A broken electrical switch or outlet can be annoying and possibly dangerous. It’s possible for homeowners to repair these themselves, but many people prefer not to tinker with their electrical system for safety reasons. The cost of an electrician can be expensive, but going with a professional provides peace of mind. Cost factors include labor, parts, location, specialized outlets and the possibility of larger electrical problems. It’s difficult for an electrician to provide an estimate before examining the situation because the problem may actually go beyond a broken switch or outlet. An electrician will first need to take a look at the problem to understand the full extent.
When it comes to switch or outlet repair, customers mainly pay for the electrician’s time, expertise and overhead. In most cases, switch or outlet repair is an easy fix. Most electricians charge an hourly rate for labor, and the work shouldn’t take longer than an hour—probably less. Because the job can be performed so quickly, electricians will charge a minimum service fee to cover the overhead associated with making a service call. Other electricians charge a flat fee for the job. Either way, labor makes up the lion’s share of the cost. The average cost for a visit from an electrician ranges from $50 to $135—the exact price will vary depending on the area and project details.
The price of parts for switch or outlet repair is minimal—usually under $20. Some electricians bundle parts into an overall flat rate for the job.
Repair costs can be higher if an outlet is in a ceiling or floor because it’s a more challenging task. The electrician may need to cut holes in the ceiling or floor to access the outlet or wiring, and the customer will have to pay to repair those cuts. Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection outlets, meant to be installed in potentially wet areas such as bathrooms and porches, are also slightly more expensive to repair.
Specialized outlets dedicated to appliances such as ranges, dryers and air conditioners are more expensive to repair than standard outlets.
More extensive repairs
Sometimes a broken outlet or switch is just a symptom of a larger problem. For example, the problem could lie in the wall box or the wiring going to the electrical panel. In either case, repair costs will be higher.
Have the electrician fix multiple problems at once to maximize the value of the service visit charge.