It costs between $209 and $249 to replace a circuit breaker switch, with most people paying an average of $229. This cost includes a single standard circuit breaker, supplies, and labor, with the work taking a licensed electrician between one and two hours.
|What you can expect|
|Range per breaker:||$212.28||$253.12|
|Range for this type of project:||$212||$253|
Circuit Breaker Cost
Cost for residential-grade, 125V, 20A AFCI/GFCI circuit breaker. UL and CSA rated for optimal safety.
Circuit Breaker Labor, Basic
Labor cost, under typical conditions, for complete installation on existing panel with free circuits. Power to panel will be shut off, and circuit wiring connected to panel location. New circuit breaker will be installed and powered, and optimal operation will be verified. Circuit wiring and any other modifications to service panel will incur additional costs. Fee is inclusive of all aspects of the project, such as thorough planning, acquisition of equipment and material, preparation and protection of installation site, and meticulous cleanup.
Circuit Breaker Job Supplies
Requisite supplies for the job, including connectors, fittings, junction boxes, and fasteners.
|cost to install a circuit breaker|
|National Avg. Materials Cost per breaker||$10.61|
|National Avg. Cost (labor and materials) for 1 breaker||$228.97|
|National Cost Range (labor and materials) for 1 breaker||$208.88 - $249.06|
Circuit breaker installation costs around $230 for a single circuit breaker, including materials and labor. The price rises for each breaker that needs to be fitted or if the whole system needs to be changed. Other cost factors are the price of the new circuit and the rate of labor to hire a professional.
A new circuit breaker switch costs $5 for a basic design, with high-end prices reaching $40. The main circuit breaker for the whole electrical system usually costs between $40 and $100.
Labor is what drives up the circuit breaker replacement cost. It takes one to three hours for a qualified electrician to install a circuit breaker, with a typical hourly rate between $40 and $99. Based on all these factors, you’ll likely pay $80 for a simple job with one circuit and up to $297 for more complex tasks.
A lower amperage circuit breaker replacement of 60 amps or less isn’t as expensive as a high-capacity 200 or 400 amp box. If you just have to change a circuit breaker, the cost will range from $80 to $297. If you have to change the whole breaker box, it’ll cost from $500 at the bottom end to $4,000 or even higher for a high-wattage, complex design.
In older homes, the electrical system might not have a high enough rating to power the increasing number of appliances and devices typical of modern life. If the energy frequently cuts out due to overload, replacing the breaker box with a higher capacity model may be necessary.
There are three different types of circuit breakers.
The cost to replace a standard circuit breaker is as little as $5 at retail prices, but the more advanced types of breakers will cost between $30 and $100 each. They’re more expensive because they offer increased protection against electrical fire or electrocution. Additionally, your home’s set-up or local codes and regulations may require that you have these specialized types of breakers for your safety. They're available as individual breakers or dual-function models that combine both kinds of protection.
AFCI stands for arc fault circuit interrupter. This type of circuit breaker detects the heat of an electrical arc, or spark, and shuts off the power to reduce the risk of fire. Arcing can happen when there's physical damage to the electrical circuit, such as through rodent chewing or a malfunctioning appliance.
An AFCI breaker fits into the same panel slot as a regular one, and is recommended or required for use in kitchens, laundry rooms, and rooms where people may sleep.
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) detects when the current is flowing the wrong way around a circuit, and trips before electrocution can happen. Mostly, a GFCI will trip because of water causing a short circuit, and these breakers should be used anywhere where water is found, such as in kitchens, bathrooms, exterior outlets, pool areas, and so on.
However, GFCI breakers shouldn't be used on circuits containing refrigerators or freezers, as these appliances can trip the breakers when the motor activates.
Many factors influence the cost of circuit breaker installation. Even though costs increase as more breakers need to be fitted, the labor rates won't rise as much in comparison. While replacing a single breaker will take around an hour, each extra breaker will only add around 20 minutes to the job time.
The factors that tend to add to the final bill include:
When your fuse box malfunctions, you may want to consider circuit breaker installation rather than replacing the fuse box. An old-style fuse box costs around the same to install as a circuit breaker, but the parts can be expensive and difficult to find. People tend to make this switch for the following reasons:
It costs between $500 and $1,000 on average for a 50 amp sub panel. Because of their smaller size and lower power rating, sub-panels are less expensive to buy. However, the labor costs of installation will be the same as for the main panel.
Sub panels are a good choice for protecting specific parts of a larger electrical system, such as in a basement, a garage, or a home extension. As a smaller version of a breaker box, a sub-panel has fewer circuits and switches and lower overall amperage.
The labor costs to install or replace a circuit breaker range from $40 to $120 an hour. Electricians have three levels of experience and expertise:
It’s not advisable to attempt an electrical job DIY. Unless you're 100% confident in your ability, DIY should be avoided for anything but the most basic electrical projects.
Attempting DIY electrical work is often against local building codes and could result in a fine if you don't have the correct license or permit. Any problems caused by unauthorized work are unlikely to be covered by home insurance, leaving you facing financial difficulties as well as physical danger if something goes wrong. An electrician will be fully insured and bonded, so you'll be covered financially in the unlikely event of a mistake.
Changing a breaker is a straightforward job for an experienced electrician, but safety is the number one priority, as with all electrical work. A professional electrician will have the right tools and knowledge to get the job done quickly, safely, and with less disruption. For these reasons, hiring a professional electrician is safer and faster than attempting the work yourself.
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