How much does it cost to repair an electrical outlet?
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Electrical Outlet Repair Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
Electrical outlets are found in homes across the world. We use them daily, but it is important to remember that they are the only thing separating you from high-voltage electrical currents flowing through your home’s wiring. So if anything goes wrong with your home’s electrical outlets, it is important to get the necessary repairs right away to stay safe and avoid any unnecessary risks.
The national average cost to repair an electrical outlet is between $75 and $200, with most homeowners spending $140 to fix an outlet that keeps short-circuiting. This project’s low cost is $50 to fix a small patch of plaster around an outlet. The high cost is $500 for extensively rewiring an outlet that is not easily accessible.
Electrical Outlet Repair Cost
|Cost to Fix Electrical Outlet|
|National average cost||$140|
Electrical Outlet Repair Cost by Type of Repair
One of the main factors affecting the cost of your electrical outlet repairs is the repair type required. Depending on the damage, you may require various repairs, including box repair, wiring repair, and socket repair. Some repairs are much easier and cheaper to carry out than others. The table below shows common repairs and the average costs for each.
|Type of Repair||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Plaster||$50 - $150|
|Switch||$50 - $150|
|Socket||$50 - $200|
|Box Replacement||$75 - $300|
|Circuit Breaker Replacement||$150 - $250|
|Wiring Replacement||$300 - $500|
Repair Plaster Around an Electrical Outlet
Homeowners pay between $50 and $150 to repair the plaster around an electrical outlet. The plaster around it can get damaged due to accidents or exposure to moisture over time, or it might get cracked and damaged during the repair process if the box needs repairing or replacing. A plasterer can repair the damage and apply new plaster around the box.
Switch repairs typically cost between $50 and $150. Some outlets have switches associated with them to control the flow of power, but these switches can become loose, broken, damaged, or simply stop working due to connection issues. An electrician will usually need to remove the faceplate around the switch and find out what is wrong, before taking the appropriate steps to repair it, such as realigning it or fixing the connection.
Electrical Socket Repair
The average cost of electrical socket repair ranges from $50 to $200. The socket is technically the part of the outlet into which you insert a plug for a device or appliance. Various issues can arise with electrical sockets, from physical damages like cracks to wiring and electrical issues that could cause sparks and bad connections. Therefore, different repair methods may be needed, such as readjusting the socket, fixing connections, or replacing the faceplate.
Outlet Box Replacement
To replace an outlet box, expect to pay between $75 and $300 on average. The box is essentially the housing of the outlet that contains all the wires and connections that allow it to operate. These boxes rarely need replacing, but a replacement may be needed if the box has been seriously damaged due to impacts, dirt, fire, or moisture.
Circuit Breaker Replacement
Homeowners pay between $150 and $250 for circuit breaker replacements. Circuit breakers are a key part of the electrical system in the home, helping to keep you safe and control the flow of power, automatically breaking the connection if the power levels get too high. They may need to be replaced if they are damaged or keep tripping without reason.
Aluminum Wiring to Copper Outlet Replacement
To replace the aluminum wiring in your copper power outlets, costs average $300 to $500 per outlet. Aluminum wiring was used in many homes built in the 1960s and 70s as a cheap alternative to copper, but today, it is considered dangerous, with many homeowners replacing it.
Electrical Outlet Repair Cost by Problem
A wide range of problems can arise with electrical outlets. They can become loose, spark or smoke, or the circuit breakers can get tripped. The costs to repair these problems vary because some are much simpler to fix than others. The table below shows typical issues and the average repair costs per outlet.
|Problem||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Loose||$50 - $125|
|Bad Connection||$50 - $150|
|Short Circuit||$75 - $200|
|Crack||$120 - $200|
|Warm Wall||$120 - $200|
|Impromer Rating||$120 - $200|
|Plug Falling Out||$120 - $200|
|Moisture||$120 - $200|
|Burned||$150 - $400|
|Sparking and Smoking||$150 - $400|
|Circuit Breaker Tripping||$200 - $2,000|
Fixing Loose Outlets
The average cost to fix loose outlets is between $50 and $125. They can become loose due to poor installation or while carrying out other repairs and renovations around them. To fix this, an electrician may simply need to tighten the screws to fasten the faceplate in position or add shims to the outlet to reinforce it and stop it from wobbling.
Bad Electrical Outlet Connection
If your electrical outlet has a bad connection, expect to pay between $50 and $150 for repairs. Those that were badly installed or disturbed during renovations may have bad connections, which can lead to other issues like sparks or short circuits. To fix this, an electrician will need to remove the faceplate, access the interior components, and make adjustments to re-establish the connections.
Outlet Short Circuit Repair
The average cost of outlet short circuit repairs is between $75 and $200. If one of the electrical outlets in your home keeps causing short circuits, it is likely that it has some issue or may not supply sufficient power to the appliance it is connected to. In this case, it may need repairs, such as connection fixes, or it might need a total replacement.
Cracked Electrical Outlet
A cracked electrical outlet typically costs $120 and $200 to fix. Cracks can appear due to impacts, accidents, or general wear and tear over the years. It can be very dangerous to live with a cracked electrical socket because dust, dirt, and moisture could enter the crack and cause problems, potentially leading to fires. They need to be replaced with new ones.
Warm Wall Near an Electrical Outlet
If you notice that the patch of wall near your electrical outlet is warm, expect to pay between $120 and $200. If the wall around it feels warm to the touch, stop using it immediately because it may be a fire hazard. The warmth is usually caused by an outlet that is overloaded and connected to an appliance that demands too much power. It may need to be upgraded to cope with the power demands, or you may have to change how you use it.
Electrical Outlet With an Improper Rating
Fixing an electrical outlet with the improper rating averages $120 to $200. Many homeowners are unaware that outlet receptacles have different amp ratings. Some are 15-amp, while others are 20-amp. Using the wrong receptacle - such as plugging a 20-amp device into a 15-amp outlet - can be dangerous. If you suspect your outlets have the wrong rating, call an electrician to test, inspect, and potentially replace them.
Plug Falling Out of an Outlet
If plugs keep falling out of your electrical outlet, expect to pay between $120 and $200 to repair the problem. When plugs keep falling from an electrical outlet, the receptacle has likely worn down. The receptacle is the name given to the slots you slide plugs into. If this part is worn or broken, the entire outlet usually needs replacing.
Moisture in an Electrical Outlet
Homeowners pay between $120 and $200 for repairs to an electrical outlet that has been exposed to moisture. Water and electricity do not mix well, so it is important to keep them dry. If moisture enters them due to spillages, splashes, or indoor flooding, there is a risk of short circuits, electrical fires, and corrosion in them. The power needs to be shut off, and the outlet will usually have to be replaced.
Burned Outlet Home Repair
Repairing a burned outlet averages $150 to $400. It may appear black or be seen emitting smoke or sparks. There could also be burned wires inside the wall, which will need to be removed and replaced, and the outlet will also need to be replaced.
Outlet Sparks and Smokes
If your outlet emits sparks or smoke, expect to pay between $150 and $400 for repairs. Sometimes, seeing a little spark when you plug something in is not a sign of a problem. It just shows that the outlet is doing its job. However, it is a warning sign if you see repeated sparks coming out whenever you plug in or unplug something. There may be loose wiring or damaged components in the outlet, and the entire thing may need to be replaced.
Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping
The average cost to fix a circuit breaker that keeps tripping ranges from $200 to $2,000. There are various possible reasons why your circuit breaker might keep tripping. It could be that one or more of your outlets do not have sufficient power for the devices or appliances that are being plugged in. Or it could be due to wiring issues somewhere in the home or an issue with the circuit box. The box might need fixing or replacing, outlets might need updating, or parts of the home may need rewiring.
Electrician Cost to Fix an Outlet
Electricians typically charge between $40 and $120 for electrical outlet repairs. Some charge by the hour, while others have set prices for certain jobs. Since many repairs are relatively simple compared to other electrical repairs around the home, labor costs for this project are usually low. However, you may need to pay more if you need urgent repairs, and you may have to pay extra fees if you live in a remote location and the electrician has to travel a long distance to reach your home.
Electrical Inspection Cost
Electrical inspections typically cost between $150 and $200. During an inspection, an electrician will look through the home, checking on the condition of the wiring, outlets, and other electrical components. They can give you a full report of their findings, letting you know about any potential issues or problems you may not have noticed. They will also suggest any repairs or services to make the home safer or more efficient. It can be a good idea to have an electrical inspection when buying a new home or before and after major repairs or renovations.
Homeowners can do many simple maintenance tasks to keep their electrical outlets in peak condition. This can prevent problems and reduce the need for repairs or replacement parts.
First, test them regularly and use each outlet. You can buy a testing kit for between $10 and $25 to use for testing outlets and identifying any problems with them. Or, you can use a simple electronic device or appliance like a lamp.
Keep them clean and carry out regular visual inspections to look for any cracks, damages, or accumulation of dirt or debris on or around the outlets. Never use any water-based cleaning products or liquids around them. Instead, use a dry cloth to wipe away dust and dirt from the surface to prevent any issues.
Contact professionals as soon as possible if you notice any issues with your outlets because problems may start small but can get progressively worse if left unattended.
Repair vs Replace an Outlet
In some cases, it may be simpler, safer, and a better value to have a damaged or broken electrical outlet replaced rather than repaired. The average cost of replacement power outlets ranges from $120 to $200. If the estimated cost of your repairs is similar or higher than this, you may want to have a new one fitted instead. You may also want to replace electrical outlets if they are very old (40+ years), need regular repair, or frequently break down.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Upgrade Electrical Outlet
Homeowners pay between $120 to $500 to upgrade an electrical outlet. This could include changing a 2-prong outlet to a 3-prong or changing a 3-prong outlet to a 4-prong. Upgrading can help make them safer, reducing the risk of accidental electrical shocks or other problems, such as sparks and tripped circuit breakers.
Rewire a House
The average cost to rewire a house ranges from $4,000 to $10,000. Costs can be much higher or lower than this, depending on the house size and age, how much wiring needs to be replaced, and how accessible it is. Rewiring a home may be necessary in older homes or those with repeated electrical issues like blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers.
Having a waterproof outlet installed ranges from $200 to $400. They are usually installed in outdoor locations to stay safe when exposed to rain and snow. You may also want to have a waterproof outlet fitted inside the home in spaces like the bathroom, where there is a high risk of splashes and moisture interfering with the outlet.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Lifespan. Many electrical outlets last for 40 or 50 years, or even more in some cases. But some - such as GCI outlets - may need replacing after just 10 to 20 years. Poorly maintained outlets will also need to be replaced sooner than well-maintained ones.
- Permit. You may need a permit when carrying out certain repairs, such as outlet replacements, new outlet installations, and rewiring jobs. Consult your local building authority for more information.
- Licensed professional. Always work with a licensed professional when it comes to electrical outlet repairs because unlicensed workers could cause more damage and may not have the necessary qualifications.
- DIY. When it comes to electrical outlet repairs and replacements, it is best to leave this job to the professionals. Working with electrical outlets and wires can be dangerous if you are not trained and experienced.
- National Electrical Code. The National Electrical Code (NEC) is a standard for the safe installation of wiring across the U.S. It is important to ensure that wiring and outlets in your home are installed in agreement with this standard to keep your home safe.
- How much does it cost to repair an electrical outlet?
The average cost to repair an electrical outlet is between $75 and $200. Prices vary depending on the problem and how much work is required to fix it.
- Why would an electrical outlet stop working?
There are various reasons why an electrical outlet could stop working. It might be old or have been exposed to excess dirt or moisture. There could also be a bad connection or wiring issues.
- How do you fix a broken electrical outlet?
There are different repair methods for broken electrical outlets. Usually, an electrician will inspect and test them and then potentially remove the faceplate and examine the interior components and wiring to make any necessary adjustments or replacements.
- How long do electrical outlets last?
It varies. Some electrical outlets last for 50 years or more, while others wear out in 10 years or less. It depends on the amount of use, location, and type.
- Can a bad outlet cause other outlets not to work?
It is possible that one broken outlet can affect the others. It depends on the types and the way they were installed. For example, if they are installed in a daisy-chain layout, they can affect each other.
- Can a damaged outlet cause a fire?
Yes, damaged outlets can cause fires. In fact, damaged and broken outlets are among the leading causes of electrical fires in the U.S. today.