How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Circuit Breaker? - Average Price (2023)

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Circuit Breaker? - Average Price (1)

If you’ve been wondering, “how much does it cost to replace a circuit breaker?” for a while now, know that the average cost is $1,475. You can get a replacement for a comparatively cheap $500 but some homeowners I know report being charged as high as $2,000 to $4,000 for their homes.

Many factors and variables come into play such as the electrician’s service fee, home type, amperage, and amount of circuits. I’ll explain the answer further below.

Table of Contents

  • Why the Wide Price Range?
  • How Much Will It Cost if I’m Only Going to Replace the Switch?
  • Know the Average Electrician Rates in Your Area
  • Upgrading is Often Cheaper Compared to Installing New Panels
  • What If You Also Need a New SubPanel?
  • Is Circuit Breaker Repair a Viable Route to Take?
  • Conclusion

Why the Wide Price Range?

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Circuit Breaker? - Average Price (2)

Given the range I mentioned, you’ll have to accept from the outset that the cost to fix a breaker is rarely set in stone. Besides the other factors I mentioned, we also need to consider the possibility of the homeowner deciding to upgrade the circuit breaker with higher amperage.

For example, the previous one may have been a 200-amp one. Perhaps, you’re planning to add more electrical appliances and tools and think that it’s better to get a 400-amp breaker for that purpose. This move might cost you $2,000 to $4,000 already.

Of course, this goes both ways, too. You can always opt to downgrade to a cheaper breaker with lower amps. According to Home Guide, a 100-amp breaker will cost you at least $850.

These other factors also play a role in the vast price range:

  • The job may require new materials (e.g. extra circuits) to complete and adhere to the building code.
  • In older homes, you may have to work with obsolete panels that may lack the wiring required by the new panel board you intend to install.
  • You may even have to remove obstacles (e.g. drywalls, along the way to ensure proper wiring and installation.
  • You can always opt to search for cheaper materials in local stores. I’d be surprised if you don’t manage to get the pieces to fall in place (i.e. meet your budget) if you take the time to survey and buy each needed material from low-cost sources.
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Take note that the figures I mentioned only take into account the main breaker replacement cost. It doesn’t include the cost of replacing individual components (like the switches), since I assumed that your query focuses solely on replacing the entire circuit breaker panel.

If not and you want to know how it will cost to replace a circuit breaker switch, then continue reading.

How Much Will It Cost if I’m Only Going to Replace the Switch?

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Circuit Breaker? - Average Price (3)

If you only want to replace the switch of the circuit breaker, then don’t expect to pay as much as replacing a whole panel. According to HomeX, the cost to replace a circuit breaker switch is around $200 at most in 2021. This slightly contradicts the national average stated by porch.com, which pegs it at around $250.

That already hits the price ceiling in my opinion, as I can name a handful of services that offer this for less at $120 to $150. I can buy fuses for as cheap as $5 to $10, but I understand that there are switches that can also sell for three- or four-fold of those amounts.

Still, you’ll be paying mostly for the labor, and none of the required materials carry much weight price-wise.

Know the Average Electrician Rates in Your Area

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Circuit Breaker? - Average Price (4)

When considering breaker replacement cost, you can’t overlook the service charges of the electricians available in your locale. Hourly rates also vary a lot nationwide. There are states where you can hire an electrician for as low as $40 per hour, while in others they may go for as high as $100 per hour.

With that in mind and the time it takes to properly set up a circuit breaker, allot a budget of at most $800 on labor. That’s already the maximum in most cases, but it’s better to be safe so you won’t end up falling short.

I actually highly recommend you inquire about replace circuit breaker cost to electricians in your area. Why? It will only serve to verify the information I shared here. Most electricians are all too willing to give you total cost estimates of any project, so I say let them do that for you.

All the better if they have a website where you can contact them to get a direct quote. Regardless of rates and based on my experience, it’s best practice to trust an electrician’s reputation and experience before anything.

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Upgrading is Often Cheaper Compared to Installing New Panels

Upgrading is always viable if you’re, for instance, refurbishing an older home. I’ve crunched the numbers when doing the research on this topic. What I found out is that it’s often cost-effective to upgrade to a panel with a higher amp capability than to install a new one. However, this isn’t an absolute rule.

For example, you’ll be able to save at least $500 if you decide to upgrade from a 100-amp breaker to a 200-amp one. The saved cost, of course, stems from the fact that installing a new 200-amp breaker will amount to $1,800 to $2,500.

However, I also discovered that some companies charge the same for upgrades and replacements, especially if it’s a high-amp panel like 400-amp breakers. Expect these to cost the same, between $2,000 to $4,000.

What If You Also Need a New SubPanel?

Many homeowners decide to add a subpanel when replacing circuit breakers. It could be because they intend to expand their house and want to ensure that the electrical needs of all the areas will be met.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Circuit Breaker? - Average Price (5)

Should you decide to go this route, expect the installation costs to bump a bit more. I recommend you prepare an additional $1,000 for this. However, I definitely know of services in my area that charge only $500 for this.

Furthermore, I suggest you brush up on the usual requirements for installing a subpanel in your home. Your current home setup may not be able to accommodate the extra panel, after all. This video is a good place to start for this:

Is Circuit Breaker Repair a Viable Route to Take?

Many people still consider repairing their circuit breakers by themselves, thinking it may help them save money in the long run. While I’m not entirely ruling out the possibility that you’ll be able to repair a broken breaker, I won’t really recommend doing it by yourself. You’ll only be putting yourself and your loved one’s at risk.

There is no shortage of scenarios wherein homeowners who have tried this ended up getting themselves electrocuted. You may find solid guides online on how to do DIY breaker repair, but I often shun them for the very reason that I don’t want to wake up to smoke and flames one night. Just ask any well-meaning, professional electrician, and they’ll more than likely nod in agreement.

Conclusion

Since the costs vary a lot, don’t expect these figures to be other than rough estimates. All construction and refurbishing projects have costs that balloon and decrease as the project progresses. At best, I suggest you stick to these steps:

  • Finalize your decision. Will you be replacing the main circuit breaker or only its components? Do you think you will benefit from a subpanel? Get the exact answers to these questions.
  • Know the rates of electricians in your area. Compare them and the quality of their services.
  • If you want to keep total costs down, be prepared to seek out more affordable materials and consider upgrading panels instead of installing a new one.
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Hope you like this article on how much does it cost to replace a circuit breaker. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment box below!

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Circuit Breaker? - Average Price (6)

Edwin Jones

I am Edwin Jones, in charge of designing content for Galvinpower. I aspire to use my experiences in marketing to create reliable and necessary information to help our readers. It has been fun to work with Andrew and apply his incredible knowledge to our content.

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FAQs

How much does it cost to change a circuit breaker? ›

If you're adding on to your home, building a new home, or installing a large appliance such as a hot tub or air conditioner, you might need to replace your circuit breaker. Installing a circuit breaker typically costs between $300 and $2,000.

How much does it cost to replace a breaker fuse? ›

Fuse or Switch Replacement

Replacing a circuit breaker switch can cost between $100 and $200. For 15- to 20-amp switches, the cost averages $5 to $15 each, and 15- to 20-amp fuses cost between $5 and $10 for a pack of three. Older fuses can cost up to $70 and can be challenging to find.

Is it easy to replace a circuit breaker? ›

Replacing a circuit breaker is not inherently difficult, but it can cause nervousness, even for DIYers with advanced skills, since it involves working inside the main circuit breaker panel, where the potential for fatal shock always is present.

How much does a 20 amp circuit breaker cost? ›

Circuit Breaker's Type and Cost

How much does a 20 amp circuit breaker cost? At Lowes, you can get a Siemens 20-amp double-pole breaker for $14.98. However, there are single-pole breakers with the same amperage on Amazon that sell for only $6, especially if there are discounts being offered by brands.

How long does it take to replace a circuit breaker? ›

So, how long does it take to replace a circuit breaker? In most cases, it typically takes an average of six hours. Even if you have a substantial amount of knowledge of home electrical, this job needs to be done by a licensed electrician. What is this?

How often should circuit breakers be replaced? ›

How Long Do Circuit Breakers Last? According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the lifespan of electrical breakers is typically between 30-40 years. Electricity issues such poor power ratings or fluctuating voltages are all factors that will affect how long your circuit breaker lasts.

How do you fix a circuit breaker that keeps tripping? ›

Circuit overload is one of the most common reasons for circuit breakers tripping, and you can prevent it from happening by running fewer appliances at the same time on that circuit. The best long-term solution, however, is to have an electrician update your home's wiring to add additional circuits.

How much does it cost to rewire a 1500 sq ft house? ›

Cost to Rewire a House Per Square Foot
Square FeetAverage Cost
1,000$1,650 - $3,800
1,200$2,000 - $4,500
1,500$2,350 - $5,700
2,000$3,200 - $7,700
3 more rows
25 Jul 2022

Why does the breaker keep tripping? ›

Common reasons your breaker keeps tripping include circuit overload, a short circuit, or a ground fault.

Do you have to turn off power to change circuit breaker? ›

Replace a Bad Circuit Breaker

Then turn off the main breaker. Do not assume the power is off. Use the voltage tester to ensure that the panel is not receiving electricity. Use a screwdriver to disconnect the wire from the terminal on the bad breaker and move it aside.

How do you know when a breaker goes bad? ›

You can tell a Breaker is Bad if it shows any of the below Bad Circuit Breaker Symptoms:
  1. Burning Smell.
  2. Hot Breakers.
  3. Breaker Trips Frequently.
  4. Worn-out or Old Breaker.
  5. Visibly Damaged Circuit Breaker.
  6. Breaker Doesn't Remain Reset.
  7. Power Surge.
  8. Overloaded Circuit.

Is there a way to tell if a breaker is bad? ›

If the switch flops back and forth and there is not definite “on” or “off” position, the breaker is probably bad. If the circuit breaker does NOT trip immediately: Chances are you have an overloaded circuit, meaning that the circuit has more electricity flowing through it than it is rated for.

How much does it cost to install a new electrical panel? ›

On average, the cost to upgrade an old electrical panel of 100 amps to a new one of 200 amps is anywhere from $1,300–$3,000. Upgrading from 60 to 100 amps costs $800–$1,500, replacing a 200-amp panel with a 300-amp panel costs $1,800–$3,500, and upgrading to 400 amps costs $2,000–$4,000.

Can I replace a 20 amp breaker with a 30 amp breaker? ›

Yes. You can replace a 20A breaker with a 30A in a Standard Electrical Panel Board. However, if the circuit conductors are #12 AWG Copper, do not replace the 20A breaker with 30A. A #12 AWG Copper wire has an ampacity of only 20A.

How much does it cost to install a 50 amp breaker? ›

50-amp service is dependent on many factors, the most important being the length of the run. The wire costs between $3-$4 per meter (anywhere in America). $60 for the outlet/service box to plug into, $50-$100 to the breaker at panel & misc.

Can a circuit breaker fail without tripping? ›

A circuit breaker can fail without tripping and is an indication it needs to be replaced. It can also mean there are wiring issues with the circuit itself, such as exposed/loose wiring, overheating, and unregulated voltage.

How many times can a circuit breaker be turned on and off? ›

With 100 amp or less breakers they are tested to be operated 6000 times at rated current and 4000 without current, that is 10,000 operations, most likely they will never see that many operation unless the breaker is being used as a switch and in the right scenario, so highly unlikely this will be exceeded.

How do you check a circuit breaker? ›

How to Test Circuit Breakers - YouTube

Can you replace a 15 amp breaker with a 20 amp breaker? ›

You should never just upgrade from a 15-amp breaker to a 20-amp one just because the current one is tripping. Otherwise, you may burn your house down via electrical fire. To help you understand why this is so dangerous, you need to know what the circuit breaker is for.

What does it mean if a breaker won't reset? ›

If the breaker trips again you may have a short circuit or overloaded circuit, which will need to be checked out by a local licensed residential electrician. A circuit breaker that refuses to reset even after being turn to the 'off' position and back on may be broken and will need to be replaced.

Do circuit breakers wear out over time? ›

Yes, circuit breakers can wear out and need to be replaced.

Can a tripped breaker cause a fire? ›

When a circuit breaker trips, too much electricity is trying to move through the circuit at once, causing the circuit breaker to literally break the circuit. Too much electricity passing through a circuit can overheat the electrical wiring in your home or electrical devices, which can cause a fire or electrocution.

How many times can a circuit breaker trip? ›

A circuit overload and a short circuit are the two most common reasons for a circuit breaker to flip. When examining its capability, a circuit breaker can last up to 50 operations during circuit overloads and shorts.

When a circuit breaker trips you should immediately reset it true or false? ›

When a circuit breaker trips, you should immediately reset it. False. A tripped breaker could indicate a problem, so it should be checked by a qualified worker. 9.

Can you rewire a house without removing walls? ›

As most homeowners are concerned with the disruptiveness of the process, a question electricians get a lot is “can a house be rewired without removing drywall?”. The answer is usually yes, and even a whole house rewiring can in some cases be done with minimum disruption.

How often should a house be rewired? ›

It's generally recommended that you complete a full rewire every 25 years, so if you've been living in your home for longer than that, it's time to consider rewiring.

How long does a rewire take? ›

How long will a full rewire take? A full rewire can take, on average up to between 5-10 days, depending on the size of the property. The time taken depends on the number of contractors working and the exact scope of work involved.

Does tripping a breaker cause damage? ›

Circuit breakers are manufactured to open whenever an over current situation occurs. Whether it is from a direct, short to ground or a device failure of high amperage. Repetitive over current or constant tripping can severely weaken the conductive metal and finally break the small metal piece.

How do I find a short in my house wiring? ›

First, you'll need a multimeter. Although this device checks for voltage, it can also check for continuity. By checking both ends of the wire for power, you can tell whether or not you have a short. Before testing, set your multimeter function to continuity mode.

How do you know if you have a bad breaker? ›

You can tell a Breaker is Bad if it shows any of the below Bad Circuit Breaker Symptoms:
  1. Burning Smell.
  2. Hot Breakers.
  3. Breaker Trips Frequently.
  4. Worn-out or Old Breaker.
  5. Visibly Damaged Circuit Breaker.
  6. Breaker Doesn't Remain Reset.
  7. Power Surge.
  8. Overloaded Circuit.

How do I change an electrical breaker? ›

How To Replace or Change a Circuit Breaker in your Electrical Panel ...

How often should a house be rewired? ›

It's generally recommended that you complete a full rewire every 25 years, so if you've been living in your home for longer than that, it's time to consider rewiring.

How much does it cost to change a consumer unit? ›

Cost of moving consumer units

Depending on the size of your property and its contents, the cost of moving a consumer unit can range between £250 and £500. You may also need to arrange for an electrical installation condition report which can cost an additional £100 – £150.

Can a breaker go bad without tripping? ›

A circuit breaker can fail without tripping and is an indication it needs to be replaced. It can also mean there are wiring issues with the circuit itself, such as exposed/loose wiring, overheating, and unregulated voltage.

What happens when a breaker goes bad? ›

Malfunctioning circuit breakers can result in electrical fires. The warning signs mentioned above indicate that you should address a bad breaker immediately. Circuit breakers are designed to restrict electricity flow to your building to prevent overheating a circuit.

Can I replace a circuit breaker without turning off power? ›

Safety Tip: Testing and replacing a circuit breaker is a simple process, but you should work carefully and use extreme caution, even if you have experience working with electricity. Always assume that wires are live. Never work in a circuit panel that is live. Always turn off the main circuit that feeds the panel box.

How much does a new breaker box cost? ›

Cost To Replace Circuit Breaker Box

The average cost to replace a breaker box is $1,475 with most homeowners spending between $1,287 and $1,707. A low-amp subpanel costs from $500 to $1,000 while a 200-amp panel upgrade runs up to $4,000. Total costs depend on the type of home, the number of circuits, and the amperage.

Can I replace a 15 amp breaker with a 20-amp breaker? ›

You should never just upgrade from a 15-amp breaker to a 20-amp one just because the current one is tripping. Otherwise, you may burn your house down via electrical fire. To help you understand why this is so dangerous, you need to know what the circuit breaker is for.

How much does it cost to rewire a 1500 sq ft house? ›

Cost to Rewire a House Per Square Foot
Square FeetAverage Cost
1,000$1,650 - $3,800
1,200$2,000 - $4,500
1,500$2,350 - $5,700
2,000$3,200 - $7,700
3 more rows
25 Jul 2022

How can you tell if a house needs rewiring? ›

Most Read
  1. Persistent burning smell. If you haven't burned your dinner and there's a burning smell that won't go away, your house may need rewiring. ...
  2. Scorched or discoloured sockets or switches. ...
  3. Fuses blow repeatedly. ...
  4. Flickering or dimming lights. ...
  5. Electric shocks. ...
  6. Hanging sockets. ...
  7. An old house.
26 Jun 2019

Does a 1970's house need rewiring? ›

The majority of 1970s houses do not need rewiring. They will probably just need a consumer unit and earthing upgrade. You may find that the earthing on the lighting circuit is missing and this may lead you to perhaps just wanting to get the lighting rewired.

How much does it cost to install a new electrical panel? ›

On average, the cost to upgrade an old electrical panel of 100 amps to a new one of 200 amps is anywhere from $1,300–$3,000. Upgrading from 60 to 100 amps costs $800–$1,500, replacing a 200-amp panel with a 300-amp panel costs $1,800–$3,500, and upgrading to 400 amps costs $2,000–$4,000.

How much does it cost to supply and fit a new fuse box? ›

The average cost of replacing a fuse box with a circuit breaker is £75 to remove the old fuse box, £80 for the new fuse box and £160 for labour. Alternatively, if your box or unit already has a broken circuit breaker, simply replacing the circuit breaker costs on average £52.50.

Can I replace my consumer unit myself? ›

Unless you are a qualified electrician, then you should not try to replace your own consumer unit. It is a legal requirement that this type of electrical work is carried out by a certified professional. Beyond that, if done incorrectly, you could injure yourself or put both your family and home at risk.

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