An electrical outlet is a unit that allows an electrical device to connect to the source of electricity. These are usually installed in walls and sometimes floors. Proper electrical work requires knowledge of building codes. It can potentially be hazardous if you do not know what you are doing, which is why the installation is best left to a professional electrician.
The average cost of electrical outlet installation with materials is $120 to $200. The cost to install a new, 20 amp 250 volt commercial-grade outlet is $141. The lowest cost to have a 15 amp 125-volt residential-grade electrical outlet installed is $85. The highest cost could be $275 to have a 15 amp GFCI unit installed.
|Outlet Installation Cost|
Electrical outlets vary in style, capacity, and other factors. They can cost as little as $1 or as much as $80. Many different types may be installed, some of which are required for specific appliances. If the wrong one is used, it could cause an appliance to short out and even start a fire. Using the wrong unit voids the warranty on your appliance or lighting. Additionally, some plugs feature more prongs than others, so the correct number of prong openings must be used.
|Type||Average Cost per Unit (Materials Only)|
|Standard||$1 - $5|
|Tamper-Resistant||$1 - $6|
|Duplex||$1 - $20|
|Floor||$1 - $50|
|Coax||$3 - $7|
|Combination||$7 - $30|
|Heavy-Duty||$10 - $20|
|Grounded (GFCI)||$10 - $20|
|LED||$10 - $30|
|Recessed||$10 - $60|
|Rotating||$12 - $20|
|AFCI||$20 - $32|
|USB||$20 - $40|
|Smart||$20 - $80|
The standard duplex outlet you see in most homes costs $1 to $5. It contains a long slot, a short slot, and a grounding slot and is designed for a maximum of 120V. They come in three colors, including white, almond, and black. Many of these products come with a tamper-resistant feature to protect against the risk of electrical shock. The amperage for this is 15. It can be used for lamps, toasters, radios, and other small appliances.
Tamper-resistant or child-proof outlets run from $1 to $6. These types of receptacles are used to protect against electrical shock. It contains a shutter mechanism that prevents the insertion of anything other than two prongs at once. This ensures that bobby pins, toys, or other household belongings cannot be stuck into the unit by a child, thus preventing an electrical shock. While it is a great safety feature, it can sometimes be difficult to plug in the two-prong plug. It may take a few tries to make it work.
Depending upon your needs, these outlets range from $1 to $20 per unit. This is a standard option that means that two receptacles are in a single unit. They measure 15 amps and are safe to use with standard plugs on lights, small appliances, and other small amp usage products. The design of this type protects against electrical shock and hazards.
Using floor outlets has a range of $1 to $50. The costs vary due to the type you choose. Most 120 V, 15 amp units can be used as a floor unit, but attractive receptacles are made especially to fit in with your decor. Floor units are generally for larger rooms with lighting that is too far away from the wall plug. They provide convenience for shorter cords to avoid the use of extension cords.
A coax outlet costs an average of $3 to $7. Most modern homes already contain a coax unit. However, if you are adding cable tv, satellite service, or an antenna to a home without it, it will require one. To hook up to this type, you will need a coaxial cable at the cost of $5 to $20.
The cost for a combination outlet is $7 to $30. It includes the switch and outlet in the same enclosure box. The switch is used to control the receptacle. Additionally, the switch can be wired to control another loading point, generally a light point. This type allows you to have a free receptacle while you are using the light.
Heavy-duty outlets typically cost $10 to $20 per unit. This refers to units designed for devices that draw a lot of power, such as refrigerators, dryers, and ovens. The three types include 220V, 240V, and 250V. The designs of these receptacles are slot, T-slot, and round slot. The T-slot is the identifying factor that this is a 20 amp receptacle versus 15. This will be the only outlet on a particular circuit.
To differentiate from standard units, GFCI outlets with a reset switch range from $10 to $20 per unit. The National Electrical Code now states that grounded outlets are standard in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room. It contains a built-in surge protector that kicks in if a power surge occurs or moisture is detected to safeguard against electrocution.
An LED electrical outlet will cost $10 to $30. These units are furnished with one or more lights triggered by a sensor 1, so they come on when it is dark and turn off when it becomes light in the room. They are a great addition to light the way at night or in low-light areas like hallways or bathrooms. They save on electricity and keep the walkways in your home safe in the dark.
Recessed electric outlets run from $10 to $60. The receptacle is installed recessed into the wall and fits behind furniture to hide unsightly cables or plugs. They can be used in new construction but are available for existing wall-mounted receptacles. With a low-profile frame, you can locate all your home theater plugs in one spot without losing space on the wall.
Rotating electrical outlets cost $12 to $20 per unit. They do just what you think. They rotate 360 degrees to accommodate different devices. This is a good option for handling bulkier adapters or multiple cords. While installed like a standard receptacle, it allows you to plug in a large charger, rotate it, and free up the bottom plug for another charger.
An AFCI Outlet costs $20 to $32. The AFCI outlet looks much like a GFCI but serves a different purpose. AFCI stands for arc fault circuit interrupter. Arcs occur when electricity moves from one wire to another. This can quickly start a fire. The AFCI unit protects against arcs. Any home built before 1999 should already be equipped with AFCI circuit breakers. Older homes can be adapted by the installation of AFCI units at the beginning of every circuit.
A USB electrical outlet is a handy device that costs $20 to $40. These nifty receptacles are equipped with a smart chip that knows how much to charge and for how long. You will never have to search for your charger again because it is included in your electrical outlet nearby at all times. Additionally, it eliminates the clutter of all of the chargers lying around.
Smart plugs range from $20 to $80 each. Also known as “smart outlets,” smart plugs are Internet-compatible, helping you build your smart home. These units and switches can be Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth compatible. Many have USB ports. You need a smart home hub such as Google Home or Echo to use your smartphone to turn on and off lights when you are not home.
A licensed electrician will perform the installation. Electricians charge $40 to $100 per hour. Many electricians charge a minimum service fee for any project (often one hour, but sometimes as little as half an hour). For a simple outlet installation, the area will be cut away and the wires attached to the unit. In many cases, the electrician may need to add a new circuit, which takes a little more time. Adding a circuit will avoid a blown breaker and electrical overload. Expect to pay for one hour to three hours of labor, plus the cost of parts resulting in an electrician’s average cost to install an outlet of $141, including materials. The cost to install one is minor compared to injury that can occur if you try this DIY, so we do not recommend it.
The cost per unit for new construction is generally based on the whole house as wiring must be included. The average cost for wiring a 2,000 sq.ft. house is $4,000 to $10,000. This pricing includes initial rough-in, finishing work, installation and materials for outlets and switches, and rough wiring for light fixtures and appliances.
Other factors affect the cost you pay. For instance, if you add an outlet where there is no existing wiring, the electrician needs to add wiring extensions. Adding them in non-standard locations, such as in the floor, increases the costs. You must account for the purpose of each because heavy-duty units cost more than standard ones and require an additional circuit installed in the breaker box, costing $10 to $20. Finally, the type plays a role in your cost. Remember that you will pay $1 to $5 per standard outlet. However, smart ones cost between $20 and $80.
The cost for new wiring varies but takes one to two hours at $40 to $120 per hour. Outlet installation requires a box that houses the unit and wiring. If the box already exists, installing a new outlet should be pretty easy and not require new wiring. Wiring may be required if the receptacle needs to be installed from scratch or if the electrician determines that a circuit needs to be extended. Faulty or outdated wiring can cause a fire, injury, or even death, so it is vital to hire a licensed, trained, and experienced professional to do your electrical wiring.
The cost for grounding one outlet can run from $100 to $150. Grounding occurs at two separate spots--at the outlet and the main fuse or circuit breaker panel. Units that have to be grounded are the old 2-slot type you will not see in homes built after 1962. These are easy to spot as they only feature two vertical slots rather than two vertical slots and a hole. Two prong units are safe to use with items such as a lamp or radio but present a problem with today’s appliances with three prongs or heavier electrical use products. It is important to understand that an ungrounded electrical outlet cannot be replaced with a grounded receptacle. The wiring does not exist that is necessary to ground it. A professional electrician needs to install the wiring and the receptacle. However, if your main fuse box is grounded, the electrician will only have to ground the two-slot outlets and change them to three prongs. As many professionals have minimum costs, it is best to have several electrical jobs done at the same time. It is always necessary to ground an outlet when switching it out as ungrounded units are old technology.
Expect an electrician to charge a minimum of half to one hour of labor to replace a single outlet ($20 to $120), plus the costs of the unit itself. The cost for an electrician to do the replacement can be as low as $100. Replacing all units in a house could run from $900 to $2,000, depending on how many you have. Although it may be tempting to replace it yourself, it is not a good idea. Even if you know how, it is best to hire a licensed electrician as incorrect wiring can result in sparks or cause a fire or electrocution. A simple replacement is quick. If you choose to upgrade the outlet, the electrician may spend more time on labor, and the material cost will be higher. Replacement is vital if the slots show any signs of black coloring due to a spark having occurred or if it does not fit flush to the wall.
Changing from a two-prong outlet to a three-prong unit requires more than just replacing the unit itself. An electrician will charge about an hour ($40 to $100 per hour), plus the cost of the new unit ($1 to $50). The difference between two-prong and three-prong outlets is that the three-prong one has a “ground.” The ground wire is a vital part of safety as it will take any power surges and direct them to the ground rather than into the appliances, plug, or other wiring. A two-prong unit only contains a neutral wire and a live wire, not the ground wire. Newer three-prong units allow the ground wire to be installed, creating a safer unit and preventing damage to electronic devices. If the fuse box is not grounded, the costs increase and vary based on the complexity of the project
Changing from a three-prong outlet to a four-prong one costs $300 to $500. Homes built after 1962 but before the mid-‘90s were equipped with three-prong outlets. In 1996, the National Electric Code determined that a 4-prong plug was a safer choice. They began requiring all appliances to offer this type of set-up and new homes to be built with four-prong units. The difference is that older three-prong units are wired with the ground and neutral wires together. The neutral wire could emit current to the ground wire and result in an electrical shock to the user of the appliance. However, to forego the expense of replacing the wiring in existing homes, the NEC permits homeowners to purchase a three-prong plug for their new appliance. A three-prong cord costs $13 to $20.
You can expect to pay between $10 and $20 per GFCI outlet. It takes an hour per unit in labor ($40 to $120 depending on the electrician). GFCI units are designed for use in areas where moisture may be a problem, such as outdoor porches, patios, and pool decks 2. They should also be used in bathrooms and kitchens. The purpose of a GFCI unit is to prevent electrical shock due to moisture by automatically cutting the power to the outlet in over-voltage situations.
Instead of installing a new outlet, you may want to have it moved. The cost to relocate it can be as little as $50. However, because of minimum fees, additional wiring, or other complications, it could be as much as $200. The entire box will need to be moved. The electrician will need to shift the wiring. There probably will not be much cost in terms of materials, but the process takes at least an hour. If you move an outlet instead of simply installing a new one, there will be a hole in the wall where the old electrical box was. Some electricians can patch this with drywall, but some may direct you to a handyman. A handyman can repair drywall at $50 to $100 per hour, and the process will probably take about an hour. A homeowner may want to move a unit if the existing receptacles are in an inconvenient place or it is too far away from light fixtures that have short cords. For example, the electrician’s cost to move an outlet from one wall to another in the same room is $75 to $100.
You can expect a simple outdoor outlet installation to cost $250 to $400, including labor and materials. However, if your home is older, needs new wiring, or requires modification to your electrical panel, you should budget $1,000 to $1,400 to add one outside. Outdoor units are used more and more as stringing up patio lights, and fans in screen porch areas are trending. Homeowners are spending time outside and want the right ambiance for themselves and their guests. Pools and hot tubs require receptacles that are safe around wet areas and can stand up under the weather. The simplest way to add an outdoor outlet is to find an indoor one in the same area and add a receptacle back-to-back. This requires cutting a hole through to the outside wall of your house and adding a GFCI unit on the outside.
Two areas of safety coding exist in the United States. One is the National Electrical Safety Code or NESC, a nationwide set of rules for electrical safety published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE. The second set of safety regulations is the National Electrical Code or NEC. The NEC is established and regulated by the National Fire Protection Association or NFPA. Both sets of codes establish standards for electrical safety and are generally followed by the authority with jurisdiction within a particular area. States or municipalities can change or alter these codes according to their standards.
All residential, commercial, and industrial buildings in the United States normally comply with the National Electrical Code (NEC). The NEC outlines the electrical outlet code requirements for electrical installation, general safety, grounding, and overcurrent protection. This includes many factors, including amp ratings, the number of outlets per circuit, which type of units can be used in certain areas (wet areas, for instance), and even the distance between units and between the unit and the floor.
In general, up to 10 outlets may be installed on a 20-amp circuit, but the NEC specifies that kitchens must have more than one circuit. Essentially, though, the number of units depends on the intended location and use of the circuit and NEC guidelines. When planning your space, remember that standard outlets draw at least 15 amps.
Positioning and unit dimensions are also important. The outlet height from floor code is no less than 15 inches from the bottom of the receptacle to the finished flooring. NEC dictates that the electrical outlet height code cannot exceed 48 inches from the top of the receptacle box to the floor. The minimum distance between units is every 12 feet.
Finally, specific spaces in the home require GFCI outlets for protection. The code for electrical outlets in a kitchen requires at least one GFCI unit. The minimum distance between units is no more than 48 inches. The bathroom electrical outlet code states there must also be one GFCI receptacle in each location. Laundry rooms, garages, basements, outside patios, and wet bar 3 areas must have a GFCI to protect against electrical shock.
The cost for a GFCI outlet is $10 to $20 and for an AFCI outlet is $20 to $32. Beyond the standard options are outlets with a GFCI or AFCI circuit breaker, or both, in the same unit. A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is designed to reduce the risk of electrical shock. An arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) is designed to reduce fire risk caused by arcing faults.
Both types of receptacles come with a reset button. If the interrupter is tripped, the reset button must be pushed. GFCIs have been required by code since the 1960s and are typically used in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry areas, and garages. AFCI outlets and breakers are fairly new but are now required in all new construction or electrical remodeling/repairs to protect against arcing that may cause a fire. They are used in bathrooms, kitchens, and sleeping areas. The amp differences are as follows: GFCI - 15-20 amp and AFCI - 120V 15-20 amp receptacles.
|Type||Unit Cost (Materials Only)|
|GFCI||$10 - $20|
|AFCI||$20 - $32|
You can expect to pay between $5 and $25 for decorative outlets. The standard color is white, but there are other color options if you want a more decorative look. Many nonstandard colors cost a little more than the standard ones, sometimes as much as twice the price. In addition to colors, you can also find patterns and other designs, ranging from floral prints to pop art-themed options.
A single-pole switch requiring no rewiring costs about $75. A smart switch requiring new wiring costs as much as $250. Light switches may feel like an afterthought, but they are critical to your home’s lighting system. However, as mentioned, the price varies to install a light switch, depending on how complex the switch is.
Costs for expansion adapters range from $5 to $25. Surge protectors cost between $10 and $30, depending on features and style. Expanding your outlet is so much easier and more affordable than adding a new one. You can turn two units into three or six with a simple adapter. Many options include all plugs in the front, some on the side, and units with USB ports built in. A surge protector can serve the same purpose. These plug into the outlet. They are off the floor or come in a power strip with or without USB ports.
The simplest way to childproof your outlets is to add plugs. A multi-pack costs around $3 to $15. They are inexpensive and easy to add and remove. A second option is a sliding outlet cover which replaces your existing cover plate. The cover automatically closes over the unit when your device is unplugged. These cost $10 to $15 for a multi-pack. The third option is a larger box cover that is ideal for items that are plugged in all the time. These cost $5 to $40 each, depending on the size of your outlet.
A skilled electrician can change an outlet within a short amount of time, but because many have a minimum charge, you may pay as much as $100. That is why it is best to bundle several different jobs into one visit to get the most for your money.
Most electricians have a minimum service fee (one hour, $40 to $120) plus the cost of materials ($10 to $100). A single outlet installation typically takes less than an hour.
A 20 amp outlet is used for heavier appliances such as an oven, refrigerator, or dryer. The cost to install is $100 to $150.
If you have no experience working with electrical layouts, it is best to let a pro handle it. Fires and the risk of being electrocuted are two very dangerous effects of trying to DIY electrical work. It is better to be safe than sorry.
When outlets are installed upside down, the ground prong is facing up, meaning it is nearly impossible to cause a spark in the event the plug pulls away from the wall.
A single outlet typically takes less than an hour to install if the electrician is fairly experienced. It also depends on if the existing unit is grounded or not, as wiring may need to be added
A ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) costs $10 to $20 for the outlet and at least one hour of labor ($40 to $120 per hour).
Electricians typically charge by the hour ($40 to $120 per hour), not including the price of materials.