Electrical repair cost guide
Electricity is a homeowner's best friend. Even during the winter months when the sun disappears before 5 p.m., I can keep cooking dinner and helping the kids with homework because of our handy light fixtures. (Thanks Thomas Edison.)
It’s so easy to flick a light switch (or, in my case, tell Alexa to turn on the lamp). The result – a quickly illuminated room. So it’s hard not to take this modern wonder for granted. But when there’s a power outage, or faulty outlet, or worse, a circuit breaker malfunction, our routine gets off track and repairs may be in the future.
Here’s everything you need to know about electrical repair costs, from what you can DIY to when it’s time to call in an expert:
While it’s always recommended to call in a licensed electrician, with some knowledge of electrical wiring you might be able to swing a DIY repair. According to Fixr, an electrician can charge between $100-$150 for these quick restores, mostly for their labor. While following the safety tips for working with electricity, you can save some money by doing these repairs yourself:
Replace a light switch:
After making sure all electricity is turned off from the circuit breaker, you can easily remove a light switch, disconnect the wires and install a new one. New switches start at around $5 a piece, and since you’ll only be paying for the cost of materials, this is an effective way to save money.
Replace an electrical outlet:
Old outlets can be a fire hazard. For this quick fix, all you need is needle-nose pliers, a screwdriver, a voltage tester and a new electrical outlet. If you skip hiring an electrician, you can expect to pay as little as $10 (the cost of a new outlet from Home Depot).
Replace a lighting fixture:
It might seem intimidating, but replacing a lighting fixture is actually a common DIY project for homeowners. As Wayfair.ocom explains, the wiring is already set up for you, so make sure the power is completely turned off and begin the process. You may need an extra set of hands to help hold it up, but again, without hiring an electrician, you’re only paying for the cost of the materials you use.
Call in an expert
Of course, every situation is different. Saftey note: If you’re simply not comfortable tackling electrical work or notice some of these concerning signs, don’t hesitate to call in a professional, licensed electrician to take a look.
These electrical issues also mean it's time to call in an expert:
Any new wiring:
Replacements are relatively easy because the proper wiring exists, but if you want to install a new outlet, light switch or ceiling fan, you should hire a pro. Adding a new outlet involves creating an opening in the wall or ceiling, joining new cable to a power source and making connections, explains The Spruce. While it may sound complicated, an expert electrician can complete this in about a half hour for $200. While most of that money is labor costs, it’s best to pay the price to make sure it’s set up safely and correctly.
Circuit breakers and electrical panels:
Just looking at my home circuit breaker makes me nervous. With all the different switches, I never want to risk messing with this essential component of my household. If a switch does break, calling in an electrician can set you back around $200, according to Thumbtack.
Anything in an older home:
Older homes are sometimes wired differently from how an electrician would do things today. If you need a simple fix in an older home, it may require extra work to bring it up to code. Fixr explains the National Electric Code exists to make sure wiring jobs conform to a national standard of safety. If you’re unfamiliar with your home's wiring or think it might be outdated, don’t hesitate to call a professional, licensed electrician. Expect that they might need to charge more if the system needs upgrading or the wires are difficult to find.
Major wire work
Rewiring a home is one of the most expensive and time-consuming electrical repairs. While the total cost can increase depending on the type wiring already in place and how accessible it is, The Spruce estimates rewiring your home costs about $27 per square foot.
Costs can also increase if you need to replace fixtures or are updating the main service. Always call in a licensed electrician for this work, as they will ensure everything is up to code.
Home repair plans from HomeServe can help alleviate the costs associated with covered electrical breakdowns. Enter your ZIP Code here to find out more about available plans in your area.