Homeowners may encounter a familiar household expense, whether they live in a home, or are doing some remodeling, and that’s having an electrical outlet installed.
First things first. A replacement electrical outlet is not the type of jobs homeowners with some handyman experience, or a friend of a friend want to tackle.
In order to get the job done safely and right, and in particular avoid electrical fires, which the National Fire Protection Association estimates happens between 45,000 and 55,000 thousand times per year. you need a licensed electrician to do the work, and they aren’t cheap.
Electricians normally include the costs of the outlet itself in a quote, but on average the price will be around $55 per hour nationally, but as expensive as $100 per hour or more.
Besides the type of outlets, a great deal depends upon the type of work required. Replacing or fixing an existing outlet that is already wired, is significantly cheaper than installing new units that need to be wired up.
According to Angie’s list, one of nation’s premier home repair and referral services, one electrician they interviewed advised that he could replace between 6 and 12 existing outlets per hour, while a brand new 220 range or dryer outlet involved a minimum of 2-hours of labor alone.
As a consequence, the same All Day Electrician could replace a single replacement for as cheap as $10 or so an outlet plus the cost of materials, but a single new range or dryer outlet could run a homeowner up to $600.
Even for a less complicated 120 volt receptacle, if the unit is new, plan on at least an hour’s worth of labor plus material charges, so overall, a new receptacle will run a minimum of around $130 to as high as $290.
Older houses, needing a simple 120 volt, 2-prong outlet tend to be the cheapest.
A two-prong outlet has a “hot” and “neutral” line only. The hot line connects to the power, and a corresponding neutral line completes the electrical circuit.
Most modern homes have 3-prong outlets which include a “ground” wire that connects to the earth to drain unused power
The reason modern houses have 3-prong outlets is precisely to avoid electrical shortages and shocks.
Technically, in most locales, a 2-prong outlet is still legal (although not safe and up to code) and an electrician can replace a defective 2-prong outlet with another.
However, most electricians will refuse to do so, and in some locales, once a 2-prong outlet is defective, it can no longer be replaced with a second 2-prong unit.
To avoid expensive rewiring, what electricians do is to install a 3-prong Ground Fault Interrupter device or GFCI. A GFCI works by comparing the input current on the hot side to the output current on the neutral side.
If the input and the output are not equal, it means electricity is leaking somewhere, and the slightest deviation will immediately shut off the power supply.
YOur typical 2-prong, ungrounded outlet is dangerous but is particularly dangerous if there is any place where leaking water can help accelerate a leaking current such as a kitchen or a laundry room.
And by the way, don’t be fooled if a home has 3-prong plugs. Unfortunately, many homes were converted to 3-prong homes, without a grounding element in place.
Expect to pay an additional fee of around $130 if your electrician needs to install a GFCI unit.
The bottom line: expect to pay close to $300 overall for an installed unit, with and additional $150 labor if you need a 220 volt outlet installed.
Choose a good, All Day Electrician to do the work.