Need new electric panel - cost estimate?

I live in Dallas, TX - if I purchase the hot tub I'm looking at (it requires a 220 connection), I've been told that I'll probably need a new electrical service panel - my existing panel is about 25 years old - there are no remaining breaker slots available on the existing panel, and adding a sub-panel appears out of the question for some reason - I'm going on what an electrician told me that I had in to install lines for three external security lights.
I'm not anticipating any other electrical major renovation or remodeling aside from the hot tub.
The existing panel is on the interior wall directly on the other side of the exterior wall where the electric meter is located.
I know it varies, but what would be a reasonable price range to expect when I get estimates for this work to be done - assuming I do need a new panel, and assuming that I still have any money left for the hot tub.
I hope my description of the above electrical stuff makes sense - I'm a software guy - electricity baffles me - I pay the bill, and I pay someone to come in and do the work - that's the extent of my expertise..
Thanks!
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Id say around 500 bucks,seems odd you cant install a subpanel on a 25 yr old panel,unless they used aluiium wire instead of copper then i can see that.
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Pocambo wrote:>Id say around 500 bucks,seems odd you cant install a subpanel on a 25 yr old

Plus, the disconnect has to be at least 5 feet away, and _within sight_ of the hot tub. At least around here. Tom Work at your leisure!
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Aluminum wouldn't matter for a subpanel. Subpanels are still often wired with aluminum feeders.
I'm thinking more along the lines of the main panel is very small already (in ampacity and breakers), and trying to put a subpanel with a spa heater on it would overload the main, or leave very little left.
Ie: a 60A main panel, and then considering adding a 30A 220V spa. That's half the whole house!
Replacing the panel itself, given no hidden gotchas (liking having to relocate it) isn't that bad. $200-$500 seems a good estimate depending on how many circuits to move etc.
Question then becomes do you have to upgrade the service to take advantage? That could cost anywhere from almost nothing to a _lot_.
We could comment on an itemized estimate, but without seeing it, can't really tell what's involved beyond the panel replacement itself (and we don't know how many circuits there are to move, what kind of wire it is, etc).
Do note that in some unusual circumstances, just _finding_ a big dual breaker for a very old panel to supply a subpanel might cost more than a whole new main panel.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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Texas Yankee wrote:

We had one done in Houston last year. 400 Amp service, turnkey including permits. $800.00.
It took two guys about 4 hours.
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Chicago area. upgrade from 80 amp service to 200 Amp. $1200. $200 of that was I wouldn't let them trench under a tree and they had to use a "thumper". Don't forget to upgrade the wire coming from the pole. The previous homeowner didn't do that and I melted a wire with my stuff cause I thought I had 100 amp service.

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Thanks guys - I appreciate it - great information, especially about the possibility of upgrading the service from the pole - I hadn't thought of that - but, of course, you guys did ! ! !

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