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electrical service upgrade

Will I Need An Electrical Service Upgrade For My Swimming Pool?

11,Nov 2018

In many cases, installing a pool may require you to upgrade your home’s electrical service to accommodate the need for extra power. We will discuss common questions you may have regarding how a swimming pool may influence your need to upgrade your electrical service.

Service Upgrade Basics


A service upgrade is when your electrician and power company increase your home’s capacity for electrical use. This is usually done by installing a larger meter outside of your home as well as a new service panel inside your house or garage or wherever the new panel will be located.


With the new panel, you will install new breakers, or you will need to reorganize the breakers from the old panel. Your home’s electrical capacity is measured in number of Amps. Commonly, modern homes are built with a 200 amp service, with some larger home featuring a 400 amp service.


Does My Swimming Pool Require me to Upgrade My Electrical Service?


A professional electrician can accurately assess whether or not your electrical service requires an upgrade. Although we can not determine your need for a service upgrade, we can provide you with some guidance to help you determine whether you should expect the need for a service upgrade when installing a pool.


You can begin your assessment by opening your panel boxes to determine how many spaces you have available. If the panel box is full of breakers and has no spaces open, you may need a service upgrade, but you may also have the option to either:

  • Install tandem breakers to combine two 15 amp breakers into a single space
  • Install a subpanel to draw from your existing service and create space for additional breakers.

A professional electrician would have to determine if either of these options would work for your electrical service.


If you examine the panel and see that you have some open spaces, it is likely that your current service will be able to handle a standard pool pump and pool lights. If you choose to add on a pool heat pump, hot tub, or other equipment that demands more electricity, you will need to consult with your electrician on whether your electrical service can accommodate these additions.


Common Pool Equipment Electrical Requirements


To help you gain a better perspective on how many volts and amps common type of pool equipment require, we’ve provided a list of common pool equipment and their electrical requirements. This list is strictly an estimate and will vary based on manufacturer and specific type of equipment:


Pool Pump:  240v, 10amps

Pool Heat Pump: 240v, 50 amps

Pool Lights: 12v, 3.5 watts each

LP/NG Pool Heater: 240v, 3 amps


Service Upgrade Costs: What to Expect


Power companies will typically perform their part of your service upgrade at no charge since you will be using and paying for more electricity. When it comes to an electrician’s fee for a service upgrade, you can expect prices that range between $1,665.30 – $2,196.00 in the Pittsburgh area, but this will vary based on company, region, and the work you require.