken.
Meter box FAQs
When should I replace my outside electrical meter box?
Signs you should replace your outside electrical meter box include:
The meter box is 10+ years old.
The meter box sustained physical damage.
The box's interior is corroded.
Wire casings are cracked or damaged.
You are upgrading your electrical service.
Electrical code requirements have been updated.
Dimming or flickering lights, especially during high load situations in different areas of the home, is an early sign your electrical meter is overloaded and due for a service upgrade.
How long does it take to replace an outside electrical meter box?
Replacing an outside electrical meter box takes 4 to 8 hours on average.
The job may take longer if the wire size needs updating to support an electrical service upgrade or if other related components, such as the mast, weatherhead, and grounding system, require updating to meet code requirements.
Who is responsible for paying to replace an electric meter box?
The homeowner is responsible for paying to replace or repair the electric meter box. The utility company is responsible for the glass meter housed in the meter box and the power lines coming in from the street to the weatherhead. The customer maintains the weatherhead and all equipment after it.
Who replaces electric meter boxes?
Hire a licensed electrician to replace a meter box as the job involves handling potentially hazardous electrical components and requires knowledge of current safety standards and codes.
The electric customer is financially responsible for meter box replacement but the work itself requires a trained professional.
Can I paint my meter box?
You can paint your meter box in most cases, provided the glass meter and any identifying labels are left unpainted. Always confirm approval with the utility company and local building authorities before making and changes to the meter box.
Can I lock my meter box?
Most jurisdictions prohibit residents from locking the meter box. Such "meter tampering" may prevent access to an emergency disconnect in case of a fire or other event where first responders must cut power quickly. Additionally, while you own the meter box, the meter inside is the power company's property.
The power company typically installs a lock or seal on the meter box. Some electricians have a master key, but many meter box replacements require power company involvement to unlock the box and disconnect power.
Where to buy a meter box
Many large hardware and electrical supply stores sell meter boxes. The electrician hired to replace the meter socket typically supplies the part and includes it in the estimate.
Getting estimates from meter box installers
Before hiring an electrical panel installer near you to replace your meter box, be sure to:
Get at least three in-person estimates to compare.
Check their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Hire a licensed, bonded, and insured company that has been in business more than 5 years.
Avoid hiring the electrician with the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
Get a detailed contract and warranty in writing before the work begins.
Never pay in full before the job is complete. Work out a payment plan instead.
Questions to ask
How long have you been in business?
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
Can you provide local references with contact information?
What experience do you have installing meter sockets?
Does my wiring need to be updated?
Do you handle the permits and inspection process?
Can you give me a breakdown of everything included in the estimate?
What additional costs might come up during installation?
How long will the installation take?
Do you offer a warranty? If so, what does it cover?